August 26, 2011

Dropping DropBox: A Relocation Guide

by with 17 comments

If you have recently switched from DropBox to SpiderOak, we’d like to take a few moments to welcome you to the secure side of backup. We know that switching backup providers can be a lot like moving to a new place.

It can be exciting and maybe a little intimidating too. We at SpiderOak would like to provide you with a relocation guide that will make the transition a little easier. There’s no map or moving boxes required, just the opportunity to start living your new and improved life on the

Know the Territory:

You may be accustomed to the DropBox landscape, but at SpiderOak, security is our foundation. We have a strict, zero-knowledge privacy policy and an extensive, layered encryption system. Your data will remain secure on our servers in your very own SpiderOak safe house and we don’t even have the keys! Your password is the only key to unlock the encryptions and we have no way of ever knowing your password. At SpiderOak, we take security seriously.

Learn the Language:

With DropBox, you created a central folder on your hard drive for backup. You dragged and dropped your files into the main DropBox folder. SpiderOak has a completely different approach that allows you to keep your current file structure. Our client allows you to select data from your folder hierarchy using the ‘BackUp’ tab. SpiderOak uploads a mirror copy of your selection to our servers.

As you can see below, it’s easy to select files for backup.

No need to move folders around anymore. ‘Drag and Drop’ becomes ‘Select and Save’

Practice the Customs:

Security is the backbone for all of our features. To ensure security, backup must occur before syncing and sharing. Anytime you modify a file, SpiderOak must first upload the changes and build encryption blocks before any other process can begin. This requires you to back up every device you would like to sync. It also requires a little bit of extra time for the upload process. The motto to remember: ‘Security is our number one priority’.

Get to Know the Locals:

Learn more about the SpiderOak community by visiting our FAQs and Forum. The FAQ is a great place to learn how SpiderOak can meet your individual needs. You can also learn about the variety of special features that SpiderOak has to offer. Our Forum provides an interactive community where our more experienced users can help you get acquainted with your new surroundings. If you have specific questions or requests, please contact our SpiderOak Customer Relations department.

Embrace Your New Home:

SpiderOak offers our free 2GB plan to backup your data for as long as you like. When you’re ready, you can expand your new space and upgrade to our paid plans in 100GB increments. We provide 100GB for $10 per month or $100 per year. SpiderOak doesn’t discriminate. You can back up as many devices as you like, even external drives. We support all major platforms and have no file size limit. The space is yours. The security is yours. Welcome to SpiderOak!

  1. Great read. I hope more people moving from DropBox to SpiderOak will discover the world of off-site, truly secure and private backups. I can't tell you how many friends I've had to disappoint when their computer broke down and I couldn't get their family photos, tax forms or other important data back.

    Whatever you do, wether it's SpiderOak or not, please please please. Backup. And if you haven't moved from DropBox to SpiderOak yet, here's how: (shameless plug ;-)

    Bonus tip: Install the SpiderOak iPhone app. If you loose your computer in a fire, or a hurricane, and you still carry your phone, you can send any file in your SpiderOak account to a friend should you need to.

  2. 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 their 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 ..

  3. Thanks for the tip Manny! I need reliability almost as much as security… I will definitely reconsider after reading your alarming comment!

  4. Manny, you are being pretty harsh. My experience with SpiderOak customer support has all been good.

  5. I contacted SpiderOak customer support once… and got a prompt response from the head of the company, who makes sure to do plenty of in-the-trenches customer support every day, simply to make sure he keeps abreast of real issues customers face. So…

  6. I'm going to give this one a try, but I do kind of like the central folder layout of Dropbox. I just like the idea of security a little more. I'm not going to get rid of Dropbox just yet, but I'll give this one a test drive.

    As for customer support, 24 hours for a reply to a support email is not outside the standard customer service time frame.

  7. I fail to see the security advantage. If you trust your encryption to a third party, you might as well not encrypt at all. Hushmail build their entire business on security, and have nice words put in place on how no-one but the user can decrypt the data (like SpiderOak), yet we know for a fact (as hushmail have admitted) that they have been handing out encryption keys to their customer's data to the FBI — encryption keys that were supposed to be impossible to create. (I think they used a backdoor in the client software they offer or soemthing similar.)

    If your data have any value, you encrypt it yourself. Whether SpiderOak encrypts or not should not matter at all, since you can place zero trust on them, no matter where the password is transformed to an encryption key. When the feds knock on their door, they'll do exactly as Hushmail and every other North American business does — that is, in weighting whom to serve, your petty 100USD won't do much to your favour.

  8. @Tero: You seem to misunderstand how SpiderOak works. The point of SpiderOak is that only you have the encryption key, and therefore only you should be able to decrypt your data. The SpiderOak team have no access to your key (it isn't sent to the servers – just you encrypted data), and can't access your data even if they want to. This also means that if you forget your password, you'll also lose all data associated with your account.

    That said, the value of encrypting your own data can never be understated.

  9. @Manny are you nuts? Month or so ago my sync was working really slow. When I asked their tech support if there was something wrong with my account, they appologised and gave me 10GB free just for being patient while they fix servers. Problem was done next day or two and I still need to do find use for my extra free space.

    That being said, DropBox encrypts data with their own keys, so you are not really safe. These folks have zero-knowledge approach and have great support with great prices.

  10. Nice Text!
    I used Dropbox before but changed for security reasons (for realy important file I use extra encryption).
    I'm very hapy with SpiderOak and their service.
    @Kim: You can tell the client to only backup one folder and it is like Dropbox ; )

  11. Moved from Dropbox to Sugarsync and now Spideroak and although the program interface isnt pretty or perfect, the privacy and features of Spideroak make it the best option Ive tried yet!

  12. For me SpiderOak is an execellent solution for safe backuping and syncing between computers. In my case, customer service was quick to respond. The only drawback is the Android app, which lacks uploading capabilties. Until this changes Dropbox will remain an important part of my data infrastructure.

  13. Why is there no clear instruction on how to send a file to someone that doesn't use spideroak? And no, I don't want them to just "see" the file, but to actually receive the file.