When the SpiderOak application has work to do, it is expected to use all free processor cycles and available memory in order to finish its work quickly. Work is not just uploading files, it first needs to encrypt them, which is processor intensive. Work also includes synchronizing files between your computers, which involves both encryption and decryption, so if you use Hive or sync, this will be a factor.
On the other hand, the application should also cede the processor to anything else that needs it, so it should not be slowing down your computer. So if your concern is that the application sometimes uses all of your processor or memory, this is expected. If on the other hand the application causes your computer to noticeably interfere with your work, that indicates a problem that can be improved. Here are some tips that have helped others with similar symptoms:
- Make sure you're running the current version of SpiderOak. Our current version is available on our download page.
- Make sure you are only backing up personal files. Don't back up system or application data, nor other files that change rapidly or are especially large. This is the most common cause of SpiderOak appearing to slow down a computer. For troubleshooting purposes, reduce your backup set to only a few documents that don't change very often to see if that makes the problem go away. Then gradually add files to your backup set and see if a particular file or folder is the culprit.
- Make sure no other programs, particularly security programs, are interfering with the application. This is most often the case on Windows, but there is also third party security software for Mac and Linux that can cause problems. Programs such as Windows Defender can try to block SpiderOak's Internet access, increasing the processor usage as SpiderOak keeps trying to reconnect. Open a process or task manager when SpiderOak is open, then close other processes one at a time to see if SpiderOak's processor usage drops significantly.
- Open the Preferences - General window in SpiderOak. Select "disable disk space calculation". This will prevent SpiderOak from assessing the amount of data located in each drive, which will reduce the computational load.
It may be helpful to review what the SpiderOak ONE application has to do when it uploads a file, and what resource usage can be expected during each step:
- Copies the file to temporary space on your hard disk. If the file is so big that copying it takes up most of your hard disk's free space, then other things that rely on abundant free hard disk space may be slowed down. If the file is particularly big, you may want to reconsider using SpiderOak to back it up. Alternatively, freeing up more space on your hard disk is the best solution.
- Encrypts its temporary copy of the file. Encryption is processor intensive, and indeed has to be in order to make it difficult for the bad guys to crack. It is expected to see high processor use, rising processor temperature, and increased power consumption during this step. This has particular implications when running on battery power. How long this takes depends on the size of the files being encrypted. SpiderOak is supposed to gracefully cede processor use to whatever else that needs it, so this step is not supposed to slow down your computer or interfere with your normal work.
- Uploads the encrypted data blocks that were derived from the copied file. When finished, the copy is deleted to free up your hard disk's space and SpiderOak moves on to the next batch of files to upload, if any. This step should not consume computer resources or slow your computer down, but will of course use your network connection. SpiderOak is supposed to leave a little network bandwidth for other purposes so you can get your work done. If you wish you can manually cap SpiderOak's bandwidth or you can manually pause and resume uploads. Doing so will not discard SpiderOak's work in progress.