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I would like COMPUTER_A to sync anything found in a specific directory, with my FTP server, COMPUTER_B, but only during off hours. I would like it to automatically resume if the computer is rebooted.

I use FileZilla now, but it will not automatically continue transferring when the computer is restarted. I also do not think that you can set the times for the transfers, with FileZilla.

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I set this up using

  • lsyncd (to do something each time the directory on the remote machine changed)
  • rsync (to transfer the files. as mentioned it only transfers the changed bits = efficient)
  • openssh (to allow password-less connection by using public and private keys)

This does fine if the remote machine is not behind a firewall. Mine was, so I set up a reverse tunnel

  • autossh (to maintain a persistent reverse tunnel)

This website was helpful:

I had Cygwin on the local machine and Ubuntu on the remote one.

Happy to provide more detail if desired.

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Edit Jan 27, 2015: While these other solutions were good at the time, this post is a little outdated. Now I would recommend using BitTorrent Sync. It will not let you specify the time to do the sync, but it will not upload anything except what is needed, so unless you are making major changes every day, it won't matter. You can limit the sending and receiving rates in the Advanced Preferences to keep your daytime internet speedy. If you absolutely need it to only run during off hours, you could use the windows Task Scheduler to start and stop it. If you are also absolutely tied to ftp, I would still recommend Cobian Backup.

Old post: Dropbox will not let you specify the time to do the upload. Neither will SugarSync, although SugarSync will at least let you select which directories to backup. Either of those are free for up to 2GB of data (plus an extra 250MB if you use the referral links provided here) and both are easy to use. If you are on Windows, you could try using NetDrive to map an ftp site as a network drive and then use your favorite backup program (mine is the $30 SecondCopy) to schedule a sync. Or, try the free Cobian Backup, which will sync directly with FTP servers.

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I think you are looking for something like MozyHome

How It Works

  1. Sign up for an account. Create a MozyHome user account which will allow you to download MozyHome software. It's quick, easy, and our step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.

  2. Download and install software. MozyHome downloads in just seconds, and the installation is simple and fast.

  3. Select files to be backed up. Simply check the boxes next to the backup sets, or types of files you want to back up, and MozyHome does the rest. In addition to selecting files by backup sets, you also have the option of selecting specific files and directories.


or try dropbox

Unlike other programs, Dropbox doesn't have a complicated interface to learn. It's built right into your desktop! Here's how to get started:

Step 1: Drag and drop any file or folder into your Dropbox folder.

Step 2: Once your file/folder is inside your Dropbox folder, the program immediately starts syncing it to our secure servers. Once this has finished, the file's icon is marked with a green check. Your file is now safely backed up online and also accessible from the Dropbox website. (

Step 3: Install Dropbox ( on other computers you use, and they'll also receive a copy of the files you've put in your Dropbox.

That's it! Now that Dropbox is watching your file, any changes you make will sync up instantly and automatically. This gives you the freedom to work on any computer you choose. For more help adding files to Dropbox, see here:


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As you have described in your question, I suggest you 2nd one, it suites your requirements perfectly. – Mr-Right Jan 3 '10 at 0:14

Three points.

1) If both ends are linux, use rsync. It is orders of magnitude faster than FTP. Google will show you how.

2) If you are stuck with windows, then ftp is built-in!

Put your FTP commands into a file and execute the following in a command window.

C:\whatever> ftp <commandfile

When you are happy that it does the right things, you may put the above command in a .bat file, and set up a scheduled job (see control panel) to run it when you want it run.

3) FTP is not secure. Go through an SSH tunnel if the data or password is valuable. These can be set up from Windows using PUTTY. The best way to automate the SSH tunnel is using key files because there is no password to get stolen or prompt to stop automatic operation, and if the keyfile goes missing when your laptop is stolen, delete your public keyfile from the other end.

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The only thing I can think of for resuming is to use one of the above methods for using the FTP command and use some scripting kung fu to do the resume. For example: If when the script to sync over FTP starts, have that script write to a status file "started". When it is done, have the script write to the file "finished". Then have a start-up script fire off when windows starts and have it check the status of the file. If the file says "started" then you know it was interrupted and you need to rerun the script. If it says "finished" then you know the last sync completed and you don't need to launch the sync batch file at start-up. (You can do the same thing with a started.txt and no file if finished and have the start-up script run if the file exists. Which ever way you would like.)

The built-in FTP command would be easiest because you could script that.

(If you didn't have to work with FTP and you were using the regular Windows file sharing, I would recommend Robocopy using the /mir for the sync.)

Hope this helps.

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You may like SuperFlexible, which can also backup onto 'the cloud', on the Amazon S3 servers.

BTW, using plain FTP is very unsecure and should not be done with any personal or company data.

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