I needed to copy a couple hundred GBs of data as a precaution from a VPS to another location for temporary storage since I was about to mess with the file system. After reading the man pages and other blogs I guess this was the best I could come up with.
rsync -arz -e ssh /local_path/ remote_user@ip_address:/remote_path/
recurse into directories
compress file during the transfer
remote shell SSH
Other parmeters to add:
keep partially transferred files
delete extraneous files from destination dirs