From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Dominik Grolimund, Luzius Meisser
Initial releaseAugust 14, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-08-14)
Final release
Nadelhorn[1] / September 30, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-09-30)
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Linux, Mac OS X 10.4 and greater, Android, iOS
Available inEnglish, German, Portuguese, French, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
TypeOnline file storage

Wuala /wɑːˈlɑː/ was a secure online file storage, file synchronization, versioning and backup service originally developed and run by Caleido Inc.[2] It is now part of LaCie, which is in turn owned by Seagate Technology. The service stores files in data centres that are provided by Wuala in multiple European countries (France, Germany, Switzerland).[3] An earlier version also supported distributed storage on other users' machines, however this feature has been dropped.[4] On 17 August 2015 Wuala announced that it was discontinuing its service and that all stored data would be deleted on 15 November 2015.[5] Wuala recommended a rival cloud storage startup, Tresorit, as an alternative to its remaining customers.[5][6]


Most research and development occurred at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich.

Old logo for Wuala

14 August 2008

An "open beta"-java-applet, available from the website, could be run from a web browser.

19 September 2008

The Wuala Webstart[7] project was registered on SourceForge.net.[8]

26 October 2008

An Alpha release REST API, at a very early stage of development, supported HTTP GET requests for content that was either public, or shared through a keyed hyperlink.[9]

16 December 2008

The Uniform Resource Locator changed from http://wua.la/ Archived 2010-09-28 at the Wayback Machine to http://www.wuala.com/ and files that were public, or shared through a keyed hyperlink, were made accessible through web browsers.[10]

19 March 2009

LaCie announced a merger with Caleido AG.[11][12] Wuala described the merger as being between Wuala and LaCie[13] (not Caleido AG and LaCie).

5 January 2010

Post-merger announcement of the first joint products.[14][15]

23 May 2011

All pro features - backup, sync, file versioning and time travel - are available for everyone at no cost[16]

28 September 2011

The "trade storage" feature was discontinued.[17]

11 June 2014

The storage plan was shifted to a paid-only service [18]

31 October 2014

Wuala announced that existing free-only storage would be terminated at the end of 2014 and customers wishing to save their data should migrate away or purchase a paid plan[19]

17 August 2015

Wuala announced that it would allow no further renewals or purchase of storage. The service will transition to read-only on 30 September 2015 and all stored data will be deleted on 15 November 2015[20]


Any registered user can:

  • keep files private
  • share files with other registered users
  • share files with unregistered users, through a keyed hyperlink
  • publish files
  • backup
  • file synchronization
  • file versioning.

Registered and unregistered users can: receive streaming media.[21]

When a user adds a file to Wuala, or saves changes to a file that is served by Wuala, the user's local copy of file is: first encrypted, then chunked into redundant fragments using Reed-Solomon error correction codes. The fragments are then uploaded to the data centers.


Wuala offered free accounts that had 5 GB of storage for no charge. As of 11 June 2014 they shifted to a paid-only service.[18] As of the end of 2014 they will no longer support any form of free-only storage, shifting entirely to a payment based usage model.[19]

Users of joint products may start with greater amounts of storage for a limited period: with a LaCie external hard disk drive, 10 GB for one year or with a LaCie USB flash drive, 4 GB for two years.[22]

Additional storage may be bought.[23] As of June 2014, the referral system was shut down due to the new paid-only policy.

For bought storage: prices range from 29 EUR/year for 20 GB to 999 EUR/year for 1 TB.[24] Pricing changed in June 2014: The storage plan starts with 0.99 € per month (9 € per year) for 5 GB and ends at 159.90 € per Month (1799 € per year) for 2 TB of storage.[25]


One of the distinguishing features of Wuala, the ability to trade local disk storage space against cloud storage, is no longer available.

User interfaces[edit]

Desktop application[edit]

The user interface offers most of the features that are normally associated with a file manager. Additional features come through integration.

A registered user can install the Java-based client application (SWT-GUI):

Wuala Webstart and web browsers[edit]

Through a web browser, on a computer that has Java installed:

  • the user can start/trust a Java applet,[26] which downloads and runs a class loader allowing fast start of the latest version of the Wuala application.[27]

If the computer is without Java, or if running of the class loader is prevented:

  • any folder that is public, or shared with a weblink, can be browsed.

Non-graphical interfaces[edit]

Support for the following may be limited:


According to Wuala's FAQ,[28] the software uses AES-256 for encryption and RSA-2048 for key exchange and signatures. Keys are organized in a key management scheme called Cryptree.[29]

According to the FAQ,[30] Wuala employs full client-side encryption. All files and their metadata – most OS X metadata is not supported – get encrypted before they are uploaded. The encryption key is stored such that no one, not even LaCie that operates the service, can decrypt the stored files. The disadvantage of this is that Wuala has no password recovery and all data processing needs to be done in the client (for example creating a search index). The advantage is significantly improved privacy.

Since the source code to Wuala has not been released, it is difficult to ensure that the software does what it states it does (including proper client-side encryption). Also, updates are pushed automatically to the client machine. These facts mean that users of Wuala are not safe from possible backdoors in code.


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Nadelhorn Release Notes". Archived from the original on 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  2. ^ Wuala | FAQ | General Questions | Who is behind Wuala? Archived 2011-04-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Wuala | How it Works Archived 2010-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "A measurement study of the Wuala on-line storage service". Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  5. ^ a b O'Hear, Steve (17 August 2015). "Wuala, The Secure P2P Cloud Storage Service Acquired By LaCie, To Shut Down". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  6. ^ "Wuala Shutting Down, P2P Storage Service Recommends Tresorit". Cloudwards. 2015-08-18. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  7. ^ Wuala Webstart | Download Wuala Webstart software for free at SourceForge.net
  8. ^ SourceForge.net: Wuala Webstart - Project Web Hosting - Open Source Software
  9. ^ "Wuala Rest API | Wuala API (Alpha)". Archived from the original on 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  10. ^ Wuala Blog | Jingle Bell Rock Archived 2009-01-25 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "LaCie and Wuala Merge to Create a Cloud of Storage Devices". Archived from the original on 2011-04-17. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  12. ^ Wuala | FAQ | Wuala and LaCie Archived 2010-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Who is behind Wuala?". Archived from the original on 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  14. ^ "Introducing: LaCie CooKey and LaCie WhizKey with Wuala Inside". Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  15. ^ LaCie Unveils New USB "Keys" with Wuala Online Storage Inside
  16. ^ Hottingen: New Style & Full-Feature Set
  17. ^ "Wuala dropping p2p trading". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  18. ^ a b "Shifting to paid-only service – Wuala Support". Archived from the original on 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  19. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2014-11-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "WUALA SHUTDOWN NOTICE – Wuala Support". Archived from the original on 2015-08-18. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  21. ^ Wuala | FAQ | Files and Folders | How do I stream my files? Archived 2010-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ comment from Wuala, 2010-12-03 at Introducing: LaCie CooKey and LaCie WhizKey with Wuala Inside Archived 2010-04-06 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Wuala Knowledge Base". Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  24. ^ Wuala | Pricing Archived 2010-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Wuala - Secure Cloud Storage - Backup. Sync. Share. Access Everywhere". Archived from the original on 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  26. ^ Wuala | Remote Access[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ Wuala Webstart: Launching a Java Application directly from a Website Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, 2009-06-25 presentation to Jazoon09, the international conference on Java technology
  28. ^ FAQ entry at http://www.wuala.com/en/support/faq/c/20#id002003 Archived 2010-01-21 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Cryptree: A Folder Tree Structure for Cryptographic File Systems" by Meisser et al. http://www.dcg.ethz.ch/publications/srds06.pdf Archived 2009-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ FAQ entry at http://www.wuala.com/en/support/faq/c/20#id002001 Archived 2010-01-21 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]