Every time I have to update a site, I need to download it so I can back it up and to place it in a dev environment. But a site with a lot of add-ons/themes/images/media can take forever to download and subsequently re-upload when updates are complete.
What's the fastest way to handle this file transfer process? I've heard of "persistent connections" like with Git, but I don't know how to implement that on my computer, if that's even the best route to take.
Also, do you download the entire site before backup, or just the critical files like templates and config?