They say there are 2 kinds of computer users: those that have lost their precious data, and those who will. Well, I say you can be a part of a very special kind of computer user, someone who will never lose any data.
It doesn’t matter if you use Mac, Windows, or Linux.
If you don’t backup your information you are bound to lose it due to a number of reasons, including hard disk failure, stolen laptops, and plain old mistakes. This is where having an automatic and easy backup system that you don’t think about comes in handy. If you think backing up to an external hard drive is your saving grace, what happens if your place burns down or gets broken into? If you think burning CDs is the answer, what kind of automated schedule is this on? Don’t get me wrong, I do these things, and they can be real life savers. But having an offsite automated backup plan is golden.
Jungle Disk to the Rescue
I first came across Jungle Disk when I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Security Now with Steve Gibson (GRC.com) and Leo Laporte (twit.tv). After listening to episode number 123, where they talked with one of the creators of the program about the benefits of using this program, I decided to try it out.
What it does
Simply, Jungle Disk is a software program that lets you use Amazon S3 services to backup your files remotely. It costs $20 (there is a free trial) and the makers of it allow you to install it on multiple computers for your personal use.
Installation and setup
The installation is simple and straight forward. If you already have an account with Amazon from previous purchases, it is an easy process to be up and running.
After installation, you tell the program what files and folders you want to keep backed up, you pick a time to schedule the backup, and then you forget about it. The program will upload your files to Amazon S3 for safekeeping.
Paranoid types rejoice
Let’s say you have a super secret file (like the answers to the final exam or the grades for your students) that you have stored in your computer and you want to back it up securely so no one gets the “Kernel’s recipe”. Or simply because you are paranoid about your privacy. Then you have the right tool to accomplish this. Jungle Disk is able to strongly encrypt your information before it hits Amazon’s servers. They will only be storing the encrypted “blob” and never have access to your actual files.
The great thing about all of this is the cost for storage. You only pay for the amount of actual storage you use, which (as the date of this posting) is only $.15/GB. There is also a small fee per GB of upload. This is truly a great deal as other services charge a monthly fee for a set amount of storage whether you use it or not. MOZY is just one example of this (although they offer a free account with up to 2 GB of space). Last month I uploaded about 600 MB of personal files (documents, spreadsheets, pdf’s of receipts, etc.) and about 7 GB of pictures. My bill for the month was $1.22. That is an awesome price to sleep soundly knowing my most important files are securely stored. Once your files are backed up, the program will only upload files that have been modified, so there should be minimal charges for uploading.
Here’s what I like about Jungle Disk:
- Secure backup of your data. (Peace of mind)
- Automated: set it and forget it (No hassles)
- Very affordable pricing (Easy on the pocketbook)
- Amazon’s reputation (Stable and secure)
Are you still here?
Now I know what you’re probably thinking… “I have never lost any data. That only happens to other people”. Remember what I said at the beginning, you have already lost data or you probably will at some point. So go ahead, try this program out and sleep better at night knowing your irreplaceable kid’s (human or pets) pictures that you ONLY have digital files for, are safely stored somewhere other than your home. Or that thesis or presentation you’ve been working so hard to finish for months (losing sleep to complete) isn’t going to tragically disappear because you didn’t back it up.
Feel free to leave your comments on what method of backing up you’re using.