What Do You Get If You Combine Dropbox and Mozy? Wuala!

wuala logo LGVERTICAL 240x240   What Do You Get If You Combine Dropbox and Mozy? Wuala!Wuala is definitely one of the most under-reported start-ups, and there’s no good reason for that. It takes the best features out of both Dropbox and Mozy to create a must-have online file storage service for anyone with a computer.

Developed by Dominik Grolimund and Luzius Meisser, the technology behind Wuala is truly amazing. By using a ‘grid’ algorithm, Wuala can take advantage of unused disk space across its network of users in addition to data-centre storage. This keeps Wuala’s costs down, because there is no need to buy space in data-centres and it also makes their service incredibly attractive to newcomers who need online file storage.

Instead of paying a fixed rate for a certain amount of space, users can choose to allocate a part of their free hard drive space to share with the Wuala community. If you share 50GB and leave your computer online, you get 50GB of online file storage in return. There is however no obligation to participate in sharing – you get 1 GB free forever from the Wuala team and up to 6GB for inviting your friends. There are also payed plans for more demanding users.

img1   What Do You Get If You Combine Dropbox and Mozy? Wuala!

Wuala encrypts all your files before sending them to the ‘grid’, and also ensures that it is distributed among many machines. Unlike other services, the password to your data never leaves your computer and the redundancy in the algorithm allows for machines to be taken offline while still maintaining data integrity. Wuala runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and even in your browser thanks to the portability of the Java programming framework. Unlike most other Java applications, you can expect to run Wuala without crashes or poor performance.

img2   What Do You Get If You Combine Dropbox and Mozy? Wuala!

Another benefit of the Wuala P2P ‘grid‘ is the virtually unlimited bandwidth for both upload and download – basically the same benefits bit-torrent downloads have over traditional CDNs, with up to 100 peers in parallel for each file. I’ve noticed a sizeable increase in speed over Microsoft’s Live Mesh, Dropbox and Mozy. I’ve had sustained upload speed of over 900Kb/s, the highest I’ve personally seen in an online file storage service.

img4   What Do You Get If You Combine Dropbox and Mozy? Wuala!

With Wuala you can keep private files only you can access, share folders with friends or publish them to the world, much like Dropbox.  Thanks to the user friendly interface, using the app is a breeze. Adding files is as simple as drag and drop, backup as simple as selecting a folder and the desired sync frequency.

img31   What Do You Get If You Combine Dropbox and Mozy? Wuala!

You can also create groups for sharing files with your family, co-workers, projects and keep track of them thanks to the integrated file revisioning.

For those of you who prefer to use the local language Wuala is available in English, German, French, Brazilian, Russian, Swedish, Chinese, and Polish.

Caleido – the company behind Wuala – has been bought by LaCie, the renowned hard drive manufacturer, in March of 2009. In addition to that, more than 100 million files are reported to be stored on the Wuala grid. There’s no need to worry that the service might go down in the foreseeable future so why not go to wuala.com and sign up for a free account.

If you’re not convinced, why not go check out the demo account? Visit Wuala, click on the red START button, and login with the username John and password asdasd. Let us know your impressions in the comments.

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24 Comments -

0 votes

diverdan

i don’t like how you have to download a java application in order to view the files that you have on wuala. i would like it much better if there was a web interface rather than a java application. the other thing is that not all computers have java or have permissions to install java.

i also don’t like the p2p file sharing structure. i know thta the files are encrypted, but it just doesn’t feel like my files are safe.

i’ll happily keep on using mozy and dropbox!

0 votes

diverdan

almost forgot. the java app is almost 7.5MB! that’s crazy!

0 votes

thewiz

Like it or not, there’s nothing wrong with it being a java application. In fact, that is a major + for Wuala. It can run on ANY platform…Windows, Mac, Linux. It has awesome compatibility! Anyone without Java is either uber paranoid about security, or living under a rock.

You worry about your files being safe and you want a WEB interface? NO! I want something LOCAL that I KNOW is encrypting my files BEFORE it leaves my computer. Wuala does just that. If any others do that, forgive my ignorance, but I can actually see the files (fragments) that Wuala makes…

With ANY online storage site, trust is involved. Even non-P2P structured sites you must TRUST that they are secure and that no one can break in and unlock your files. True, the P2P concept COULD increase the risk, but if it really follows the design that Wuala claims (no single peer contains ALL of the fragments of your files), then I don’t see how it is any more of a risk than a “normal” online storage site. And I agree with this article about Wuala & its speed & availability of files due to the P2P structure. I think it is a fantastic concept! Plus you can find all kinds of cool stuff for free that people are sharing publicly. ;-)

7.5 MB is seriously surprises you? If you try to restrict the size of your program, you’re not going to be able to add all the features you need to stand out from the competition, and thus make your product ROCK! Which Wuala does quite nicely. I have my hands in Wuala, IDrive, Dropbox, Syncplicity, Adrive, MediaFire, MyOtherDrive, Skydrive, XDrive (defunct), and Mybloop (defunct). And I have to say that Wuala tops them all, followed closely by Syncplicity. But Wuala is working on a “Sync” feature that will top Syncplicity as well. :-)

Of course, this is all opinionated. What is best depends on your situation. If you’re not afraid of the P2P structure, Wuala is awesome! If you are…you’re missing out!

0 votes

Thomas

I’m glad you wrote this article, I was just contemplating writing a review too. I really likethe service that Wuala offers. The speed is truly great, I’m getting around 1,2 MB/s in upload speed and down much faster. Trading storage works great. I bought 50 GB and traded 100GB which gives me 150GB online storage for a low price. And if I want acces to my files I can even stream them directly from their service. With the app Boxee this works great for both music and movies. This is a huge advantage compared to other file storage services. Keep up the good work Wuala!

0 votes

Bob

It looks like the “Perfect Dark” japanese P2P system.

0 votes

Yair

I have been using Wuala since the day it opened its public Beta, and it’s really one of the most revolutionary start-ups of the decade.

There’s only one reason I keep using Dropbox at the same time: Wuala doesn’t have the hot-linking feature – meaning if you want to upload an image and “embed” it in a website or blog, you’ll have to change the file address every few days (it switches from “content1.wuala…” to “content2.wuala…” etc. every week).

Except for that one disadvantage – It’s my winning web-service of the 2000′s.

0 votes
0 votes

Yair

Wow! Thank you very much for this solution.
I’ll be using it a lot!
:)

0 votes

chris petsavas

i have tried drop.io and i liked it vmuch. i’ll register with wuala too though…

0 votes

mchlbk

Dude are Wuala paying you to write this. It’s more an add than an article.

0 votes

Yair

I think you’ll find that Wuala is paying merely by keeping this great service.
I’m also a tech-blogger, and I’ve done a longer article that looked like an advertisement, but the truth is this service is just so genius that it makes people WANT to advertise it…

0 votes

mw

I think that comparing wuala with the likes of drop.io, dropbox, etc. is a little unfair. To me, wuala provides a backup solution as a primary feature, and sharing is secondary. The other services seem to emphasize the sharing aspect first. That is one of the reasons I like wuala. I don’t need to share files with other people at work or at home, but I do need an offsite backup solution.
I think the trading/p2p feature of wuala is the greatest feature. I have a nix box that is on all the time. For me, I get warm and fuzzy all over knowing that I am sharing my extra 50GB of hard drive space with the rest of the world. My computer is running anyway and I have the harddrive space. When you add a QOS rule to put wuala on a lower priority, you never even see a change in network speed.
As for privacy, the more I think about it…the more I think it doesn’t matter. Yes, I don’t like the thought of people seeing pictures of my kids, reading my old college term papers, or listening to my mp3s, but that stuff really isn’t that confidential or classified. I would think twice if I was running some research/technology-based company, but not for my home stuff.

0 votes

gt3

Don’t defend Java just because it allows an app to “run on any os!”. That’s like telling people not to find a soul mate because there’s a slut out there who will sleep with any and all of you!

0 votes

thewiz

Wow…simply wow. There is absolutely no connection between a program and a slut. Your obvious aversion to Java and the ignorance of its abilities and also its prevalence in our modern world of technology will no doubt make for a brainless, dead-end argument. I don’t know where your comment came from, but you might want to do some research on Java and just see what all it does for the world!

0 votes

Robin Whitman

I like Wuala, and I bought some storage space.

What I don’t know is probably simple: Can Wuala “sync” my folders for backing up?

For example: If I copy a folder from my hard drive to Wuala, then use my Word Processing program add a file to that local folder — can Wuala detect that only 1 file in the folder was changed? … I don’t want to back up the entire folder again.

Thanks very much to anyone who can explain this.

– RW

0 votes

thewiz

Yes it can. You bought storage so you have Pro features, and this is one of them. Right-click and do “New Backup Folder”.

Yes, Wuala will only detect changes and upload them. Whether the changes are new files, changed files, or deleted ones. It handles it all individually like that.

Also, as a Pro user, you get file versioning. What that means is you can go back to previous versions of a file. Made a change to a word doc (such as deleting a sentence) and want it back? Go back to the version that had that sentence. Sweet!

Deleting a file moves it to Wuala’s recycle bin. So if you didn’t mean to delete something out of your folder, you can go to Wuala’s recycle bin and grab it. Also very sweet!

0 votes

Anish

I gave this a shot for a few days but decided to go back to Mozy. Why?

1) It doesn’t back up locked files (i.e., if you have Outlook open and have set the .pst to be backed up, you’ll get a error dialogue regarding the file being in use/locked)

2) Memory and CPU usage is much higher than Mozy or Dropbox

3) The delta sync does not work – even though they say it is supported. For large files (like .psts that change constantly or truecrypt partitions, this means I have to upload multiple gigs on every backup) Mozy handles this extremely well.

0 votes

Elias

Wuala is great… just updated my account to Pro. Love it!

@Thomas: What Boxee app for Wuala you talking about? Never heard about that…

0 votes

Thomas

You don’t need an app, just add the network drive “wuala” to your library and your ready to see all files in Boxee that you have on Wuala.

Best regards,

Thomas

0 votes

Jim

Nice comparison of Wuala, Dropbox and Sugarsync – http://www.elias-lange.de/cloud-storage-wuala-dropbox-sugarsync/