I am looking for a solution to backup and consolidate important media from a couple Windows laptops and Mac laptop.

I would like a solutions that based on open standards, so my data isn't trapped by proprietary formats and proprietary protocols. I would like the ability to switch clients or change providers in the future.

For example, something like Jungle Disk plus S3 sounds like a great option. However, I am having trouble confirming how or if this can be setup meeting this criteria.

Are there any real or de-facto standards for treating S3 as a filesystem? If so, what Windows and Mac clients support these standards?

  • Sorry to repeat my mantra: don't forget you might need to restore the backup. So: do you want to be able to restore a full system? If so, how to do that without first installing the OS? And above all: how long will downloading all the backup data take, even if those are only documents, email and photos? Some test results to commercial services at "Best choice for a personal “online backup” in Europe" at superuser.com/questions/19775/… – Arjan Oct 8 '09 at 9:15
  • You might also be interested in this question about cloud backup encryption: superuser.com/questions/72562/… – Ilari Kajaste Nov 24 '09 at 8:49
  • @Arjan: I don't think he's asking about backing up the entire system, only data. – Ilari Kajaste Nov 24 '09 at 9:09

You can try duplicity which can do encrypted S3 backups.

  • Nice idea. It is not clear to me if this solution works for Windows or not. Also, this appears complicated to setup. – Rick Sep 11 '09 at 0:15

I share your worry about trapping data in proprietary formats, but I don't really see how that is relevant for a backup service. The premise in backup is that you have a copy of the data - in that case, it's easy to switch service by simply dumping the other service. The data isn't trapped as long as you have it.

The same applies for synchronisation services - you have the data, so when switching services you only need to unlink the synchronized devices from the old service, and link them with the new one. Though in case the service uses revision history, you'll lose that in the process.

The case about switching clients but keeping the old provider is an interesting one, though. All of the backup/sync services seem to have their own custom client, and I don't know any providers that would be using an open source protocol either - but if there is one I'm interested in finding out too. However, the above point still applies - if there aren't currently any, but an open source, client-agnostic model appears later, you can switch to it later too.

Are there any real or de-facto standards for treating S3 as a filesystem? If so, what windows and mac clients support these standards?

I don't think any of the backup systems use S3 (or such) in a non-abstracted way - that is, what's stored is S3 in no way corresponds to the actual data structure of the backup. As far as I know, they have their own (possibly proprietary) ways to store the data, and simply distribute that into S3 in an abstracted way as "meaningless" data blobs. Though I might be wrong here, since I haven't done any research on this.


Jungle disk program you download to manage it, transmit on your Mac and http://www.s3fm.com/ for web use.


rsync.net appears to be devoted to open standards and simplicity, and they've a pile of examples of how to get stuff in and out. Not that I use them, mind (I would, but I've already got a big off-site bit-bucket).


"Cloudberry Explorer" is a great windows freeware client for S3. Works like a desktop ftp client. You can see the file structure on S3, etc. I use it at all the time. They also have clients for Azure, Google Drive, and Rackspace Cloud.


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