One company that I have been meaning to write about for quite some time is SpiderOak, which is an online backup and sync provider I have been hearing a lot of good things about.
While other online backup providers have been Windows-only until just recently, SpiderOak has been cross platform right from the start. They have clients for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Slackware).
In addition, they provide remote access over the web so you can get at your files from any web device.
What is ‘Zero Knowledge?’
It goes without saying (or does it) that an online backup company needs to have security in mind.
SpiderOak takes this to the next level by having a zero-knowledge policy. What does this mean? Aside from strong encryption, which they have, the company never stores or sees your password or encryption keys.
One of their FAQs is “could you read a user’s data if forced at gunpoint?” and the answer (they say) is no.
This is a big benefit if you are concerned about privacy of online backups, but of course it does have one downside. If you forget your password, you are completely and totally on your own. The company can’t help you, because they don’t know your password in the first place. (You can set a password hint, so I strongly recommend setting a good one!).
Not just backup
SpiderOak doesn’t limit itself to just online backup. They are in the sync-ing game too. If you are familiar with Dropbox, it is the same sort of deal. You can sync files across multiple machines automatically, and do it cross-platform between Mac, Windows, and Linux as well.
The pricing is tiered. The first 2 Gigs are free, which is great if you don’t have too much to store. After that, pricing is in 100 Gig increments. It’s $10/month for the first 100 GB, and then $10/month additional for each 100 GB on top of that.
They have yearly discounts so if you buy a full year, it is $100.
Sync-ing wise, SpiderOak is cheaper than DropBox which is also free up to 2GB, but then $9.99/month for 50 GB and $19.99/month for 100 GB.
Geeks Make The World Go Around
One thing I like about SpiderOak is that you get the sense that it is run by people who really care about making good software and giving back to the software community. It sounds cheesy, but I love the fact that they have an “Engineering Matters” section of their website that describes what is going on in techie terms, and that they give back tools and code to the open source community.
If you are looking for online backup or syncing software, you definitely want to make sure SpiderOak is one of the ones you look at.