Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is cheap on-line storage with a Web Service interface. You just log in with your Amazon id, sign up for S3, designate a credit card, and that’s it. You now have access to pretty much unlimited storage space, managed by Amazon. The price is $0.15 per GB-Month of storage used (plus transfer costs). It was too tempting; I simply had to test it.
I used the Jungle Disk software to provide the mapping from the S3 web service interface to a network drive. You give Jungle Disk your S3 account information, and it provides a network disk which you can use as the backup device. I first tried my existing backup software (Synchronize! Pro X) and it happily began creating directories and copying files. I then tried the backup feature built into Jungle Disk, and it works fine too. It’s not fast compared to a local FireWire disk. It’s limited to your upload bandwidth, which often is substantially smaller than the download bandwidth.
Anyway, it has been tugging along today storing 5 GB of by digital photos. It feels pretty good to know that my photos are now stored encrypted and with 99.99% availability somewhere far far away, costing me only 75 cents per month after the initial $2 for the transfer.