Leave Dropbox, join SpiderOak

27 Jul

While you are waiting for your own little home server to install your OwnCloud, make sure you change from Dropbox to SpiderOak as your default cloud storage service.

There are heaps of cloud storage businesses to choose from at the moment, but they differentiate in many ways. Dropbox is renowned for security and privacy issues, including possible involvement with PRISM and access to your files for copyright checks and deduplication. The English-language Wikipedia article about Dropbox details several issues that arose in the last few years. In SpiderOak’s case, data deduplication also exists but the difference is that it does not happen across users.

Surprinsingly, SpiderOak has been around longer than Dropbox: they started in 2007, and Dropbox the next year. They stress that their service focuses on security and privacy, using the term “zero-knowledge” to tell us that they won’t know anything about our personal stuff, and they have had a recent surge in new users because of the recent NSA revelations and the subsequent efforts of various non-for-profits to promote privacy in particular, and digital rights in general. On the 25th of July, their newsletter titled “Edward Snowden’s effect on SpiderOak” aknowledged that and read:

[…]We are excited to have you part of SpiderOak’s ‘Zero-Knowledge’ community. As more and more people become aware of our approach to user privacy and its implications for our digital lives, we can’t help but feel we are creating more than a business. We are actually creating a movement.
As it turns out, many people were listening when Edward Snowden mentioned SpiderOak. As a result, we’re seeing the highest rate of signups in our history. This has caused a dramatic increase in server load and customer inquiries. It’s been all hands on deck, around the clock to deliver the kind of service and response we feel is appropriate for such an occasion. By way of managing expectation, we plan to be fully adjusted within the week. […]
SpiderOak client and integration

SpiderOak client and integration

Another great thing about SpiderOak is that they provide a feature-full native client for Linux, including for Debian-, Fedora- and Slackware-based distributions, for both 32 and 64-bit architectures. In my test with both Ubuntu 13.10 and 14.04 (64-bit), the client integrated nicely with an indicator and a default sync folder that comes up in Nautilus (called the “SpiderOak Hive”). To find the client, go to their download page. You can also find their various open-source coding efforts on their GitHub page.

Because we are all about options, you can find other alternatives to Dropbox on the AlternativeTo website.

By the way, SpiderOak have a referral system that allows us to expand the free 2 GB storage space to up to 10 GB when getting friends to join (one GB per referral). If you want an extra gig when you join, let me know in a PM, I still have a few available.

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2 Responses to “Leave Dropbox, join SpiderOak”

  1. Martin Toga 2014-07-28 at 05:39 #

    Did you check our arXshare? It also supports zero-knowledge and you can have it on your own little home server. Hosted in your country, and best of all: it is open source!

    • chtfn 2014-07-28 at 12:23 #

      Hi Martin! Thanks for your comment. Your service looks very promising, I like the fact that you release the code for review. One thing though is that there is no packaged client for Linux, which would make it more difficult for us to use for the time being :)
      Thanks for the link though, I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for any development! And don’t hesitate to let me know if you release a Linux client!

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