In a time were everyone is facing the consequences for decisions made in the past, one company is trying to do it right from the beginning. Enter Spideroak a robust cloud storage solution with many advanced capabilities not seen in most of its competitors. Think of Spideroak as the cloud storage service with an enterprise class features set. It's on the pricey side but still gives you more bang for your buck when it comes to cloud storage space compared to other services. With Spideroak's cross platform software offerings, you can add an unlimited number of devices to sync with, including external and network drives, at no additional cost and you only pay as you need more space. I will admit that with its enterprise class feature set Spideroak could be challenging for the novice user to start. However, once you get the hang of it, this service can really help you stay organized with its unique file syncing and sharing methods.
The default features include:
- Backup, Sync, Share, Access & Storage
- Multi Platform Support – Mac, Windows, Linux Compatible
- 100% Zero-knowledge Privacy
- Add any number of computers at NO additional cost
- Storage & time saving De-Duplication
- Perpetual Deleted File & Historical Version Storage
- 10-15 Times Faster than traditional backup solutions
- Wholly Fault-Tolerant Design
Security is first and foremost with SpiderOak. All data is encrypted locally (which is the why it seems like the upload speed is slow) on your computer before being uploaded up to the SpiderOak servers. This means that not even SpiderOak can gain access to your files or look at the file names. The “zero knowledge” policy with SpiderOak makes it very important that you do not lose or forget your password. SpiderOak cannot reset your password for you since it is used on your computer to encrypt the data before being sent to SpiderOak. The only thing Spideroak knows about your data is how many encrypted data blocks it uses.
Remember security is number one at Spideroak and as part of the new account setup process, most companies ask users to agree to some "end user licensing agreement", but instead SpiderOak asks users to agree to a "password policy." The password policy basically says that you alone are responsible for remembering your password, and that we cannot help you if you forget the password. They do allow you to create a "password hint" to help you remember your password, however that is as far as they go.
Once you sign in with your username and password, the Spideroak manager will launch. First you must choose the categories and folders that you want to backup. Like most of the other services, the initial backup took a bit of time. You can check the status of your backup by clicking the "status" tab. This tab shows you your backup, syncs and shares. You may also select the frequency of backups and syncs in this tab.
If you want to sync, then click on new button in the Sync tab. You will be able to choose folders you have backed up to sync to other computers, and you can also choose which computers will get which folders for syncing. This may confuse users who are used to services like Dropbox but we find it very powerful as we can now fully customize what we want to sync and where. If you wish to exclude certain files, you can use wildcards to filter out filenames containing specific extensions or texts.
SpiderOak not only lets you share individual files, but it lets you set up a ShareRoom, in which contacts can access photos, movies, and other files, as long as they have the ShareID and the RoomKey. I created a room by entering an ID, and got a “sending to server” message, followed by “ShareID registered successfully.” After this, I needed to create a ShareRoom, with a title, key, and description. Then I could select folders for sharing, and after a confirmation of what I’d entered, I hit the Start Share button.
The share appeared with a yellow dot indicating it was pending, which later turned green to show it was active. Keep in mind that it doesn't back up everything on the system, I had to chose which folders I wanted to back up. After this, anyone I wanted could go to the SpiderOak website, click on, “Share Login,” log in using the ShareID and RoomKey to browse the shared folders and download any files in the folders included. Clicking on filenames brought up a small image that didn’t really do anything, but the download button worked fine, and I could even download full folders in ZIP format.
Spideroak also has a mobile app for iPhones/iPads and Androids that's totally free to download. Here you can access your files on the go and backup your phone. It was very finicky on the iPhone, exiting out and making us re-enter the username and password. Re-entering our information wasn't too big of a deal though, considering Spideroak's love for security features.
A nice feature of the mobile app is the ability to access your Spideroak share rooms. With share rooms, Spideroak takes yet another unique approach to a popular cloud storage feature. Instead of just using email to send a file sharing link, Spideroak actually creates a webpage called a share room. This page even has its own custom link composed of a password of your choosing. Once a share room is created, you can keep adding files to it. This is a great way to share projects with someone, especially because they will be notified via RSS feed every time you make a change to the share room. You can either email the link to someone or they can access it on the Spideroak homepage using the share id and room key.
Similar to DropBox, SpiderOak gives you a free 2 GB of backup space to play with. For heavier users you can buy 100 GB increments for $10 a month each. That means 300 GB will cost you $30/month. There is also a referral system in place that will allow you to increase your free 2 GB allotment by recommending the service to others.
Spideroak is geared more toward advanced users of cloud storage and online backups because at first glance Spideroak's plethora of options can seem confusing to the cloud novice. The standout feature has to be the ability to sync multiple operating systems. It is something that I’m sure will come in handy for freelancers everywhere, and the fact that you can sync folders between multiple computers can be a sysadmin's dream come true. After using it for a time Spideroak is easy to use and very comprehensive. Its unique syncing and sharing features separate it from the pack, and if used properly, can really help you stay organized. If you're not sure if Spideroak is for you, try their 2 GB of space absolutely free. If you are convinced Spideroak is for you click the banner at the top of the page to get started.
04/03/13 10:40 Filed in: Linux | Permissions | OS
Basics of Reading CLI Linux file permissions
When you first start out using the linux command line interface, reading the command line permissions can be intimidating because of the lack of a GUI (Graphical User Interface). So I decided to write about it and help someone else who may have be having difficulty overcoming this challenge. Below we examine the first 3 components of understanding linux command line file permissions: 1) Ownership 2) Permissions 3) Reading Permissions
Every file is associated with exactly one user and one group. Modifying users or groups is not possible without ownership permissions. The typical output of the "ls" command with the option "-l", which produces a long listing, clearly displays the user ("user") and the group ("group"):
User: the username of the person who owns the file; by default the user who creates the file will become its owner.
Group: the usergroup that owns the file; all users who belong in the group that owns the file will have the same access permissions to the file. This is useful if, for example, you have a project that requires a bunch of different users to be able to access certain files, while others can't. In that case, you'll add all the users into the same group, make sure the required files are owned by that group, and set the file's group permissions accordingly.
Other Users: a user who isn't the owner of the file and doesn't belong in the same group the file does. In other words, if you set a permission for the "other" category, it will affect everyone else by default. For this reason, people often talk about setting the "world" permission bit when they mean setting the permissions for "other."
Permissions state which rights to a file the user (who is determined through ownership), the group, or others have.
Read Permission: (Displayed with a r--) On a regular file, the read permission bit means the file can be opened and read. On a directory, the read permission means you can list the contents of the directory.
Write Permission: (Displayed with a -rw) On a regular file, this means you can modify the file, aka write new data to the file. In the case of a directory, the write permission means you can add, remove, and rename files in the directory. This means that if a file has the write permission bit, you are allowed to modify the file's contents, but you're allowed to rename or delete the file only if the permissions of the file's directory allow you to do so.
Execute Permission: (Displayed with a --x) In the case of a regular file, this means you can execute the file as a program or a shell script. On a directory, the execute permission (also called the "search bit") allows you to access files in the directory and enter it with the cd command for example. However, note that although the execute bit lets you enter the directory, you're not allowed to list its contents, unless you also have the read permissions to that directory.
Inputing the ls -l command while in the terminal and working in the directory which contains the file or folder.
It should display the contents of your directory and the permissions in the command line. It should look similar to this: -rwxrwxrwx 1 owner:group
So let’s analyze this further. Permissions are broken up in to 4 sections.
In this case the “-“ at the beginning means that that we are dealing with a file. If you were to see a “d” in that position it would mean that we are dealing with a directory/folder and if you see a “l” it indicates a link .
In my opinion from this point on it’s easy. Try looking at the output -rwxrwxrwx 1 owner:group in sections - [rwx] [rwx] [rwx] 1 owner:group
The first set of three characters belong to the owner of the file.
The second set of three characters belong to the group.
The third set of three characters determines what all users’ permissions are.
The last three variables determine how many hard links the file has, who the owner is by username, and which group has permissions to do what.
Next month with linux we will look at modifying permissions.