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It is a Jungle(disk) out there!

2014/02/24 - Cloud, Software
It is a Jungle(disk) out there!
...or OneDrive to fail them all.

I am through and through a “Windows guy”. There was a time when I might have identified as a “Microsoft guy”. Recent events have made me rethink the latter.

While I am not necessarily an early adopter in most respects. I did jump on the could storage band wagon relatively early. First Dropbox, then moved to SkyDrive for the majority of my syncing needs. I moved to SkyDrive for the both spoken and unspoken promise that it was going to be THE place to store your ‘life’. And hoped that more compatibility and functionality would eventually show it to be better than third party apps.

With Windows 8.1 a glimmer that future shown in the fact that SkyDrive was rolled into the OS as a not so integral part. And many people including myself that upgraded to 8.1 soon found that SktDrive just was not syncing on those machines anymore. There were a myriad of symptoms and temporary fixes. In my case it took a ‘Reset’ of Windows through the Recovery options (basically a clean install). I was only able to do this because I have TechNet, so I actually had the 8.1 ISO that it started demanding when I tried to perform the ‘Reset’ (most people would have to re-install 8.0 then upgrade again). The idea of a clean install was not too bad for me as my games and other large media exist on a separate storage drive.

SkyDrive was fixed, but like anything that causes a re-install of your OS…it put me solidly on the fence. The fatal blow came with the recent update that added some functionality and re-branded it to OneDrive. I quickly found that my main machine was no longer syncing and certain settings would reset after every other restart of the PC. I went through every solution I could find and ran their troubleshooter more times than I care to admit and did find what ended up being a temporary solution in resetting the cache (run “skydrive.exe /reset”). This would make things work for a few restarts or whatever and then fail. I gave up and decided to look for another solution for cloud storage/syncing.

I have always had JungleDisk in the back of my head as back-up solution since I heard about it from Steve Gibson on his “Security Now” netcast on TWiT.tv. I thought about plunging back into Dropbox or switching to Google Drive, but after thinking over my needs and wants the more robust JungleDisk seemed to make much more sense. And the only reason SkyDrive was free for me was because I was granted the free 25GB for being in early. The other ‘free’ options would end up costing me anyway for the size of my sync folder (around 23GB and growing).

I have subscribed to JungleDisk’s Personal Desktop Edition service and am just about done getting my sync folder uploaded. Also have it down-syuncing to my work machine. So far it seems to be working…unlike OneDrive…and that is worth every penny. JungleDisk is also mainly a straight-up backup service so I can actually start rethinking my back-up strategy. Already have a few back-up jobs lined up, but am holding off until the sync folder is done (Windstream’s 768Kbps upstream takes a bit). I also like the idea of the ability to look at your cloud drive as a ‘network drive’ for machines where you either don’t want/need all the data of the sync folder, but want access to it. OneDrive allows some granularity similar to this, but it is more in the background and hands off. I will be utilizing the ‘network drive’ feature on my XPS12 as I really don’t need any of that data, except the odd time I need to access an internal document. Another huge plus for me is JungDisk’s Activity Monitor which lets you micro-manage how it behaves.

This post might be a little premature, but I am so pleased with JungleDisk so far that I couldn’t wait to compose it. In my research I found many sites that knocked JungleDisk for being a bit too complicated. Most of those reviews were done for the benefit of ‘normal’ people and that is expected. Well, pending any speed bumps in the coming months you can take this geeks word that JungleDisk is a 10/10.

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