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Free, Scheduled Snapshots in DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean has been my favorite VPS hosting provider for over half a decade. Their implementation of spinning up server instances is as easy as it gets and takes merely seconds out of my ridiculous work-life. I try and take advantage of all the features they offer, including snapshots, backups, and third-party access. If you're curious as to the difference between snapshots and backups: snapshots can only be generated manually, while backups run automatically.

As of recently, I've commenced improvement of a digital bad habit: never seeming to have any time to generate snapshots of my droplets. DigitalOcean provides automated backups but for a small price of $1/month. It's a small price, but for those with smaller instances and budgets, you try to save money anywhere you can. This is where third-party access becomes useful. After some searching, I found BackupSheep.

BackupSheep provides backup services for multiple hosting providers. Scheduling snapshots using BackupSheep, for free, is the key. BackupSheep's free tier only allows for 1 backup schedule, but they don't limit features between the tiers. They provide a way for you to easily link your VPS host to their service. I actually prefer using BackupSheep as an alternative to DigitalOcean's native backups because of the flexibility and the amount of features they provide. You can store backups on your own storage (Bring-Your-Own-Storage): AWS, DropBox, Google Drive, etc. They provide timezone-aware schedules, compression of backups, 2FA, SSH access, etc. I began using them in 2018 and haven't experienced any issues.

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