Wuala is a new social online storage from Zurich, Switzerland which allows for secure file sharing, online backup storage and remote file access. Unlike traditional online storage systems, Wuala is decentralized and can harness idle resources of participating computers to build a large, secure, and reliable online storage.
A Wuala user starts with 1GB of online storage but can get as much as they want, either by trading idle disk space on their own computer or by buying additional storage. As a new user, I preferred the idle disk space trading. It makes more sense than buying additional storage for now.
All files on Wuala are encrypted on the users’ computer and the user chooses who gets access to which folder. Is it secure? Yes. Wuala employs the 128 bit AES algorithm for encryption and the 2048 bit RSA algorithm for authentication.
Wuala’s desktop application is available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It can also be directly started from within the browser.
So how do you get it? Wuala is opening up Alpha for everyone starting tomorrow July 17 to 21. You can get access over here.
Here’s an installation walkthrough and some screenshots for the Windows Vista user
After installing the desktop app, you will be prompted with the above window. New users will need to click the “Create a new account” link.
Use invite code “OpenDays” from July 17 to 21.
Complete the above form and note one important thing, you should choose a password that you will remember. Wuala will not provide password recovery.
Here’s their explanation:
“NO PASSWORD RECOVERY! WUALA ENCRYPTS AND DECRYPTS ALL FILES LOCALLY. YOUR PASSWORD NEVER LEAVES YOUR COMPUTER. WE DO NOT KNOW OR STORE YOUR PASSWORD. THIS PROTECTS YOUR PRIVACY, BUT ALSO MEANS THAT, APART FROM SENDING YOU THE HINT YOU CAN SPECIFY ABOVE, WE CANNOT HELP YOU RECOVERING IT IN CASE IT GETS LOST.”
Finally, complete the form above.
Once you finished with the registration, the desktop app will automatically open up. It should look like the one above.
Customize the desktop app to your liking.
Start inviting your friends via Facebook, Skype or by simply entering an email address.
The above is the world tab. It’s everyone’s shared files. You have the ability to create your own groups where you can share private stuff.
Sharing access rights is easy. Right-click a folder and select “Access rights…” Start sharing with your friends. And please do let me know what your thoughts are for this app. I’d love to hear them.
My overall first impression of Wuala is that it’s so easy to use, install, configure and customize. And did I already mention it’s free?
I’m already a user of Dropbox, Mozy and Zecter on my Windows machine. I have Dropbox and Mozy on my Mac. Wuala is definitely a nice, not to mention a very cool addition to my backup and file sharing efforts.
If case you missed their pitch at LIFT Conference here’s the video below
And lastly, Wuala’s presentation at Google Tech Talk (sorry, embedding is disabled).
About the founder of Wuala, Dominik Grolimund
Dominic is 26 years old and studied Computer Science at ETH Zurich. He founded the software company Caleido in 1998, and developed the Caleido Address-Book, a professional contact management software, of which over 35,000 licenses have been sold so far in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Wuala looks like a good buy for a Google social backup service. Not to mention a very good addition to their talent pool.