Backing up .. JD style

One computer here has all the photos on. Every night they are backed to up an external HD which is on the desk. But if someone broke in and nicked the computer they’d nick the backup too. Hardly ideal. And my working computer has a lot of info I don’t want to lose, J has work and the kids have work and personal stuff they don’t want to lose.

So, mini-1 backed up to the external HD. PC backed some docs to Mozy and the rest to the other HD inside the case. mini-2 didn’t really get backed up and the laptop D uses didn’t either. I had Dropbox as one option for some backups but that was for temp files / transfer really and it wasn’t something I’d used a lot. I’d bought Chronosync for the mac and Syncback for the PC and used them both – they are excellent. But it was not as smooth an overall process as it could be. I had to check all was going okay, compare files and hope that if I’d asked them to do something that they did. So I needed a solution. I’d heard about Jungledisk but only vaguely looked at it.

Then Mark posted about his backups. Our needs and reasons differ but both he and Ryan mentioned Jungledisk. That works as a recommendation for me. So off I went, tried the free setup and once I saw how easy it was I gave them $20.
Each computer has it’s own bucket. It simplifies things here. Each has selected directories to backup and they are set to be daily. I went with the Jungledisk plus option so I have web access to all my buckets. So I can check from this machine that backups are being done (and that P has not moved her Music directory so it gets backed up…).

Web access is through a subdomain at Jungledisk

Jungle disk screenshot

And each bucket opens to subsequent directories down to the actual files.
The last modified information is there as you would expect.

Jungle disk screenshot

The main backup I did was 18gb and took around 3 days. Since then it has checked daily. I then added this machine and checked how that did and as all was well set up the others. Note – this was not me checking that Jungledisk was good. I knew that. I was checking that I had done it right.
What I have not yet done is use it as a mapped drive so I can drag files onto it. (It’s on the desktop, just unemployed) My workflow is pretty fragmented right now (smultron, evernote, gmail, shovebox all information thrown in them randomly, files get copied into a USB drive or ftp’d to another site) but this may ease that, esp for using the laptop. I have no need to set it up so that each machine can constantly access it to pass files from machine to machine.
One thing I will add is site backups. I’ll set up Transmit/Automator for that so long as that too can be set up and forgotten.

So in the unlikely event that all machines are suddenly taken away the most important stuff is somewhere else, and I can also get at them from anywhere. I really don’t care if when I click a machine and it dies if what I think is important is backed up. I have SuperDuper but again if someone breaks in they’ll probably nick the hardware. So I either hide hardware or put the files out of reach (and yes I know about the £200 Time Capsule. This would suit just 2 machines here and that’s not a good use of money when cheaper will be better). I have one last thing to do though – download it all to check it’s actually there. I know it will be but it’s something I know I have to do.

The goal was backups that are done and done consistently. The best part was that I have one solution for windows, mac and linux – all of which are here. Jungledisk was $20, to have Jungledisk Plus adds $1/month and Amazon have their data charges. It’s small money and even it it were double it’s still peace of mind money.

3 thoughts on “Backing up .. JD style

  1. I just want to say thanks for writing this (since I kinda asked you to do it) as it really is the solution that I haven’t been looking at. I too have so many “half assed” backup plans in place it would be nice to get rid of a couple. I will however keep my 1 TB drive for backing up music and movies, but in process of uploading to JB right now with my work related material.

    Thanks again Mark.


  2. I absolutely love JungleDisk! It has saved my butt twice this year. Automatic incremental backups couldn’t be more simple or reliable.
    I have been experimenting with Linux Ubuntu for the past three months; but have to do JungleDisk backups manually. With Windows it booted with the system startup. I can’t figure out how to make it boot on startup with Linux. Works just as good though when I do remember to manually start.

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