Backup Your Computer: SpiderOak Review
I’ll be honest, when I first heard about SpiderOak, I wasn’t sure what to think. I certainly do not like spiders, and I’m terrified of oaks, so I was a little worried about what I had gotten myself in to.
Luckily, SpiderOak has nothing to do with either spiders or oaks. SpiderOak is a simple to use backup system that allows you to backup your computer on-the-go and in the cloud.
What is SpiderOak?
If you’re familiar with backup and file sharing services like DropBox, then you probably have a good idea of what SpiderOak does.
At its core, SpiderOak allows you to backup, share, and synchronize your files across Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.
Whether you need to access a document you have stored on a remote server, synchronize data between a Mac, Windows or Linux device, share important business documents with your clients, or just rest easy knowing all of your data is safely, securely, and automatically backed up – SpiderOak’s free online backup, online sync and online sharing solution can handle all your needs!
What can I do with SpiderOak?
- Backup in Place – I’m not sure of the technical term for this, but I like the fact that you can backup your files from where they are located on your hard drive. That means no cutting a pasting files into separate backup folders like you have to do with DropBox.
- Fast Sync – From the testing I’ve done, syncing seemed pretty quick. Once you have the file uploaded, the sync process runs quietly in the background and goes into action when it notices that the file has been changed.
- Sync From Multiple Drives – You can backup from network, removable and external hard drives. Yay.
- File Compression – What makes the sync so quick is the file compression that SpiderOak runs on your files. That means quicker upload time as well as more space to play with. On top of this, only changes to the file are uploaded. That means only the differences are backed up, not the whole file.
- No File Size Limit – SpiderOak lets you upload individual files of any size (DropBox limits you to 300MB through their website application). That’s the sound of video freelancers rejoicing from around the globe.
- Multiple OS Functionality – SpiderOak plays nice with Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Work done on your home PC will sync with your Mac in the office and vice versa. It’s something I wish more software developers would include.
- Version History – Pretty much a must have feature for backup services. It means that SpiderOak will keep complete version history of every file – accessible by date-stamp – just in case you accidentally save over a file or would like to go back in time. In addition, you can restore files from your SpiderOak recycle bin in case you’ve had second thoughts about deleting them.
- Backup Scheduling – It may not seem like a major feature, but for those using ISP’s that have download and upload caps, backup scheduling is manna from heaven. That means I can schedule my backups to run after midnight when there are no caps on my satellite Internet service.
- Backup Without Sync – If you have certain files, like account backups, that you need to backup but they don’t need to be synced; you can set SpiderOak to only store them and not track them for changes.
- Share Rooms – SpiderOak allows you to create share rooms where you can share files with clients and friends. Each room is protected with a unique RoomKey that can be entered from the SpiderOak webpage. Notification via RSS can also be used to tell users when a file has been changed.
- 2GB Free – Similar to DropBox, SpiderOak gives you a free 2GB of backup space to play with. For more heavy users you can buy 100 GB increments for $10 a month each. That means 300 GB will cost you $30/month. There is also a referral system in place that will allow you to increase your free 2 GB allotment by recommending the service to others.
SpiderOak is what you would expect out of a backup system with some extra muscle under its shirt. While PDA support is in the works, there is already an iPhone app available.
The standout feature has to be the ability to sync multiple operating systems. It is something that I’m sure will come in handy for freelancers everywhere. Add the fact that you can sync folders between multiple computers and you have a road warrior’s dream come true.
While the added functionality may make the service a little less user friendly, I think additions of things like backup scheduling as well as keeping backup and syncing separate are well worth the added complexity.
You can give the service a spin by going to the SpiderOak website.