Jungle Disk Review
Jungle Disk is fast and gets the job done, but simply doesn't offer the features or user experience of our top backup providers.
For those business users fed up with slow backup times and paying for backup space that they don’t need, Jungle Disk provides capable online backup alternative to solutions like Carbonite and IDrive. Named for the service it originally partnered with, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jungle Disk now also offers Rackspace storage, too, along with multiple choices in data center location.
While the use of AWS and Rackspace gives it a distinct speed advantage over much of the competition, it’s not fair to put Jungle Disk on the level of CloudBerry (read our CloudBerry Backup review), which offers over 50 cloud backup choices. On top of that, an uneven user experience probably keeps it from sneaking the conversation for best online backup for businesses.
During this Jungle Disk review, we’ll walk you through the features, costs and general experience to help you decide if it makes sense as a disaster recovery solution for your business venture. If you’re not quite sure, Jungle Disk does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out. Don’t forget, too, to check out article on the best online backup providers for other options.
- Affordable pricing
- Fast backups
- Server/NAS backup
- Confusing to use
- Inconsistent support
- No image backup
Jungle Disk is an online backup service built for business use. It can store files in the cloud for both computer and server backup (see our best server backup article for more choices).
Computer clients are offered for Windows, MacOS and Linux, while server clients are offered for Windows and Linux. Smartphone clients have been developed for Android and iOS, too, although they can only be used to access data that’s been backed up from your computer or server, and not to backup the mobile device itself.
Users of Jungle Disk can also backup data from USB devices, like external hard drives, and NAS devices. Sync folder backup for your cloud storage is another option.
Jungle Disk purchases storage space from Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Cloud Files, and you’ll have your choice of storing data on either. Multiple server locations offered for each mean potentially better backup speeds for you.
You can backup all of your Jungle Disk accounts to one disk or you can create separate disks for each user.
Jungle Disk File Sharing
While Jungle Disk also lets you share files that you’ve backed up and created shared sync folders folders and network drives, we didn’t evaluate it too closely for that purpose. The reason is that it really doesn’t pack nearly enough supporting features to match up against better business collaboration tools, like those mentioned in our best EFSS guide.
Jungle Disk offers private, end-to-end encryption and versioning, both key backup features. Missing, however, is the ability to create disk image backups. If that’s a need, check out our separate roundup of the best image-based backup services.
Jungle Disk is designed for two to 250 users, with a $4 charge per license for computer backup. Each user gets 10GB of backup included for free, so the absolute minimum you’ll pay is $8 a month (two users, $4 each).
While that’s a more than palatable starting point for most businesses, the charges can mount pretty quickly since after your 10GB of free backup, you’re billed $0.15 per gigabyte stored. We do we like that the pricing is scaled rather than forcing users to pay a flat rate for space they might not need, like, for example, with Acronis Backup (read our Acronis Backup review).
Note, however, that you’re given the choice of storing your files with Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files. While both share the $0.15 per GB charge, Amazon S3 also includes usage charges of $0.10 per GB uploaded and $0.17 per GB downloaded.
Jungle Disk also provides backup for both Windows and Linux server, which goes for $5 dollar per license, also with 10GB free and a $0.15 per gigabyte storage charge after that.
|Plan||Jungle Disk Workgroup||Jungle Disk Server:|
$ 4 00monthly
$ 5 00monthly
|Storage||10 GB||10 GB|
Minimum 2 users. Additional Backup $0.15 per GB. Amazon S3 usage charges.
Minimum 2 users. Additional Backup $0.15 per GB. Amazon S3 usage charges.
Jungle Disk has a 30-day free trial, but it requires that you spend 15 minutes on the phone with support letting them help you get setup. If you’re rather go it alone, the company also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
Once you’ve signed up for service, you’ll be asked to create a personalized domain for your master account, after which you can add users. This will be in the format of yourdomain.myjungledisk.com.
While you go through the process of setting up your master account, Jungle Disk makes live chat support available to you, which we thought was a nice touch.
The next step is to add users. You can add one for each license you’ve purchased.
While you’re adding users, you can also add special tags, which can be used later to generate usage reports. For example, you might have a tag for “marketing” or “development.”
After your user accounts are setup, your users will need to install the client for their operating system. A wizard will take them through the steps, although this part of the process remains a bit confusing as you’ll be asked to connect to an online disk, set up sync folders and more, much of which is outside the bounds normal online backup.
After a computer restart, the wizard will then go through the process of creating the actual backup plan. We’ll take a look at that process in next segment of this review.
In terms of further user management, the Jungle Disk web portal grants access to both usage and backup reports.
Overall, the Jungle Disk experience isn’t nearly as easy to use as a set-and-forget service like Backblaze (read our Backblaze Business review). It takes time to setup and time to understand, and even then it’s not always clear what you’re getting out of Jungle Disk. The user experience, from installation to restore, seems in need of makeover.
To complete the backup process, the user will need to log into your workgroup with the credentials set up for them, then select folders from their computer file system to backup.
Jungle Disk automatically suggests some popular folders for inclusion like “desktop,” “documents” and “pictures,” but you can add others if needed.
At this point, you’ll be required to set a backup interval. The default interval is one backup per day, but you can drop that down to backups every five minutes, which is the closest Jungle Disk gets to “continuous backup.” You can also kick backup off manually at any time.
Afterward, you’ll be given the chance to setup your private disk, if that’s been permitted, and create sync folders and network folders, if desired.
Backup runs fast thanks to the fact that that Jungle Disk uses the more than capable infrastructure of Amazon and Rackspace. See our speed section, next, for more details.
Recovery can be initiated from the desktop client by clicking on “restore” in the online disk menu. A “restore files” window will open where you can select what files you want to restore and where you want to restore them to.
You can restore files to their original location or a new location of your choosing. You can also choose to restore previous file versions based on earlier backups.
In addition to the desktop client, files can be downloaded by logging into your Jungle Disk account through a web browser or your mobile app.
We put Jungle Disk through the same speed tests as we do with all of the services in our online backup reviews catalog. That is, we executed several uploads and downloads of a 1GB test folder, and sat back and waited for those processes to complete.
Here are the results:
|Jungle Disk Speeds||Test One:||Test Two:||Average:|
The speeds aren’t on the level as some of the faster backups we’ve tested, including Cloudberry Backup paired with Amazon S3 and Acronis Backup. At the same time, they’re not nearly as bad as those measured for bargain-options like Carbonite for Office (read our Carbonite for Office review).
We should also mention that we ran these tests from Southeast Asia over a WiFi network with 25 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speeds. With a better connection and close proximity to your chosen Jungle Disk Data center, you can reasonably expect better times.
You can also throttle upload and download speeds of your backup if needed at any time.
However, in our experience this wasn’t necessary, since our backup didn’t prevent us from otherwise using our computer.
Jungle Disk encrypts files in transit and at rest in the cloud using AES 256. This is the encryption protocol recommended by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the one most commonly used by cloud storage services, banks and government offices today.
Jungle Disk supports private, end-to-end encryption if you’d rather hold on to your encryption keys yourself, or you can let Jungle Disk manage it for you.
The benefit of managing it yourself is that only you or those you share your password with will ever be able to decrypt your files. However, if you forget your password, Jungle Disk won’t be able to reset it for you, so you’ll lose access to your backup.
Data center security itself will depend on which cloud provider, Amazon or Rackspace, you choose to go with. Both take the usual measures to harden their server facilities, however, against natural disasters, and physical and virtual attacks.
As far as password protection goes, Jungle Disk itself doesn’t support two-factor authentication. However, account admins can login into their Jungle Disk Control panel using their Google Account logins, which do.
In general, Jungle Disk takes most of the steps we like to see in protecting backup data, so you should feel pretty safe using it.
Jungle Disk provides live support, but only Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., U.S. Central Time. That support is via telephone rather than chat.
If you prefer written communication, you can also send their support team an email either using an online form or by writing directly to [email protected]. We tested email support times, and in all cases received a response back within a business day.
While that’s all well and good, we did have some trouble getting lucid answers to some of the questions we posed. The responses didn’t completely answer our questions and the English used was broken, suggesting either the use of non-native speakers or, worse, support technicians that couldn’t be bothered using complete sentences.
On top of that, we didn’t find the Jungle Disk support site to be very useful. Jungle Disk is a bit trickier to get used to than services like Backblaze and IDrive, so we’d hoped to find more detailed resources. However, important topics like setting up private encryption and versioning weren’t covered.
For those that don’t mind a somewhat choppy user experience, Jungle Disk offers a combination of reasonable pricing and backup speed that only a few other online backup services can match. We like the choice of using Amazon or Rackspace to host files; along with the use of private encryption, you should feel confident your business files are safe with Jungle Disk.
Overall, Jungle Disk doesn’t feel as refined and feature-packed as say, Cloudberry Backup or even CrashPlan (read our CrashPlan review), and the inclusion of sync and file sharing capabilities particularly poorly done. However, its performance and value will make it worth the hassle for most.
Have your own take on Jungle Disk? Chime in the comments, below, and thanks for reading.