SpiderOak is an IT security solutions provider. It specializes in security and privacy for its customers ranging from individuals who just want to share random stuff with friends to IT professionals, small businesses and big enterprises who need most advanced technologies to secure their confidential data and privacy in communication.
Over All Rating
SpiderOak gives access to your cloud data through unlimited number of devices either through multiple cross platforms or through same platform across all devices. IT supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android platforms. Whether on the move or at home, users have the ease to access their cloud data from their mobile, home or at workplace. It also has option to access through web.
SpiderOak’s has a strong and pretty fast back up feature. It takes on automatic backup process and keeps deleted files for unlimited time period. It gives the option for basic backup which includes selecting photos, videos and music. Unlike other providers, SpiderOak can backup currently opened files and detect changes at any instant. In the event the changes are taking place quickly, it quarantines until the rate of change slows down.
This is the niftiest ideas of SpiderOak as compared to other backup providers that either intervene too much when you are working on a file or not backup for a long time. It also has backup option for network and local drives as well as for the Outlook.
Because of its unlimited Versioning feature, SpiderOak gives its users the peace of mind to switch among previous versions of the files. Any version of your file no matter how old it is can be recovered easily. And that is not just versioning, in fact its efficient versioning. For every version of the file, it detects similarities between the previous and current file and stores only the part that is modified.
On its downside, since it uses Zero Knowledge, SpiderOak puts a lot of emphasis on its user to remember their passwords. In case user forgets the password, there is no way SpiderOak can help reset it to help user in restoration.
With SpiderOak’s ShareRoom feature, users can opt to share selected files from your cloud network. You can make those files publicly available to selected friends and family members by adding them to that share room using a password. Any changes made to those files are automatically updated and visible to those in the share room. This, however is not applicable to previous versions of files.
SpiderOak allows for automatic synchronization of your files on any number of devices and on any of its supported platform. Compared to other cloud providers, its sync feature has an upper edge over its synchronization speed and performance. Although depending on an individual’s internet connection, this performance may vary.
The best and the most unique advantage of using SpiderOak is its security with its Zero Knowledge feature – A step up in secure and private data in the cloud space. This feature originally built by SpiderOak is now being used by other cloud providers as well like Sync. With Zero Knowledge, users encrypt their data locally on their own workstations using SpiderOak’s encryption software before it is stored in their servers.
Conventionally, other cloud services don’t use any encryption technique at all and most others use shared-key encryption technique. With the former, it means your data is lying open in the cloud not only accessible to the company’s staff to pry on, but also easily available for hacking. With the latter, since your provider has encrypted your data itself, it can also easily decrypt it and accessible to its staff without your knowledge. Moreover, it is still highly vulnerable to hacking and leakages.
With its Zero Knowledge feature, SpiderOak brings in a cutting edge security and privacy for your data as well as brings transparency to the company’s usage of your data. However, consultants say that this technique is not the ultimate solution and still not 100% safe.
SpiderOak has made a variety of help and support options available to its users to resort to either when in need or when curiosity pinches them to increase knowledge. It provides for online user manual with range of help topics, Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs), contact through email and a separate email to contact through for urgent security matters. What lacks is a live support chat which downgrades its rating for an excellent customer support infrastructure.
- WHAT ARE LIKES
- Zero Knowledge – The entire purpose of using encryption is to maintain and ensure data security and integrity while on its way to its destination. After reaching its destination, in our case the cloud server, no one can decrypt the encrypted data without the secret key that only the sender (the user) has it. Most renowned cloud backup providers use shared- key encryption technique. By using this technique, it means that the provider encrypts the data itself after it has reached their local server. Likewise, they also decrypt it to send it back to you. User’s secret key is with the provider which means besides the true owner of the data which is the user, others also have access and control over it.With Zero Knowledge, user encrypts its data on its computer locally and then it is sent for storage in the cloud. The provider or anyone having access to the cloud server can have no knowledge of your naked data. The secret key to decrypt the data is with the user itself.
- Unlimited Versioning - When working on a document or a program, sometimes we find the previous part of it better than the one we are currently on. SpiderOak’s versioning feature eases its user from the hassle of keeping a backup of previous versions of a file. Unlike other providers, SpiderOak keeps history of every version of the file for an unlimited time period unless user selects to delete it manually. This is also an attractive feature that sets this provider apart from others in relieving their customers from a common hassle - A hassle mostly faced by programmers who wish to keep different versions of the same program to keep a record of their progress.
- Recovery of deleted files - Most cloud backup providers keep deleted files for a limited time period in its recycle bin, mostly 30 days. After this time period, the files are deleted from server’s recycle bin as well. There is no way user can recover from a disaster once you have accidentally pressed the delete button. SpiderOak has an added advantage of keeping the deleted files in its recycle bin forever. User can restore it at any time no matter how old it is.
- Deduplication – This feature of SpiderOak is an efficient way of saving space and therefore money of the user. When a user uploads a new version of a file on the cloud, SpiderOak compares it with the previous files already in the user’s cloud space. It looks for the differences between the two versions of the same file and only stores that part in your cloud that is changed in its directory. This subsequently saves user the space for more storage and in the long run, the money. Hence, Spideroak does not follow the convention of storing the complete file for any minor changes, rather only stores the original file and afterwards stores only the new changes in it in the form of journal entries.
- Multi - level Support – SpiderOak’s gives technical and urgent support its paid users through email. For resolving user queries, it has a comprehensive knowledge base available on its official website. This includes Frequently Asked Questions section and a detailed User manual with guideline on multiple topics.
- Multiple Cross Platform - With the increasing demand of users to always stay online, accessing the cloud either at rest or on the move has become an essential requirement. To cater this requirement, SpiderOak has made provision of its desktop as well as mobile application for most common platforms. This includes Windows including latest versions, 32 bit and 64 bit Linux versions, Mac, iOS and Android. Users don’t have the hassle to access a computer just to share something or to upload a file. All this can be done even while travelling.
- Unlimited Device Support – SpiderOak offers support for unlimited number of devices with in a single account. With a single package plan, users can access their data on the cloud by connecting any number of computing devices with it. This option is not offered by some of the competitors.
- Syncing Tool – The Sync feature of SpiderOak is also appealing because if its ease of use and fast speed. Automatic synchronization is carried across the number of devices connected with the account whenever a file is uploaded, modified or deleted. Every change in your cloud space becomes viewable to all the devices and to all the people in the ShareRoom immediately, securely and smoothly.
- Sharing Tool – Another unique feature of SpiderOak is ShareRoom that allows its users to create a secure virtual place where user can share selected contents of its cloud space with family and friends. This virtual room is secured by a password created and encrypted by the user itself.
- Automatic and Scheduled Backup – This feature has been recently added by SpiderOak. It allows for creating automatic backup as well as scheduled backup. The former type will take place automatically while the latter type of backup takes place on the date and time the user decides.
- WHAT ARE DISLIKES
- Unfriendly User Interface – Though the interface of SpiderOak application is good for technical people, users not belonging to a technical profession may find its interface not-so-friendly and complex to use that repels them to subscribe for its services in future.
- No Live Chat Support – As for now, there is no live chat support offered by this cloud provider for its valuable clients as done by its competitors.
- Limited free Trial – SpiderOak has now put a limit to its trial period which was not added previously. It gives 2 GB for free for 60 days trial period after which user must opt for any of the three paid plans in order to continue with the services.
Backing up with SpiderOak
Back up procedure: There are two types of back up procedure in SpiderOak. From the Backup tab, user can select either the Basic backup settings or Advanced Backup settings.
- The Basic Way – User selects the category of the file type it wants to create backup for but must ensure first if it has enough amount for backup in its cloud. The category of the files include photos, videos and documents. After confirmation, user presses the “Start Backup” button and SpiderOak takes up the rest of the work from here.
- The Advanced Way – With this selection, user has the choice to individually select files from any category he or she wishes to back up. By using this method, user doesn’t have to backup all of the files in the same category unnecessarily. Just select the checkbox beside the file you want to back up and press the “Save” button. The backup starts automatically.
Restoring with SpiderOak
To restore using SpiderOak application, there is a View tab in which user can view the files on its cloud and select which files it wants to restore. Then, clicking the Download button will restore the selected files.
Through SpiderOak’s website, user has to sign in to the account. Going to the Download menu, user selects the files it wants to restore. Then it has to specify the location where the files need to be restored. After this dialogue box, the download starts.
Final verdict of this SpiderOak review
SpiderOak has developed amazing services to help its customers with managing files in the back up cloud. It has an upper edge on the security and privacy aspect than Google Drive, DropBox and One Drive. IT professionals and business enterprises for whom security is a major concern, this could be the best option.
For beginners, SpiderOak’s application interface could be difficult to understand and work with. Its features are appealing but are hidden behind its not-so-easy interface that could be repelling for its customers.