Wuala, one of our Top 10 International Products of 2008, released a major update of its platform. Until today, you had to use Wuala's desktop application to use the service and access your files. Now, however, you can also use a web interface to access Wuala. Wuala also implemented an API that will allow developers to to hook into Wuala's storage services.Today,
As we pointed out in our initial review of the service, Wuala uses the computers of other users to store a large part of the data on the service. Users who share a larger part of their hard drives are rewarded with more cloud storage.
Wuala also offers a more traditional cloud storage product. The first gigabyte is free, while 10 additional gigabyte cost $25 per year. In addition, for each gigabyte on your hard drive that you offer to other users, you get another gigabyte of cloud storage in return.
Web Interface: Great for Photo Sharing
The new web interface turns Wuala into a capable file sharing service, though it has a few limitations. We really like the ability of Wuala to work as a great photo sharing site thanks to the new web interface. It is also great for sharing public documents and videos. However, you can't actually manage your shared files from the web interface.
Wuala also lets you share files privately over the web by providing you with a 'secret' URL to your files.
Wuala is operating in a crowded market, with other services like drop.io or Box.net offering a lot of the same functionality without having to use a desktop application. Currently, Wuala's users are storing almost 30 million files on the service and this web interface is surely going to increase the popularity of the service. Whether that is enough to lift it over some of its competitors remains to be seen, however, as some users will surely have some privacy concerns about the distributed storage solution.