SpiderOak review

In our SpiderOak review, we take a close look at this cloud storage, which offers premium backups complemented by leading security

SpiderOak logo
(Image: © SpiderOak)

IT Pro Verdict

Although it’s a little expensive, SpiderOak offers attractive cloud storage solutions with a focus on data security.


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    Excellent focus on data security

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    All plans include unlimited device connections

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    Attractive desktop user interface


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    Quite expensive compared to some alternatives

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    No phone support

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    Slow file upload speeds

With the best cloud storage platforms, you can save files and other important data in a secure environment. Platforms like SpiderOak are designed to help you back up important files, and you can even sync files and folders across devices.

SpiderOak review: Snapshot

As we show in our SpiderOak review, this provider offers some of the most advanced cloud storage solutions on the market. It is quite expensive, but all plans are backed by advanced security tools, including zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption. In addition, the user interface is simple and intuitive.

On the downside, upload speeds are very slow, and customer support is limited to email and live chat. However, the pros of using SpiderOak One Backup clearly outweigh the cons, especially if you’re looking for an advanced cloud storage solution, and it features in our list of the best cloud storage for business.

Score: 4/5

Read on for the full SpiderOakreview.

SpiderOak's competitors

How does SpiderOak compare to its main competitors?

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Header Cell - Column 0 SpiderOakpCloudMEGA
Pros- Excellent focus on data security - All plans include unlimited device connections - Attractive desktop user interface- Backed by advanced file sharing tools - Enables the recovery of past file versions - Automatic file sync through pCloud Drive- Quite competitively priced - A tidy user interface that’s easy to navigate - Focus on security and data privacy
Cons- Quite expensive compared to some alternatives - No phone support - Slow file upload speeds- The user interface is a little bland - Collaboration features are seriously lacking- Business plans are a little limited - Upload and download speeds can be on the slow side
VerdictAlthough it’s a little expensive, SpiderOak offers attractive cloud storage solutions with a focus on data security.pCloud lacks real-time collaboration tools, but it features excellent file sharing and file versioning at a very competitive price.MEGA offers excellent consumer cloud storage options with a beginner-friendly interface and excellent security, but its business options are quite basic.
View deals<a href="https://spideroak.com/one/">Visit site</a><a href="https://www.pcloud.com/">Visit site</a><a href="https://www.mega.nz/&amp;aff_click_id=hawk-custom-tracking">Visit site</a>

SpiderOak: Key features

As a premium cloud storage solution, one would expect SpiderOak to have advanced features. Even the most cursory analysis shows that this is indeed the case, which is great to see. We’ve outlined a few of the most useful tools below, but note that this is far from an exhaustive list.

The SpiderOak Hive is an interesting tool that enables you to back up and sync data across devices. When you install SpiderOak One Backups, a Hive folder will be placed on your desktop. To sync files, simply drag and drop them into this folder.

SpiderOak's user interface depicting the sync folder window

Create new sync folders to use alongside the SpiderOak Hive (Image credit: SpiderOak)

If you make changes to a file or folder on one device, these will automatically be synced across your connected computers. You can also create new syncing folders to use alongside the original Hive, which offers a great way to streamline content management for those with large numbers of files.

Another thing that SpiderOak does well is secure sharing. This is done by creating “rooms” that enable you to share files and folders with specific users. Only those with a room key and password will be able to access these files, and they can be downloaded and stored as required.

SpiderOak's user interface depicting the secure sharing rooms window and settings

Secure sharing rooms can be used to share files and folders with anyone you need to (Image credit: SpiderOak)

To share with others, simply work through the steps to create a new room. Copy your room link and share it with the people whom you would like to have access to your files. Delete a room when sharing is complete to ensure data security is maintained.

Continuing in the vein of data security and privacy, SpiderOak offers complete end-to-end encryption across the board. Consequently, it ranks highly among our picks for the best secure cloud storage and the best encrypted cloud storage providers.

All files are encrypted before syncing or backup takes place, which is in line with the platform’s zero-knowledge storage policy. In short, this means that no one will ever have access to your files or folders without your permission. Even the SpiderOak team can’t view them, which is great to see.

SpiderOak's user interface depicting its preferences menu and scheduling options

SpiderOak enables you to schedule backups as required (Image credit: SpiderOak)

Another neat feature is the ability to schedule backups. Select backup frequency to be anything from every five minutes to every 48 hours, or go with automatic scheduling to let the system take care of things for you. You can also schedule backups for a certain time of day and have them run every day or on selected days only. Cross-device syncing occurs at the same time as backups by default, but you can set this to happen at specified times.

SpiderOak: What’s new in 2022?

SpiderOak provides full release notes whenever it updates one of its products. The most recent SpiderOak One cloud storage update appears to have been in September 2019. It’s a little concerning that there haven’t been any updates for almost two-and-a-half years. In a way, though, the fact that updates haven’t been required is testament to the platform’s power and reliability.

A recent release only involved minor changes for the Windows platform. It added a missing code signature to the main app binary, ensuring security and full functionality were maintained across the board.

An earlier release in February 2019 added a suite of features, improving both security and UI design. Various bugs were fixed, new backend certificates were added, and automatic update notifications were set.

SpiderOak: Pricing

SpiderOak’s cloud storage solutions are available through the SpiderOak One Backup product, which has four different subscription options. There’s a 14-day free trial with all plans, enabling you to test the platform before committing to a premium plan.

Now, SpiderOak is interesting due to the fact that all four plans come with the exact same features. The only difference is the amount of storage you get, which ranges from 150GB (£4.89 a month) to 5TB (£260.88 a month) per user. Discounts are available with annual payments, but these are quite small.

SpiderOak's pricing plans

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Plan type/feature150GB400GB2TB5TB
Cost per month£4.89£8.97£11.41£23.64
Cost per year£56.25£93.75£121.47£260.88
Unlimited devices
End-to-end encryption
Cross-platform compatibility
File sharing

Testing SpiderOak

To better benchmark SpiderOak against its competitors, we analysed how to get started using the system, and its upload and download speeds, which are a key factor in terms of cloud storage.

How do you set up SpiderOak?

SpiderOak's user interface

The SpiderOak user interface is tidy and intuitive (Image credit: SpiderOak)

To get started with SpiderOak’s cloud storage solutions, you will need to navigate to the One Backup page and hit the “Start your free 21-day trial” button. This will take you to the downloads page, where you can download the correct version of the program for your operating system. The download files are quite small, and the installation process is very fast and straightforward.

Once you’ve worked through the installation process and opened SpiderOak One, you will be prompted to create a new account. Work through a few short setup steps, and then you will have access to a full 14-day free trial that’s designed to enable you to test the platform.

The user interface is quite intuitive, and you shouldn’t have any problems finding your way around it. You can select files to back up, create automatic syncing rules, and share relevant files in a highly secure manner.

How fast is SpiderOak?

SpiderOak's user interface depicting file syncing windows and tabs

Syncing files with SpiderOak is a slow, tedious process (Image credit: SpiderOak)

To test SpiderOak’s upload and download speeds, we used five video files totalling 160MB. However, we were quite disappointed with the platform’s performance, which was average at best.

To schedule files for backup, simply use the SpiderOak navigator. Find the files and/or folders you would like to sync, select them, and hit the "Run Now" button on the bottom right of the dashboard.

It took over six minutes to upload our 160MB of test files. We were using a relatively slow WiFi connection with 22Mbps download and 15Mbps upload speeds, but SpiderOak was still extremely slow when compared to many of its competitors.

One reason for this could be the extensive security tools that are in use. All files are fully encrypted before being uploaded, which we would expect to take some amount of time.

Alternatives to SpiderOak

If you’re looking for a premium cloud storage solution, SpiderOak is certainly worth considering. It focuses on data security, using full end-to-end and at-rest encryption. In short, this means that your files can’t ever be accessed by either the SpiderOak team or by unauthorised third parties.

SpiderOak's cheapest cloud storage plan coming in at £4.89 a month. This only gives you access to 150GB, although you will be able to use it on unlimited devices. And there’s a great selection of advanced features such as file versioning, secure sharing, and cross-platform support.

One of the most popular alternatives to SpiderOak is pCloud, which offers very competitively priced business cloud storage solutions. It has a free plan with 10GB of storage, while its cheapest premium plan comes in at £49.99 a year for 500GB.

In addition, pCloud offers attractive lifetime licenses, which start at £175 for 500GB. All plans come with excellent file versioning features, as well as the ability to upload files from various other storage platforms.

Another great option is MEGA, which offers one business cloud storage solution. This comes in at £4.27 per user a month for a huge 3TB of storage. There is a three-user minimum though, so you can expect to pay at least £12.81 a month.

Like SpiderOak, MEGA is known for its excellent security features. The user interface is simple and intuitive, and you can share files with anyone via secure link-sharing tools. There are a few other interesting features for advanced users, including an encrypted chat tool and a command line interface.

SpiderOak's features compared to the competition

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Header Cell - Column 0 SpiderOakpCloudMEGA
Base storage150GB500GB15TB
Supported devicesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
File versioning
SupportEmail, live chatEmail, online ticketingEmail, online ticketing
Basic plan£4.89 a month£49.99 a year£4.27 per user a month

SpiderOak: The verdict

After a complete analysis, we can comfortably say that SpiderOak is among the best cloud storage platforms we’ve used. It offers high-end solutions for businesses that require secure storage and sharing features, and few other platforms can compare on these fronts.

For one, SpiderOak uses zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption across the board. This means that no one can ever access your files without your permission, not even the SpiderOak team.

In addition, the user interface is attractive and easy to use, and you can schedule backups, sync between devices, and share files or folders with just a few clicks of your mouse button. The SpiderOak Hive feature is excellent, and it makes syncing between devices extremely straightforward.

Of course, there are a few downsides. It’s one of the most expensive platforms we’ve used, although you do get what you pay for. Customer support is limited to email and live chat, and file upload speeds are extremely slow.

Overall, though, there’s a lot to like here. We’d highly recommend signing up for SpiderOak and taking advantage of the free trial if you’re looking for a cloud storage platform that focuses on security.

Further reading on cloud storage

Learn more about cloud storage in our comparison pitting cloud storage vs local storage; our discussion on how you can start reducing cloud storage costs; and our buying guides evaluating the best free cloud storage, and the best cloud storage for photos.

Daniel Blechynden

Daniel is a freelance technology and finance writer, whose scientific background in the natural sciences lends rigour and nuance to his informative, accessible articles. His reviews on website builders, web hosting and business web development grace the virtual pages of TechRadar Pro, WebsiteHostingRating.com, and HostingReview.com, as well as IT Pro Portal. Well-versed in blockchain, cloud computing and cybersecurity, Daniel takes a keen interest in all aspects of B2B and B2C tech.