No Bungle in this Jungle

December 27, 2007

Vista busy cursor If I was going to pick one single start-up to invest in it would be Jungle Disk. I believe they are going to be huge, or bought out by someone already huge.

Like most people I’m conscious of the need to back up my data. Typically all one’s personal documents, photos, videos, music exist as single copies on a particular computer. If the disk on that computer dies there is a fair chance everything will be lost (the miraculous capabilities of SpinRite notwithstanding).

There are barriers to regular backup, though. What do you back up on to that has the required capacity? Another hard disk somewhere in your home? That is expensive and not very secure against theft or fire since in either case it is likely all the computers in the house would be affected.

A CD or DVD that you could take to a relative’s house periodically? But that’s inconvenient and time-consuming for large data volumes, and after a while you’ll just forget or not bother.

The ideal solution is an automatic backup into the “cloud”, i.e. using Internet storage. You should be able to specify the folders you want to keep backed up and have some reliable, automatic system that backs your data up regularly to a special safe place in cyberspace.

Even then there are things to worry about. For a long time, broadband speeds were too slow, Internet storage was too expensive. And you want to make sure that your data is encrypted while it’s stored on the ‘net. Some of it at least will be private and it’s not a comforting thought that any employee at the Internet storage provider can have ready access to your personal stuff.

For a while I dabbled with AOL’s Xdrive, which offers 5Gb free Internet storage and utilities for uploading/downloading. It’s not though really a backup solution, just a place to store miscellaneous files on the Internet. Undaunted, I tried copying my sensitive data into a Truecrypt volume and uploading the volume to Xdrive periodically. As solutions go it works, but it is a hassle and there is not enough storage for photos and videos. Needless to say, that one died a death.

The advent of Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) was a watershed. Unlimited secure storage in the cloud at very low cost. But there was no convenient interface – the service was targeted at the professional.

Jungle Disk

Enter Jungle Disk. A complete solution that leverages S3 by adding the required user interface. At last we have the ideal solution. You really can now choose your folders to be backed up and let Jungle Disk take care of copying it all to a safe haven on the Internet, having first encrypted it using a key independent of Amazon’s security.

Effortless. Cheap. Secure.

Thank you Jungle Disk.

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  1. And how satisfying to have such a soul-feeding jnugle at one’s doorstep!My blue ginger is blooming and these feed my senses each morning. Happy Summer.

  2. There are several steps first you need to know what kind of drive you have in your new coetpumr, there are SATA and IDE Drives. Your new coetpumr is probably SATA, so you need to make sure you have the capability to use an IDE Drive. If you can use an IDE drive then use the jumpers to make it a slave and boot the machine. The coetpumr will recognize the master and use that OS, the second drive will appear in my coetpumr as another drive. Then you can format the drive and use the extra space. Good luck

  3. Hmm. Looks just as good, and will work out cheaper for a lot of people. Thanks for the tip, Martin.

    One thought though. Jungle Disk is accessible as a “drive” from multiple machines at no extra cost, and it’s a general on-line file-store as well as backup solution. I’m not sure if you can do that with Mozy. It means you can access (or add/change) important files from home, work, anywhere.

  4. mozy.com

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