Backups with JungleDisk

I recently heard about JungleDisk (hat tip: Ryan), and decided that might be the backup solution I’ve been looking for.

I’ve got thousands of pictures, hundreds of megabytes of source code, and documents dating back several years, all of which I’d like to ensure I never lose. So far I’ve shied away from all of the online backup solutions due to the expense. But JungleDisk uses Amazon’s S3 service for storage, complete with its rather inexpensive pricing model.

With that pricing model, JungleDisk has the potential to provide most of what I need, and some extras that are quite nice; all at a better price. So far, I’ve looked at two options:

  1. Use an online service. Much lower startup cost, but comes with a recurring fee.
  2. Build a backup server. This will require at least 1TB of fully redundant storage. I’ll also have to identify software that will meet my needs. Much higher startup cost, but only minimal maintenance costs after that.

JungleDisk has a few upsides, the biggest for me is that I can access it from anywhere that I can install the client, not just when I’m connected to my home network. With a low price, simple, but flexible interface, and a great storage system on the back-end – it certainly sounds like a winner.

Though, there are some features I’d like to see, that it doesn’t offer:

  • Access to files without installing software.
  • Incremental backups. This would make backing up PST and similar files far more reasonable.
  • Store multiple versions of a file.
  • Compress data before uploading. This would save a fair bit of bandwidth for me, as I backup things such as conversation and chat logs.

Will these missing features be enough to not use the service? I don’t know yet, I’ll give the service a couple of weeks to see how it goes. So far I’m fairly impressed, though wish it offered more features.

Once I hit the two week-mark, I’ll post a status update; and my final decision as to whether I’ll continue to use it.