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SpiderOak One review

Secure cloud storage and backup for your desktop

SpiderOak One review
(Image: © SpiderOak)

Our Verdict

This cloud storage software offers security and versatility for desktop users, but it largely leaves out backup capabilities for mobile devices.

For

  • Supports scheduled backups
  • No limits on file versioning
  • Detailed activity logs

Against

  • Cannot automatically backup mobile devices
  • File sharing mechanism is convoluted

SpiderOak One has earned a reputation as one of the best cloud storage platforms on the market. This software offers top-notch security and tight control over your file backups. But, SpideOak One isn’t cheap, and we have a few gripes about the user interface and mobile apps.

So, is this the best cloud storage software for backing up your files? Our SpiderOak One review will help you decide.

SpiderOak One review

SpiderOak One is a cloud backup solution that’s flexible and secure.  (Image credit: SpiderOak One)

Features

SpiderOak One offers a tremendous level of control over how you back up your files. Within the software, you can drill down through your file structure to tag any files or individual folders for backup. Even better, the software supports backing up files from external and network drives. 

We also appreciated that the software lets you either schedule your backups or run them continuously. For scheduled backups, you can choose from any of 10 different frequencies, ranging from every five minutes to every two days. 

SpiderOak One also includes a sync tool called Hive. This is pretty simple to use, as it essentially puts a sync folder in your existing file manager. Just drag and drop files into the Hive folder to keep them synced between your desktop and the cloud. You can also reduce sync frequency to save bandwidth if you want. That’s helpful since SpiderOak One doesn’t support block-level sync.

File sharing with SpiderOak One is a little bit more convoluted. You have to create a ‘Share Room,’ which can be protected with a password and encryption key. The rooms are nice in that you can deposit a handful of files or folders into them easily for transfer. But, if you just want to give one person access to one file, this is a pretty cumbersome way to go about it.

One of the best features of SpiderOak One actually takes place behind the scenes. When you back up or sync files to the cloud, the platform will automatically retain any old versions of that file. This is a massive advantage if you’re worried about malware attacks, since you’ll always have pre-infection versions of your files available to restore from the cloud.

There are no limits on file versioning other than that versions do count toward your total storage capacity. You can automatically delete versions older than a specific number of days to save space. Or, you can easily pick and choose which versions to keep for any file.

Interface

SpiderOak One uses a desktop app for Windows, Mac, and Linux in lieu of a web client. The desktop app is modern and easy to navigate, although on our Windows 10 system the text was incredibly tiny. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a way to change this without modifying the computer’s screen resolution. 

SpiderOak One review

SpiderOak One has a desktop app for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and makes it easy to tag folders for backup.  (Image credit: SpiderOak)

One of the nice things about SpiderOak One’s desktop interface is that it’s easy to mark files for backup. You get a modified file explorer with checkboxes next to each file or folder. Just check or uncheck the boxes to mark items for backup or to remove them from your cloud storage space. If you want to run a backup outside of your normal scheduling, there’s a simple Run Now button.

Helpfully, you can also access files within your cloud storage space and within your Hive sync folder from the desktop app. This is particularly nice if you want to rearrange files within your cloud storage space. You can also easily restore files from the cloud to your computer by downloading entire directories if desired.

It’s also worth noting that SpiderOak One keeps extremely detailed activity logs to track your uploads. They clearly show what files were marked for backup and when that backup occured. While most users won’t need to dig through these logs, they can be helpful if you’re using SpiderOak One to back up and sync files across multiple computers.

SpiderOak One comes with mobile apps for iOS and Android. These are useful for quickly accessing files from your cloud storage space. But, the mobile apps don’t enable you to create automatic backups from your smartphone’s media folder to the cloud.

That’s a huge limitation if you want to use your cloud storage for backing up photos and videos from your mobile device. Unlike some other mobile-friendly cloud storage platforms, the SpiderOak One mobile apps don’t let you view photos or stream audio and video from the cloud. Instead, you’ll have to download these files to your device.

Security

Security is one of the biggest draws to SpiderOak One. This platform offers end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption by default. That means that files are encrypted before they ever leave your computer for transfer to SpiderOak’s servers. So, there’s virtually no chance of data theft.

Keep in mind, though, that even SpiderOak doesn’t have a copy of your encryption key. If you ever lose your password, there will be no way to recover your files from the cloud. It’s essential when using this platform that you have a physical or digital backup of your password socked away somewhere.

SpiderOak One review

SpiderOak One protects your data with end-to-end encryption, but doesn’t support two-factor authentication.  (Image credit: SpiderOak)

Even Share Rooms are encrypted, although in this case it’s not end-to-end encryption if others download your files. Users need a password and encryption key to access a shared room. Notably, though, there’s no way to set a Share Room to automatically expire or to change it’s URL location.

We also would have liked to see two-factor authentication incorporated into SpiderOak One’s login system. The platform has been beta testing this feature, but as of this writing it hasn’t yet been rolled out.

Pricing

SpiderOak One isn’t the cheapest cloud storage option on the market by any means. Plans start at $6 per month for a paltry 150 GB of storage space. Upgrading to 400 GB costs $11 per month, while 2 TB costs $14 per month. The maximum amount of space you can get for a single account is 5 TB, which costs $29 per month. 

SpiderOak One review

Pricing options for SpiderOak One.  (Image credit: SpiderOak)

The upside to SpiderOak One’s pricing is that there’s no limit to how many devices you can install the software on. So, the pricing begins to look more attractive if you have a couple different computers to back up and sync files across.

You can give SpiderOak One a try for 21 days for free before signing up for a plan.

Final verdict

SpiderOak One is a high-quality cloud storage platform that we can easily recommend. It’s simple to use and gives you excellent control over how and when to back up and sync your files. In addition, this provider’s security features are among the best in class and ensure that it’s virtually impossible for someone to gain unauthorized access to your data.

The only complaint we have about SpiderOak One is that the platform doesn’t take mobile devices seriously enough. The lack of automated backup and sync for your smartphone photos and videos is a significant loss. In today’s mobile-first world, it’s surprising that SpiderOak hasn’t already addressed this feature gap.