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    Dropbox or SpiderOak ? Help me decide.
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    Like many writers, I do a lot of story development/plotting/treatments in the cloud (please no jokes about dreaming of spec sales, my head in the clouds, lol). I used to use google docs (now called google drive), but I extricated myself from all things google because of their all invasive (lack of) privacy EULA, and because you basically give up all rights to your stories and screenplays if you put them on google drive (google docs). But because I work on my home PC and on my laptop and tablet, I want to sync stories/scripts as I work on them across various devices at different times. Enter Dropbox and its alternatives.

    Trying to decide which type of sync service to use. Have it whittled down to Dropbox or SpiderOak. Installed Dropbox yesterday, SpiderOak today. Both offer 2 GB storage free.

    Dropbox is very simple, looks very easy, basically a folder on each device that syncs with that folder on my other devices, and very easy to even sync/share a folder with someone else using dropbox, such as for collaboration. So, edit a screenplay in Final Draft and save it to my C:\Dropbox\mygreatscreenplay.fdx and it syncs to my laptop, and vice versa. Can also edit files offline, then the files sync when connected to the internet, I like that feature over google drive. But the downside to Dropbox is any files are easily read by Dropbox employees, complete insecurity (google Dropox security to see how Dropbox misled customers into thinking their AES256 bit encrypted files were private, when they are not, Dropbox easily reads your files if they want to; but maybe they do not want to, never will. The Dropbox EULA also clearly states your files are your files, you own them, retain all rights-- complete opposite of google docs (google drive).

    Spideroak was slightly more complex to setup and has a somewhat more complex interface GUI than Dropbox (GUI way more complex); i created C:\SpiderOakFiles on my drive, then I am telling the SpiderOak (SO) GUI to set up a sync between that folder and a similar one on my laptop, in essence the same thing as a Dropbox. But SpiderOak can do much more-- it can select data backups of folders or files on your PC(s), and the big difference between SO and DB is that SO is military grade encryption on your PC before data is uploaded to their servers, whereas with DB their employees can read your 'encrypted' files in plain text format should they want to, so essentially no encryption. I do not see anything one way or the other about one's intellectual property in SpiderOak's EULA, but then given the fact that one's files are heavily encrypted, there is not really any reason or way for SpiderOak to use one's files for any purposes other than storage and syncs (whereas e.g. Google states explicitly they may publicly display the content of your files, and even make derivative works of your files).

    Also, found this blog comparing Dropbox to alternatives; if one has an ipad (i do not, i use android tablets), Dropbox usage is kind of a no-brainer:
    http://lifehacker.com/5818908/dropbo...-right-for-you

    All the above said, i love the simpler Dropbox environment, so is it worth it to use SpiderOak that has the greater complexity? With tens of millions of files/users on Dropbox, i highly doubt anybody is going to be spying on my cheesy story development projects (pretty much all i would use Dropbox for), and especially if i name the files without the word screenplay or script in the filename; the odds, thus, are practically zero of any Dropbox employee or hacker even having any interest in looking at my meager dropbox file content.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Randall_Oelerich; 05-25-2012 at 07:47 AM.


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    Hi Randall!

    I am Jovan Washington and I work for SpiderOak so I hope you don't mind me chiming in. Our user interface is something we are constantly discussing internally so your feedback is definitely appreciated. As it pertains to some differences, one of the major differentiators between Dropbox and SpiderOak is our approach to privacy & security. With SpiderOak all your data is encrypted with a private key locally before transmission to our cloud. This means that no one can everdecrypt your data, not even SpiderOak employees. Should we receive a subpoena, the only thing we can ever deliver is the encrypted data blocks rendering the data useless.


    Furthermore, Dropbox requires users to place items into a specific folder that is then replicated on other devices where the software is installed. SpiderOak Sync allows users to select groups of folders from all computers and external drives with no modification to the folder structure. Dropbox backs up only the files contained in the dedicated Dropbox sync folder. With SpiderOak, a user can choose to backup any file including those that are not sync’d. SpiderOak further retains all previous versions of files as well as files that have been deleted, eliminating holes in the storage safety net.

    Since Dropbox can only backup files by sync’ing them, files that only need to be backed up and not sync’d must still be replicated on every machine, consuming considerable amounts of additional storage. SpiderOak backup and sync functions are separate, eliminating extra overhead.

    SpiderOak charges $100/year per 100GB for a complete package of services, including backup, file sharing, remote access and storage of any files designated by the user PLUS syncing of selected folders. In contrast, Dropbox costs $99/year for 50GB of data that includes storage, backup, remote access and file sharing ONLY for sync’d files.

    Lastly, SpiderOak enables users to backup, sync, share, access, and store files from any combination of Windows, Mac and Linux computers as well as external storage media in a single account. All data is housed in a central storage repository and accessible from any Internet-enabled device.

    If you would like to learn more about how our program works please view our manual, video tutorials, and consult our FAQs.

    SpiderOak Manual: https://spideroak.com/manual
    Video Tutorials: https://spideroak.com/howitworks
    FAQ: https://spideroak.com/faq/


    Best of luck,
    Jovan Washington
    SpiderOak Inc.


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