snapshot vs backup?

whats the difference?

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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September 1, 2023
Accepted Answer

Hi there,

Here are the main differences between Droplet Snapshots and Droplet Backups:


  • A snapshot is a manual point-in-time copy of your Droplet or Volume.
  • Once you take a snapshot, it is saved in your DigitalOcean account, and you can use it to create a new Droplet or Volume.
  • Snapshots are billed separately based on the amount of space they use.
  • You can create a snapshot, move it to different regions, and then create a new Droplet from it in another region.
  • You can take snapshots of both Droplets and Volumes.


  • Backups are automatic and scheduled. When enabled, DigitalOcean takes weekly backups of your Droplet.
  • They are stored for 4 weeks before being replaced by newer backups, giving you a month’s worth of recovery points.
  • Backups are billed at an additional cost (a percentage of the Droplet’s price).
  • You cannot take backups of Volumes; only Droplets. However, you can take snapshots of Volumes.
  • If you need to restore from a backup, you can either create a new Droplet from the backup or restore the backup to the original Droplet.

While both snapshots and backups provide ways to recover your data, snapshots give you more flexibility in terms of when to create them and where to restore them. In contrast, backups offer an automated, set-it-and-forget-it solution specifically for Droplets.

Hope that this helps!



Site Moderator
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February 18, 2024


Backups and Snapshots both produce a complete disk image of your droplet at a particular point in time. You can restore the droplet’s state using the image.

DigitalOcean also lets you spin up a new droplet with the backup or snapshot image as its base. The difference lies in how the image is created. “Backups” is a fully-managed automated system. Backups are enabled on a per-droplet basis.

When active, DigitalOcean will create a disk image each week. The backup will be retained for four weeks, so you’ll have four different recovery options.


Site Moderator
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August 31, 2023


A snapshot is a point-in-time image of your Droplet or instance. It captures all of the data and settings on the Droplet at that point in time.

You can use a snapshot to revert to a previous state if something goes wrong, or to create a backup of your Droplet.

A backup is a continuous record of your Droplet’s data that you create every day. A backup captures all the data and settings on the Droplet at the current time, as well as the data and settings from the previous 24 hours.

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