SpiderOak Review, 2016

Review of: SpiderOakONE
Online backup by:

Reviewed by:
On June 26, 2016
Last modified:September 16, 2019


SpiderOak has long been a leading backup provider, but how have new updates changed what it has to offer? Read our 2016 SpiderOak Review to find out!

Maintaining its reputation as one of the best backup providers around, SpiderOak now boasts not just exceptional security features, but also user-friendly software and innovative new companion programs Semaphor and Encryptr. It may come with a top-end price tag, but so far as we’re concerned, it’s well worth the money. You can read our detailed SpiderOak review below or sign up now.
  • ProsPROS
  • Exceptional security features
    Secure file sharing
    Automatic and scheduled backups
    Updated software that’s appealing and easy to use
  • ConsCONS
  • Fairly high price
    Limited customer support

Visit SpiderOak »

Price Plans

SpiderOakONE – SpiderOak’s personal backup solution – offers a 2GB, 60-day free trial, as well as three alternative paid subscription plans for personal users.

SpiderOak pricing

30GB – $7 per month

1TB – $12 per month

5TB – $25 per month

All accounts offer access to the same, full range of features and backups are supported from multiple devices – although the 5TB account has been developed specifically with professional users in mind. 

Business plans

SpiderOak offers three Business Solutions – Groups, Enterprise, and On-Premise.

SpiderOak Groups is available for $9 per user per month, with a minimum requirement of ten registered users. Teams and businesses will get unlimited storage space, won’t need to shell out for any setup costs, and can try out a 14 day free trial to see if SpiderOak is the right solution before signing up for good.  

SpiderOak Enterprise is designed for organisations with over 100 employees, and is priced at $5 per user per month. Once again, there’s unlimited storage space and full features on offer, with the addition of Active Directory (LDAP) integration, and a setup fee of $299.

Finally, at the top of the range, there’s SpiderOak’s On-Premise solution, with a setup costs of $599, a 500 user minimum, and fees of $5 per user per month.

Payment methods

Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, Discover and PayPal.

How does SpiderOak compare to the competition?

SpiderOak sits towards the top of the average backup price range, which typically spans between $5 and $12 for 500GB – 1TB of storage space. However, we feel that that the slightly higher fee is justified, given the fact that SpiderOak successfully offers a broader-than-average range of features and security settings.

Visit SpiderOak »


Online backup or Cloud storage?


SpiderOak’s features span both traditional online backup and Cloud storage models, offering well-developed security measures combined with file sharing and synchronization.

About SpiderOak

SpiderOak hits the big 1-0 this year, celebrating a decade of online backups.

SpiderOak review

Founded in 2006 by Alan Fairless and Ethan Oberman, staff experience in systems development and tech (courtesy of giants including Apple, Bluetooth and Intel) has powered the company’s development – leading to a current customer base of over a million people worldwide.

Backup options

Backup files in folders, individually, or by category
Set backup schedules or run automatically
Available in multiple languages

In SpiderOak, files can be selected for backup individually, in folders, or by category, such as image or audio files. You can also set a backup schedule to cut down on CPU and bandwidth usage at busy times, or keep SpiderOak running automatically in the background so that your storage is kept constantly up to date.

On top of this, the overhaul that’s come with the recent upgrade to SpiderOakONE 6.1.4 includes the option to use the program in French, Spanish, German, Russian and Portuguese.

Which operating systems is it compatible with?

Desktop: Windows, Mac, Linux
Mobile: Android, iOS

Visit SpiderOak »

File sharing

Secure file sharing via ShareRooms
Share files with non-users

SpiderOak continues to offer its file sharing feature in the form of ShareRooms, which allow users to share SpiderOak files with other users and non-subscribers alike. In order to share access, you’ll need to invite your intended recipients to join a ShareRoom, which requires all members to enter a ShareID and RoomKey before accessing data. Alternatively, they can also join by means of a unique URL.

While this sharing process does take a while, it’s one of the most reliably secure ways of exchanging files online – making it well worth the time for security-conscious users.  

Sync options

SpiderOak Hive – desktop Sync folder

You can sync files across multiple devices by using SpiderOak’s sync folder ‘Hive’, which is installed on your desktop by default. All you’ll need to do is drag and drop files that you want to sync into the folder, and you’ll get easy access to your data from any of your registered devices.

File versioning and deleted file recovery

Unlimited file versioning
Unlimited deleted file recovery
Hold on to files deleted from your hard drive

SpiderOak offers access to unlimited file version history, so you can retrieve previous drafts of your documents even after you’ve saved over them. You can also restore deleted files from a recycle bin that will hang on to your documents indefinitely unless manually emptied.

This doesn’t just apply to files in your Cloud storage either as, unlike some providers which automatically permanently delete data that you’ve removed from your hard drive, SpiderOak simply moves the files over to your recycle bin, so that they can still be retrieved further down the line.


SpiderOak’s newest project, Semaphor is a tool designed to facilitate secure collaboration – think Google Docs, but with more respect for your privacy. It also features direct messaging, and allows administrators to create unlimited teams, and store history for upwards of 30 days.  

Semaphor offers a Free account for anyone wanting to take it for a trial run, a subscription for Personal use, which will set you back $6 per month, and a Pro account with a monthly fee of $9. It’s still in the final stages of development at the moment, and as yet can only be downloaded on Mac OS X, although you can expect to see it rolled out across the board in the months to come.


Encryptr is a password generator and management tool that stores personal information securely in the Cloud, with the benefit of SpiderOak’s trademark Zero Knowledge security policy.

SpiderOak Encryptr

As well as creating strong passwords for secure logins to any site, Encrptr will also let you save existing login details, and upload images of personal documents to access on the go – all of which can then be synced between multiple devices, so you can access your information as and when you need it.

As with all SpiderOak software, Encryptr protects your data using end-to-end encryption based on a key that will only ever be known by you – so you can be sure that your information will be kept safe no matter what.

Visit SpiderOak »


It’s hard to fault SpiderOak’s security when it comes recommended by no less than Edward Snowden – and indeed, it’s one of the best setups that we’ve seen across dozens of backup reviews.

SpiderOak security

With a security mission based around the core statement ‘Privacy is Everything’, SpiderOak commits to a Zero Knowledge policy, in which “No plaintext data, no keys, or file meta data is ever stored on [their] servers” – so you and only you can know what you’re uploading, and view it in unencrypted form.

This degree of privacy is achieved by SpiderOak implementing AES-256 encryption before your files ever leave your PC, with each file, folder and version protected using a separate encryption key. These keys are based on a password that is only ever held by you, and which is hashed for each use using multi-round, salted PBKDF2.

This does mean that you’ll have to start from scratch if you ever lose or forget your login details, but it also means that there’s no way for SpiderOak to give away its users’ data or personal details – whether intentionally or otherwise.  

On top of this, you’ll also find data transfers encrypted using TLS/SSL, and network traffic kept secure by the use of Certificate Pinning.

SpiderOak web login

The only downside comes as online logins (rather than those using the desktop app) are not yet subject to the Zero Knowledge policy – although SpiderOak themselves provide a clear warning of the risk, and all processes can be just as easily run from the desktop client.

Even taking this into account, however, it’s no wonder that SpiderOak has received such acclaim for its security policies – and no doubt that it deserves the title of the most secure personal online backup solution on the market today.

Customer Support


SpiderOak offers a limited range of support resources, including FAQ-style articles on common problems, and a series of guides to core processes (‘Documentation’).

SpiderOak support

Contacting staff

You can reach SpiderOak support staff by email only, although they do have a dedicated page for reporting security issues. We’d like to see a few more options here, but it’s good to see that their focus on data privacy and security extends throughout their service.

Response time and quality of service

Our email support requests were answered in less than 5 hours, with SpiderOak staff sending personalised, knowledgeable responses that almost made up for the lack of instant communication tools like a Live Chat or phone support service.

Visit SpiderOak »

The Process

Getting started

SpiderOak is simple to download from their official website, with multiple Linux clients available, and registration taking place once the app’s downloaded. Free accounts require no personal information to set up, so you won’t need to hand over your bank details until you’re ready to pay.

Using SpiderOak

SpiderOak’s recent update to version 6.1.4 has brought with it plenty of updates – including improvements to its user interface, which have done much to rectify our original complaint that navigating more complex processes came with a challenge or two. The language used is now clearer, the design simpler and more visually appealing, and even changing settings is now straightforward.

How to cancel your SpiderOak account

Cancelling your SpiderOak account is a fairly straightforward process – just select the ‘Account’ tab that appears when you’re logged into your SpiderOak online account, or that can be found in the bottom right hand corner of their desktop client. You can then click ‘Cancel Account’, after which you’ll be taken through to a confirmation page on SpiderOak’s website.

All users that are paying for their subscription will receive a “pro-rated refund for the remaining time on [their] account”, with the money appearing within two weeks of your cancellation.

Visit SpiderOak »

SpiderOak Review Conclusion

We liked

  • Excellent security
  • Appealing, user-friendly software
  • Secure file sharing
  • Versioning

We weren’t too sure about

  • Relatively high price
  • Limited customer support options

We hated

  • Nothing

SpiderOak has always been top-notch where security is concerned, but its latest update has brought a more user-friendly interface and much more easily navigable features, considerably broadening its appeal. The continuation of their Zero Knowledge security policy keeps privacy standards reassuringly high, and a flexible range of features gives those looking for reliable, high-quality data storage plenty to love.  

Visit SpiderOak »

Published on: June 26,2016.

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3 responses to “SpiderOak Review, 2016

  1. SpiderOak is such a shit program. They deleted my files after the trial ended, but only sent one reminder email 3 days before the trial ended. Also, they never said anywhere in the e-mail that my data will be erased unless I upgrade.

    The fuck? So people store their most important documents with you to make sure they are safe, and you don’t even have processes in place to make sure 1.files don’t get deleted, and warn users sufficiently before they do?

  2. I got sucked in by the fluff about privacy.

    Versions and deleted files count against one’s space . . . and space is pricey compared to the options.

    Then in turn out deleting files to save space is next to impossible: the program keeps freezing. So they took my money for a year and have me six weeks of middling service.

    Sound fair to you?

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