Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jungle Disk Plus

The folks over at Jungle Disk have introduced Jungle Disk Plus. As I've mentioned before, Jungle Disk is a program that adds a virtual hard drive to your computer. Jungle Disk uses Amazon's S3 service to actually store the data. It's a pretty cool program and it seems to work fairly well. I like having a cheap infinite hard drive. My main problem with it is that it doesn't work so well over flakey or slow internet connections, like we have here in Vietnam.

One drawback of Jungle Disk is that you need to install the program in order to access your files. With Jungle Disk Plus, they have solved this problem. For an extra fee, they will enable web access to your files. The fees are pretty minimal, $1 per month plus bandwidth.

I played around with it a bit. One of my main gripes is that it's difficult to figure out when things are encrypted and when the are not. After you enable web access, you can log into a special web site and see your files. This web site is missing a 'logout' button. The page seems to be protected by your Jungle Disk login, which is fine. But there should be a way to log out.

Jungle Disk does encrypt your files. However, the encryption options are very confusing. There are encryption and decryption options. There is also your Jungle Disk web login. There are Amazon keys and secret keys. Then there is your Amazon login. All of these just add up to confusion about what to use when. All with the fear that you're leaving your private files out in the open if you don't do things correctly. This could certainly be improved. Imagine you're Apple, Inc. How could you design this so it's simple and secure?

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