What's the difference between snapshots and Droplet backups, how to backup and can it be downloaded?

  • Posted January 28, 2014

So in account control panel there is Images link on the left in menu and under that there are Snapshots and Droplet backups.

Snapshot is basically snap, clone of droplet, it should be same thing as backup, right? But if it’s a same thing as backup why there are backups than?

What’s the difference and i couldn’t find anywhere option to backup droplet, just to make snapshot.

And is it possible to download and keep one on my pc?


I’m confused about this as well. It seems whenever I come here for answers all I find are unanswered questions.

Hi DO community,

I love DO, i’ve reconstructed an exact clone of the droplet and i’ve synced it but for the love of god, when will we be able to download the entire image (even if it’s just allowed once or a month), I’m even willing to pay for downloads (be reasonable). I can only imagine the difficulties you’ll have in the beginning in terms of bandwidth with everyone download GB’s / TB’s of data but come onnnnnnnnn… please? pretty please?

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Snapshots are on-demand disk images of DigitalOcean Droplets and volumes saved to your account. Use them to create new Droplets and volumes with the same contents.

Backups are automatically created disk images of Droplets. Enabling backups for Droplets enables system-level backups at weekly intervals, which provides a way to revert to an older state or create new Droplets.

Unfortunately, you cannot currently download DigitalOcean backups or snapshots.

As an alternative, you can back up data locally using third-party tools like rsync or SFTP.

It is currently one of the most popular user suggestions on the DigitalOcean Ideas board, you can vote for this feature at

Hope that this helps! Regards, Alex

I believe the short answer to this is that they’re the same. The only difference is that backups happen automatically, and are standardized. You can make a snapshot whenever you want, and customize some things (such as making volume snapshots).

But if you just use the standard options, then backups are just snapshots that occur at specified intervals.

Please correct me if I’m wrong on that.

And just to verify? can a snapshot be downloaded?

Thay have the same output, its just that - Snapshot requires you to power off your droplet. Auto backup feature - no need to power off.

Thank you for your links. first one explained exactly what i wanted to clear out.

Check out: <br> <br>1.) <a href=“”>DigitalOcean Backups and Snapshots Explained</a>; <br> <br>2.) <a href=“”>How To Use DigitalOcean Snapshots to Automatically Backup your Droplets</a>; <br> <br>3.) <a href=“”>How to Install Rsnapshot on Ubuntu 12.04</a>; or <br> <br>4.) <a href=“”>How To Use Duplicity with GPG to Securely Automate Backups on Ubuntu</a>.