Stash Live is a different way of creating backups. It takes a "snapshot" of each individual file/data one at a time then sends each of them encrypted to our Stash servers, where it is then compiled and a backup is created and placed in your Stash allocation.
The first initial Stash Live transfer of all of your data may take a long time, from days to even a week or more depending on how many files there are, the size of individual files, and the server resources allocated to your site and how much site activity you receive. Stash Live uses a "Cron Kicker" to keep the files moving along. Site activity or staying logged in on the Stash Live page keeping it open will help guarantee that the "Cron Kicker" is moving the process along.
The extreme time difference is caused by the overhead needed for sending individual files. There is a great deal of overhead for each and every file transfer and since we are sending thousands of files instead of just a single file, it takes a great amount of time. For instance, each file send may take 1 or 2 seconds, even for the smallest of files. This adds up when multiplied against many files.
Additionally, if no one is accessing the website (eg. you're not on the Stash Live page and no one else is visiting your site), there's no way for the Stash Live process to run itself. PHP scripts cannot trigger themselves to run; something external must trigger it (typically someone visiting the site). To combat this we will periodically load your website when Stash Live is running to help keep the process running (known as the "Cron Kicker"). However, this access is not made as often as the AJAX calls would be made if you had the Stash Live page open.
Although there's a slow initial backup, subsequent backups are often FASTER than a normal backup as only changed files are transmitted. Offloading the zip creation process to our servers significantly reduces the chance of any problems due to server timeouts as this traditionally is the most resource intensive part of the backup process.
In short, the first transfer may take a while but after it completes things should move along much faster in the future. Keeping the Stash Live page open during the first backup can help the process continue to move along a bit faster in some cases.
Once the Stash Live backup is completed, it can be retrieved from your Stash account and be utilized like any traditional backup for migration/restoration.
Here are some links that might be of use in regards to Stash Live:
Traditional backups are created on the BackupBuddy -> Backup page and must be created on the server of the site itself. Then after the backup file is created, it can then be sent to a remote destination like Stash. Here are some links for more information on traditional backups:
And here are some links in regards to sending a traditional backup to a remote destination like Stash:
Please note, that it's not recommended to use both Stash Live and the sending of traditional backups to your Stash remote destination. As both have the same final outcome => backups stored in your Stash account. They just achieve it differently. And using both (Stash Live and the sending of traditional backups to your Stash remote destination) could cause you to hit your Stash quota quickly with redundant backups.
Though if you wish to use Stash Live and traditional backups for local storage on the site's server at the same time, you can still do that. And/or you can also have those traditional backups sent to a different remote destination like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. That way, you can have the additional redundancy without maxing out your Stash quota. (Though I should probably mention, the other remote destinations are not as easy to set up and use as our Stash remote destination and/or Stash Live.)