http://www.flickr.com/photos/qchristopher/3025924975

Once you move to a paperless office, the next step is making your files accessible from anywhere. The firm I work at uses Dropbox, which works rather well and appears to have a heads up over the competition. A relatively new service, however, called Wuala (Waa-lah), looks like a nice alternative.

Is the cloud secure?

Your files get uploaded from your computer onto the Wuala cloud, which means you can access your files from any other computer. Wuala, however, encrypts all of your files before it uploads them. That means Wuala employees cannot read and cannot access your documents. For attorneys concerned about attorney-client privilege, or confidentiality in general, that is a neat feature.

In addition, the password you use to login to Wuala is never shared with the company. Again, this limits (perhaps eliminates) the possibility of unauthorized users accessing your data.

Other helpful features

Wuala will instantly sync up files you are working on, just like Dropbox. Open something on one computer, then open it again on another one to work on the updated file.

You can also share files by emailing people links to certain files. I believe Dropbox is beta-testing this feature, and I actually have some concerns about it. For example, if you want to share something with a client, sending an email is still less public than creating a hyperlink to the file. Although the chances of anyone finding that hyperlink are remote, that still means whatever you shared is floating on the internet.

Cheap enough to try

You can purchase as little or as much storage as you need. Somewhere between 25 GB and 100 GB should be just plenty, with prices ranging from $49 to $129. At those prices, I would suggest trying Wuala or Dropbox and watch how much time it saves you.