MEGA Cloud Storage Review – Expert Breakdown and Analysis
With strong encryption, servers placed out the US and free 50 GB storage space; there is not much in Mega that will make you ignore it. Created amidst a big controversy, Mega had one million users in just three days of launching, and now it has over 15 million.
Paid plans start at costs 4.99€ per month for 200 GB space.
This file storage service was launched by the same guy who founded MegaUpload. After Kim Dotcomm’s MegaUpload was shut down by the US government because of copyright infringement laws, he proudly launched Mega on the first anniversary of MegaUpload’s dismissal.
Over the years, Dotcomm has been referred by world leaders as a criminal, but his fans continue to shower him with praises. This the reason Mega is a pro-privacy and anti-government cloud storage service. Launched back in 2012, the service now claims to have over 15 million users.
Who Should Use It?
If you are someone who strongly believes that the government is constantly prying on user data to collect information, and you don’t want to be spied upon, then Mega is definitely for you. Unlike cloud services like OneDrive and Google Drive that have an open door policy with the NSA, Mega does not like to deal with the government at all. For them, customer privacy is everything.
They also offer 50 GB free storage which is a lot. In fact, there are very few services that allow 50 GB cloud storage space with no conditions. And this is the reason Mega is perfect for storing personal data.
Mega’s high encryption is great for business owners as well. With a service like this, you can be completely assured that the government will never be able to directly access your critical files on the cloud (They could always hack).
- Pro-privacy company
- Strong encryption
- 50 GB storage free
- Web App Only
- File syncing
- File versioning
- File sharing
- & more...
Uploads & Downloads
Signing up to Mega is a piece of cake. All you need is your email address and a strong password. And yes, we do mean a strong password. If Mega thinks your password isn’t strong enough, it will notify you instantly. Apart from that, you also get a randomly generated master key in the form of a text file that you need to save. In case you lose your password, you can use this key to get back access to your account.
We found the interface very easy to manage. You can add your contacts on Mega to share files with them and even chat with them if needed. If you want to share a folder with someone who isn’t a Mega user, you can just enter their email address, and they will be automatically added to your contacts. There is also an option to choose the kind of access you want to give other users – whether you only want them to view the files or edit them as well.
There is real-time collaboration available on Mega, which means two users can edit the same file at the same time. Users can also share files publically which means anyone with the link to the file can access it.
Coming to uploads, you can either upload an entire folder from your drive or single files. Users can also create a new folder directly on the web app and create a file hierarchy for easy access.
It also has a desktop sync client where users can drag and drop folders that they want to sync. The transfer is only done when your system is idle so that Mega does not interfere with your work. Even after you drop folders into the sync client, it will wait till the least amount of bandwidth is being used and then make the transfer. This obviously speeds up the process. The sync client is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Any folder on the hard drive can be selected as the primary sync folder.
While the sync client was fast, uploads done on the website were comparatively slow. And with no resume option, if you lose your internet connectivity, you would have to start the whole process again.
Mega does save different versions of a file but it doesn’t have incremental file versioning, and that is why we wouldn’t recommend saving constantly changing big files on Mega. There is also a recycle bin folder where all the deleted files are saved and can be retrieved.
The service also has add-ons for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. With the help of these add-ons, you can download files in batches without any restrictions. In our testing, we found out that using add-ons increased the overall speed of uploads and downloads. Though the Chrome add-on was a bit buggy when used with the other Chrome extensions, when we disabled the others and only ran Mega add-on, it worked fine.
Privacy & Security
Privacy is one of the main reasons why users opt for Mega, and the company has made sure that they provide the best of it. When you sign up for Mega, you get to set a strong password and save a master key. In case you lose your account password, the master key is the only way to retrieve your encrypted data. If you lose your master key as well, then there is no way to get back your data.
This is because Mega does not save any of the passwords on its servers. Your data is first encrypted and only then it is transferred to the Mega servers. The service uses 256-bit AES encryption to secure the data.
And it goes without saying that Mega does not have any open door policy to any of the governments all over the world.
Web & Mobile App
We already discussed Mega’s web app in detail above. In fact, its Web app is the main place through which everything works. The desktop sync client is just an add-on.
Coming to its mobile apps, Mega has apps for Android, iOS and Blackberry. The one with the most features is obviously the Android app. You can download and upload mobile data, initiate automatic photo uploads and create share links as well.
Through the iOS app, users can only upload photos automatically and view the already uploaded files. But, it can be difficult to upload big files with the mobile apps.
Pricing and Plans
The first 50 GB is free for all users, but if you are looking for a bigger backup plan, then you would be glad to know that Mega has a variety of paid plans. Each paid plan also has a fixed bandwidth.
The first plan is for 200 GB of storage space with a bandwidth of 1 TB, which costs 4.99€ per month and the highest plan is for 4 TB with a bandwidth of 8 TB and this plan costs 29.99€ per month. If you purchase a yearly plan, you get the first two months free.
Mega has some affordable plans. While it doesn’t provide unlimited storage plans like the other cloud backup services but with features like this, you really wouldn’t mind the limited storage space.
What's It Missing?
Mega is a great initiative to provide customers the privacy they deserve, but it’s still not as polished as you would want it to be. We noticed some issues with the speed while we were testing. Browser add-ons do help with the speed, but you cannot always rely on them for work.
Also, when you share a folder or a file link, the encryption key is also shared in the link which could compromise the security. There is also no dedicated desktop client. There is a syncing client, but you cannot access all the features of the service through its desktop app.
- Free Storage: 50 GB
- Free Trial: No
- System: Windows, Mac and Linux
- Price: Starting at 4.99€ /month
- Mobile Apps: iOS, Android and Blackberry
- Synchronization: Yes
- Free External HD Backup: No
- Continuous Backup: No
- Incremental Backup: No
- Backup Scheduling: No
- Bare Metal Backup: No
- Exclude File Extensions for Backup: No
- Network Drives: No
- Bandwidth Throttling: No
- Web Access: Yes
- HIPAA Compliant: No
- File Size Limit: No limit
- Included Machines: Unlimited
- Local Encryption: 256-bit
- Server Side Encryption: 256-bit
- Keeps deleted files: Unlimited
- File Versioning: Limited
- File Sharing: Yes
- Multiple Accounts: No
- Share Photo Albums: Yes
- Music Streaming: No
- Folder Collaboration: Yes
- Outlook Backup: No