Followup (2013-01-25): after half a year of use, I’ve now posted a comparison of SpiderOak vs Wuala and Dropbox.
I’ve been using Wuala for a while now. A year and a half ago, I even posted a guide to running it under Linux via command line.
My main reasons for choosing them at the time was the focus on privacy/encryption (Wuala has no way to read your files because they are encrypted client-side), the feature-rich client (auto-backup, sync and manual backup), the way to earn tons of free storage (by trading space on your own hard drive), and the fact that it was run by a decently solid company specialized in hard drives (Lacie).
But since then, their evolution has been somewhat disappointing. Ok, they increased the free storage a bit (from 2 to 5 GiB, as far as I remember), but they discontinued the (fairly unique) option to trade for storage. The client didn’t evolve much; notably it’s still in painfully slow Java. Finally, and this is what made me switch, the client doesn’t seem to work well with Java 7: huge CPU usage “spikes” (if you can call a 30-second period a spike), loss of connectivity when behind a firewall (I just tested PC Tools and ZoneAlarm, though), and freezes.
So, I didn’t really had much choice: I had to find an alternative. I quickly settled for SpiderOak, for two main reasons:
– privacy: like Wuala, client-side encryption: SpiderOak never get to see you files and never get your password (so, same risk as with Wuala: if you lose your password, it’s lost for good)
– (hopefully) performance: no more crappy Java. I’m not sure of what they use instead (at least some Python, probably some C/C++), but they don’t use Java.
They only offer 2 free GiB, but they often run special offers to increase this permanently by a few GiB (you might want to monitor their blog in order not to miss those), and they have a referral program much better than Wuala’s: one permanent extra GiB storage per referral and when you are referred (so if you sign up using this link you begin with 3 GiB instead of 2), up to a maximum of 10 extra GiB. For a comparison, Wuala offers only 256MiB (used to be 512), valid for only a year…
Apart from that, the only drawback compared to Wuala IMO is the lack of a manual backup feature: in Wuala, you can auto-backup and auto-sync folders, but you can also just drag and drop a file into Wuala to backup it. In SpiderOak, like in the huge majority of such software, you have the auto-backup and auto-sync but if you want to backup a file manually at a given time, you need to move or copy the file into an auto-backed up folder (otherwise you can turn the file or its current folder into an auto-backed up file or folder, but then it’s not a manual, one-time backup anymore).