Amazon S3 Clients

Had some spare time to google actual versions of Amazon S3 clients which are still supported and hat new versions in 2010:

  • http://www.jungledisk.com/ – very good client but uses DRM to protect the software. Mounts your Amazon S3 account to a local share. Clients for Windows and Mac available. Don’t work behind firewall when jungledisk.com is blocked 😦
  • http://www.s3fox.net/ – good and simple firefox plugin
  • http://tntdrive.com – Mounts your Amazon S3 account to a local share. Windows only (32/64bit)
  • jets3t – that’s a famos java framework for S3 to backup your data. Has also a simple Java Applet client Continue reading

Amazon S3 and Wuala hard facts (II)

In my first post about Amazon S3 and Wuala I just made a very simple technical comparison about both services. Due to the great response I provide you with a deeper review.

Compare Price

Comparing both service for their cost is tricky, because their pricing concepts differs in many aspects. Especially the fact that you can trade your local storage for free cloud storage flaws every comparison.

Amazon S3:

  • first 50 TB / used storage per month 0,150 USD per GB
  • PUT, COPY, POST or LIST 0,01 USD per 1.000 requests
  • GET and all other requests 0,01 USD per 10.000 requests
  • up to 10 TB / month outgoing traffic 0,150 USD per GB
  • Third party client software for desktop integration cost something, e.g. JungleDisk 3$ per month

Wuala:

  • First 1 GB are free (send me a comment and I’ll reply with an activation code for 2 GB)
  • You can invite friends and get additional storage
  • You can share local storage to the wuala cloud and get additional storage
  • You can buy storage (see list)
  • Traffic is included Continue reading

JungleDisk enforces DRM

Just got the answer from the helpdesk about the JungleDisk gateway from my last post:

“Jungle Disk utilizes a gateway to facilitate authentication and certain features within Jungle Disk.
Jungle Disk must validate your software license, thus, the software will need to communicate with our gateways to facilitate this request. Our use of the gateways are also employed for Sync Folders. Sync Folders require a central server to handle change notifications.
At this time, there is no way to bypass the gateway communication with version 3.0. If you wish to downgrade to version 2.62, which does not utilize our gateway system, you can do so by accessing the downloads here, http://support.jungledisk.com/entries/83791-version-2-62b-download-links.

So in fact the answer is very simple: JungleDisk has an online software license key validation, so no Internet connection or firewall blocking “jungledisk.com” means no working software. Less good-hearted people then me would call it simple an online DRM functionality. Now it’s clear why you can’t find much information about that gateway functionality.

That’s a good point for me to switch to Wuala.com.

Amazon S3 and Wuala hard facts

Since 2 years I’m using Amazon S3 as cloud storage services and I’m quite happy with it. From time to time Wuala comes into my focus checking how stable the service becomes. Both differ in every technical aspect of their service but in the end they store files in the cloud.

This time I made a small test, to compare just the performance and technical aspects of the services. The simple test scenario was to copy a folder with 50 MB, containing 20 files over a DSL connection with 16MBit/s download and 1MBit/s upload bandwidth. The result was not a big surprise.

Upload 50MB:

Time (min:sec) Total (MB)
Amazon S3 7:24 52
Wuala 13:47 82

Download 50MB:

Time (min:sec) Total (MB)
Amazon S3 2:14 50,5
Wuala 2:27 54,1

The figures are simple to enough to see that Amazon S3 stores files in half the time compared to Wuala. Interestingly not because it has a higher performance (average transfer rate about 20% higher) but the total amount of data send over the net. Wuala uses P2P technology which stores encrypted file segments redundant on several clients (plus a central backup server) which results in more traffic. You can surely produce advanced performance tests, but they won’t get you something very different.

The price is compareable. For 10 GB you pay for both services per year about 15 GB though the comparison is distorted by the fact you get 2 GB free from Wuala per account and additional space for inviting friends or sharing your hard disk on one side and that you pay as you go with Amazon (wuala smallest offer is a 10GB package).

The reason why I’m still attracted by Wuala is the client. You have nothing like that for Amazon S3. Yes, JungleDisk is a good client software, but it

  • doesn’t work offline
  • needs a connection to the JungleDisk gateway to access Amazon S3 which makes me curious about security & privacy
  • nothing about sharing files with friends, notifications etc.
  • no security features like verify the integrity of my file

Wuala doesn’t have the write performance like Amazon S3 but you won’t mention the difference because the upload happens with both tools in the background. Wuala client provides:

  • perfect offline functionality
  • clear concept to ensure privacy (I trust it)
  • Swiss company with connection to university which has been bought last year by Lacie
  • collaboration features like group spaces, notification when someone added a file etc.
  • integrity check to your files
  • access to public cloud storage content published by other Wuala users

My personal conclusion is to give Wuala a try to exchange data with my family and friends.

Continue reading

JungleDisk security concern

In case you are one of the rare people who are curious about the “gateway” service of JungleDisk and search the internet about that topic you will find no answer about. Just few tickets, that the gateway fails sometime and people can’t access their Amazon S3 account.

If you are behind a firewall which blocks the domain jungledisk.com you have bad luck. The JD helpdesk was wondering about the questions why I need a gateway to connect to Amazon S3. You must go through the gateway to make the security. That made me very curious, because Amazon S3 has a straight forward https REST interface. There is no need for other security proxies:

  • Why does JD need this gateway
  • Why is there no information about the functionality in doku, help files or somewhere in the net?
  • What data reports my JD Desktop to JD?

Just opend a ticket. Keep you informed.

http://jungledisk.zendesk.com/requests/29713