LaCie’s secure file storage entered cloud market in 2010 with a heavy emphasis on the product’s security level. Ever since, Wuala teams worked hard to improve its features, but certain decisions they choose to make did nothing but confusing their users.
Recently, Wuala was reported to have made an exclusive agreement with Seagate, which caused sharp reactions in users. As Seagate is a US company, the users are now afraid that Wuala would have to operate under US laws. The matter of dispute is that according to the rules of the Patriotic Act, US government would have a relatively easy access to the information. Wuala team claims that the deal with Seagate is not definite yet and that the security will remain their primary focus whatsoever.
Another important change in Wuala was in October 2011, when they removed “trading” feature, which was one of their most important differentiators. This naturally disappointed many of their users. The feature was generally seen as very practical thing as it enabled users to “trade” the storage on their hard disks for the cloud space.
With its most distinguishable feature removed and the security questionable at the moment, Wuala may not be such a competitive product any more. It does have a lot to offer and many of the features still make it a good product, though a bit less recommendable on the overcrowded cloud market.
- Wuala is one of the rare cloud storage services that offer a client-side encryption. This means that the password is generated on a user’s computer and all the files are encrypted before being uploaded to the servers. No one besides the user who created the code has an access to their files. The encryption code is 256-bit code – one of the most secure ones.
- Wuala offers 5 GB of storage for free account which is much more than what other services offer. Its prices for premium accounts are equally competitive.
- Setting up Wuala account and installing the folder is relatively easy. There are only few steps and the process is quite intuitive. Accessing files is possible online as well as through the desktop folder.
- Intuitive and simple user interface.
- Wuala offers the option to choose which folders to sync and is, as opposed to Dropbox, not limited to the folder you install to your desktop.
- In comparison to other cloud storage services, Wuala might appear a bit slower when it comes to syncing folders.
- With this kind of data encryption users bear a risk of forgetting their password. If this happened no one could help recovering it, as the user is the only one who had the access to it.
Taking into account how sensitive most of the people are when it comes to security, Wuala with a client-side encryption seemed to be the right choice for many. The agreement with a US based company may not be the wisest move Wuala could make simply for marketing reasons. If they, however, manage to prove that their focus is still the same, than Wuala still has a lot to offer even to the most meticulous users.