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

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Comments (24)
  • Jim

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

  • 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…

    • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.