Dropbox, UbuntuOne? No? Ok...how bout Spideroak?

Let me say before any of this – this is not an UbuntuOne rant, like everyone else seems to be doing over at Ubuntu Planet. It just so happened that I just found out about this today.

I have used dropbox for a while – I use it to share things between my Desktop and my uni laptop, and also as a sort of document backup thing. Now, this is all very well and good, but what if dropbox dies? (I know, very unlikely thing, but ya never know, you can never be too careful). Well…Canonical just released UbuntuOne. A cool new dropbox-esk thing.

There are a few problems with UbuntuOne. First of all…it currently runs only on Ubuntu. It can be packaged for, say, fedora or opensuse or something, but as far as I can see, noone has done that yet. Also, it doesn’t run on Windows or Mac, and although I don’t like them as operating systems, we still need to agree that they do actually exist, and we need to create apps for them. They are not my choice of OS, but isn’t diversity everything that Linux stands for? The choice? So we need something that will run on more than just Linux.

Second of all…and I know…this sounds like a pathetic thing to say, but the back-end is not opensource. Now, yes, one might say “Neither is Dropbox”, but dropbox don’t say they stand for freedom and opensource. Canonical have said that it would be easy to create a server very similar to UbuntuOne, because it is based on, I think they said iFolder, am not sure though.

In this case, why the heck is it closed? What is the point in closing it, if it is easy to put the exact same thing together? I do use some proprietry things (dropbox, nvidia drivers) but I object to a company saying “We do opensource” and having something closed. This is, IMHO, pathetic.

So, I’m not happy with UbuntuOne, so what will I use as my dropbox’s “backup”? Well, Paul Mellors posted about SpiderOak, a new dropbox-esk filesharing backup thingy.

So, I tried it out, and I’m very happy. I much prefer it to dropbox, in fact. First of all, you have none of this dropbox folder nonesence. That drives me insane. I don’t want to link everything to my backups, thats stupid. I want them to backup where they are, and SpiderOak does this. Which is brilliant.

SpiderOak, like dropbox, comes with a free 2GB (which is all I need for my documents and pictures just now) and has a paid 100GB service (and 200GB, 300GB etc etc) for $10 per 100GB that you want. As mentioned, this works out at under £7 per 100GB of space that you want. Not bad, one has to say. Better than dropbox anyway.

SpiderOak allows you to add as many computers as you want to your account (Windows, Mac, Linux) and just syncs whatever folders you want on all your computers, and puts them wherever you want. I think you can also choose NOT to sync specific folders with specific computers, but will have to test this out (Ooooo…I can feel a sequel post coming on).

Finally…it is not opensource, but they are going to opensource it soo n, which is good. So…for everyone who wants a (soon to be opensource) alternative for Dropbox, but isn’t running Ubuntu (or doesnt want the limitations of UbuntuOne), but doesn’t have the money to spend on their own server, I would recommend this highly.