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

Posted January 28, 2014 28.1k views
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?

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7 answers automates snapshot backups :)

  • Thank you @uberdigital link :)

    You’re correct we offer this for people who want more frequent backups of their droplets. From Hourly to Daily snapshots with daily/weekly and monthly retention policies with no limit on the number of past snapshots that can be managed.

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In this article, we describe how to install and configure Rsnapshot in Ubuntu. Rsnapshot is a remote backup solution based on the rsync protocol which can be used to create scheduled, incremental backups.
Thank you for your links. first one explained exactly what i wanted to clear out.

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

And just to verify? can a snapshot be downloaded?

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.


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!

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