Dropbox vs SpiderOak: File Sync Battle

We are living in the Information Age and today one of the most important things to most of us is our data. If our computers, tablets, phones, or other devices disappeared, or the webapps we depend on shut down tomorrow, the files we lose would be harder to replace than the things themselves. From pictures to music to the new web app you’ve been creating, we’re keeping more data than ever and all of it is stuff you want to access anytime, anywhere, without ever losing it.

The good news is there are many apps today to help keep your data synced and safe. Dropbox is one of the most popular file sync apps ever, but SpiderOak is another promising offering that helps ensure your data is safe and secure as well.

We’re going to take a deeper look at what both of these services offer and then hopefully you can decide if Dropbox, SpiderOak, or another service is the one you need to keep your data synced and safe.

The Syncing Options

There are three basic things most people want to do with their files: access them from any device, share certain ones with others, and make sure they’re never going to get deleted. Both SpiderOak and Dropbox are great at both of these tasks. Interestingly, though, they each emphasize a different aspect of file management which makes them both work quite differently. Let’s take a look.

Dropbox

Dropbox was inspired by the idea of a box that you can throw all of your files into and always find them later. Founder Drew Houston wanted to have an alternative to flash drives, which, like CDs and floppies before them, are frustratingly easy to lose. So, he created an app that’s amazingly simple to use.

After a quick setup, you’ll have a Dropbox folder in your computer’s user directory. Anything you put in the folder will be synced to your online Dropbox account as well as to any other computers you use with the same Dropbox account. No complicated interface or confusing settings, just your files in a folder that’s always synced.

Dropbox' homepage: clean and simple

SpiderOak

SpiderOak, on the other hand, was built out of a frustration with the number of apps needed to keep up with data and the general lack of true privacy with online file services. Instead of having an individual app for backing up, syncing, and sharing files, SpiderOak is designed to be your main online file backup solution that also lets you sync and share backed up folders.

It’s more complicated to use than Dropbox, but it aims to do more than just be a box for your files. And it does this while keeping your data entirely secure by never storing your password or encryption key on their servers.

SpiderOak's site: explaining what it's all about

The Differences:

Still, all in all, Dropbox and SpiderOak still basically do the same thing: they sync your data online and to your other devices while letting you share it with others. How are they really different? Let’s take a look at their major differences and where each app comes out strongest:

Price

Before you start using a file sync service, one of the most important things is the price. Dropbox and SpiderOak both offer 2 GB of free storage with all accounts. Beyond that, Dropbox costs $9.99/month for 50 GB of storage or $19.99/month for 100 GB of storage. Those are the only two pricing plans publicly avilable; if you need more or less storage, there’s simply no option for it.

Editor’s Note: Dropbox for Teams is also available and offers increased storage options.

However, Dropbox has an attractive way to get more storage: for every other person that joins Dropbox because you invited them, you can get 250 MB of extra storage space for free, forever. If you’re a student, you can bump that up and get 500 MB of extra free space for everyone that joins because you invited them.

Student and paid accounts can accumulate up to 16 GB of extra, free storage from referrals. Free accounts can accumulate up to 8 GB of extra, free storage from referrals. See Dropbox Help.

SpiderOak, on the other hand, offers 100 GB plans for $10/month if you need more than the free 2 GB. If you want more storage, you can pay $10 more per month for each additional 100 GB of storage. This lets you get as much storage as you need. If you’re a student, though, you can get a 50% discount on any SpiderOak premium plans. Either way, SpiderOak’s storage is already 50% cheaper than Dropbox, so you’re definitely getting more storage for your money.

Ease of Use

Dropbox is easy to get started using, but can be difficult for new users to figure out what to do with. After a quick install, you’ll have a new Dropbox folder in your computer’s User or Documents folder. Dropbox includes a settings tool, but it includes so few options that you could almost ignore it completely.

The power of Dropbox comes from what you can do with a folder that’s always kept the same on all of your computers (and in the cloud). Anything you put in the Dropbox folder will automatically be synced with your online Dropbox dashboard and any other computers you use with it. Check out Web.Appstorm’s Ultimate Dropbox Toolkit & Guide to find even more ways to put Dropbox to use.

Dropbox' main interface: a folder on your computer

SpiderOak is more complicated to get started with, though as mentioned before, it’s also more powerful. To start out, you install the desktop app and select folders you want to backup. Once they’re backed up, you can choose to sync them to other computers or create ShareRooms to share files with other users. You’ll be able to monitor everything from the app, including detailed stats about your network and more.

Dropbox definitely begins to feel restrictive once you use an app like SpiderOak that lets you sync and share any folder on your computer, so sometimes a more complicated app isn’t bad. Check out the review on Mac.Appstorm to see more of SpiderOak’s features.

SpiderOak's main app for managing backups, syncs, and shares

Web Apps

Dropbox may start as a folder on your computer, but it’s a robust webapp as well. You can upload files and reorganize them into folders right from your browser and even setup new shared folders without touching your computer’s file browser. Almost everything you can do with Dropbox on your computer can be done with its web app, except for dragging and dropping files into folders. Perhaps they’ll eventually add that with HTML5… ;)

Dropbox' robust webapp

SpiderOak’s web app is much more simplistic than Dropbox’s online interface. You can’t upload files from your browser, but you can download any file or a whole folder as a zip file. It’s an easy way to access your files from anywhere, but not quite as convenient if you need to save files from an internet café on the other side of the globe.

One interesting thing is that you cannot reset your SpiderOak password from the web app to make sure that your password is only stored on your machines. For the most part, SpiderOak is a client-based app that uses the cloud but isn’t quite a fully fledged web app — and for many purposes, that’s perfectly fine.

SpiderOak's online interface

Both Dropbox and SpiderOak also offer robust mobile apps for iOS and Android so you can access your files on the go. Dropbox is integrated into most popular iOS productivity apps so you can easily save files on the go, while SpiderOak is mainly only usable from their own app. For the most part, though, that’s enough to let you view and edit your files wherever you are.

Security

Security is one of the major differentiators between the two services. Dropbox promises that your files are secure, with all files being transfered with SSL security and AES-256 encrypted on their servers. Dropbox employees can’t directly access your files, but they can see file names for support purposes. Additionally, your password is stored on their servers and can be reset online. This makes Dropbox safer than most web apps, but it still has some potential for problems.

SpiderOak takes security to the limit. Your data is encrypted with your own private encryption key and your password is only saved on your computer. In fact, you can’t reset it online at all. SpiderOak can’t see your actual files or their names; all they see on their servers is encrypted data. This makes it quite a bit more secure, but it can make it more difficult to use. If you forget your password, you can’t even access your files yourself!

That said, sometimes you have to find a medium between perfect security and perfect simplicity. Dropbox’s system makes it easier to share files privately and publicly and lets it be integrated with a vast array of apps and services.

SpiderOak’s more restrictive web app and sharing policies make it more secure, but can also make it harder to use. That’s a tradeoff that everyone has to decide what’s best for them. For the most part, Dropbox is secure enough for most needs, but you’ll have to decide for yourself what priority is best for you.

So, Which Is Best?

That, our dear readers, we leave for you to decide. Both Dropbox and SpiderOak are great services, and, although they’re different, they each have their strengths. Plus, they’re not the only options for online backup and sync.

For syncing and sharing files, other popular options include Box.net and SugarSync, while there are tons of popular online backup services such as Backblaze, Carbonite, Mozy, and others. And if you only want to share files quickly, we’ve created a whole list of the most popular webapps for sharing files.

Overall, though, Dropbox and SpiderOak are the services we use most for keeping our most important files safe. Dropbox is refreshingly easy to use, and integrated with so many apps that it’s the de facto sync service of today. SpiderOak, on the other hand, brings a new focus on security and data backup that’s nice to see with webapps. There’s other differences, so if you haven’t tried them out, you can always see which you prefer with their respective free accounts.

How do you keep your files synced and backed up? Let us know any unique ways you use Dropbox, SpiderOak, or any other file sync and backup app!


  • http://www.cloudsafe.com/ Roberto

    I have to clarify something: If you can download you files from SpiderOak, then SpiderOak does have access your files as well. Read on their site: “Without knowledge of the password, however, the data is quite unreadable”. Whatever “quite unreadable” means, it does not mean “not readable at all.”

    Still, since we (http://www.cloudsafe.com/) are in the same business I have to admit SpiderOak uses a good approach to data security and encryption.

    Way better than DropBox, where privacy, encryption and security are at a very low level.

    At the end it´s up to every user to decide about privacy and security of his personal data. If you share some holiday snapshots DropBox will do fine. But if you need a secure repository I guess you should have a look at SpiderOak, CloudSafe, Wuala, or any other cloud storage provider with higher standards in terms of encryption.

    • https://spideroak.com Daniel @ SpiderOak

      @roberto

      Actually ‘quite unreadable’ does mean “not readable at all”. Our employees or anyone else have NO means of decrypting your files without access to your encryption key and that would require you to explicitly give us your user-name and password.

      The entire idea of our zero-privacy security is that the encryption key and pass-token is created in the client, client side and only transferred ‘in encrypted form’.

      We have NO means of obtaining your private encryption key.

      For more info do check out: https://spideroak.com/engineering_matters#true_privacy

      I will of course now have to have a look at Cloudsafe.com as it seems you have a solid security approach as well :-)

      • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

        Thanks for stopping by! I hadn’t heard of Cloudsafe.com, so I’m checking it right now myself. Also, Daniel, do you know of other mobile apps that integrate with SpiderOak? For me, the vast number of iOS apps that work with Dropbox make it almost impossible to leave Dropbox behind…

      • Moritz Blume

        Sorry, but as long as the SpiderOak client is not open-source, there is no difference between Dropbox and SpiderOak: both promise they won’t look at your data (SpiderOak claiming they can’t), but we cannot be sure. Zero-knowledge technology which cannot be verified is useless, sorry.
        It’s a pity since I am keeping an eye on SpiderOak for quite a while, but without the client being open-source I don’t see the benefit. You should check how many people look at the FAQ question where you guys state it will be open-sourced but that “it is not quite that simple”. Simple or not, it is necessary to make zero-knowledge verifyable.

  • Dave

    While it doesn’t do file sync’ing, I love Crash Plan for easy backups.

  • MJ

    My external drive just crashed with all my time machine backups on it so I’m currently looking for an online backup storage and this is a great review but it would be great if they have unlimited space.

    Still undecided between Crash Plan which is cheaper and has so many great reviews from mac users vs LiveDrive (Mac Preview) which has great online file sharing options but a bit more expensive and still in beta mode. Both have unlimited space and keeps old versions for more than 30 days.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net mysticgeek

    Dropbox FTW! I tested out Spider Oak when it first came out and at that time the UI was rather confusing…maybe it’s better now, but my vote is definitely Dropbox.

    • https://spideroak.com Daniel @ SpiderOak

      We have made some very significant improvements since our early versions of course. That said, DropBox is a very nice service and we are good friends with the founders and wish them all the luck.

      While we do compete we offer services that more ‘compliment’ than ‘cannibalize’. Dropbox is targeted @ novice users while we @ spideroak are much more aimed at advanced users with real security and customization needs.

  • John Smith

    Incorrect! I quote “if you need more or less storage, there’s simply no option for it.”, actually the admins at the dropbox forum have said many times that if you just email dropbox and ask for an alternate plan, buy suggesting how many gbs you want they will email you back with a custom price.

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Ah, that’s true … I’m personally running on a smaller Pro Dropbox plan that I got after emailing the admin that posted that in the forum. And it’s worked great for me. I was just meaning that with the default, public options, there’s no official different sized options.

      That said, if you want a larger than free but smaller than 50Gb (and cheaper than $10/month) account, do email Dropbox support and they may be able to get you with an account that’s better for your needs. It worked for me :)

    • teun

      know this is an old thread, but thought i’d try to get a custom plan for 10gb anyway by dropping dropbox a line. their reply: sorry: only the standard cuz that’s what you don’t need but makes us rich (translation from: “Sorry for the inconvenience but we don’t currently offer any smaller plans than those listed.”)…

      if anybody knows whom to mail for a smaller plan, i’d love to hear. this is the reply you get from customer support…

  • http://www.daveismyname.co.uk Dave

    I’ve used Dropbox for a long time but Spideroak looks interesting think I’m going to give it a spin.

  • Seb

    Is there any app that works like Dropbox but ONLY on local network?

    • https://spideroak.com Daniel @ SpiderOak

      You will be happy and sad to know that. NO, currently we do not believe there really is a good app for simple local sync ‘dropbox style’ but we are looking into offering this as an ‘add-on’ or ‘new functionality’ to SpiderOak.

      • Seb

        That would be great! Only local network syncing, no sending to ‘cloud’ :-)

      • Jeff

        Windows Live Sync actually does give you the ability to choose to sync only between your own computers or to sync between your computers and also to store those files online. I don’t think it currently offers iOS and Android interfaces, but it’s very handy for when you travel. I use it mostly to sync photos back to my home computer as a backup in case my laptop is stolen or broken while I am on the road.

    • Tim

      I’m not sure why others have said NO that there isn’t any local LAN based syncing apps, there is an absolute plethora of applications and methods to achieve the same thing.

      You could map the drive from a local machine like a file server and sync backwards and forwards to / from with any decent syncing application on ANY platform.

      You could additionally use something like ‘rsync’ to mirror a file share on another local machine, setup an authenticated FTP server on a machine and use one of thousands of utilities that will login and sync the 2 directories.

      So i’ll say YES! there are heaps of options to use for local drive or file sharing or syncing.

      • onetom

        @Tim: the question was:
        “works like Dropbox but ONLY on local network?”

        of course u can sync files on a LAN… with a lot’s of limitations:
        1, not cross platform
        2, no versioning
        3, hard / complicated / error prone to setup
        4, manually or periodically but not on-change sync triggering
        5, access control is troublesome

      • onetom

        forgot to mention Unison:
        http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/

        it’s a two way synchronizer which is cross platform aaaand Open Source too!

        downside: the graphical user interface is… hmm… well…
        upside: it has a command line interface too ;)

        need automatic, transparent and background sync?

        u can connect it with inotify on linux or with fseventsd on a mac (and kqueue on bsd iirc) and no idea what’s the equivalent on windows… it’s not an obvious thing to do, for sure.

      • Jason

        Crashplan has local sync capabilities. Not sure if you can disable internet sharing though. Of course if they run on anything other than port 80 you can probably just block it in the firewall and be done with it.

      • http://blog.merjis.com Jeremy Chatfield

        On a Mac (my main dev platform) I use ChronoSync to locally synchronise at LAN speed. This can be set up to automatically synch. Walk in to the building and as the laptop connects to the the LAN, it starts a bidirectional synch.

        I picked Wuala, though. Has a mounted drive (like SpiderOak and DropBox). Has synch (like SpiderOak), Backup (cf SpiderOak). And it is in Europe; I am, too. I *think* that location has implications for data protection. European and US laws have been different. Even though I’m storing encrypted data, I’m not crossing legislative borders – which I suspect is important, or Amazon S3 wouldn’t offer different terms for the European datacenters?

  • http://benjamincharity.com Benjamin Charity

    Dropbox all the way. I could never go back now!

    The UI is very powerful and easy to use. And as stated above, integration is superb.

  • dorian_grey

    Students get 500 MB per referral (not 1 GB) – you can check it by following your link! ;)

    • https://spideroak.com Daniel @ SpiderOak

      Students get 50% off with SpiderOak and we offer +1GB for each referral up to 7GB.

      Just FYI :-)

      • Spreng

        @Daniel

        Can you give me the student link to sign-up and learn more? I’m currently taking a web dev class and I need to sync my projects. Also, does Spideroak allow visitors to come and see a file with the right link, like a small hosted website?

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Ah, sorry about that. Actually, it just doubles your referral boost, and if you have a pro account, you get 512 Mb per referral. I personally have a Dropbox pro account and am a student, so I get 1 Gb per referral. It’s nice … except so many people are using it now, it’s hard to refer new people ;)

  • Andrew D

    I actually started out using Mozy Online Backup. I had so many issues with it that I almost gave up on the cloud all together.. then Dropbox came along, and blew Mozy out of the water. Switched to Dropbox, and never looked back.

  • http://www.davidomoyele.com David O.

    I think spideroak would be better if they offered a separate app for each of their service.

    Spider Backup

    Spider Sync

    Spider Share

    etc…

  • http://www.hothitmedia.com Ralph

    I prefer Dropbox actually, although I am getting more and more sold on the Box.net solution. It is much more focussed on collaboration then actually sharing or storing content.
    I’ve reviewed a few other solutions on my blog http://www.hothitmedia.com/the-top-8-cloud-storage-programs-review.

    For a larger storage system or program I like the mozy online storage program.
    http://www.mozyonlinestorage.com/ It just gives more for less. They used to have an unlimited plan but from this month they reduced this to a 50gb storage I believe…

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  • Steve

    Way late, but something to consider if you’re considering Dropbox… they do have the ability to look at your files. See: http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=8430B8A2-1A64-67EA-E44A899B855463FA – They will decrypt the files and share them if law enforcement if compelled to do so, therefore it’s obvious they can decrypt your files. I’m not worried about it because of law enforcement, but now I know that a rogue employee could do the same thing.

    As far as I know SpiderOak has no ability do to this, and if asked for your files they could hand over encrypted gibberish.

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  • http://www.onlinebackupdeals.com/spideroak/ John @ OnlineBackupDeals.com

    With Dropbox’s latest change to their privacy policy it makes SpiderOak a much better choice to keep your data safe. People using Dropbox might want to consider not storing anything to important on their Dropbox accounts. You never know the MPAA and RIAA could very easily target Dropbox users next for their next round of lawsuits.

  • Technoslick

    The obvious differences in design and purpose aside, I’m confused with how SpiderOak sets up and manages sync between devices. What I have been able to do in Dropbox is sync each device (that has a Dropbox client) with a small KeepPassX database file on the Dropbox server. The file *on* the Dropbox server syncs to each device, immediately locking it from editing on all other connected devices until the file has been closed. This assures me that no two devices can compete for updating and every one gets the latest version, again, seemingly instantaneously after an change is made.

    SpiderOak, it seems, wants to do this in a peer-to-peer fashion. I have quite a few peers (Android, Mac, Windows and Linux) and this makes no sense for what I want to do: one file in the cloud, multiple devices syncing to that *on* location. Why should I add on every device all the others that I want to sync to this one file? Why can’t I setup a local folder on all devices to sync with the server copy, instead? What am I missing? I just don’t see this availability in SpiderOak.

  • Pietro

    I am still unsatisfied. everybody speaks about sharing, as of sharing file. But what really dropbox does is it shares “space”. It shares a space where every user can seamlessly work, and the work of all changes the directory for everybody else. I now need to look for an alternative for this from another service (dropbox has stopped working for us…), and after this review I cannot understand if spideroak does it. If I look at spideroak video on how to share they keep on speaking about 1 user sharing a space where “he” can update the files and everybody has the possibility to know about the new updated files.
    Hmm, HELLO! this is NOT sharing “space”, this is sharing “files” from one user to others. Not sharing folders between users.

    So one of the two is true: either SpiderOak does the same thing as dropbox and they are bad in explaining it, or they do not do the same as dropbox and then the service looses on one essential quality. And in both cases I find this review to miss the real gist of what sharing is like.

    Or as Lao Tzu would have said:
    Value comes from sharing files (objects),
    Use come from sharing folders (emptiness)
    :-)

    • barbex

      Exactly! I have not been able to figure out how to get Spideroak to just share a directory between machines.

  • William

    The biggest drawback for DropBox (from my perspective) is the lack of access control on shared folders. If you share a folder with someone, they can do anything to the files you can. That can be very handy if it’s what you want, but it’s a mess if what you really wanted was to give someone read-only access. Dropbox said they would implement this but that was well over a year ago and so far no sign of it.

  • http://websaucesoftware.com Steve Steiner

    > Dropbox promises that your files are secure, with all files being transfered with
    > SSL security and AES-256 encrypted on their servers. Dropbox employees can’t
    > directly access your files, but they can see file names for support purposes.

    They have changed their TOS to reflect that employees always *HAVE* been able to access your files — all of them. They’re just not “allowed” to.

    Dropbox LIED — they’ve always been able to see your files’ contents or provide them in response to legal requests etc.

    See the Privacy section at:

    http://www.dropbox.com/dmca#security

    S

  • george

    I use both dropbox and spideroak and their philosophies definitely complement each other. A strong point for both of them is that they work on both windows and linux

  • BestKevin

    Any service supporting rsync ?

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  • http://www.algadon.com Chris Hoffman

    I have been checking out LiveDrive. I really like their service and offerings because you can get a very large LDrive (5TB) for my significant media backup, in addition to the normal backup. However, I have run into a major problem with them. When a file is being uploaded, it is locked. So, if a program tries to access the file, writing fails. Does anyone know of a comparable service that does not have this problem?

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  • Darius

    When it comes to security, SpiderOak wins hands down. I used Mozy for years, but decided to switch to SpiderOak and have no regrets. The Zero Knowledge policy and 2-factor authentication set it apart from the crowd. Plus, in addition to the 2GB free, you can get a bonus 1GB (3GB total!) free for life with the following referral link: https://spideroak.com/download/referral/24515ffa6eff79fd7e06a0c08d9e5253

  • Snow

    I like SpiderOak’s approach to security, but can’t help feeling apprehensive about their fundamental. They claim to maintain zero knowledge policy yet they allow their users to share files using unique urls. Doesn’t that mean any one who has the url (that includes spideroak themselves) can access their users’ files?

  • DaisyDigital

    Good analysis. Based on your review and my own experience, I think SpiderOak stands apart for at least four reasons: (1) better security, (2) ability to backup multiple computers and removable storage devices for free, (3) Local Copy feature, and (4) more free storage space.

    #1 – As discussed in other comments above, SpiderOak provides 100% local encryption of data before it is sent to the SpiderOak server, and they have a comprehensive Zero Knowledge Policy, which means they never have access to your data. They also have an option for 2-Factor Authentication. (But using the Sharing feature would seem to expose your private encryption key, which is why I would not use SpiderOak for sharing.)

    #2 – Another major selling point is that SpiderOak lets you backup multiple computers AND removable storage (i.e., my USB drives).

    #3 – SpiderOak has a powerful “Local Copy” feature that allows you to specify a local drive, a network folder, or your FTP or SFTP server as a secondary place to store the encrypted data blocks SpiderOak creates. The location doesn’t have to be secure because the data blocks will remain encrypted, just like they are when uploaded to the SpiderOak Cloud. “In addition to providing a local copy of the all of the data stored within SpiderOak, this option will drastically increase large restores and downloads as SpiderOak will check with the local copy before downloading a folder or file from the SpiderOak Cloud.”

    #4 – Plus, in addition to the 2GB free storage that they advertise, you can get an additional 1GB free for life (3GB total) using the following referral link: https://spideroak.com/download/referral/1e9129173b25d234d678926afa577c79

    I would use DropBox (or the Amazon.com Cloud Drive or Box.net) for simple file storage and sharing, but for secure, reliable backups of important or personal data, I would choose SpiderOak.

    –Daisy Digital

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  • John Doppler

    Instead of relying on closed-source security of unknown quality with complicated UI (i.e. SpiderOak), I find it is much safer to create an encrypted volume (Mac OS) and sync that using dropbox. The file is encrypted using highest standards and nobody can take a peek inside (and you don’t have to trust anybody’s word on that) + you get all the convenience of dropbox UI which was designed by humans, not aliens.

  • Manny

    If you have not moved from Dropbox .. well DON’T .. this is the worst service I ever had.. there is no support what so ever, and if you ever need to get your 150 Gb of data back.. well GOOD LUCK since your download will stop every night and will restart .. as per email I got from “Gwende” when I ‘emailed’ support out of frustration and they replied 24 hours later..

    Customer Support is NOT in SpiderOak vocabulary..

    You may delete this post, but I am going public.. and none of my 400 clients will be moving over to this service.. more for Dropbox.. not perfect, but at least it WORKS ..

    I posted this on SpiderOak’s site and of course it was deleted in minutes, unike the responses to my emails that took 24 hours EACH email.

    • wave

      unlucky I am having a similar problem. Trying to restore a 30GB folder with pictures and I have to restore by group of subfolders as the process stops. It would not be able to restore a whole PC.

    • daito

      No it was not censored

      https://spideroak.com/blog/20110826171946-dropping-dropbox-a-relocation-guide

      I am not pro or against spideroak… couldn’t care less – have my own servers :) – I am against spreading fear and bitterness.

    • Terry

      I have been trying to use SpiderOak since late November, trying to backup and sync some files on six computers, Linux and WIndows.
      I have been spending way too much time fooling around with a tool that should be transparent. I can’t do any work on my machines until SpiderOak finishes its scan because it uses lots of computer resources.
      I noticed that some of the “synced” folders had corrupted or missing files.
      I received no warning about these errors from SpiderOak itself. It still thinks everything is okay. Customer support seems to get back with me about every two or three days. They have solved some of my problems, but new ones pop up as soon as the old ones are fixed. I know this sounds unbelievable, but this has been my experience. I hope they can get their act together, but based on my experience this first quarter, I don’t have much confidence. If you decided to use SpiderOak, I suggest that you keep checksums of your synced folders, so you can tell if something is missing or corrupted. The backup function does seem to work very well, so I have always been able to restore lost or corrupted files.

  • hm

    SpiderOak may be useful if the mobile client actually worked the same way as the desktop client, i.e. if I could setup the phone as a “device” in the SpiderOak client and then simply sync a folder between computer “device” and phone “device”.
    That way I could have a single place (folder) shared/synced on all devices and from whatever device I do the change on all other devices I will see it. This, such a super simple thing, is not possible at all! The mobile client is just a passive downloader, nothing more, primitive downloader. Another useless software, shame on you, SpiderOak!

  • AV

    I was tempted to look at SpiderOak but the poor comments regarding customer service have put me off. DropBox’s lack of security and security blunder earlier this year have left me a little worried about using their service.

    However I came to the same conclusion as one of the other posters; Create my own encrypted disk volume, mount it, store private files, dismount and let the sync do it’s job.

    I have been using TrueCrypt to create my encrypted disks (containers) and putting them in my dropbox folder for syncing. Works very well and doesn’t allow anyone access to my data even if DropBox get compromised.

    • Gdazer

      Yeah, but True Crypt isn’t supported for Android, so creating encrypted volumes is not a complete solution in this case. Sorry to say.

  • yahoo2003

    SpiderOak lets me easily backup, sync, share, remotely access and store all my data. I can add as many different computers and drives to a single account so all my data can live in a central location. The application has been working for me very nicely. You can sign up if you use the download link below and we will both receive an additional free 1 GB of storage. And you can also feel free to refer as many friends as you like.
    https://spideroak.com/download/referral/4b45441744da1e2594e73340d41e2553
    P.S. If you use the WORLDBACKUPDAY promo code you can gain 6 GB in total.

  • Anonymous

    I started off using Wuala after trialling dropbox and Spider Oak.

    Now I use onehub with a customized backup solution that uses their sync and a timeline facility on one of my servers. While I loved Wuala, my employees couldn’t get the hang of it and I wanted a web based solution rather than having to install software on computers.

    Their preview makes it very useful to quickly locate files and I am not that concerned about security. The activity tab also shows me whats going on and there is ftp monitoring that also updates on the activity tab.

    Sorry Wuala … you had to go.

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  • Piyush

    Spideroak sucks! They do not have a forgot password. Their forgot password sends back hint. If you manage to not add any hint then they do not send you anything. And icing on the cake is that their absolutely stupid customer service says they cannot do anything about it. SPideroak is a scam. do not use.

    • AD

      You are an idiot. You did read their disclaimers BEFORE using the service? It states they CAN NOT reset your password.
      Seriously, its funny how people blame services they use for their own incompetence.

    • Jake

      Haha, seriously? That’s the whole point of SpiderOak’s security.

      Thanks for your comment because now it’s convinced me that SpiderOak is the company to use. If even they can’t reset your password that means the data is truly secure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/libtardssuck Toltepeceno Delsur

      That’s the whole point of Spideroak, whoosh right over your head.

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  • Joo

    I’m in the process of looking at multiple cloud based sharing services and I wanted to comment on Wuala on the Mac. I don’t think I would ever use Wuala on the Mac since it relies on MacFuse which has not been under active development for quite some time. Regarding SpiderOak, I have to say I removed it from my list of services due to the unfriendly interface. From what I read, Dropbox doesn’t encrypt data at rest which is a concern. So still looking for a viable, secure, user friendly solution.

  • http://www.invisibler.com M. Svensson

    Thanks for the post, just what I am pondering… I love dropbox, have used it for years. While I have no problem saving most things to it, there are a few documents that I want encrypted so nobody but me has access, EVER. I use a TrueCrypt Volume for that as I don’t have to access those files very often. The clear drawback is that I can’t use it on my iPad/iPhone. However I found a cool service, boxcryptor, that promises to solve that problem. Haven’t tried it yet though…
    I like the security of SpiderOak, my concern is that I can’t reset my passcode if I have have to and all my important files would be beyond recovery. Ups…

  • Sergei

    I start with Dropbox, wuala and now, since 1 year, I’m with Spideroak. I think is the best, I need buckup different directories. And Wuala consume lot of RAM and java make it slower to sync and upload. Dropbox is easy to use, but I like things more secure, professional and customizable . And the recycler bin are the best, it has save me thousand times

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