Can I try Spool for free?

Absolutely, sign up to our 7 day free trial.

Can I invite my friends and colleagues?

Yes, we can help you with that, when you’re logged in you can create new contacts and if they are not already a Spool user you will have the option to send a personal invite. 

We will only contact people if you ask us to. They won’t receive any marketing or any other communication from us and we will never pass on your or your connections’ contact details to a third party.

Do I need to install or download anything to start using Spool?

No, Spool is a browser-based application (sometimes referred to as a ‘Web App’), capable of running on all popular browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari) and consequently requires no downloads or installations. This means no intrusive pops ups as you start your computer.

What is a cloud desktop?

It’s a VM or virtual machine, which means it can be accessed from any physical computer via the web.

I already have a computer, why would I want a cloud desktop?

Here are some reasons why having a cloud desktop is a great idea:

1. New, clean and fast: run an operating system in a browser window on your desktop that behaves like a full, separate computer. This is a brand new, fresh machine with more than enough power to keep operations fast.

2. Safe and fun: create and delete cloud desktops as often as you like. This means a new, clean and fast machine whenever you need it. Play around with different operating systems, run software your main operating system can’t, and try out apps in a safe, sandboxed environment.

3. Work with confidence: Spool’s snapshot backup system enables you to take regular backups of your cloud desktop’s virtual hard drive. If something goes wrong you can return the state of the cloud desktop back to the time the snapshot was taken.

4. Work anywhere: use your cloud desktop on any physical machine. This means if something happens to your physical computer (lost, damaged, stolen) your cloud desktop is still there, protected and unharmed, with everything as you left it so you can carry on where you left off from any computer. Because you can access your cloud desktop anywhere, this also means your software licences are essentially portable and not tied to a physical machine (many software packages tie a license key to a hard drive ID). They are instead tied to the virtual hard drive of your cloud desktop, which you can access from any computer.

5. Control the environment and expansion: for organisations adopting Spool, working on a cloud desktop provides the means to centrally manage the assets. All your cloud desktops can be managed from one location (data resource, capacity). With the infrastructure in place, it’s simply a matter of deploying a new cloud desktop and configuring. If you need more computing power this can be provided.

6. Supports legacy hardware: As hardware evolves and operating systems become obsolete, it’s harder to find hardware and software that are compatible. Virtualizing these machines eliminates the operating system compatibility problems.

7. Use of thin clients: Using a thin client machine is as easy as powering on the new unit and accessing your cloud desktop. Conversely, with a physical machine you’re stuck with re-imaging or building a replacement from scratch.

8. Eco-friendly and cost saving: Working on cloud desktops can mean significant cost savings whilst also forming an important part of an organisation meeting their environmental commitments. If an organisation does not need to provide new hardware and existing hardware can be made productive by accessing a cloud desktop, or existing hardware does not need to be upgraded then this means less hardware waste and a reduction in an organisation’s carbon footprint. With all your cloud desktops running on a server cluster you need less physical hardware and so you can maximise your physical machine’s potential via the cloud.

9. Collaboration: You can pick up your cloud desktop and take it into the Spool space where you can choose to share it with all your colleagues either in view only or interactive mode. Let’s work and learn together!

10. Family: You can access multiple cloud desktops from the same computer. Family members can each have a whole computer, configured for their needs.

What operating systems can I choose for my cloud desktops?

Here at Spool we embrace the opensource culture and all the advantages that can bring individuals and business. Having researched extensively the various Linux distribution operating systems we have chosen the latest Ubuntu OS (20.04) as the cloud desktop for Spool. It’s very well established and we just love it. 

For those that need a Microsoft or Apple machine you can create a Windows 10 cloud computer (subscription required) and we’re developing a macOS option.

Can I install software on my cloud desktop?

Yes. Just as you would start to customise a physical computer after you have unboxed it you will want to spend some time making sure you have got everything you need on your cloud desktop to test, explore and experiment. Use the browser or Software Centre to download software and applications.

Can I access the files saved on my physical computer from the cloud desktop?

On the cloud desktop you create you will have a browser to access the internet (feel free to download your favourite browser – make the cloud desktop your own). You can move work to and from your physical machine using your preferred cloud storage services.

How do I create a cloud desktop?

At Spool we’ve tried to make everything really easy to do (even if the tech is complex) as this means you can just concentrate on working and learning together. Creating a cloud desktop is a great example of this approach in action because we don’t present you with a bewildering set of questions and requirements, in fact we only ask you to give your cloud desktop a name. It’s that easy. You’ll have a whole cloud desktop in seconds. 

What if I want an even more powerful cloud desktop?

The cloud desktop you will create comes with an enhanced technical specification as follows: 8 RAM | 8 CPU | 50 GB Disk Space. If you need to increase this please contact Team Spool.

How much storage do I have on the cloud desktop?

Each cloud desktop will give you 50 GB Disk Space. If you need more just get in touch with Team Spool.

Can I use Spool outside of the U.K.?

Yes you can but our launch is U.K. based so you’ll have the smoothest experience if you’re based here. This is because the Spool computers which hold the cloud desktops are all in a U.K. data centre. The further away you are the less able we are to ensure you get a great experience on Spool. Spool is a global product and we will get there but right now we want the U.K. market to love Spool.  

Can my organisation create a cloud dektop template?

Yes. Organisations can create customised cloud desktops for their team. Training new employees, apprenticeships, contract workers and consultants can all be managed easily as the organisations ‘super admins’ can grant access to systems in a way that can be controlled, monitored and which is scalable.

Can I backup my cloud desktops?

Spool’s Snapshot feature ensures everything on the virtual hard drive of your cloud desktop is regularly backed up. Take a snapshot and work with confidence, knowing that you can always restore your cloud desktop.

What is a Spool space?

Spool spaces are rooms where you meet, work and learn together. A space where you can guide, support and help each other in a way that is real.

Create a room where it’s possible to see everyone’s cloud desktop in multiscreen view. Each person can easily toggle between simple video conference to sharing their cloud desktop in ‘view only’ mode to sharing in ‘interactive’ mode.

Set your mode to ‘interactive’ and your team can help, guide and support you on your cloud desktop. You can work together all accessing one machine. This transforms any app, tool or platform into a collaborative version. Use this for mentoring, demonstrating, training or to work jointly on a project that requires real, substantive collaboration from multiple persons. This is safe and secure sharing as you will always see all actions on your cloud computer and you remain in complete control to toggle back to view only mode.

Seamlessly move between working and learning together on one of your team’s cloud desktops to another. Either stay in multiscreen view to see all your team or create your own bespoke view by pinning as many of the key members of the meeting as you like. Any team member can be made full screen at any time.

Spool also has traditional screen share which means you have all options to share your entire screen, so anything on your physical machine can also be shared. Screen share isn’t just limited to one member of the workspace, in Spool everyone can share their cloud desktop or their entire screen at the same time. It’s then your choice what to view.

What is view mode sharing?

View mode is when you share your cloud desktop so that it becomes visible to other active members in that Spool space. In other words it’s like screen sharing, only that everyone in the room can do it at the same time so you can see all users’ live cloud desktops in a multiscreen view.

What is interactive mode sharing?

Interactive mode is when you share your cloud desktop so that you and other active members in that workspace can interact. It means members of the Spool space can help and contribute by testing, experimenting and learning together on each other’s cloud desktops. It’s hands-on and it’s interactive.

This means that you can transform any software, any application, any tool into a collaborative, interactive version where multiple people can work together at the same time.

Does Interactive mode mean other people are 'in' my computer?

There is no access to your physical computer. There is only access to interact on the cloud desktop you are sharing whilst you have selected ‘interactive’ mode. It is very prominently displayed to all users that a cloud desktop is in ‘interactive’ mode as the user’s box is illuminated with a blue edging. You can switch to ‘view’ mode or stop sharing your cloud desktop at the click of a button instantly. Any actions on the screen whilst the desktop is in interactive mode will be visible to all, there is nothing that can be done that is hidden from the view that all users will have.

How can I let the members of a Spool space know that I want to work together?

Every Spool space has a ‘Call to Spool space’ button where any member of that space can trigger a pop up with a personalised message to notify an intention to meet.

There is also the Spool Calendar where you can set events and integrate these with your Google Calendar.

When you create a Spool space we will automatically create a chat channel for you with all members  invited. You can access all your chat groups from anywhere on Spool so you can always communicate with any of your connections.

What if I want someone to join a Spool space who isn’t a Spool user?

Invite them to become one of your Spool connections and have a free trial or create a timed Space and send them the link (they’ll have the option to join when you finish in the space).

Is there a limit on how many times I can delete and create Spool spaces?

Absolutely not. You can create up to 24 Spool spaces at any one time but you are free to delete and create new ones as many times as you need to. As the creator of a Spool space you can also add or remove members and rename your existing Spool spaces at any time.

There is no limit to the number of Spool spaces you can be invited to join.

Can I integrate other apps with Spool?

We don’t want to limit your options. Spool hasn’t been created to tie you to be integrated with one technology or specific other apps or products. Spool is all about creating freedom to explore and test and learn. 

Can Spool be used by schools / academies / colleges / universities?

Whilst there is a minimum age of 18 for an individual subscription Spool is absolutely open to all educational institutions. Please contact us to discuss a discounted education rate.  Spool can be configured to meet the needs of schools, enabling learning leaders to create an environment for learners that is stimulating, intuitive, rich in content but also controlled (for example, limiting or even disabling internet access). 

Having real time tutorials in a Spool space, where students can have teaching and solutions modelled on their own cloud desktop just as they would in a physical classroom, is a use of Spool we are excited to develop.

Is Spool safe and secure?

The safety of your data and the security of your communications whilst using Spool is of paramount importance. We want you to concentrate on exploring, experimenting and learning together successfully and feel confident that your data is protected against unauthorised and unwanted use.

Our Software Services Agreement sets out our data centre security details and the application security industry commercially acceptable processes. These are deployed to keep your organisation safe from cyber threats.

Is there any downtime for maintenance?

Maintenance, repairs and upgrades will be performed outside hosted working hours 08:00 to 20:00hrs UK time.

The artwork is awesome, can I get it on a t-shirt?

We’re glad you asked this. We love the Spool logo and the artwork. We also love loungewear, baggy 80’s sweatshirts and baggy t-shirts. We think the original Spool artwork shouldn’t be confined to the screen. Let us know what you think about a Spool shop 🙂

I have a question that hasn’t been answered.

Please get in touch with Team Spool via the contact page or email direct team@spoolme.com. We really appreciate your views and opinions on Spool.

Timed spaces

Spool spaces are great for setting up classrooms, workshops or as a flexible space for connections to just drop in but for quick meets use Timed spaces to solve all the little challenges of the day.