Amazon S3 and Wuala hard facts (II)

In my first post about Amazon S3 and Wuala I just made a very simple technical comparison about both services. Due to the great response I provide you with a deeper review.

Compare Price

Comparing both service for their cost is tricky, because their pricing concepts differs in many aspects. Especially the fact that you can trade your local storage for free cloud storage flaws every comparison.

Amazon S3:

  • first 50 TB / used storage per month 0,150 USD per GB
  • PUT, COPY, POST or LIST 0,01 USD per 1.000 requests
  • GET and all other requests 0,01 USD per 10.000 requests
  • up to 10 TB / month outgoing traffic 0,150 USD per GB
  • Third party client software for desktop integration cost something, e.g. JungleDisk 3$ per month


  • First 1 GB are free (send me a comment and I’ll reply with an activation code for 2 GB)
  • You can invite friends and get additional storage
  • You can share local storage to the wuala cloud and get additional storage
  • You can buy storage (see list)
  • Traffic is included

Comparison just on storage:

storage* (GB) Amazon S3 (EUR/Y) Wuala (EUR/Y)
12 GB 16,0 15
52 GB 69,5 60
102 GB 136,3 100
502 GB 671,0 400
1 TB 1371,4 640

* The unusual storage sizes include the fact, that you get 2 GB free for Wuala. So I just added this 2 GB to every category.

Comparison with some traffic:

storage (GB) Amazon S3 (EUR/Y) Wuala (EUR/Y)
12 GB 17,6 15
52 GB 77,1 60
102 GB 151,5 100
502 GB 746,8 400
1 TB 1515,7 640

To include some traffic I made the following assumption: uploading 10% of storage, downloading 10% of storage, PUT/COPY/POST/LIST 1.000 requests for 10GB and GET 10.000 requests for 10 GB with linear scaling. In case you would assume different traffic, yes, you are right, the figures are not perfect but good enough for a comparison.

Compare Performance

Upload 50MB:

Time (min:sec) Total (MB)
Amazon S3 7:24 52
Wuala 13:47 82

Download 50MB:

Time (min:sec) Total (MB)
Amazon S3 2:14 50,5
Wuala 2:27 54,1

The figures are simple to enough to see that Amazon S3 stores files in half the time compared to Wuala. Interestingly not because it has a higher performance (average transfer rate about 20% higher) but the total amount of data send over the net. Wuala uses P2P technology which stores encrypted file segments redundant on several clients (plus a central backup server) which results in more traffic. You can surely produce advanced performance tests, but they won’t get you something very different.

Details of the small performance test you can read at my first post.

Compare Features

A first approach to compare the most important features of both services. By definition it’s very subjective and incomplete but I give my best.

Amazon S3 Wuala
provider US company Swiss company
Service level agreement (promise not to lose your content) no no
data privacy no – depends on your third-party client software yes
Provides huge storage > 500 TB yes unlikely
Special import/export service for bit data transfer via hard disk yes no
BitTorrent download yes no
service API http/REST (GET, PUT,..), http/SOAP proprietary, http/REST (GET)
file integrity by checksum validation yes yes
versioning yes – adds to storage yes – it’s free
time travel no yes – client feature
social sharing no yes
works behind firewall which doesn’t block the provider domain yes – just http request mostly no – UDP packages
desktop integration as local share no – depends on your third-party client software yes
Webclient no – depends on your third-party client software yes – but you need java installed


Initially I thought that the comparison is definitely in favor of Amazon S3 but I’m surprised:

  • Wuala is definitely the better cloud storage service for the personal usage as long as you don’t sit behind a firewall which blocks wuala
  • Amazon S3 offers simple APIs and clean pricing to work as enterprise level application storage (pay as you go) even for huge storage amounts

8 thoughts on “Amazon S3 and Wuala hard facts (II)

  1. Hi there. I’ve read your blogs regarding Amazon S3 and Wuala. Interestingly, I myself have narrowed down the cloud storage providers to the same 2 entities for their cost-effectiveness and cross-platform compatibility. I definitely will be using Wuala, given its value pricing. Although, I don’t see how one can get 2 GB of free storage. Currently, I am limited at 1 GB.

    1. ah, now I understand. That means the Wuala client uses partially BitTorrent techniques but you can’t use a standard BitTorrent client to download from wuala. Thanks

      1. Exactly 🙂
        You can test it yourself: Hold Strg+Alt+F (or D) and click on “World Map”. When you downloading a good maintaned file, your should see a big p2p cloud.

        That’s also the reason why wuala uploads more than the original file size -> because of maintenance in the p2p cloud.

    1. Thanks for the REST link, I’ll update my post. What did you mean about BitTorrent? There is no article on the website or google that you can use BitTorrent for Wuala? Do you have a link? Any suggestions to complete the comparison are welcomed

  2. One thing I’ve been very pleased by with Wuala, is the native support for Linux. The installation process was easy enough for a non-techie as well. Another +.
    I’ve yet to try out bigger backups, but for now am backing up my T-bird directory.

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