Reviewed Mar 2, 2012
Jungle Disk rated 3.05 stars based on 73 votes
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.
To 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While there's no official iPhone app, you can easily access your files via the MyJungleDisk website:
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.