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Friday, November 11, 2011

Wuala backup service review

When I purchased a LaCie drive, I got a free subscription to the Wuala service.  Although initially the program was just what I needed, I wanted to add that various problems have cropped up on my Windows XP drive.

Good things:
  1. Cheap, good upload speeds, and secure
  2. Cross-platform
  3. Reasonably easy to share files and folders from your library.  Not as simple as Dropbox.
  4. Located in Germany, which has better privacy laws than most countries

  1. High processor usage - anytime I'm uploading something, its frequently using 100% of my system.  On a modern computer, file uploads (even encrypted ones) should not require this kind of power.
  2. High disk usage - even if you set the temporary directory to only a few megs, it will still save a ton of temporary data to C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Wuala\Data.  I have to manually zap this whole directory every week or two.
  3. High RAM usage - about 45 megs.  This isn't too bad for machines with lots of RAM but backup programs that run in the background should be -- you know -- efficient.
  4. Frequently requires you install updates (and restart the computer) to enable the listing of a "W:" drive on your computer.  Why does this constantly need to get reinstalled?
  5. Does not support encrypted volumes (e.g. TrueCrypt).  If you use the Sync program, it will constantly get confused by your encrypted volume and try to update your files with older versions.  I don't even use the included Sync program now and have instead switched out with DSynchronize.
I'm now looking into Netdrive + Tunnelier to plug into a remote SFTP account.  Before that was a lot more work, but with Wuala's poor performance, it would probably end up a lot easier.

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