Backing up from home with HFS backups

This page details advice regarding how best to back up from home with CrashPlan and/or Storage Protect.  If you have any questions about whether your backups are running then you can check their status via the HFS Backup Services Portal.

If you are working from home then this may affect your backups, depending on several factors, including:

  • where you are connecting from when your backups run
  • what type of account you have - CrashPlan or Storage Protect
  • in the case of Storage Protect, whether you back up manually, or using overnight automated schedules, or both (CrashPlan backups run automatically during the day).

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Yes.  Connecting to your machine remotely does not affect your machine's ability to back up.

Yes, albeit with some caveats.

If you are backing up from home using CrashPlan then your backups can run, although you may find that backups speeds are slower than those on University premises.  Be sure to select only those files which you wish to back up.

If you are backing up from home using Storage Protect then you will need to do this via a University VPN. You may find that your backups do not complete.  This is because an IT Services VPN connection has restricted bandwidth and will not support large data uploads.  Please ensure that you back up only essential data. There are several ways in which you can do this. For the most effective method, please see our information on how to exclude everything from backup except specific files or folders; the same web page details other methods for excluding data from backup. These can be used to limit both your manual and scheduled backups to specific files and/or folders.

If you back up over VPN and only do so manually, then the other option for Storage Protect is to select for backup only those exact files that you wish to back up. If you use scheduled backups in Storage Protect over VPN then, to prevent your whole machine from being backed up, you must either limit your backups to certain files as mentioned in the preceding paragraph or else remove your scheduled backup slot. The latter is not recommended since then you will receive no notification if your backups do not run.

Backup over VPN is much slower than over the wired network or eduroam.  To ensure fair use of our Storage Protect service, we cut off backups that are either extremely slow or that last over twelve hours.  To minimise the likelihood of a cut-off and to reduce load on the Storage Protect backup service and on the VPN, please do not select your whole machine for backup, but instead send us only those files which you need to back up.  For details on how to do this see 2. My work machine is at home. Can I still back up?.

For machines on University premises, as mentioned above (see 1. Will my backups run if I'm working from home using remote desktop to a machine on University premises?), if your machine has been left on then scheduled backups should run as normal. 

If your machine is at home, left on, then CrashPlan backups will run but Storage Protect backups can only occur if a University VPN is running at the allotted backup time.  However, such a Storage Protect will probably not complete, for the reasons mentioned in the previous section: a scheduled backup will try to back up all of your machine and any attached drives by default, and therefore will be slow and will get cut off.  If you wish to run Storage Protect backups from home you must therefore either exclude data from backup (whatever you do not need to back up) or else remove your backup schedule. For how to do both of these, please see the above section 2. My work machine is at home. Can I still back up?.

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