Online Backup Services. Spideroak Reviews
I have spent a number of years following backup services and discovering new ones. Some are good, some are bad, but one that slipped under my radar was a service called SpiderOak. I was contacted by Ethan Oberman, co-founder, for this relatively new service and I was, of course, ready to experience a new backup service with open arms. Started in December, 2007, Oberman and Alan Fairless started SpiderOak. SpiderOak is an online backup program designed for use by anyone. In addition to remote backups, SpiderOak stores all historical versions of files, can synchronize folders across multiple devices, and supports online sharing. Their newest feature is secure sync which is an amazing feature. Because of its efficient compression technique, it is commonly used to store digital photos and other types of large files, as well as e-mail and other smaller file types, making the service one of the quickest services I’ve used.
As our digital media grow, it is imperative that we all find ways to keep it forever. I was once a strong believer that I could never be a victim of hundreds of important files lost. I saw more clearly my mistake when I lost some of my most valuable pictures, videos, and music years ago. To keep that from ever happening again, I backup to several places so in the event that anything fails, I have a backup somewhere else. SpiderOak has made the list of saving my most important files, and doing it well.
For For $10 a month, you can store up to 20GB; this can be further increased with another $10 per 100GB increment. If you are like me, then you’ll take the free 2GB and run with it. Although not much, 2GB will definitely help. If you need more, prices get a little high, however, you get what you pay for, and one thing that $10/month will get you is advanced security. SpiderOak has one of the most advanced security systems that I have used in a backup service. Many people have their security concerns, so the SpiderOak team takes great pride in protecting their customers. In fact, because of its strong encryption, the program is currently available only in the United States. MacNN mention says “While it’s unlikely that employees will browse through your files, the possibility is always there, which means you lack true privacy. That’s why the site uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a US government algorithm, for encrypting your data on its servers. In theory this not only halts local access, but means that if the password is lost or forgotten, even you will never be able to retrieve your files ever again.”
I would probably suggest you always remember your password, of course. Also unique to SpiderOak is a feature I absolutely love. Versioning is a wonderful feature that all backup services should use in my opinion. Imagine you save a document, and you decided to change some things within the document and resave it. Most services would replace the backup copy with the new one, however, SpiderOak not only keeps that version, but any previous changes you have made or will make. Brilliant. SpiderOak also takes great pride in giving users the ability to share their files. You can designate specific files to share, assign a password to them, and then anyone with the right password can access your files over the Internet. Simple as that! With such a simple program, anyone can use it and not only am I talking about any person being able to use this program but any operating system can use it as well. This cross-platform program can have you backing up on your Mac laptop, Windows PC, or your Linux computer.
I am not particularly fond of the look and feel of SpiderOak, but in my conversations with Oberman, he made it easily understandable when he said, “this has been an issue that we have discussed at a great length internally. However, given that one of our top priorities from the beginning was to be completely cross platform, we wanted to provide a consistent look and feel within the application regardless of platform. Therefore, if you are on a Mac, a Windows machine, or working in Linux, the SpiderOak application will look and feel the exact same.”
That is when the saying, Never judge a book by its cover comes to mind. Despite its unpleasing facade lies a great functional program that not only backs up your files (as it is suppose to do) but also does so with security that even you cannot access without the password. If you are looking for a secure backup service, than this is for you. Either way, I encourage you to try them out. As of now, there is not unlimited backup like you find with Mozy or Carbonite, however, there are a world of differences when compared that Oberman would be glad to explain any day. Given the many services there are to do online backups, I’d say they are heading in the right track and I will be by their side for many years to come.
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