If you read this blog then you are in the highest percentile group on the planet that generates personal digital files. (Let's not think about our collective contribution to global warming and what it takes to generate, transform, and store the ever growing quantity of digital information.)
But we know these drives will fail. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But one day it will fail. And if that's your only copy of a critical file, then what? I have been using .Mac but it's a relatively expensive and Mac-centric option.
Taku Tokuyasu put me on to a solution that works. It's called Jungle Disk and is "powered by Amazon's S3". S3, the backend technology, is in itself an amazing story and worth looking at as a highly scalable storage service for enterprises.
First, Jungle Disk is one of the cheaper solutions out there (15 cents per gigabyte) for personal storage. Second, it's highly reliable and highly available because the data is stored in multiple datacenters around the country. Third, it's easy to use. It can be used in one of two modes, or both. Under the first option the drive appears as a mapped drive in Macintosh, Windows, or Linux. Under the second option one can use the backup and restore features of the software to automate archiving. Fourth, the file transfer files seem to be relatively fast compared to the alternatives. (I haven't done a systematic evaluation.) There are also some nice security features which I will describe in a later posting. I chose the JungleDisk Plus option, which provides additional features for only $1 more per month.
In short, I think for me the search for inexpensive, reliable, and secure personal storage is settled. At least for now.