April 9, 2013

SpiderOak Launches 5.0 Beta

by with 67 comments

Today we are proud to release the SpiderOak 5.0 Beta. It comes as the result of a lot of hard work and planning and we are excited to get it into the hands of our users. The most significant addition is SpiderOak Hive which makes syncing data between your various devices simple and easy. You can find a detailed list below of what will be included from new features to feature enhancements to bug fixes as well as some FAQs about SpiderOak Hive. Please click here to download the 5.0 Beta. (Click here for the 64-bit Windows build)


  • SpiderOak Hive: We adopted a simple approach to syncing data across all devices by creating the SpiderOak Hive folder. Simply drag and drop files or folders into this folder and they will automatically sync to your other devices.
  • OS Integration for Windows (Mac and Linux soon to follow): Granting right-click access functions via Explorer now allows you to backup, share, and view historical versions.


  • ShareRoom Enhancement: Users can now add passwords to their ShareRooms which adds an additional layer of security when sharing important files.
  • Remote Diagnostics: We added a capability for remote diagnostics to help when troubleshooting problems with customer support.  This option is disabled by default. You must explicitly enabled it.  Diagnostic reports consist of metadata such as program and OS version information, file system types, program log files, folder and file names. Reports do not include backup data, passwords, or encryption information.
  • Password Enhancement: As a new user, you must now change your password upon setting up your first device when JavaScript was disabled during signup and a temporary password was automatically generated.
  • ShareRoom Enhancement: We added clarification to the ShareRoom creation wizard


  • LAN sync: Fixed a bug with LAN sync, allowing the client to recover from certain error conditions
  • UI / View Tab: Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the UI to erroneously disable the View tab in the client after displaying the “out of space” popup window.
  • AppIndicator framework: Switch system tray icon to use AppIndicator framework on Ubuntu.
  • Backup: Fixed a bug which prevents category size indicator on basic backup tab from updating without restarting the client
  • Downloads: Fixed a bug that prevented downloads from resuming after a network failure.
  • Uninstalling SpiderOak: Fixed a bug on Windows which reports publisher info as ‘unknown’ when uninstalling SpiderOak.
  • Sync: Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented sync from detecting a moved folder properly, instead considering it a deletion
  • Backup: Fixed a bug causing backup to fail under a very rare edge case


Here are five questions and answers we anticipate users having.

1.  What is SpiderOak Hive? How does it work?

SpiderOak Hive creates a simple way to sync data between your various devices. All you have to do is place files and/or folders inside your SpiderOak Hive and the data will automatically appear on any other device running SpiderOak. Easy.

2.  Where do I find the SpiderOak Hive folder?

A shortcut to SpiderOak Hive will appear automatically on your desktop. Depending on the operating system, SpiderOak Hive will also appear in the file system browser as follows: Windows Explorer –> Documents folder;  Mac Finder –> “/Users/<username>/SpiderOak Hive/”; Linux –> Home folder.

3.  Can I still backup my files from their original locations using the SpiderOak application?  Do I have to use SpiderOak Hive?

SpiderOak Hive was designed to run on top of the existing SpiderOak application; as such, you can still select specific files and/or folders for backup using the ‘Backup’ tab inside the application. We view this ability to create a unique and structured backup set as a core function of SpiderOak and have no plans to get rid of this functionality.

4.  How do I get SpiderOak Hive?

Currently – SpiderOak Hive is in Beta and available by clicking on the following link: https://spideroak.com/getbuild?beta=yes. (or 64-bit Windows) As soon as you install the new version, SpiderOak Hive will appear automatically on your desktop.

5.  If I would prefer to use SpiderOak Hive as opposed to selecting data to back up and sync inside the SpiderOak application, how do I make this transition?

This is simple!  All you have to do is drag and drop all the items in your current backup set over to the SpiderOak Hive folder. This action will cause SpiderOak to effectively move this data over to Hive which will take a few moments to process. Upon completion, you will be done and fully ready to use your SpiderOak Hive folder. Please remember that future files must be saved into your SpiderOak Hive folder to ensure they are being backed up and synced.

Update: The beta download links may have delivered a 32-bit build to Windows users with 64-bit computers, rendering the OS Integration feature inoperative. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, please re-download using the updated links, or by clicking here: 64-bit Windows build. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  1. Oh, you couldn’t have done much worse than call it SpiderOak Hive. Now people need to rack their brains to guess what on earth that could possibly be. Expect users to be afraid to try it out without reading the docs. SpiderOak Sync on the other hand is as straightforward as it gets. Bad choice.

    • @ Liv: Thank you for your thoughts. When creating this additional feature, we thought long and hard about whether to name it or not. As you point out, it has the potential of causing confusion. However, a name makes it easier to reference this new feature given that we already have sync integrated into the SpiderOak application. Our existing users are free to completely ignore the SpiderOak Hive folder if they so choose and even disable it here: Preferences –> General. On the other hand, SpiderOak Hive does represent a much easier way to backup and sync data simply through dragging and dropping files / folders and we believed it was important to not only add the feature but be able to separately refer to it for clarity.

      Again – we appreciate your feedback and don’t hesitate to send additional comments anytime.

  2. “We view this ability to create a unique and structured backup set as a core function of SpiderOak and have no plans to get rid of this functionality”
    => It’s fine if _YOU_ don’t want to get rid of it, however how do _I_ get rid of it at my installation level? Am I forced to live with yet another junk folder created by a rogue application that poops files and folders wherever it feels like it? Plus there’s nothing core in this function, it’s just an automatically set up sync folder for those too lazy to set one up… Maybe it would have been more useful to just, say, make sync creation more intuitive?

    • @JC – you have misunderstood Linzi completely. She is saying that SpiderOak have no plans to get rid of the ability to create your own unique and structured backup set (i.e. the pre-5.0 way of working). As for SpiderOak Hive, you have two options as I see it. You can either just ignore the folder or as it is a beta after all you are free NOT to install it until it meets your requirements! I am sure that if enough people as for it they will integrate an on/off control down the line.

      • Indeed that’s the reason why I’m not installing the beta. But, as you mention it yourself, if noone asks for the on/off setting it will likely never appear…

          • I posted this on the forums a week or so ago. I havn’t gotten any response back yet.

            “I would rather have an option in the settings/preferences to choose the location of the global sync folder. Much the same way dropbox does it. This is how i would go about handling the v5 SO installer:

            New Install/Manual Update: During installation process, ask if the user wants global sync enabled. If they do then give the user the option to choose the location of the global sync folder.

            Automatic Update: Disable global sync, but the next time the user opens SO pop up a window giving info about the global sync folder, ask if they want it and where they want it. This will obviously only be valid for updating from anything <v5.

            Many people will be using automatic updates and will probably not like that a new folder has been created without them knowing."

            I like the idea of global sync, but so far its implementation is poor (which is fine given its a beta). I think it would be much better if the installer was managed as i described above. Then when viewing the sync tab and selecting the global sync item in the list, allow us to edit it giving us the option to select the location of the sync folder and maybe any wildcard filters too. It really doesn't seem like it would be very hard to implement given you can already do it with standard sync, so why not global sync?

          • “During installation process, ask if the user wants global sync enabled”
            +1, in its current state, it creates the folder in a crappy location and without asking anything, then you have to dig into the settings to disable the feature, and even when you disable the feature you have to MANUALLY delete both the folder and the link on the desktop. That’s so Google-ish and Dropbox-ish. If you must make a computer-illiterate setup with no choice given, why not, they say that’s the trend, but then please also make and “advanced” setup path giving the appropriate choices to configure this kind of stuff during setup.

  3. “Simply drag and drop files or folders into this folder and they will automatically sync to your other devices”

    When you say devices, does that include Android phones with the Spideroak app installed?

    • @ Marc: That is a good question. We use the term ‘devices’ because the SpiderOak Hive folder will be present on both iOS and Android. As for how it will work, the moment you login to via mobile you will either be be brought immediately to the SpiderOak Hive folder and/or the first computer you setup in your account.

      The new 2.0 iOS app is set to launch at the same time as the general SpiderOak 5.0 – on April 23rd. The new 2.0 Android app will launch about a week later. On mobile roadmap very much includes the ability to not only view but also backup data from your phones – all while maintaining our ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy standards. This is actually the impetus behind our Crypton project (https://crypton.io). With the 2.0 mobile apps we are moving an important step forward.

      Please don’t hesitate to send further thoughts or questions anytime.

      • @ethan

        You say: “On mobile roadmap very much includes the ability to not only view but also backup data from your phones.”

        I’m guessing if there will be an option to tell SpiderOak app to run backup and sync only when a WiFi connection in available.


      • I have deleted the SpiderOak app from Android because my password would no longer work. It mainly just sat there anyway because of the limited functionality. Looks like there will be more functionality, is there a price on the security end.

      • @ethan:

        “… – all while maintaining our ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy standards.” – Does this mean the new Android/iOS apps will perform encryption/decryption locally on the device?

        • @Rudi –

          Thank you for your question. Encryption/decryption on mobile apps will not be zero-knowledge until we’ve integrated Crypton. This enhancement (along with web access) will be available mid-summer. Please let us know if you have any further thoughts.

  4. So I presume the existing method if syncing any folder(s) of one’s choosing still remains? Or is SpiderOak Hive the only way to sync? My understanding from thus and previous posts is that SpiderOak Hive is a simple Dropbox like sync functionality.

    Please confirm my understanding and add appropriate points to the mini FAQ in the blog post.

    • @ Existing Sync: The ability to specify which folders to sync between your various devices will most definitely remain. In fact, the SpiderOak application will remain unchanged and all the previous features will continue to exist (including the Sync tab). As mentioned above, SpiderOak Hive represents a more simple approach to backing up and syncing by creating the ‘sync’ folders across your various devices for you. In that sense you are correct to compare it to our competitor.

      We will add this FAQ to our list and be sure to publish them soon. Thank you for your thoughts.

  5. Well, well, ok this sound like somes changes but… what about the ability to definitively correct the the possibility to have a real preview for picture (one that really works) on the shared rooms ?

    Kind regards.

    • Madmyke – Creating (successful and non-buggy) previews for share rooms is one of our top priorities for our next release. We’ve tried several times in the past and encountered lots of difficulties, but we haven’t given up.

    • @ Madmyke: Thank you for your comment. We are indeed working to make sure the Share previews are working in all cases and will keep you posted on our progress. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with further questions or thoughts.

  6. Sounds great, but I think I’ll skip the beta unless you can assure me that the risk of data loss is negligible.

    Will the new Share Room password feature close the “browser history” security hole? What effect will it have on *your* ability to access my Share Room files?

    1Password users have been clamoring for years for a more secure sync option than Dropbox, but AgileBits reps have stated in the forums that Dropbox is the only sync service whose API is powerful enough to properly support 1Password’s sync requirements. I recall that SpiderOak and AgileBits were communicating at one point. Any progress on this front?

    • BenF –

      I can think of no reason why this new version would make you vulnerable to data loss. Can you be more specific about what scenario you’re envisioning?

      We’re planning on adding the option of having an additional “password” to access share rooms online for those who are security conscious. We don’t have an ETA for this feature yet.

      SpiderOak is compatible with 1Password in nearly every aspect. We can’t sync 1Pass to mobile devices yet, but otherwise several SpiderOak employees have used 1Password with SpiderOak for years.

      • That’s a big “otherwise.” Mobile sync is not optional for me. It’s a requirement!! I’m not surprised that SpiderOak works OK for syncing 1Password keychains between computers (at least so long as simultaneous edits are not a concern). My wife used to keep her 1P keychain in her SugarSync “Magic Briefcase” (equivalent to your “hive”). But when she got an iPad she had to move the keychain moved to her Dropbox folder.

  7. This feature is what SpiderOak was lacking to truly compete with Dropbox amongst the group of people I work with. Thank you.

    Also please change the name. I love bees, don’t get me wrong, but this name is unappealing and doesn’t fit in the office very well.

    “Sure, just grab it out of my Hive.” Nope, nope, nope.

  8. I’m a little too dependant on Spideroak on windows to take apart of this beta test really, though if you don’t get enough testers, submit another twitter post about it and I’ll volunteer to help out.

    Though i’d be happy to volunteer myself for any new android betas, as I am awaiting with bated breath for the new functionality.

    • Thanks, Nascent. We’ll definitely keep you posted and ping you when we need beta testers for android! It should be in the next few weeks!

  9. As an existing user, I’m hoping that newer versions of Spideroak won’t create the Hive folder. I know I can disable it in the settings, but that gives me the impression that I’ll have to disable it on each machine, and any new machine I add to my network. That means I’ll have 4 machines I’ll have to spot check to make sure this folder does not exist. I’m hoping I’m wrong on this, and the setting will propagate to each machine and I’ll only have to disable it once. I REALLY don’t want this folder.

    Also, I agree that the name “Hive” is very, very bad. “Spider Vault” or some variation like that would have been better. The term “Hive” gives me the impression of something that is networked together. If anything, the current custom syncing system (known as the Spideroak Network) would better fit the term of a Hive. A single folder is not a hive.

    • @ Jay LaCroix: Thanks for your thoughts on this feature. As Ethan mentioned above, we did think long and hard about the name and felt it was the best direction to go in based on the functionality. To clarify, to disable SpiderOak Hive you will need to make that selection on each device. We did this to provide flexibility for users who might want to use Hive on some of their devices but not all of them. I can appreciate the inconvenience of having to do that multiple times and will take your thoughts back to the team.

      Thank you for your business and don’t hesitate to send additional thoughts and/or feedback about the beta.

  10. Those of us who are using the 4.9.9999 client, are we safe to upgrade straight to 5.0 and what should we do about files in SpiderOak Sync currently, just copy them into SpiderOak Hive on one of our devices (the others then syncing this change automatically)?

    Thanks, Alec

    • Hi Alec –

      4.9.9999 is an early beta of 5.0 that we released on the forums and other locations for testing. If you’re running this version, you should already have the Hive folder on your system. You can upgrade to this beta if you prefer or wait for the full release of 5.0. All you need to do to upgrade is download the new version and run it. If you already have files in Hive, they won’t be removed.

      If you already have files selected for sync in the application, you don’t have to switch over to using Hive. If you want to use Hive, all you need to do is copy the files you want synced into your Hive folder. As soon as you see the upload complete in the SpiderOak application, you can start using Hive exclusively.

    • Philip – I just asked our devs and they said we should making a build for ARM. I’ll keep you posted if we make a definite decision.

  11. I quite like the name SpiderOak Hive, although I suppose you could always call it HiveSync for easy clarification of function.
    Will there be a way to control what syncs to which device. As in if I had a folder of files to sync across my computers, but only wanted to sync a portion of it to a netbook or android tablet. Will the Hive system offer that level of functionality?

    • Hi Mark –

      I like HiveSync! Hive won’t offer the kind of customization you’re looking for; anything you throw in this folder is automatically synced to all your other Hives. Of course, you’ll still be able to create fully customized syncs from within the regular application.

  12. Yup, Hive sounds rather strange. You might want to poll your users. You don’t want a name that the majority outside of SpiderOak dislikes.

    Otherwise: Great idea! I think users should have the option to enable or disable Hive during the installation/upgrade process. As a comment above pointed out, it sucks when programs install random folders.

    • Pau – We’re definitely figuring out the best way to offer users the option to not install Hive. It might not be part of our very first release, but we’re aware not everyone is interested in having a dedicated syncfolder created automatically.

  13. Okay, so I’m typically on the “bleeding” edge when it comes to technology so this upgrade was a no brainer for me. So far, it feels vastly improved over the version I was using (4.8.4). The “View” tab is much quicker to respond and when changes are made they happen faster and more accurately than before. I love it so far.

    That said, I do have a feature request that I would like to see. Ability to put the “Hive” location somewhere other than my C drive. I keep my boot location clean on my Windows machines and relocate everything else to my secondary internal drive. I love the Hive idea but not if it’s on my primary OS drive. I get where you’re coming from on the Hive nomenclature but for me it doesn’t feel like it belongs to the whole arbor them you have going. Possibly “SpiderOak Vine” or “SpiderOak Grove”? I don’t know, those sound silly too.

    Anyway, great job on 5.0. Keep it coming!

    • Oh yes, I forgot to mention the icons. That’s a sweet feature that I missed when I moved from Carbonite (although it didn’t work very well). It’s nice to see what’s what without going into the app.

      And I just noticed one thing, maybe it’s a bug? While a file is open, a backup is attempted on the locked file. When the file is saved and closed, the file that was backed up is corrupted in both the backup and the original file location. I’ve noticed this on .docx and .pptx files mostly.

      • Hi Jason,

        Thanks for the feedback. We’re working on supporting SpiderOak Hive in various locations for future releases so we’ll keep you posted on the progress there. I will ticket the issue you outlined about the locked files and be in touch if we need more information. Thanks for letting us know.

        • Hi Jason,

          Would you please submit a ticket to support@spideroak.com and reference this conversation we are having?

          If you can include the following information in your email it will be helpful in troubleshooting this issue:

          * Operating system you uses.
          * Software used to open documents.
          * Exact steps to reproduce.

          Thank you!

  14. Any idea on when a Windows Phone 7.5/8 app may be released? I’m thinking of ditching my Windows Phone due to the lack of apps and function vs Android & iOS, but still curious.

    Also this will be the first time I come back and actually use my account in a while. I’ve been waiting for a new major release for ages; I love the zero knowledge bit, but sync and I never got along, always seemed a little buggy for me for some reason. Now there’s a diagnostic tool built in sounds like, so even if it still is, at least you guys can see whats going on better!

    • Hi Mike! Glad to have you back. Currently, our main focus is on Android and iOS right now. We plan to release the iOS app next week which we are all very excited about. We’ll keep you posted on our mobile progress.

  15. Bug report

    I copied a file into the hive on my desktop and then installed ver 5 on my netbook.
    The file showed up in the netbook’s hive within 5 minutes.
    I moved the netbook’s hive to the D drive and copied a file into the hive.
    The hive on my desktop is now empty, both files are in the netbook’s hive.

    • Jay: Thanks for sending this on. Currently, SpiderOak Hive is only supported in its default location. We’ll be working on making is possible to move the SpiderOak folder in future releases.

  16. SpideOak Beta 5.0 was working fine until I uploaded a few files that were between 600 – 1000mb in size. Now it is stuck “finalizing” the data. I had this problem a while ago, but I thought it had been resolved. Please fix, thank you!

  17. ok, read all 45 comments tonite (2 am, can’t sleep, thought I’d see if spideroak had any upgrades coming up).
    well worth my insomnia.

    OK, my comments/questions
    1. HIVE – really don’t care WHAT you call it – allow it to be moved to custom location on any drive.
    And, whether it gets created or not is not important, (but an install/uninstall would be good), as LONG as YOU don’t stuff items into there that i don’t want
    2. SYNC vs hive – I like SYNC, as I can choose what machines and folders to have identical on a machine; some machines I do NOT want certain files on

    3. regular BACKUP – this is the MAIN reason I use your program.
    Machine H02, and H07 –
    I back up gigabytes of files from H02. BUT, H07 is on the spideroak program also. I have a smaller SSD drive in H07. I do NOT WANT files sync’ed onto H07. BUT, I want access to H02 files from H07. SO, the BACKUP accomplishes this. It SAVES me space on H07, but allows me to RETRIEVE H02 files and work with them. do NOT get rid of this feature

    4. SHARE room-
    can you CLARIFY how the additional password will work?
    Are the files STILL UNENCRYPTED, or is the password neccessary for the RECEIVER of the file to use, to both UNENCRYPT and ACCESS the file?
    WITH the password, does that PROHIBIT other non-password-holders from VIEWING That file with an HTTP link, and from getting into the vault??

    KEEP UP THE excellent work, replies to above are appreciated

  18. ADDENDUM questin
    re : the HIVE –
    drag and drop folders here –
    DOES THIS KEEP those folders in their ORIGINAL LOCATION, or do they now become part of the HIVE folder??

    d:\dataCurrent\Hypersnap gets draggedto HIVE
    WHERE does this now reside, and where does it show up on subsequent machine of mine?

    ADDITIONAL comment, depending on above response
    SYNC, should have ability to SEE the tree, and SELECTIVELY include/exclude folders/subfolders in a sYNC tree. As it is, you select a top folder, and EVERYTHING under that gets sync’ed.
    a TREE formation for sync, with selective include/exclude, would be amazing

  19. my recent reply states it’s 1:48 am,
    it’s not, it is 2:48 am
    insomnia is bad (sorry, you can delete this post if you wish…… Bryer’s new chocolate ice cream has too much chocoate.)

  20. Working good so far, except for some points:

    – I wouldn’t want the folder to be created without the ability to turn it off during the installation.
    – When I open the context menu in Explorer (Windows 8 x64), and the login dialog is still open, explorer freezes until I log in to SpiderOak.

    was anticipating installing this to my syste today to test it, especially share.
    BUT (I did post a question to support this morning, hopefully I will get answer, so I can test this)
    WHAT happens when installing 64-bit ver.5, over top of 32-bit version 4?
    no clarification as to whether we need to first uninstall, then install, and what happens to our settings, preferences, backups, folders, etc??????
    this is not good for an installation routine.
    please clarify how to upgrade from 4 to 5 and preserve everything
    (keep up the good work, program is great)

    • @Nick –

      My apologies for not responding sooner. Worst case scenario is that you will wind up with the 32 and 64-bit installs side by side improperly; one in Program Files (x86) and the other in Program Files. They’ll still work the same regardless.

      Please let me know if this makes sense.

  22. Thanks for the updates. I’m not too keen on the Hive name, perhaps Swarm?

    I’m a bit leery of an all devices sync folder, I’d like more control over what gets what – sorta like Dropbox has. This is especially important for phones.

    PS – WP8

  23. Please improve the GUI.
    It could be way more modern and intuitive.

    Do you have any plans regarding this?


  24. HELP – PLEASE clarify what happens when you install 64 bit ver. 5, on machine with 32 bit ver. 4
    WHAT hgappens to settings, current BACKUP selections of folders, etc.
    I do NOT want to install until this is clarified, so I do not have a DUPLICATE install on the machine, and so that I don’t lose my settings

    ALSO, please clarify SHARE.
    is SHARE different in v. 4 versus v.5, I still have 4 installed (got a reply back on share, so tried it again), but it seems that a URL is automatically generated, that does NOT need a share password, and could not see where to set up share password.

    I want stuff to go into SHARE, I want to have someone log on with a SHARE NAME AND PASSWORD (even if they have sideroak running), to see those files; we do NOT plan to shre a URL,, I want the files encrypted UNTIL that person enters the share name and password


  25. Will the new Hive (I still say HiveSync would be better) system sync via LAN for any machines on the same network or will it all have to go via the internet?

    • Hi Mark –

      Hive works on LAN. It’s just a normal sync like the rest of them.

      Please let me know if you need further clarification.

  26. Is it possible for me to change the name of the Hive directory? Say, to SpiderOak_Hive? I hate the space in the name. Or will this break something?

  27. I don’t think the name of it is really a big deal, sounds like some people are just being nit-picky :P

    Either way, it’s a FANTASTIC feature and I’m super glad you guys added it. I’m currently on the 100gb plan and loving SpiderOak, this new feature was a pleasant surprise and something that makes syncing across my devices MUCH easier.

    Thank you for this!!

  28. Sigh!
    Spider Oak was working fine on Windows and Linux. Then a few days ago the sync on Windows stopped working.
    I rebooted and installed the 5.0 Beta. Big Mistake.
    Now when I try and run it it says it can’t open spideroak.exe.log – no permissions.
    I thought I had a decent solution.
    Do I have to cancel and find different software?

  29. I’m confused. You said ” You can feel free to move the SpiderOak Hive folder to any convenient location of your choosing.” I’d like to have Hive folder on root of my D drive. Is it possible now? I just installed client v5.0.1 on Win7 x64
    I can’t edit job called “SpiderOak Hive” – when I’m delete Hive folder from C drive it’s created again after SpiderOak clinet launch.

    Hive is a hughe simplification and nice feature but my C drive is SSD only for system, all my data are on next HDD drive. So I don’t like to have Hive on system drive – it’s uncomfortable.

    • They really should edit that line that you quoted.

      In the comments (Michelle S., Apr. 15th) says “Currently, SpiderOak Hive is only supported in its default location. We’ll be working on making is possible to move the SpiderOak folder in future releases.”

      Until that feature is implemented I’ll continue using Dropbox for sync and SpiderOak for backup.