Jungle Disk Review

www.jungledisk.com

Our Rating:

***

Reviewed Mar 2, 2012

User Rating

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Jungle Disk rated 3.03 stars based on 72 votes

Pros

  • Data saved on Amazon S3, retrievable from other applications (non-proprietary)
  • Simple configuration
  • Cost-effective with small datasets

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Cons

  • As you store more, you pay more (no unlimited option)
  • Confusing Amazon S3 pricing
  • Typical backup files not accessible via web interface
 
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Complete Review

Summary

Jungle Disk (acquired by Rackspace in October of 2008) provides an application similar to CloudBerry Online Backup which backs up your data to Amazon's Simple Storage Service, S3. However, instead of paying one-time for the software, you pay a much smaller monthly fee, and have access to all updates.

Amazon PaymentsTo start, you need to sign up with Jungle Disk and then allow Amazon to bill you for the Jungle Disk service. If you already have an account with Amazon.com, this part is fairly easy. However, if not, this is an additional step in the sign up process.

You will not be charged more than $45.00 for the entire duration of the authorization
Details: Jungle Disk Desktop software with 5GB free storage
Pay: Jungle Disk, Inc.
Valid From: February 23, 2010
Valid Until: February 23, 2011

After you've authorized Amazon to bill you, continue to download the appropriate software. You have four different versions to choose from: Workgroup or Server (for business users) and Simply or Desktop (for individuals). For this review, we've gone with the Desktop version, but here's a quick summary of the different versions:

Workgroup Edition

Jungle Disk's Workgroup Edition charges businesses $4 per user per month for the software, plus usage fees from Amazon S3. The data is saved in a single storage account, with sub-accounts for each user. This keeps all of your business' data under one account, yet gives control over who can access other sub-accounts. In addition, per-user reporting is available showing bandwidth and disk usage, allowing the administrator to identify configuration problems.

Server Edition

The Server Edition is available for $5 per server per month, plus Amazon S3 usage fees and is available for Windows and Linux servers. Once installed, the service can be managed remotely from any Mac, PC or Linux machine.

Simply Backup

If all you need is backup, Simply Backup from Jungle Disk is enough to backup your data safely. At only $2 per month, it's the cheapest solution, but also the simplest with no option to share or sync data, and no access to your files via the web.

Desktop Edition

Probably the most popular version of Jungle Disk is their Desktop Edition for $3 per month (plus Amazon S3 storage fees). The Desktop Edition is available for PC, Mac or Linux computers, and supports multi-way sync to keep the same file amongst multiple computers in sync. The Desktop Edition license is for a single user with one or more computers.

Backup Vaults

Jungle Disk promotes their Backup Vaults, which is block-level de-duplication and compression, similar to incremental backups with other backup providers. By implementing backup vaults, users will save on their Amazon S3 fees as the compression and de-duplication reduces the amount of data transferred and stored.

Security

Like most other online backup providers, Jungle Disk is serious about security, implementing industry-standard AES-256 encryption. You're the only one who knows the password, and only you can decrypt the files. In addition, if you'd like, you may encrypt the filenames, too, for a higher level of security.

Jungle Disk Encryption

Reporting

A nice feature from Jungle Disk are the web-based, email or RSS reports which let you know not only if your backups has succeeded or failed, but also how much data was transferred, how many GET and PUT requests were sent to Amazon, and how much is stored with Amazon. This feature takes out some of the mystery behind how much your Amazon S3 bill is going to be.

Storage

Unlike traditional online backup services like Mozy, since you're paying per GB of stored data, Jungle Disk gives you the option to leave files on the server after they've been deleted from your computer (Mozy, like many others, will delete the file after 30 days). While this can be a welcome feature, it could also cost you in storage fees of unnecessary files.

Jungle Disk Storage

Web Access

With the Desktop or Workgroup Edition of Jungle Disk, you have access to your files over the web at MyJungleDisk.com. However, if you're using a Backup Vault, you cannot get to your files via MyJungleDisk.com nor the mapped network drive. Only files saved to or synced with the Jungle Disk network drive are accessible at MyJungleDisk.com. This can definitely be confusing for new users.

Jungle Disk Web Access at MyJungleDisk.com

iPhone

While there's no official iPhone app, you can easily access your files via the MyJungleDisk website:

Jungle Disk on the iPhone Jungle Disk on the iPhone

Summary

Jungle Disk can be a very affordable way to backup your computer, and if you're looking for syncing amongst multiple computers, there's probably not a more affordable solution. However, if you have tens (or hundreds) of GB of data to backup, you're better off looking at an unlimited backup provider, such as Mozy or Backblaze.

21 Comments
  1. Thank you for the effort . This is much easier to follow than the text-only instructions on the JungleDisk support site !!!

  2. Seems an awesome program. Is there a user guide if I will purchase this program?

  3. Thanks for sharing the download link.

  4. Good luck with defrauding customers @jungledisk with your dubious credit card techniques. #fail – Be very careful when trying to cancel your account, they make it difficult and bill you in advance, without warning.

  5. Dan, sorry you had trouble cancelling. Our cancellation procedure is located on our support site, http://support.jungledisk.com/…, and consists of two steps. Many of our customers choose to store their data on our system, for years, to satisfy auditing requirements. This does not require an active Jungle Disk subscription, so our customers will cancel the subscription and leave the data stored. For this reason, we’ve continued to keep the subscription and data separate. If you have any questions about the policy, please email me… I’ll be happy to help!Thanks,Travis Swientektravis [at] jungledisk.com

    • i have been using jungledisk for over a year now to back up two servers and a couple of PCs. we have one hard disk crash and i was able to restore it using our jungledisk online backup. i have not had to deal with customer service too much but when i did they did respond promptly and the information they gave me was accurate. the product can be

  6. I see positive and negative comments about this Jungle disk. Hope to see more reviews so that I can decide if this is worth buying.

  7. Three issues 1) they have massive problems with their billing system and Chase Payments 2) the system doesn’t always work – it copied over updates to backed up files over and over (especially my Quicken) and 3) and most outrageous, the cancellation process is deceptive and fraudulent. I tried to cancel and got hit up by the same thing as Dan. The joke is they would not refund my $8.15 in question. They continued to be obstinate as outlined by Travis Swientek’s response below. DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE, there are many better ones out there that actually deal appropriately with their customers.

    • I agree with Blove! Samething happened to me. I didn’t have a problem until I was incorrectly billed when I tried to cancel my account. When my account was canceled they still charged me. According to them I have to manually erase the contents of what I have stored they can not do it.

  8. CAUTION ALL RESELLERS!!

  9. In general, I have been very satisfied with the service. The prices are reasonable, and tech support via email has been adequate.

  10. Jungledisk is too difficult to navigate, non-intuitive and cumbersome. For some reason, it’s necessary to log into two separate sites to manage the account and access data -

  11. JungleDIsk is the worst company I have ever had to do business with, The product has a lot of potential however the JungleDisk tech support sucks bad.

  12. Disaster Recovery. On Easter Monday 2012, our building was the subject of an arson attack. As I was not allowed into the building by the fire brigade / police for the best part of a day, I was left wondering whether anything was left of the legal office and the file server. 20 years of data and records?? I went home and logged into the Jungledisk account. Thank christ for Jungledisk & Amazon S3 as the 100Gb of data / records was saved up to 5.15pm the day before Good Friday. We recommenced trading the next day based on the most recent backup with absolutely no loss of data. Unfortunately for the firm next door – not such a happy ending as they had no offsite backups. No-one can really put a price on your data.

  13. Hello, I have evaluate an on line backup service for 3 month and I have found it very secure useful and low cost consuming. Any individual can use it only for $2 for a month.

  14. In another technical context, jungle is distinguished from tropical rainforest in that the former is a profuse thicket of tropical shrubs, vines, and small trees growing in areas outside the light-blocking canopy of a tropical rainforest. Hence, jungles are often found at the edges of climax rain-forests, where human activity may increase sunlight penetration.

  15. Beware of lack of customer support, unless you buy JungleDisk directly from Rackspace (called Cloud Drive). Check this chat out:Please wait while we find an agent to assist you…You have been connected to Monica.Customer:

  16. Oh yes .. I’ve been using JD for a couple of years … I average between 70 and 80 GB per month. Last bill was for nearly 800 GB of storage, or about 10 times my normal storage. I’ve changed nothing! I don’t even have a hard drive capable of that much storage! They closed the ticket as “solved” by telling me that I must have created another backup on another machine. Whatever! That’s crap – there are no other machines, for crying out loud.

  17. Jungle Disk has been incredibly difficult to use from the beginning and the customer support is non existent. I finally found another service which works better for me and I cancelled my subscription with them. Like others below, they continue to bill me. I am in the process of reporting their practices to my credit card company, Amazon etc. I wish I had done more research before I signed up. This company obviously has a business practice to make money off creating an impossible scenario to cancel a subscription (along with having next to no customer support.)

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