BarCamp Lausanne: Wuala (Dominik Grolimund) [en]

[fr] Wuala: pour partager des données en ligne.

Wuala launched last week. Demo. (Closed Alpha.)

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Storing, sharing, publishing files. Desktop application. Allows you to search for files. “Free, simple, and secure.*

What’s new about it? Different technology. Decentralized.


  1. Free because uses resources provided by participating computers.
  2. You get 1GB free, and get more by trading unused disk space. steph-note: so basically, this is a service that allows you to convert local disk space into online storage — it doesn’t give you significant extra storage. You need to be online for at least 4 hours a day to do that. *steph-note: I find 1Gb very little. Gmail offers 3 times that.
  3. No traffic limits.
  4. No file size limits.
  5. Fast downloads. P2P. Like BitTorrent.
  6. You can stream music and video files.
  7. “We think it’s a great application.” Drag’n drop. Upload in the background.
  8. Simple.
  9. All in one place.
  10. Security and privacy. All the files are encrypted on your computer. Your password never leaves your computer. Not even Wuala people can see your files.


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steph-note: I feel annoying. I always ask if there are “buddy list groups” or complain about their non-existence (Facebook).

Use: mainly to share a few files with other people. steph-note: not sure I’d call this “online storage” as I find it a little misleading (gives the impression you get extra storage space outside your local drives) — this is really file sharing, Pownce-like but without the timeline. For example, Dominik’s mum is going to use this to share photographs with him, because she’s not comfortable putting them on Flickr as it’s “on the internet”. steph-note: I see this as an interesting alternative to dropsend and the like.

Question: what is the business model? Ads in the client. steph-note: alternate business model would be to make people pay to have more actual “storage”.

Privacy: in Switzerland, there are “anti-spying” laws which would protect Wuala from having to surrender data to the CIA etc., for example. Wuala doesn’t see what is private or shared (regarding content). Very strong emphasis on privacy. steph-note: “illegal” music and TV series sharing system of choice, if there is more storage. Problem with this strong emphasis on privacy is when people start using the service to trade kiddie porn. Dominik says one of the solutions to this could be to limit the size of groups.

Careful! if you lose the password, you lose your files. steph-note: ouch! this sounds unacceptable to me… no possibility to reset it? Secret question: I hate them, because they are usually very weak. What’s the point of having great encryption, secure passwords, if people give secret answers to secret questions which aren’t so secret?

Should keep a local version of all the files you share. steph-note: so this is really not extra storage. What makes it so different from a prettily dressed up FTP client, besides the fact that the underlying technology is different? From a user point of view? Encryption, and sharing with friends/groups.

steph-note: a bit skeptical about this, though parts do indeed sound interesting. Not sure what I’d use it for. Maybe to swap music.

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