Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

SpiderOak University Pop Quiz #2

This week, we posted a few videos about SpiderOak and our product. I hope you’ve been paying attention because we have some specific questions for you!

Pop Quiz

It is simple. All you have to do is answer the questions below. If you get all questions correct, we will give you 2 GBs of extra space. For those of you who may miss a few, we will give you 1 GB for trying.

Just like any other quiz, there is a time limit so please submit your quiz within 24 hours. After which time, no storage will be awarded. But don’t worry – We will have more quizzes while SpiderOak University is in session.

Good Luck! Remember – you can enjoy 50% off your private backup/sync/share account by signing up with your school address.

Sign up today.

Fill out my online form.

Features 101: 5 Characteristics That Make SpiderOak Different

Welcome to SpiderOak University. If you’re a student, new user, or a lover of continuous learning, this month we’re talking to you.

We’ll be posting a couple video shorts each week where SpiderOak CEO Ethan Oberman uses a whiteboard to explain some of our basic product functionalities. School yourself and keep an eye out for our next POP QUIZ tomorrow so you can receive extra GBs.


Apologies for the brief blackout in this video

Whether you need to access a document you have stored on a remote server, synchronize data between a Mac, Windows or Linux device, share important business documents with your clients, or just rest easy knowing all of your data is safely, securely, and automatically backed up – SpiderOak is there for you. Ethan Oberman shows off 5 distinct characteristics.

Do you have a .edu email address? Don’t forget – you can enjoy 50% off your private backup/sync/share account:

Sign up today.

SpiderOak University Pop Quiz Answers

First, we’d like to thank you for your participation. We had a great response! The quiz is now closed and we will begin grading your answers. You will not be notified when your account has been upgraded so just check your account to see your change. Many of you will receive 2 GBs if you got all the questions right, and the rest of you will receive 1 GB. That being said, let’s get to what you are really waiting for.

The Answers

What was one way a company dealt with the proliferation of data? {Video: How we got here}

By letting users go around a VPN to access their data across all their devices.

What is a “VPN?” {Video: How we got here}

Virtual Private Network

What was one way our CEO, Ethan Oberman, got data off his Mac to his PC in 2006? {Video: Intro – How SpiderOak Was Built}

Built SpiderOak around an idea to have one central repository.

What is our privacy policy called? {Video: Intro – How SpiderOak Was Built}

Zero-Knowledge

True/False: You can go back at any point to retrieve any file you accidentally deleted or lost on any one of your devices. {Video: Our History – Dedication to True Backup & Privacy}

True

SpiderOak University Pop Quiz

No two words can fill students with more dread than “pop quiz.” However, evidence suggests that quizzes can help students learn. We at SpiderOak are always learning from our customers. In fact, we pretty much expect a pop quiz every day.

Since last week, we have been posting videos about SpiderOak and our product. I hope you’ve been paying attention because we have some specific questions for you!

How to participate

It is simple. All you have to do is answer the questions below. If you get all questions correct, we will give you 2 GBs of extra space. For those of you who may miss a few, we will give you 1 GB for trying.

Just like any other quiz, there is a time limit so please submit your quiz within 24 hours. After which time, no storage will be awarded. But don’t worry – We will have more quizzes while SpiderOak University is in session.

Good Luck! Remember – you can enjoy 50% off your private backup/sync/share account by signing up with your school address.

Sign up today.

Fill out my online form.

Intro – How SpiderOak Was Built

Welcome to SpiderOak University. If you’re a student, new user, or a lover of continuous learning, this month we’re focused on you.

We’ll be posting a couple video shorts each week where SpiderOak CEO Ethan Oberman uses a whiteboard to explain some of our basic product functionalities. School yourself and keep an eye out for an occasional quiz so you can receive extra GBs.

Ethan explains how SpiderOak began in 2006 in an attempt to solve two distinct problems.

Do you have a .edu email address? Don’t forget – you can enjoy 50% off your private backup/sync/share account:

Sign up today.

SpiderOak To Open Up The Doors To SpiderOak University

School should not only be a place where learning occurs, but a state of mind. When children – or adults – approach school, they should open their minds, brains, and hearts to learning, unlearning, and relearning. Here at SpiderOak, we are always learning and always encourage others to learn – whether it is our Zero-Knowledge privacy policy or the way our SpiderOak client works on your computer.

Enter SpiderOak University

Tomorrow, we are opening our doors to SpiderOak University. We will be hosting classes taught by our very own Ethan Oberman. Once a week, all students of SOU (SpiderOak University) will be able to take a quiz to get FREE storage!

Are you ready to put your thinking cap on? We sure hope so. We look forward to seeing you on the first day of class!

In the meantime, please enjoy this open letter to students by Vblogbrothers.

Get Ready for SysAdmin Day!

WiFi Logo. Image credit: Sysadminday

(Image credit: Sysadminday.com)

In today’s day and age, it is easy to take a system administrator’s work for granted. They tactfully bite back the snark every time someone forgets how to setup their email, update a browser, or insists that their passwords aren’t working when – in reality – the passwords are case sensitive…

SysAdmins are brave and talented souls who keep us all connected. And for all this work, they deserve a big ‘Thank you!’. We certainly could not function or do business without both their skills (and snarkiness).

This is why we are going to celebrate SysAdmin Day, and why you should too.

Tomorrow, all SpiderOak users will be able to play a virtual computer puzzle game. Solving the puzzle will grant players 5 additional free gigs.

We look forward to tomorrow and we hope you will help us in thanking all the SysAdmins out there!

Celebrate SysAdmin Day With Us Friday July 27

It’s easy to take a system administrator’s work for granted. Many of us have the expectation that everything we use on a daily basis – from our computers to our company’s internal networks – will work flawlessly. But this is rarely the case. It takes constant effort to make sure that everything operates smoothly and the way we want it to work.

Just because you don’t see the person who maintains the network doesn’t mean that they aren’t there doing the important work involved. We certainly can’t function or do business without their mad skills.

This is why we are going to celebrate SysAdmin Day, and why you should too.

Pay homage to those hard-working server warriors with us this Friday:

All SpiderOak users will be able to play a virtual computer puzzle game. Solving the puzzle will grant players 5 bonus gigs.

Stay tuned, and learn more about SysAdmin Day in the meantime…

Announcement: Get 4 Additional Gigs All Week

This promotion is now closed. Thanks for the overwhelming response!

Last week, we shared why freedom online is important and how we blaze our own trail. As we approach the Fourth of July in the U.S., we at SpiderOak can’t help but reflect on the importance of freedom online. To us, this freedom is accomplished through ensuring 100% privacy for you and your business.

We provide a FREE 2 GB account to all our users who sign up. Starting TODAY until the end of the week, we would like to offer all our users 4 GBs of storage! Here is how you can claim them:

New users with 2 GB accounts

First, we’d like to thank you for becoming a SpiderOak user. Here is how you can claim your storage:

  • Go to www.spideroak.com/signup if you are not a currently signed up.
  • You must first activate your account on your computer by opening the SpiderOak downloaded application and selecting “Activate First Device.” If you have not yet downloaded SpiderOak, you may do so here: Download SpiderOak.
  • Once activated, go to our homepage.
  • At the bottom left side, you will see “My Login.” Click here and enter your credentials.
  • When you are logged in, you will click “Account” in the top right corner.
  • You will then select the orange “Buy More Space” button.
  • Once on the Account Details page, you will select “Change” under Account Type.
  • On this page, you will see a “Promotional Code” box.
  • Type “Freedom4” in this box and select “Update”
  • You should see “6 Gigs: Free” beside Monthly Billing. If so, click “Next.”
  • Your account is now updated! Enjoy!

Non-paying existing users

Note: You must be a non-paying user with 5 GBs of storage or less. Also, your plan will be replaced with 6 GBs.

First, we’d like to thank you for being a loyal SpiderOak user! Here is how you can claim your additional storage:

  • At the bottom left side of our homepage, you will see “My Login.” Click here and enter your credentials.
  • When you are logged in, you will click “Account” in the top right corner.
  • You will then select the orange “Buy More Space” button.
  • Once on the Account Details page, you will select “Change” under Account Type.
  • On this page, you will see a “Promotional Code” box.
  • Type “Freedom4” in this box and select “Update.”
  • You should see “6 Gigs: Free” beside Monthly Billing. If so, click “Next.”
  • Your account is now updated! Enjoy!

Paid users and users with 7 GBs of storage and more

  • Email Freedom4@spideroak.com and include your username and I will personally increase your account 4 additional gigs.

Remember, this promotion ends at the end of the week so please be sure to share with your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors! Of course, don’t forget about our Refer-A-Friend program which means you can get even more storage!

We would like to thank you for being a part of SpiderOak! It’s because of you that we are so passionate and vocal about privacy. We’d love to hear from you what freedom online means to you. Please share in the comments below and maybe you can include what you will do with your additional storage.

Thanks all!

To SpiderOak, Freedom = Blazing Our Own Trail

In yesterday’s blog post, Erin and Alan spoke a bit about how freedom means your peace of mind. We achieve that through our dedication to privacy online.

Another way we embrace freedom online is through blazing our own trail. We’re proud to say we’ve done this intentionally in several ways:

It’s smart to have ‘Zero-Knowledge’

Though it makes work for our developers and engineers a little challenging, the idea was to create an environment where Fairless and Oberman didn’t have to trust the people hired on to work at SpiderOak. So they methodically developed a system which is called “’Zero-Knowledge’ privacy.” This means, there is no point where a SpiderOak employee, even with direct access to the servers that are storing the data, can access your information. It is a very important distinction and gives you (as an individual or a business) the freedom to upload your embarrassing videos (like waving around golf ball retrievers) or backing up your grandma’s super-secret recipes. Should the government or anyone else come busting through our digital offices, asking for grandma’s recipes, we would have to give them the data by law. BUT it is encrypted and there is nothing we can do to decrypt it. Read more about this in our recent newsletter.

YOU

It’s because of you that we are so passionate and vocal about privacy. Providing a private and flexible product, with real feedback and support is something we’re proud to offer. Our customers often say, “I love working with real people!” We have a virtual team scattered around the world, and when our users can identify us as being real people who really help them, it brings smiles to our faces. Our loyal following of people like you who care about privacy is one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the cloud storage / sync / share companies in our space.

Complete cross-platform support

In yesterday’s interview with our CTO, Alan Fairless, you probably read where he recalled there being very few online backup options during SpiderOak’s inception in 2007 that were compatible with all platforms. The need for heterogeneity has always existed, but it’s becoming more pronounced as devices proliferate, devices that run diverse operating systems, especially Linux. In fact, a large chunk of our customers run Linux OS. Being a heavy Linux user himself, Fairless saw the need. So that is where we started, and worked our way across platforms, giving our users the freedom to backup, sync, and share their important data from any device. We continue to provide flexible multi-platform support.

What’s in a name

I often get the question, “What exactly is a SpiderOak?” “Does someone in the company have a fascination with spiders and oak trees?” Believe it or not, there was actually a method in creating our name. Alan Fairless and Ethan Oberman did not want to come up with a name everyone had in the industry, but wanted something unique. At the time (and to this day) it was pretty hard to find a good domain, so they started taking concepts that they liked and started placing them together to see if they were available. They slowly started plugging in different concepts and they liked the concept of spiders and webs of data. The word “Oak” was brought to the table to mean very strong and stable. And that is how the SpiderOak name was formed. Since it is so different and not specific, this gives us the freedom to be flexible. There is also an interesting ancient story that uniquely describes the name we chose.

Let’s celebrate!

As a special thank you and to celebrate, all of next week SpiderOak is going to offer you 4 additional FREE GB for the 4th.

Whether you are already using SpiderOak, just signed up, or are ready to give it a try, celebrate with us by grabbing your 4 FREE GB. Stay tuned for details via our blog, Twitter, and Facebook.