Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

How does SpiderOak use SpiderOak?

‘Practice what you preach,’ a common response to what is seen as empty boasting. In asking ourselves how we use SpiderOak, we think you’ll find some interesting insight into how the makers of SpiderOak use their own product.

We don’t just talk a good game, we walk the walk.


Linzi Oliver, M3 – Messaging, Marketing & Making Stuff Up

I started using SpiderOak in 2008. At the time, I had a Toshiba laptop which contained very important documents and sentimental photos and videos. I used SpiderOak to backup those files. It was a good thing I did because not long after, my laptop laid itself to rest for good. Instead of fretting and panicking, I purchased a MacBook and added it to my SpiderOak network. All my data was recoverable.

This year, I purchased a MacBook Pro after leaving my other laptop at the security check point of SFO at the beginning of a long trip. I was able to download SpiderOak and retrieve needed files. I picked up my old laptop upon my return. You’d be amazed to see how many laptops are left at security on a daily basis. It’s shocking.

I currently keep several folders in sync across all my devices. I also use the SpiderOak ShareRooms to share photos and videos with family, friends and colleagues. Best of all? I’m the only one who holds the key to my data.


Stay tuned! Tomorrow, you’ll hear from Matthew Erickson, Director of Programming.


  1. Daniel Chang says:

    After you lost you laptop, how did you recover your key and subsequently recover your files?


  2. Anon says:

    "SpiderOak provides an easy, secure, and consolidated free online backup, sync, sharing, access, and storage solution for Mac OS X, Windows, & Linux." – not really "storage" (unless you consider keeping stuff in your trash bin as storage), because as soon as you remove it from your device(s) it gets trashed. A storage option would be a great plus, though…

  3. Linzi Oliver says:

    Hey Dan – I'm not sure if I'm understanding your question, so let me know if I'm off. Are you asking about my first laptop? If so, when it died, all my data was backed up. All I had to do was log in to my SpiderOak account, using the same key (password) I've always had, and download SpiderOak to my new laptop. Once the SpiderOak application on my new machine was up and running, I had access to everything I had backed up. Does that answer your question?

  4. ERO - SpiderOak says:

    Anon: Thank you for your comment and for bringing up this feature. We do consider storing items that have been removed from your computer or moved outside of the backup set as 'storage'. As you correctly point out, these items live in the Trash Bin for that device but will remain there until such time that the Trash Bin is emptied and/or you go in and delete that particular folder/file.

    Your idea for a location to store these items other than the Trash Bin is a very good one. In fact, we do have plans for a 'SpiderOak-only' device which will house all of the data that you do want to retain in your SpiderOak network but doesn't live on any particular machine. I cannot give you a specific timeline for when this will be implemented but hopefully in the next 3 to 4 months.

    Again – thank you for your feedback and please continue to send further thoughts/suggestions.

  5. Rick says:

    I have problems to backup and sync two different accounts on two devises with mac osx lion. Is there a solution? I am only able to sync and backup one account on two mac devises. I have installed four devises in spideroak. Does the same problem occur with your macbook pro?

  6. Jovan Washington says:

    Hi Rick! I apologize you are having issues syncing with your two different devices! Are all of the files and folders involved in the sync correctly backed up to SpiderOak? Are you able to download/access all these files? Do you have permissions to access them from each computer involved in the Sync? Are any of these files or folders being updated constantly, or very often? Sorry to ask you so many questions, but the more info we know, the better we can help!

    I'd also like you to look at your Status tab and make sure that all your other transactions have completed. Sync won't begin until your other transactions, like uploads, have completed. If they have, then have your syncs made any progress, or are they completely stalled? What types of files are involved in this sync?

    Please also try uninstalling and reinstalling SpiderOak on each of your devices. Be sure to specify that you’re reinstalling an “Existing” device and to choose the correct name from the list. (If you aren’t prompted for your username and password when you reinstall, be sure to delete your SpiderOak Application data folder, then try installing again.)

    If this still does not resolve your issue, please open a ticket with us by emailing We will take a closer look at what is going on.

  7. Jovan Washington says:

    Rick – I also wanted to to also explain that if you meant that you are trying to sync two different "accounts," I'm afraid it is not currently possible to sync files with another account. We're aware of how useful a shared sync between different accounts would be, which is why we're already working on developing it. Currently, we take the approach that allows users to handle their data using one centralized account for up as many devices as you wish.

    You can read more here:

    A group-sync feature will be released with a future version of SpiderOak, hopefully within a few months, and we'll keep you updated of our progress here on our blog.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Jovan: That group-sync sounds great! I would love to share files with my mates via SpiderOak instead of the website! Even an "exported" directory, that others can "import" read-only would be a good start.

  9. Tariq says:

    Confirmation about Cloud Storage option is indeed Good News, this will make life easy. Any idea about when client code will be mode Open Source?

    With Cloud Storage Client display need to be modified / localized if that is made Open Source then others can also contribute [ at least I will ] if you want. At present we can only add to wish-list ;) with out any contribution.