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Time Machine backup over VPN? (reprise)

3728 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2013 1:48 AM by mobilemobster RSS
Jay Imerman Calculating status...
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Nov 13, 2012 7:57 PM

I found this thread (, which leads me to believe it is possible.  My server is Lion (equipment too old to update to Mountain Lion), and the L2TP VPN is functioning perfectly.  I go to Finder, do Go / Connect to Server and connect to the backup drive.  I am able to see the contents.  However, when I go to Time Machine Preferences, then try to select backup disk, it doesn't show up in the dialog.


Otherwise everything else on my VPN is functioning perfectly.


Any clues where to look or what to try?


Thanks in advance.

iMac (20-inch Late 2006), Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • tehcid Calculating status...
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    Nov 21, 2012 11:45 AM (in response to Jay Imerman)

    Jay - I have the same problem.  I am using ML Server, and when I am local the TM connected to the server pops up fine.  When I am remote, I use the VPN and can connect locally to all other storage, but the TM doesn't pop up.


    Did you ever resolve this?

  • mobilemobster Calculating status...
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    Mar 4, 2013 10:19 AM (in response to Jay Imerman)

    I'm able to do this.  I have two Mac Mini computers running Mountain Lion.  One is physicaly located in another state and connected via VPN.  The hard drive is a NAS solution from Western Digital (My Book Live), and it's on the network. 


    The remote computer connects using VPN (L2TP), and is able to see the shared directory of the backup drive.  That directory is selected as the Time Machine backup for that remote machine. 


    The VPN seems solid (the remote computer can stay connected for hours at a time), and the backup does work.


    Problem is: The backup happens very slowly ... 2-5 days (estimated), to backup about 35 gigabytes of disk space.


    It's going to be more effective to just get another drive and have it next to the remote machine instead of trying to always backup over VPN.


    I'm impressed that it works though - it's just not very fast.



  • mobilemobster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2013 1:48 AM (in response to Jay Imerman)

    Sure.  35GB is not a lot of space for me actually.  That can easily be a day's worth of work.  I agree though, it's best to backup your machines as much as possible to keep the increment small.




    I love the MyBook Live too. 


    Using two drives works great!  It's one of the many praises I sing about OSx.  Yes - finally something great to talk about on the forum ... LMFAO!


    If you use two drives, you have some choices. TIme Machine will detect whether you have both drives connected at once, and give you an option:


    1. either migrate your backup from one drive to the other, or

    2. use both simultaneously - in which case, Time Machine will alternate drives.

    If multiple drives are not connected at the same time (e.g. one at home and the other is at work), Time Machine handles each drive individually.


    I've never had a problem.


    I think you can have more than two drives as well that you back up to.


    Check out the docs. ...


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