In January, my iBook died; a week ago, my friend Iqram's MacBook died after an OS X Security Update; two days ago my friend Dave's iBook hard drive failed. Iqram and I managed to recover our data; Dave did not. At the moment, I don't have the greatest faith in Apple products, so I decided to backup all my data.
I used to use an external USB hard drive for backups, but my 160 GB external has been acting up of late and sometimes needs to be restarted 2 or 3 times before my computer recognizes it, so about 2 months ago I started playing with Amazon S3 and JungleDisk.
Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is basically an infinite hard drive you can by on a pay per usage basis, and JungleDisk is a utility that allows you to mount S3 as a hard drive on any OS. JungleDisk has a backup tool built in, but right now the tool does not provide mirroring--ie, if you backup a folder on your computer and then delete some stuff locally, that stuff will not be deleted remotely. So if you start moving stuff around, you'll end up with duplicate copies of your data. Redundant data annoys me, so I decided to finally learn how to use the
rsync command line utility to mirror folders. Here's how I setup a backup of my home directory using Amazon S3, JungleDisk, and rsync.
Get Amazon S3
Signup for Amazon Simple Storage Service. Here's how the pricing works, according to Amazon's website: