SpiderOak provides a 2 GB free online backup/sharing/syncing service facilitated through their software. They will allow you to backup several computers, maintain versions for as long as you want them, and are internet accessible. Sharing is easily done using their software, though many complain that it is without passwords. In spite of this apparent lack, file security is assured using encryption on your files before upload, during transfer, and finally during storage. Their policy is a “Zero-knowledge” policy, they claim that they won’t even now the names of any of your files.
SpiderOak Online Storage Pricing/Plans/Coupons
SpiderOak only charges for the storage, you are allowed to install the client on as many devices or computers as you would like. They are willing to start you out with 2 GB for free, but that’s not much, so here’s how their pricing plans work:
- 2 GB Free: Lifetime, allows all features.
- Plus Account: 100 GB additional for $10, all features and functions allowed.
With these guys, everyone gets the same great service, whether you have a free 2 GB account or are paying for 2 TB. Every one of their customers enjoy the full functions of the client too.
SpiderOak Online Storage Free Trial
We weren’t sure if this qualifies as a free trial, as the 2 GB account is lifetime. Signing up for the account is easy, and no credit card, or other financial information, is needed for this part. Adding the extra GB’s of storage to your account is a small matter, too.
Spideroak Online Storage Client Details/Top Features
Although there isn’t a default set of files that is installed with the client, there are a lot of features, and if a person has a little savvy with the google search, a good list of files that are best to be backed up can be developed for the user. Here’s the best features, but not all:
- Will work on virtually any PC, Mac, and even mobile devices.
- Unlimited number of computers and devices.
- Supports not only backup, but also syncing, and sharing.
- Deleted files, and versions available easily from client.
- De-duplicates file uploads. Saves time by removing duplicates, and makes notes of where the copies should be.
- Incrementally backs up files after the initial backup upload.
- Zero-Knowledge policy. They don’t know, or care to know, what you are storing.
- Access via internet available.
Spideroak Online Storage Product Installation
Signing up for an account for the first time is easy, and you will be sent an email for confirmation, so use your real email, and check the spam folder if you don’t get it within the first 5 minutes. The download was a little larger than what we have seen with other clients, 17.4 MB, and we were asked to input our username and the activation code that was sent to us in our email. Once we entered this we were on our way.
Spideroak Online Storage Backup Process Overview
Since the client doesn’t come with a default set of files pre-selected, this client can be a bit of a challenge for the average “Zero-Knowledge” user. If you can’t see the files you want backed up, the client has a switch in it that will allow the showing of hidden files and folders. There are 2 things you should keep in mind here though:
- Your limited storage space. Some of your files can be fairly large, and space will be filled up quickly.
- Initial backup upload time. The more you select to backup, the longer it will take the client to upload your initial backup.
One final thing that must be taken into account is the syncing function. With this, if 2 computers have the same document opened, when the file is saved, 1 computer will back up the entire document, while the other computer will only update the final product from the first computer.
Spideroak Online Storage Restore Process Overview
You can access all your files stored with Spideroak through their client, from the “View” tab, or you have the option of accessing your files through a web browser on the internet. Simply click on the file you want to select it, then click the download button. The download will be placed in your “Downloads” folder.
Spideroak Online Storage Sharing Capabilities
Syncing and sharing is easy using the client. There is a “Share Room” or a password protected area to keep your files that you want to share. If synced files are changes, even those in the “Share Room,” they will be updated almost immediately for the other computers that are in the network. If the synced files happen to be kept in the Share Room, then the people that have access to the Room, if they are subscribed to the room’s feed.
Spideroak Online Storage Privacy/Data Protection
Spideroak keeps yur data safe in every possible way. Before the data even leaves your machine, it is encrypted and the key is kept only on your machines. Then during transfer they use 128 bit encrypted tunneling, and then again, it is stored on their server in it’s original encrypted form. Their teams have no access to your private data, or accounts. Their Zero-Knowledge policy is taken very seriously.
Spideroak Online Storage Support Options
Support come via a fairly large FAQ, forum, and email. You can access their forum from the internet through your web browser, or alternatively use the client and select “User Forums” from the Help menu. Email seemed a little slow, 3 hours on a simple installation question, but they did answer,and followed the incident up with a verification that the issue had been resolved.
Spideroak Online Storage Common Problems
The single largest complaint we observed in their forums, and elsewhere, was that the program was a resource hog. Our observation on this has been that while it is a resource hog during the initial inspection of your files, after the program has the data it needs, it becomes much more firendly to the memory and CPU resources. One other issue we observed was that the support department is a little slow.
Spideroak Online Storage vs. The Competition
For free, this is one of the few that offer this much storage space. But when paying for the additional storage space, there are others that offer a lot more for less. The client is a little rough around the edges as far as appearance goes, but with other better looking clients you will lose the ability to share, or sync.
Our Conclusion On Spideroak Online Storage
For their free service we commend them…but the prices they are charging per 100 GB is a little higher than others offer. We do like the fact that we could share and sync our files. Something that is important to businesses that are spread out. There are better services, but for the freebie we suggest you give them a try, it’s a simple matter to add additional space.