Free Online Storage And Backups With Wuala
What is Wuala?
Wuala is a program that allows you to securely store data online. In addition to just storing files online, you can set up automatic backups of your computer or synchronize folders between multiple computers. Wuala is free to download and use. You have the option of paying for a set amount of storage, but with the proper setup you can receive quite a bit of storage for free.
How Does It Work?
For those of you who are new to the concept of cloud storage (storing files on the Internet,) I'll explain briefly how it works. Basically, the files you store or backup will be sent to other computers that are also running Wuala. Your files are encrypted, split up, and sent to other computers for redundancy. If you lose data on your computer, you can simply download the files and you'll be back in business.
A lot of online storage companies charge for storage. In these cases, your data is backed up and stored on that company's servers. With Wuala, however, the files are stored on other Wuala users' computers. To use the service you trade local hard drive space for online storage. For example, I can choose to trade 5 GB of my hard drive. In this case, I receive 5 GB of online storage to use and Wuala will use up to 5 GB of my local hard drive to store files for other users.
Setting It Up
Once you install Wuala and register an account it's time to set up the software. Under General Options, you can choose to mount your online storage space as a drive in windows. This adds another drive letter under My Computer, and you can drag and drop folders there to store them online easily. There's also an option to start Wuala automatically when your computer starts, which is also important. Your storage capacity is dependant on your computer's uptime, so keeping Wuala running is important. It runs in the background, so it isn't too taxing on the computer's resources.
From here, we can move on to the Trade Storage tab under Options. You can increase the amount of space you're willing to trade within this window, which will increase the amount of online storage you have. The amount of storage you receive is dependant on your computer's uptime. If you trade 10 GB of disk space and your computers uptime is only 50%, you will receive 5 GB (10 * 50%) of online storage. When your computer reaches 100% uptime, you will have 10 GB of online storage. Your storage will automatically increase as your uptime increases, so you don't have to worry about adjusting it manually.