Cloud storage

I have been using Dropbox occasionally over the last few years to sync files (installers, etc.) between multiple computers. I never felt comfortable about using it for things I am working on (and private files), especially since they did not provide any form for encryption of the files. After the Dropbox security problem a couple of weeks ago, and the updated terms allowing them to look at your files, if needed, I am even more suspicious about using Dropbox for anything.

Instead I (and probably many others) have found that Wuala works quite well and offers client-side encryption of your files. I have been using Wuala for a week’s time now, and here is a summary of my experience so far:

  • Encryption of files on the client makes Wuala much more secure than e.g. Dropbox.
  • Upload/download speed of Wuala is fairly slow (but this may be because a lot of people seems to have migrated to their service after ther Dropbox problems). Hopefully, the speed will improve again.
  • While Dropbox just gives you one folder that will be synced, Wuala lets you set up as many folders you like for either syncing or backup. You may also just leave your files “in” Wuala, to be able to access them but not sync. At first the separate between these three (files, synced files, backuped files) was a bit confusing, but I have gotten to like this after using it a little more.
  • Wuala is slightly cheaper than Dropbox, and you may also get extra disk space if you trade in some of your own storage
  • There are clients (java-based) for most platforms (OSX, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android). All of them work well, although they do not feel as well integrated as Dropbox. However, I easily trade this for the added security Wuala offers.
  • The best thing about Dropbox is the excellent support for third-party applications. I have been using Plaintext for iOS for a while, which seamlessly integrates with Dropbox. As for know, the iPhone/iPad Wuala apps only allow for reading files, not editing, and there is no support for third-party apps. I really hope they will improve this in future releases.

But all in all I am quite happy about Wuala.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.

3 thoughts on “Cloud storage”

  1. Pingback: Taking notes : ARJ
  2. Many thanks for this post. I began using Wuala yesterday and bought 100 GB of space; I was convinced that it would be more useful and trustworthy than Dropbox and Google Drive (a) for the encrytion, and (b) for the extremely simple interface. However, 36 hours later, my files are still uploading, I’m nowhere near the 60 GB I want to upload. The upload speed is extremely low and I can’t seem to find a way round it. Have you noticed any improvements since writing this post last year? Also, thanks for the discovery of Plaintext. It would be extremely useful to integrate with Wuala, as a replacement for Evernote, again for the encryption. I hope Wuala create or link with a similar note-taking application soon. (Unless they have already – I haven’t found much news on this yet.)

    All the best,
    Antoine Cassar

  3. I have used Wuala for a year, and have experienced that it is fairly slow. Obviously, things improve when you have everything uploaded, and only changes to your files are uploaded as opposed to everything. But I guess speed is one thing you need to sacrifice to get the improved security.

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