Wuala

Wuala: Online DropBox competitor from LaCie

It’s always nice to have some competition, right Dropbox? Enter Wuala, by LaCie – an online file storage service that steers dangerously close to copying DropBox, but with added functionality and cheaper pricing. Read on for our comparison of the two services.

Wuala
Images courtesy of Flickr user SarahSphar

Functionality

It’s a score-draw in terms of functionality. Both products offer very light desktop software (DropBox especially so), packed with features. You can set a folder to automatically sync between devices (perfect if you have two computers and want access on both), with both services storing older versions of files for instant back-up.

You’ll also get deletion protection, so if you erase a file on your computer it’ll still exist online for a month.

Wuala has the added function of scheduled back-ups – for files you don’t want to sync, you can set a regular automatic back-up to ensure files are safe online.

Storage

If you’re a skinflint, tightwad or scrooge – you’ll do what we do and use the free option.  For this, DropBox takes the crown. You’ll get 2GB of free online storage, while Wuala only offers 1GB. DropBox also has a referral scheme that gives you an extra 250MB free for everyone you sign-up to the service (help me out here: http://db.tt/BwLvqSO) up to a maximum of 8GB.

Mobile

DropBox takes the lead here, too. iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry apps mean you can access your file locker from anywhere. Open, edit or upload files from anywhere. You can even send links to other users to allow them to access your files.

Wuala has iPhone and Android support with file opening, editing and uploading – but the Blackberry addition is lacking.

Cost

A category Wuala wins by $70/year. If you need 100GB of storage, Wuala will set you back $129 – DropBox will charge you $199. Ouch.  For 50GB, Wuala also comes out $20 cheaper.

Web Access

Both services offer web access – although Wuala uses Java to do it. They say this is for security reasons – and we’re sure it is – but it’s just a bit clunky.

Conclusion

Wuala has the better offering from paid online back-up. It’s cheaper and has back-up scheduling. Like LaCie’s external storage, if you need an affordable way of backing up files, this is it.

If you’re into sharing files, however, then you might want to head for DropBox – the community is bigger, and therefore it’s much easier to share files and folders. Just like Skype, there may be other services with some better functions, but size matters.