For password-less ssh log ins you must first create your ssh key for your local machine:
Don't enter a password for it, just press enter a few times
Then upload the contents of the file /home/*user*/.ssh/id_rsa.pub to the file /home/*user*/.ssh/authorized_keys on the remote host (or /root/.ssh/authorized_keys for root log in)
Debian distros come with a nice tool to upload the key to the remote host:
ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub username@remotehost
Here is a script I use to back up a box on my lan with:
rsync -av --delete-before --stats --progress --rsh='ssh -c arcfour -p22' email@example.com:/ /home/storage/BackUp/ --exclude="/proc/" --exclude="/lost+found/" --exclude="/mnt/" --exclude="/dev/"
This connects to the server 10.36.39.1 with ssh using arcfour compression (faster) on port 22. It copies / from the whole server into the folder /home/storage/BackUp/ on my local machine.
Please be very careful with the "--delete-before" option. If you get mixed up, it can delete your whole hard drive. Before using --delete-before, run rsync with the -n option for a dry run that won't modify or transfer anything so you can see what will happen.