Shadowprotect imaging across VPN - some questions

We've had a remote office with 3 computers sending their continuous incremental ShadowProtect images back to the home office over VPN by pointing to the server for the destination of the image files. This is not putting the images on a local drive then using image manager or some other method to send the files across the VPN.

All 3 machines have worked fine for months. Now 2 of the machines are very finicky.

Some things I have noticed is that these 2 machine say it will take 2 - 3 days to do the incremental image and at some point over the weekend there must be a blip or connection issue and the image fails. Even when only 1 of them is sending the file at a time, with utilization for the job set to 100%.

some questions I'd like to ask

Does anyone do imaging that way? Or do you always create an image to a local drive first then send that image offsite?

Is there any way to see what the incremental file size will be ahead of completing that imaging? Or what is in the file to see why some machines are wanting to make much larger images? At first I thought I could look to see what files were created or changed since the last imaging,but that would only be a partial picture. If defrag is totally jumbling the hard drive, that would be a source of much change for files that haven't changed.
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Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
I always save it locally to a nas or something first. Storagecraft doesn't support non-local smb shares. Image manager to ftp is free, so the only cost is local storage and a little compute for image manager.

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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
image manager will send for free? I thought that needs a license?

Forgot to ask - what about laptops that might be in the office, might be home overnight.  Do you give them a small USB drive?  Leave it where the laptop will be most times and they have to remember to plug it in all the time / once in a while?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
I believe it sends over ftp for free, there are some additional ways that require licensing.
I don't backup desktops with shadowprotect, for important laptops I use backblaze or yourbackup or something. However usually putting the docs in one drive is enough.
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