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I'm picking up the stray subjects from the Apple Tablet Event thread. I am trying to figure out what I want to do for a back up system. I was looking into remote storage, like Mozy, for one part of it. Ideally, I would like to have remote storage, offsite storage, and mirrored onsite storage. So I've been thinking about a combination of Mozy (or something similar), drobo, time machine, and external hard drives. So I'm wondering what experiences people have had with Mozy, Drobo, or Time Machine and what their set ups look like.

 

I am unfortunately facing the dilemma of Mozy only backing up what is on the computer and not what's on external/networked drives. Also from what else I can find, Time Machine will only back up wirelessly to Time Capsule (which I've heard terrible stories of, and you have to buy it with a computer to get it under apple care). I know you can plug in a hard drive to your computer for Time Machine to work, but I know I'll be terrible about that.

 

Basically, I've got a laptop, a desktop (which is going to be sold and replaced, though when the replacement will happen I don't know), and external drives which contain most of my important info since I have too much to keep on either computer.

 

So what do you do? What are your experiences? How does remote storage handle huge quantities of data?

- J

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Hey

There are a lot of people out there with TCs that routinely die after 18-24 months, 24 months being the lucky ones. Also, many people had a lot of trouble getting any support or replacements at all. I think that part has improved some, but I'm really not thrilled about spending that much money on something that will die after 18 months. Here's a few websites:

 

http://timecapsuledead.org/

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?t...67&tstart=0 (There's 56 pages on this)

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php...7488&page=4

 

Just do a google search on TC dying after 18 months.

 

I'd much rather plug in a cheaper drive to the router, but from what I've read, this isn't supported.

- Jules

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Hi Jules,

 

I hope I can contribute something useful here! :P

 

So I'm wondering what experiences people have had with Mozy, Drobo, or Time Machine and what their set ups look like.

 

My home setup:

* Airport Extreme Base Station

* Gardian Maximus RAID (mirrored RAID-1) w/two 1TB drives: http://www.newertech.com/products/gmax.php

* Mac Pro (with 3 hard drives; 1.5TB space available, about 500GB used)

* MacBook Pro 13" 2009 (default 120GB drive, or whatever it is)

* MacBook Pro 15" 2005 (default 80GB drive)

 

I use Time Machine to back up all three Macs to the Gardian Maximus RAID.

I use Mozy to back up all three drives of the Mac Pro to Mozy.

 

I am unfortunately facing the dilemma of Mozy only backing up what is on the computer and not what's on external/networked drives.

 

I believe that Mozy *will* back up external drives, but *not* networked drives.

http://support.mozy.com/docs/en-user-home-...drives_faq.html

 

Also from what else I can find, Time Machine will only back up wirelessly to Time Capsule

 

I do not own a Time Capsule. I back up both MBP's wirelessly to my Gardian Maximum RAID via Time Machine.

 

So what do you do? What are your experiences? How does remote storage handle huge quantities of data?

 

As stated above, I have in a sense a three back up system:

* everything backed up to the RAID (and since it's mirrored, it's two backups)

* the Mac Pro backed up to Mozy

 

If you're not familiar with a RAID-1, it writes a copy of everything simultaneously to two drives at once, so that if one drive fails, the other should still work. So not only does Time Machine back everything up, but in effect, by having a RAID-1, it backs everything up twice.

 

Before this, I had a dedicated network drive like a Drobo. Here's why I don't recommend those for backup if you are a Mac user:

 

First of all, if you didn't know this, basically anything that is a "network drive" is really a small computer running dedicated server software. So the way that all of these cheap servers like the Drobo, or equivalents by Netgear, LaCie (I had this one), and so on keep the price down is by running free, open source Linux servers. (More expensive servers, like the HP Media Servers run Windows). This is why the are all "hackable" with things like dedicated photo and iTunes servers, etc. If you can afford one of the expensive Windows servers, they are great, go for it.

 

However, here's the problem with the Drobo and cheap Linux servers. The whole point of a RAID-1 is that when things go wrong with one drive—or even a catastrophic failure with the server, you can pull out the other, plug it into your computer, and run that drive. The RAID-1 that I have connected to my Airport Extreme (in effect, the Airport itself is the "server") has Mac formatted drives, if anything happens, I can just plug them in my Mac. If you have a Windows server, you can just plug those drives into your Mac.

 

But I had a catastrophic failure of the LaCie Linux server itself. The drives were not only formatted with Linux, but with a custom Linux that even by installing Linux support I couldn't access! So I ended up being able to hook the drive up to a PC, installing old and unstable custom EXT format Linux drivers that crashed WinXP every five seconds, but was able to grab my data. This was my experience with a LaCie box, but as I said, all the cheap boxes are Linux boxes.

 

When it comes to backup, the best advice I can give you is to choose a service based on how you would get by in a catastrophic failure. I am now completely set for catastrophic failure.

 

Mozy has been good to me--I've also found support very responsive. If you write to support, you get an Indian representative who barely knows his head from a hole in the wall, but they are very good at escalating you to a US engineer after a single support email (which makes sense; I'm sure the majority of support emails are of the "How do I select a backup set" and other such very basic stuff, so having outsourced "Gatekeepers" for those questions probably saves time and money). When I've dealt with support (my Mac Pro had a rather archaic issue, due to having so many bizarre extensions for audio stuff) they emailed regularly, did follow ups, even gave me custom builds. I can't complain.

 

And the Mac software is very good. It works just like advertised--completely background, it doesn't interfere with anything. I've used it to both back up and to restore and never a problem. Keep in mind that the initial upload to Mozy, depending on how much data you have, will take probably over a month—most connections have a 1Mbps upload speed, and if you're backing up something like 200GB of data, that's gonna take a while! But after that, each daily incremental backup takes less than an hour, and happens in the background.

 

Hope that helps, and let me know (here or in personal email) if you have any other questions :)

 

Orren

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Hey

There are a lot of people out there with TCs that routinely die after 18-24 months, 24 months being the lucky ones. Also, many people had a lot of trouble getting any support or replacements at all. I think that part has improved some, but I'm really not thrilled about spending that much money on something that will die after 18 months. Here's a few websites:

 

http://timecapsuledead.org/

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?t...67&tstart=0 (There's 56 pages on this)

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php...7488&page=4

 

Just do a google search on TC dying after 18 months.

 

I'd much rather plug in a cheaper drive to the router, but from what I've read, this isn't supported.

- Jules

The dual-base Time Capsule is also currently incompatible with 10.4.11. It causes unpredictable and frequent kernel panics. Apple knows this and has been promising a firmware upgrade for months but as of last week had yet to deliver. Not an encouraging attitude.

 

That was one factor determining my upgrade to an Intel iMac and Snow Leopard (not the only factor, obviously, or the cure would cost more than the disease).

 

I hadn't heard about the failure problems, although in my mental world all hard drives eventually fail. I back up to my iPod Classic, MobileMe, and CDs/DVDs as well as the Time Capsule, although I have to admit that it's easier to get lazy about the backup alternatives when Time Machine is running. And when you need a file and can find/restore it through Time Machine, that is very cool. :P

Best,

M

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My home setup:

* Airport Extreme Base Station

* Gardian Maximus RAID (mirrored RAID-1) w/two 1TB drives: http://www.newertech.com/products/gmax.php

* Mac Pro (with 3 hard drives; 1.5TB space available, about 500GB used)

* MacBook Pro 13" 2009 (default 120GB drive, or whatever it is)

* MacBook Pro 15" 2005 (default 80GB drive)

 

I use Time Machine to back up all three Macs to the Gardian Maximus RAID.

I use Mozy to back up all three drives of the Mac Pro to Mozy.

 

I believe that Mozy *will* back up external drives, but *not* networked drives.

http://support.mozy.com/docs/en-user-home-...drives_faq.html

 

Mozy has been good to me--I've also found support very responsive. If you write to support, you get an Indian representative who barely knows his head from a hole in the wall, but they are very good at escalating you to a US engineer after a single support email (which makes sense; I'm sure the majority of support emails are of the "How do I select a backup set" and other such very basic stuff, so having outsourced "Gatekeepers" for those questions probably saves time and money). When I've dealt with support (my Mac Pro had a rather archaic issue, due to having so many bizarre extensions for audio stuff) they emailed regularly, did follow ups, even gave me custom builds. I can't complain.

 

And the Mac software is very good. It works just like advertised--completely background, it doesn't interfere with anything. I've used it to both back up and to restore and never a problem. Keep in mind that the initial upload to Mozy, depending on how much data you have, will take probably over a month—most connections have a 1Mbps upload speed, and if you're backing up something like 200GB of data, that's gonna take a while! But after that, each daily incremental backup takes less than an hour, and happens in the background.

Glad to hear it's being nice to you.

 

I actually just reread the whole external drive FAQ, I guess I misunderstood it before. The Problem is that it only does it if they are mounted during all the backups (otherwise it thinks you deleted the files, which is understandable). Not a big deal on the desktop, bigger deal with the laptop. I could use a free account for my writing folder though. It's unfortunate they let free accounts have 2 computers assigned, but you only get one computer per paid account.

 

I do not own a Time Capsule. I back up both MBP's wirelessly to my Gardian Maximum RAID via Time Machine.

 

As stated above, I have in a sense a three back up system:

* everything backed up to the RAID (and since it's mirrored, it's two backups)

* the Mac Pro backed up to Mozy

 

If you're not familiar with a RAID-1, it writes a copy of everything simultaneously to two drives at once, so that if one drive fails, the other should still work. So not only does Time Machine back everything up, but in effect, by having a RAID-1, it backs everything up twice.

 

Before this, I had a dedicated network drive like a Drobo. Here's why I don't recommend those for backup if you are a Mac user:

 

First of all, if you didn't know this, basically anything that is a "network drive" is really a small computer running dedicated server software. So the way that all of these cheap servers like the Drobo, or equivalents by Netgear, LaCie (I had this one), and so on keep the price down is by running free, open source Linux servers. (More expensive servers, like the HP Media Servers run Windows). This is why the are all "hackable" with things like dedicated photo and iTunes servers, etc. If you can afford one of the expensive Windows servers, they are great, go for it.

 

However, here's the problem with the Drobo and cheap Linux servers. The whole point of a RAID-1 is that when things go wrong with one drive—or even a catastrophic failure with the server, you can pull out the other, plug it into your computer, and run that drive. The RAID-1 that I have connected to my Airport Extreme (in effect, the Airport itself is the "server") has Mac formatted drives, if anything happens, I can just plug them in my Mac. If you have a Windows server, you can just plug those drives into your Mac.

 

But I had a catastrophic failure of the LaCie Linux server itself. The drives were not only formatted with Linux, but with a custom Linux that even by installing Linux support I couldn't access! So I ended up being able to hook the drive up to a PC, installing old and unstable custom EXT format Linux drivers that crashed WinXP every five seconds, but was able to grab my data. This was my experience with a LaCie box, but as I said, all the cheap boxes are Linux boxes.

 

When it comes to backup, the best advice I can give you is to choose a service based on how you would get by in a catastrophic failure. I am now completely set for catastrophic failure.

 

Hope that helps, and let me know (here or in personal email) if you have any other questions :P

Orren

 

Two things.

1. So, if you have an apple Airport Base Station set up, you can plug in any hard drive to use time machine with? It just wouldn't work with my linksys router, has to be the base station.

 

2. Are we thinking of the same drobo??? Unless you buy the drobo share thing (which even then I don't think it turns into a server.. it still has your harddrives, it just puts it on your wireless network) , drobo isn't a networked drive or server (or atleast the regular model isn't) It's just a 4 compartment container for hard drives and automatically mirrors them. Raid and all that stuff. http://www.drobo.com/products/drobo.php Maybe networked drive means something different than what I'm thinking.

 

- Jules

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I actually just reread the whole external drive FAQ, I guess I misunderstood it before. The Problem is that it only does it if they are mounted during all the backups (otherwise it thinks you deleted the files, which is understandable).

 

The way Mozy works is that when it marks something for deletion, it doesn't actually delete it for 30 days. So it's not like if you have your drives disconnected one time, that's it, everything on those drives is no longer backed up. It's still there. What it does mean however is that it will re-back everything up, so instead of backing up an incremental 100MB of data, it will re-back up the entire drive.

 

It's unfortunate they let free accounts have 2 computers assigned, but you only get one computer per paid account.

 

I agree.

 

1. So, if you have an apple Airport Base Station set up, you can plug in any hard drive to use time machine with?

 

Yes.

 

2. Are we thinking of the same drobo??? Unless you buy the drobo share thing (which even then I don't think it turns into a server.. it still has your harddrives, it just puts it on your wireless network) , drobo isn't a networked drive or server (or atleast the regular model isn't) It's just a 4 compartment container for hard drives and automatically mirrors them. Raid and all that stuff. http://www.drobo.com/products/drobo.php Maybe networked drive means something different than what I'm thinking.

 

You're right, that is just a drive case with RAID hardware. I was thinking of DroboShare. And DroboShare does absolutely create a little server. To quote the page, it runs "DroboShare’s Linux-based operating system" http://www.drobo.com/products/droboshare.php

 

To make a long story short, when a computer tries to retrieve data, if the storage device is directly attached, then the computer itself can retrieve the data. If a computer tries to retrieve data and it is not directly attached to that computer (there is a network in the way, for example), then something must "serve" the computer that data. And that "server" requires an operating system, just like a full computer does, it's just very minimal. That's why a drive on a network must be attached to a Airport Base Station, which itself has a tiny little computer server inside, or the drive itself has a tiny little server built in the case. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_network_drive

 

In the case of DroboShare, it runs a very cut down version of Linux. In the case of the HP Mediasmart, it runs Windows (http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/mediasmart-server/index.html#/EXOverview/) If you're going to get a "network drive" get a Windows based drive, because you can then pull out the drives and use it with your Mac.

 

But far better, in my opinion, is to just get a Drobo, Gardian Maximus, Netgear, etc. RAID-1 case and hook it up to your Airport Extreme Base Station. However: AFAIK, only the newer dual radio base stations allow you to use Time Machine with your own drive/RAID case connected to the USB port, I'm not 100% sure the older ones are Time Machine compatible. They might be, I just haven't tried.

 

Hope that helps,

Orren

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The way Mozy works is that when it marks something for deletion, it doesn't actually delete it for 30 days. So it's not like if you have your drives disconnected one time, that's it, everything on those drives is no longer backed up. It's still there. What it does mean however is that it will re-back everything up, so instead of backing up an incremental 100MB of data, it will re-back up the entire drive.

Ah, yea that'd be a bit annoying when it's a few hundred gigs. Hmm...

 

You're right, that is just a drive case with RAID hardware. I was thinking of DroboShare. And DroboShare does absolutely create a little server. To quote the page, it runs "DroboShare’s Linux-based operating system" http://www.drobo.com/products/droboshare.php

 

To make a long story short, when a computer tries to retrieve data, if the storage device is directly attached, then the computer itself can retrieve the data. If a computer tries to retrieve data and it is not directly attached to that computer (there is a network in the way, for example), then something must "serve" the computer that data. And that "server" requires an operating system, just like a full computer does, it's just very minimal. That's why a drive on a network must be attached to a Airport Base Station, which itself has a tiny little computer server inside, or the drive itself has a tiny little server built in the case. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_network_drive

 

In the case of DroboShare, it runs a very cut down version of Linux. In the case of the HP Mediasmart, it runs Windows (http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/mediasmart-server/index.html#/EXOverview/) If you're going to get a "network drive" get a Windows based drive, because you can then pull out the drives and use it with your Mac.

 

But far better, in my opinion, is to just get a Drobo, Gardian Maximus, Netgear, etc. RAID-1 case and hook it up to your Airport Extreme Base Station. However: AFAIK, only the newer dual radio base stations allow you to use Time Machine with your own drive/RAID case connected to the USB port, I'm not 100% sure the older ones are Time Machine compatible. They might be, I just haven't tried.

 

Hope that helps,

Orren

That makes sense. I'd never thought about it needing it's own little operating system.

 

 

I hear Drobo gets very VERY VEEEEERRRRRYYYYY slow the more files you put on it, is this true?

I haven't heard this myself. I have a friend who has one and I've never heard him complain about it being slow. I guess it would depend on what type of hard drives you put in it, but my understanding of hard drives in general is once they get really full they slow down.

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So what do you do? What are your experiences? How does remote storage handle huge quantities of data?

 

What I do:

Local backups:

- Run a script that uses rsync to backup our 3 home Macs to my home server (this works from home or when I'm traveling).

- Periodically create a compressed tarball of each backup (maybe every 6-9 months) in case I want to go back and see something.

- Backup host is running Ubuntu Server with 3-750 GB SATA drives in a RAID-5 configuration (1.5 TB usable).

- I have around 300 GB of backed up data (virtual machines are huge!), plus the periodic tarballs, so I will probably run out of backup space in the next 18-24 months.

 

Remote backups:

- There are no fast remote backups. It can take days to make your initial backup.

- I get 50 GB free backup space from my web host provider (PM me if you want to know who).

- I use duplicity (FOSS tool) to send incremental encrypted backups of my photos, critical documents, and code repositories. You just enter a password when you run it. Don't forget your password!

- On occasion, I've also used 7-zip (free) to compress&encrypt a manuscript, and sent a copy to my gmail account. Incidentally, this is usually how I send my manuscript to friends since it is easier than PGP/GPG encryption (just share a password).

 

Restore:

- I've never had to restore from remote backup (thank goodness!).

- I've restored my notebook several times from backup. Takes about 1-2 hours to sync everything over gigabit ethernet, then several more hours to reinstall all my software.

 

There are a couple commercial solutions that I have opinions about, but I don't think this is the appropriate forum to voice those opinions, so PM me if you are interested.

 

IF

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Wow. Are all you guys paranoid or am I just being naive? Perhaps a little of both. Before self-employment the insurance companies and various security concerns dictated backup. Working from home I was happy with my little iomega Zip disks for years before switching to manual flash backup (love them little USB 2.0 flash drives—it's like carrying your office in your pocket) with the occasional DVD backup. A RAID-5 configuration (for example) seemed so far beyond my needs as to be laughable (no, I'm not laughing at you, Isaac, I'm sure you need it).

 

Perhaps my needs are just simpler than your needs. My individual files rarely get much beyond one gig. But then, I'm not dealing with audio or video.

- Thoth.

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Wow. Are all you guys paranoid or am I just being naive? Perhaps a little of both.

 

Maybe you don't consider the general contents of your drives as irreplaceable? And by that I don't mean your personally created data—as you mentioned, that's not a lot of stuff. Nobody writes a 100GB novel or screenplay, unless it consists of 300dpi scanned images. :) I mean if your drives are filled with commercial apps for which you have the CDROMs, as long as you back up your personal data, who cares if your copies of MS Word, iLife, etc. are erased? You can replace them easily enough. And I don't have the contents of my applications folder backed up, either.

 

 

Perhaps my needs are just simpler than your needs. My individual files rarely get much beyond one gig. But then, I'm not dealing with audio or video.

 

You just summed up my situation there. :) I have probably 100GB of self-produced or custom music project files. That's in addition to a probably 100GB iTunes library. I think we have 70GB of photos as well (my wife is an amateur photographer). So we've got a lot of custom data. I've also got a fair amount of custom apps (which I do back up).

 

Orren

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I think you summed it up nicely.

We all have different back-up configurations because we all have different back-up requirements.

(100GB on your iTunes library? Lots of video, I'm guessing.)

- Thoth

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I think you summed it up nicely.

 

Thank you sir. I do my best. :)

 

We all have different back-up configurations because we all have different back-up requirements.

(100GB on your iTunes library? Lots of video, I'm guessing.)

- Thoth

 

I don't think that much video. I have 5 full-length movies (lots of blu-rays come with digital copies these days), but neither that nor the iPhone apps are that large a percentage. I have digitized my perhaps 800 CD library into iTunes, and I digitize most things using 320kbps or even Apple Lossless codec (I can get into another thread about compression rates, if you want, as you might imagine, as a pro audio writer, audiophile, and general "cork sniffer" when it comes to audio quality, I have a lot of opinions :) ). These codecs are not nearly as efficient as the more standard 128kbps or 256kbps bitrates, and so an average rock album ends up taking up 140+MB. That means less than 9 albums for a GB, and 800 CDs quickly adds up...

 

Orren

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What I do:

Local backups:

- Run a script that uses rsync to backup our 3 home Macs to my home server (this works from home or when I'm traveling).

- Periodically create a compressed tarball of each backup (maybe every 6-9 months) in case I want to go back and see something.

- Backup host is running Ubuntu Server with 3-750 GB SATA drives in a RAID-5 configuration (1.5 TB usable).

- I have around 300 GB of backed up data (virtual machines are huge!), plus the periodic tarballs, so I will probably run out of backup space in the next 18-24 months.

 

Remote backups:

- There are no fast remote backups. It can take days to make your initial backup.

- I get 50 GB free backup space from my web host provider (PM me if you want to know who).

- I use duplicity (FOSS tool) to send incremental encrypted backups of my photos, critical documents, and code repositories. You just enter a password when you run it. Don't forget your password!

- On occasion, I've also used 7-zip (free) to compress&encrypt a manuscript, and sent a copy to my gmail account. Incidentally, this is usually how I send my manuscript to friends since it is easier than PGP/GPG encryption (just share a password).

 

Restore:

- I've never had to restore from remote backup (thank goodness!).

- I've restored my notebook several times from backup. Takes about 1-2 hours to sync everything over gigabit ethernet, then several more hours to reinstall all my software.

 

There are a couple commercial solutions that I have opinions about, but I don't think this is the appropriate forum to voice those opinions, so PM me if you are interested.

 

IF

:)

woah

 

Wow. Are all you guys paranoid or am I just being naive? Perhaps a little of both. Before self-employment the insurance companies and various security concerns dictated backup. Working from home I was happy with my little iomega Zip disks for years before switching to manual flash backup (love them little USB 2.0 flash drives—it's like carrying your office in your pocket) with the occasional DVD backup. A RAID-5 configuration (for example) seemed so far beyond my needs as to be laughable (no, I'm not laughing at you, Isaac, I'm sure you need it).

 

Perhaps my needs are just simpler than your needs. My individual files rarely get much beyond one gig. But then, I'm not dealing with audio or video.

- Thoth.

I think Orren has it right. Not everyone has hundreds of GBs of irreplaceable data. I have tons of irreplaceable pictures and artwork. When you're talking large raw files and bunches of big layered tiff files and needing multiple copies incase one drive blows up, drowns, burns, or crashes ... it gets pretty space consuming.

 

 

 

Here's a question I'm haven't found the answer to yet. Mozy is all automated and such, but does it have the option to upload stuff to it manually that it wouldn't delete unless you told it to?

- Jules

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Here's a question I'm haven't found the answer to yet. Mozy is all automated and such, but does it have the option to upload stuff to it manually that it wouldn't delete unless you told it to?

 

Nope.

 

For that you want an online disk. I actually have two online disks:

MobileMe (the iDisk) http://www.me.com - includes 30GB of online disk space with your $99/year subscription

JungleDisk http://www.jungledisk.com - either simple backup or an online disk

 

You can mount the iDisk on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad (free app in the App Store to do so) and use it as online storage, putting anything there you want, and retrieving it when you want. I highly recommend MobileMe for users of multiple Apple devices because it offers automatic push synchronization between everything. So all of my calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, etc. are synched on all of my Macs and iPhones, and iPad if I get one. To me, that (and the me.com address I use occasionally) is worth the $9/month. And the 30GB are nice too, as a bonus. It's a great place to store stuff for download, and for backing up some stuff. But the iDisk is horrible as a realtime read/write drive, it's caching is just way too slow.

 

I use the $3/month version of JungleDisk as an online disk, because it's far more efficient than MobileMe. It's caching is excellent, and you can sync the online disk with folders on your desktop, etc. So I use it for my writing files and for my work files (and there's an iPhone/iPad app to mount your JungleDisk as well).

 

Orren

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I looked into MobileMe (which now only includes 20GB on iDisk), but I hardly ever use calendars, use gmail and don't touch apple mail, and I wouldn't touch the photo gallery thing, so it really isn't worth the money. I only use contacts because there isn't another option that I can find.

 

I took a look at Jungle Disk and I'm confused. Does it automatically back things up? Does it automatically back up external drives that get plugged and unplugged? It mentioned support for them, but there didn't seem to be much info on how the whole service actually works. I'm also confused about their pricing.... you pay $3 per month + .15 cents per GB + .10 cents to upload each GB + .10 cents to download each GB? Sooo the first month you upload your 500GB of data, you pay a total of $83? Then you're paying $78 a month to store the data, not including if you upload or download anything? Am I spot on or am I way off? I definitely couldn't afford that.

 

Confusled

- Jules

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I looked into MobileMe (which now only includes 20GB on iDisk), but I hardly ever use calendars, use gmail and don't touch apple mail, and I wouldn't touch the photo gallery thing, so it really isn't worth the money. I only use contacts because there isn't another option that I can find.

 

I've never needed to use them, but the Find my iPhone and Back to my Mac features are pretty cool too.

http://www.apple.com/mobileme/features/find-my-iphone.html

 

As for contacts, why not use Google Contacts?

 

I took a look at Jungle Disk and I'm confused.

 

My suggestion is that you read through the support FAQ and/or user guides. Lots of good info, it's pretty understandable.

http://support.jungledisk.com/home

 

Does it automatically back things up? Does it automatically back up external drives that get plugged and unplugged? It mentioned support for them, but there didn't seem to be much info on how the whole service actually works.

 

You can definitely set up automatic backups. I'm not sure about external drives, you'd have to find it in the manual or email support—why not send a sales email? I found them very responsive. I don't use JungleDisk for backup, but as a live network drive, so I've got no direct experience.

 

I'm also confused about their pricing.... you pay $3 per month + .15 cents per GB + .10 cents to upload each GB + .10 cents to download each GB? Sooo the first month you upload your 500GB of data, you pay a total of $83? Then you're paying $78 a month to store the data, not including if you upload or download anything? Am I spot on or am I way off? I definitely couldn't afford that.

 

You're not way off, and it is confusing. :) Here's why:

 

Originally, JungleDisk was an independent company that used Amazon's S3 servers as their backup space. They didn't charge for space, Amazon did. Amazon charged 15¢ per GB storage and 10¢ transfer rate. However, JungleDisk was bought by a company called Rackspace. Rackspace does not charge for transfer rates. When you open an account, you choose on which server you wish to open an account. So as you can imagine, nearly everyone chooses Rackspace. I imagine only those people who really enjoy paying transfer fees opt for Amazon S3 servers. :) Their website doesn't go out of it's way to make it clear, but when you sign up, you get the choice.

 

But yes, the downside of JungleDisk is that if you use it for more than the default 5GB it gets expensive. That's why I use it as a 5GB network drive for $3/month (on Rackspace, no transfer fees) and not to replace Mozy in my archival methods. It's far cheaper to use something like Mozy for huge chunks of space, since Mozy gives you unlimited storage for about $55/year.

 

Orren

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I've never needed to use them, but the Find my iPhone and Back to my Mac features are pretty cool too.

That feature is pretty cool. I'm hoping www.PreyProject.com will come out with an iPhone app. It doesn't have quite the features that the MobileMe does, but it's free.

 

As for contacts, why not use Google Contacts?

Not a fan of that either, probably like GC less than AB, because it saves every email address you've ever sent mail to as a contact and I don't want to deal with that syncing or trying to keep it from syncing and setting up a group that would sync. Address book is along the lines of what I want, but it doesn't work correctly and is a pain to organize info in because you can't rearrange or change the order of anything without redoing it all. If it would work and display things correctly and I could easily rearrange things, it'd be fine.

 

But yes, the downside of JungleDisk is that if you use it for more than the default 5GB it gets expensive. That's why I use it as a 5GB network drive for $3/month (on Rackspace, no transfer fees) and not to replace Mozy in my archival methods. It's far cheaper to use something like Mozy for huge chunks of space, since Mozy gives you unlimited storage for about $55/year.

That makes more sense. I thought you were suggesting it as an alternative to Mozy. Oops :)

 

- Jules

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