henning glatter-götz

Bye Bye Spideroak

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 5th (fifth!!) month, yes, MONTH(!!), that I have an open and unresolved support ticket with SpiderOak. I nag them every few weeks and then they go quiet after a brief exchange and a promise that they are working hard to resolve the issue.

I have been a paying customer for many years now and have always been happy with their product even though slow support response times have always been something that left a bit to be desired. By slow, I mean days, not months, as is the case with this issue.

I have three systems in my household backing up to SpiderOak, which has at last check used roughly 850GB. Back in September one of these systems had a total failure and needed to be replaced. This is where the issues started. After you install the SpiderOak application it tries to synchronize itself with the SpiderOak server. This process is called syndication. From what I can gather this is to provide each client a view of your entire file system inside of SpiderOak. This process simply never completes, even after two weeks on a 100/6 Mbit/s Internet connection.

SpiderOak support has at this point only let me know that there is an issue with my account on their end and that they are working hard to resolve it. That has been the story since September 2014. It is now January 2015.

I really liked SpiderOak, strangely I still do. It seemed like a product and company by nerds for nerds. The Zero-Knowledge privacy feature was the most appealing thing to me. Just before they came out with their offer for unlimited storage for about $120 per year I was gladly paying $500 per year for 500GB.

I remember being concerned about this offer that they announced in March of 2014. It would surely have a negative effect on their service and most definitely on their already overworked/understaffed support department. Or even worse, that it might be a last ditch effort to raise capital before going out of business. So far I can only confirm that their support department has basically imploded.

Despite the 13 free months of service that I have received as a result of the slow resolution of this case I can no longer use SpiderOak. It simply does not work! Zero-Knowledge privacy is all fine and dandy, but if the service cannot backup your files, then what is the point?

I started using CrashPlan with a custom encryption key and as soon as all files are backed up I will be closing my account with SpiderOak. Over the years I have recommended SpiderOak to many friends, co-workers and family, but I can no longer do that. I know of people that are happy with SpiderOak and it works fine for them. Maybe it is just some kind of limitation in their system that does not scale well or at all after a certain backup size.

So, bye bye SpiderOak!