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Jungle Disk - no geeks needed

You can't be too rich, too thin, or have too much backup.

I had looked at Amazon S3 for backup a while back and had immediately dismissed it as too geeky. Never mind the technical stuff about actually using it; I couldn't even understand the pricing structure. I knew it was cheap storage, but beyond that it made my head hurt.

I figured it wouldn't take long for someone with more patience than I have to write an app to take advantage of S3. Jungle Disk is such a product. It's cheap ($20.00), runs on Mac, Linux and that other OS. It can even be put on a USB stick so you can move it around from computer to computer.

It isn't entirely geekery free because you do have to interact with Amazon. If you don't have an Amazon account, you have to get one. After that, you have to sign up for the S3 service and get the keys you will use to configure Jungle Disk. Finally, when you decide you really do want this, you'll need to pay for it through Amazon - no other payment options are available. But none of this is really that bad.. I might not expect my aged aunt to figure this all out, but most computerish folks will have this running quickly. Jungle Disk does provide extensive help, including videos, so there's really nothing to be afraid of.

The $20.00 covers the cost of the Jungle Disk software. You can use that license on as many computers as you like with one Amazon S3 account. You'll be paying Amazon for actual storage used, of course.

On my Mac, Jungle Disk creates a mounted drive which exposes the S3 storage and on Windows it's a mapped network drive (you can also access it as a Network Place at http://localhost:2667/). For Linux, it's similar: for Konqueror you just "webdav//localhost:2667/" and in Gnome you use Connect to Server under Places, select "WebDAV (HTTP)" and enter "localhost" and "2667" for the port (no user name or password necessary). Once you've made the connection, you can drag and drop folders and files or use Jungle Disk's backup.

If you do use their backup, you can limit the upload bandwidth. I initially left it at the default setting (no limit) and found that it did interfere a bit with browsing, so I cancelled and set it to a 100Kbs limit.

I think this is a great product for extra small business backup. It beats the pants off of products like Mozy. Keep in mind that you absolutely still need local backup, but having cheap, unlimited network storage is wonderful.



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© Anthony Lawrence







Thu May 22 05:00:25 2008: 4228   drag


There is a Linux PC seller that uses the Amazon S3 service for doing online backups. They have a line of PCs and a notebook that they sell that automatically integrate into Amazon's stuff. (or you can pay more and not have to pay the subscription).

(link)

Kinda interested. One of those 'Linux for grandma' products.

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