SpiderOak is a cloud storage and syncing service similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, or Copy. What sets SpiderOak apart from the others is their zero-knowledge policy regarding your data. All data is encrypted prior to being uploaded to SpiderOak’s servers and you control the master encryption key derived from your password. While the other cloud storage providers mentioned seem to value ease of use and design over privacy and security, SpiderOak makes it clear the privacy is the most important thing to them. The fact that SpiderOak values privacy is excellent but the SpiderOak application could use some polish.
Design and Usability
The interface is a little more difficult to navigate than Dropbox, and syncing everything does not happen automatically, so it takes a little bit more time to set up initially. In version 5 SpiderOak has a new folder called SpiderOak Hive that is automatically synced between devices similar to Dropbox’s single folder. Unlike Dropbox you can backup any folder on your computer. Syncing other folders is a bit cumbersome as in order to sync data with other computers you first have to select folders to backup and then specify which specific folders to sync on each computer. However, once it is setup it works seamlessly as Dropbox – drop a file into one of your backed up folders and SpiderOak will begin to upload it and sync it to your other computers automatically.
Security and Performance
Because SpiderOak encrypts all data prior to uploading it and only stores your password locally (on your computer) in an encrypted format there is no evidence of your password on SpiderOak’s servers. The files you upload are stored as just blocks of encrypted data. Essentially, once uploaded to the SpiderOak servers, it is not possible for anyone to access your data in a readable form – not SpiderOak staff, not even if someone were to hack their servers, not anyone but you. The downside of this is that if you ever forget your password your data will be lost forever as SpiderOak cannot recover or reset your password. You can read more about SpiderOak security here.
SpiderOak has a web portal that you can login to and view or download your files. I would discourage doing that because transmitting your password and viewing your files over standard web encryption protocols is much less secure. SpiderOak allows you to share files with others through ShareRooms that you can create and invite others to use. It is not as easy to use as other cloud services, but most likely you will be using SpiderOak for private data that you don’t really want to share with others anyway.
In my testing performance has been decent. There is some room for SpiderOak to improve upload speeds, but it shouldn’t slow down your workflow to any significant degree.
The standard data allowance is only 2GB but it is pretty easy to get more space for free. SpiderOak offers promotions from time to time that will give you extra free storage. If you sign up using a friend’s referral link you will start out with an extra gigabyte of space. If you refer your friends you will get 1GB for each referral that signs up and downloads the SpiderOak software. You can get up to 10GB of extra space from referrals.
SpiderOak makes up for its somewhat unintuitive setup and outdated appearance by offering highly secured and private cloud storage. If data privacy is of the utmost importance to you, SpiderOak is hard to beat. It is great for keeping an electronic copy of important private documents that you want to keep secure.
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|Description:||SpiderOak is one of the most secure cloud storage services available. Unfortunately, it is somewhat unintuitive to set up and is not as easy to use as Dropbox.|
|Rating:||7.5 out of 10.|