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Database connection: Direct, Bridge, Direct Connection through HTTP Tunnel. What is the difference?

To start working with your store first of all you have to select what type of connection you would like to set-up. Currently Store Manager allows to set-up:
  1. Direct Connection
  2. Bridge connection
  3. Direct Connection through HTTP Tunnel

Direct MySQL database connection. Most of hosting companies allow direct connections to MySQL database. However in most cases you have to go to your control panel and add your home/office computer IP address or domain name to Access List - list of IP addresses allowed to access MySQL port 3306 from outside. This option can be found under MySQL settings. Feel free to ask your hosting support to assist you in enabling direct MySQL access, they must help you since it is trivial task.

If direct connections are not allowed there is another way - secure SSH connection. Actually SSH is a kind of tunnel between two computers - your and your server. Other connections can be established via SSH tunnel. You can use SSH for MySQL as well as for FTP connections. See "Preferences" window, "SSH" page. The only info you need is SSH user name, password and remote port number - basically the same as for typical MySQL connection.

Note: SSH settings do not override MySQL settings. To connect to your database using SSH you must specify all required MySQL parameters as well as SSH.

PHP-MySQL bridge connection. If no direct MySQL nor SSH connection is possible or you getting frequent "Connection lost" events try PHP-MySQL bridge connection.

Direct connection through HTTP tunnel. Store Manager allows to set-up Direct connection through HTTP tunnel as an alternative way of connecting to your database which possesses the advantages of both direct and bridge connection. This type of connection is useful if you don’t have direct access to MySQL database. Also, you don’t need to do POST GET operations to synchronize data with your store, all changes will be reflected in real-time.