YuuWaa is a rather unique way of providing cloud storage backup and a cheaper alternative to PogoPlug.
The basic idea is that you install YuuWaa software on a USB key and this will automatically sync the contents with an online account. They suggest this would be useful, say, for copying files from your various devices – phones, cameras, etc – onto this single USB key which will then automatically back itself up.
You have a certain amount of online storage – at the moment you can get 2GB free, but can purchase higher amounts. This is shared between backups of the USB key and any other storage that you wish to use it for. When you visit your online account is connects to the current PC and shows the various folders and files. You can move files between here and your online account. Equally, they show your USB key contents and this can be moved about too.
Another USP of this product is that you can buy YuuWaa branded USB keys which come with the required software on them already PLUS a certain amount of online storage. Play.com, for instance, sell a 4GB key with 8GB online storage for £10.99 and an 8GB key with 16GB online storage for £29.95. If you wish to use your own USB key and simply want to buy further online storage then the charges are per year and start at €9.99 (approx. £8.70) for 10GB.
What wasn’t clear from online retailers is how long the storage that comes with the USB key lasts for – with nothing specified, I wondered if it wasn’t time limited. However, I contacted YuuWaa and was informed that it is for 6 months.
Sharing YuuWaa content is done via the website interface and then can only be done a file at-a-time (i.e. there is no option to share an entire folder). And, then, you can only share content with a specified email address – there’s no option to share a file publicly, for instance.
I found the documentation to be quite complete but I struggled to work out how to use the basically functionality – a case of quantity over quality. Support wise, they were quite quick at responding to my sales query. They have a Twitter account but it’s not updated very often and it’s for sales rather than support.
Where I think YuuWaa is going to struggle, is how it’s currently promoting its service…
- Do you find yourself having to use more and more digital devices?
- Is it sometimes difficult for you to find certain files because you do not remember where these were saved?
- Do you need more and more space to store your ever increasing digital memories?
- You have a lot of great songs and you do not know where to safely store them?
The thing is, yes, we often have phones, cameras, etc, all with files stored on them. But why would I want to move them to a relatively small USB key rather than my PC – isn’t the latter going to be more accessable to me? And why is it any easier to transfer all the files to my PC rather than to USB? To answer the first question, YuuWaa refer to their USB key as..
A flash drive with no memory limitation, thanks to the online storage access.
Except it is limited, as you have to purchase an amount of storage. And, if you have only an 8GB USB key, that’s all you can fit onto it – the rest may be backed up online, but how do you then play that music back? It’s a useful device, but I think they’re trying to answer the wrong question.
Yes, it’s comparable to Pogoplug but, at the same time, they are different beasts. Both provide expandable ways to provide cloud storage – YuuWaa has the lowest cost but Pogoplug is a lot more expandable. Indeed, Pogoplug doesn’t backup your drive contents, but merely allows access to it wherever you like.
Having said all that, Pogoplug is far more versatile, polished and easy to use – if you have the money I’d go for that instead. At the moment YuuWaa seems to me to be more a case of “work in progress”.
Service no longer available
YuuWaa continued for a number of years after this review, including licensing out the software component of their service to Sandisk. However, in January 2014 the plugged was pulled. Server access disappeared, as did people’s account and files.
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