I currently have a 3TB hard disk attached to my RPi running a samba server which several family laptops/PCs using Aomei backup to.

My plan is to allow internet access for these machines to continue back up their incremental backups when they are not local.

I see that allowing the samba to be internet accessible is a very bad idea, so I have researched some options:

  1. Samba (discounted)
  2. Owncloud
  3. sshfs (not being updated)
  4. ftp (not secure, slow)
  5. sftp
  6. VPN + samba (complicated, might be over the top)

Before I get started testing out each of these methods, does anyone have any warnings, preferences or suggestions? I need to be able to continue these backups from windows machines!


  • sshfs is basically sftp in the different coat. Both has pro being secure, but for one-way dropping files I would recommend the sftp method, since the FS stuff is not much useful overhead in this use case.
    – Jakuje
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 13:58
  • Preferably I'd like to be able to view the folders/images in a remote Windows machine like samba. But I'll probably go for sftp if those two are pretty much the same. Thanks Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 14:00
  • Once you will have sftp set up, you can use also sshfs if you want to access backups "like local". But I would not use sshfs it as a primary method of doing backup.
    – Jakuje
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 14:05
  • 2
    Hello. The instructable link given in bullet 5 explains how to setup an ordinary ftp server and dyn-DNS services, despite its title "Secure FTP Server"... Just to be aware.
    – Ghanima
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 14:10
  • 2
    I'm going to disagree with Jakuje about the usefulness of sshfs vs. sftp particularly if you'd "like to be able to view the folders" in a file browser. I don't have any numbers, but neither one is likely to have a speed advantage. I'd say sftp is actually somewhat pointless and the major reason it exists is compatibility with old methodologies (file transfer vs. remote filesystems).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


I would use rsync: it can use ssh keys for authentication. So for backup you just need to have ssh access from the (non-local) machine to the pi, and use something like rsync -vr /some/folder my_user@my_pi.some.domain:/storage/backups/

  • 1
    Windows doesn't have an rsync function and I need explorable images Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 0:07
  • I don't think there's a reliable solution that will give you both stable backups and an ability to view them as a filesystem.There's a windows application called DeltaCopy which fully supports the rsync protocol and ssh keys. Then, whenever you need to "explore", you can use something else, maybe a web server with a file manager.
    – dexterlb
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 9:09
  • Does rsync make disk/partition images? I myself have a more complicated backup routine: 2 disks, 2 oses and a massive partition of which I only want to backup some folders. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 11:58

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