Can I copy a file from one computer to another via the internet?

Posted on 2011-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have set up an MS Access application to automatically compress and create a backup copy of its backend database the first time it is launched each day. It works great BUT the backup is saved on the same hard drive in the same office as the main database. If the hard disk crashes or the premises are damaged then we've lost everything. We have another office at the other end of town. Is there a way I can set it up so that it copies the backup to the server at the other office instead of the same computer? I imagine I need to set up a VPN somehow.

I am not even sure where to pose this question so I am open to suggestions.
Question by:Rob4077
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Yes, you can, if you setup a VPN or an FTP server and open port 21 on the firewall. You may need to write a basic script for uploading the file to FTP, with the correct credentials. If you setup a VPN you can likely use a folder share and syncback or synctoy to copy the file to the other server. If its going to be hard to setup a VPN, look into Logmein's Hamachi application it will setup a VPN of sorts for you. Just install it on both machines.

    Author Comment

    How difficult is it to set up a VPN? At one site we have a server and a number of PC's working off it. At the other end we have two PC's sharing a few folders.

    If I set up a VPN does the other network simply appear like any other networked dirve or is it more complicated than that to utilise.

    It would be really great if we could set it up so that the second office had access to the other office server as if it were on the same network.
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    The VPN is a nice idea because of the side benefits.  If you decided to go with FTP here is a Robo-FTP script that automatically uploads an access database file every night at midnight:
    WORKINGDIR "c:\folder\containing\my\database"
    CRON "@daily"
    FTPLOGON "" /user="UserID" /pw="secret"
    SENDFILE "database.mdb" 
    GOTO top

    Open in new window

    You would set this FTP process to run as a Windows Service so it is automatically restarted whenever the computer is rebooted like for updates or whatever.

    Assuming your web hosting company offers FTP access, and most do, you could just make a subfolder that isn't linked to any pages on your website and store your backup database file there.

    Author Comment

    Hi AlexPace, and thanks for the suggestion. That sounds like a really easy suggestion that provides a pretty safe backup mechanism, However is it safe to store a database on a web site? Is it not relatively easy for just about anyone to find a folder on a web site and copy it?
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    Yeah good point.  That would be dangerous if the directory browsing is enabled on the website.  Most of the time it is disabled but, if it is enabled, then it would only be a matter of time before a web crawler would find it.  Even if browsing is disabled it might be a good idea to give it a new, boring name so nobody messes with it even if they find it.  Maybe something like "pagefile.sys" or "thinborder.jpg"  

    Author Comment

    Ok, thanks for the confirmation.

    I still prefer the idea of setting up a VPN with the server and saving the file there. I am not sure, however, if it would be wise for me to leave the connection open 24/7 so that my backup could be saved at 3:00 AM when it is scheduled to occur. Maybe I should just zip it up and email it to myself, though I will run into problems when it starts growing.

    I will give it a bit more thought and wait to see if there are any other suggestions come in before I close the question out.

    Author Closing Comment


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