MEGA Review - Cloud Storage and File Hosting Service

MEGA is one of the most well-known storage services, but there are a lot of clouds over its reputation. Having said that, as far as we can discern, the level of security is excellent. In addition, we hope its significant free cloud storage bargain will continue once the first month is up. For more information, be sure to read our comprehensive MEGA review.




MEGA is a secure cloud storage provider with a terrific free plan and end-to-end encryption. However, its history is rife with controversy, and the zero-knowledge encryption it employs makes collaboration difficult. In this comprehensive evaluation of MEGA, you will learn more about the platform, including its positive and negative aspects.

Essential Things to Remember: 

  • MEGA provides one of the most effective free plans available on the market: 20 GB free is a fantastic amount for a free plan.
  • The zero-knowledge encryption solution ensures that user data and files are kept private and safe.
  • Strong security typically results in fewer opportunities for productive collaboration.

Cloud storage provider MEGA was established in 2013 by the controversial Kim Dotcom as a follow-up to the renowned file-sharing website Megaupload. You can learn more about Megaupload by reading our guide that explains what Megaupload is. MEGA is a cloud service established in New Zealand after the servers belonging to Megaupload were shut down in Hong Kong. MEGA is committed to protecting its users' data and maintaining their privacy.

Despite its negative press, MEGA remains a reliable and secure cloud service that offers users free space. A staggering 20 Gigabytes of cloud storage space is included with creating a free account. MEGA earned its place on our list of the top free cloud storage providers because of this feature.

MEGA offers a sizable amount of cloud storage for free, but its subscription plans are pretty expensive and don't fully justify the cost. Nevertheless, there are unquestionably superior choices available, several of which provide far more space at a reduced cost. If you seek a deal that offers top-notch protection at an affordable price, you may be interested in reading our review of Sync.com.

MEGA Strengths and Weaknesses

Pros:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption is a distinct advantage.
  • encrypted links for file sharing
  • Ample space available at no cost
  • previews for various forms of media and documents

Cons:

  • High monthly fees for upgraded premium plans
  • Not conducive to collaboration 
  • provides poor assistance for customers
  • The experience of users could be enhanced

MEGA Features

The end-to-end encryption that MEGA provides is one of its most notable features. The user is the only person who can decode their own data because MEGA encrypts all of the files on their client before they are uploaded to MEGA's servers. Combined with two-factor authentication, this results in a highly secure cloud storage solution.

In addition to the outstanding security, MEGA has many features, some of which are absolutely vital while others aren't as important. For example, it provides various tools for sharing content and great extras, such as a chat client. However, it does not integrate with third-party applications, which means it is not the ideal option for collaboration. As a result, some users have turned to other cloud storage options, such as Google Drive and OneDrive.

What Exactly Is the Function of MEGA?

MEGA is an encrypted cloud service that provides extensive functionality for file sharing. It is a beneficial tool for exchanging sensitive data and offers multiple layers of safety for your shared connections. Everything that is uploaded to MEGA is secured with its own unique encryption key, which has the capability of being delivered individually. However, only premium users can change the passwords and specify an expiration date for the links.

You may also collaborate with other MEGA users by sharing folders with them. When you share a folder in this fashion, you can determine who has access to it and what they may do with its files.

The user interface of MEGA can seem quite crowded at times, and many of its various capabilities, particularly those about file sharing, are similar in many respects. Tresorit, on the other hand, is a safe cloud storage solution that simplifies and streamlines the process of sharing files between users. Tresorit has several excellent sharing capabilities, and you can learn more about them in our Tresorit review. You can also compare MEGA and Tresorit to see how they stack up.

MEGA for the Promotion of Productivity and Collaborative Work

MEGA also provides many apps, including the standard desktop and mobile apps, as well as live chat and apps specifically designed for sharing large files.

Live chat is one of MEGA's functionalities that can be handy for teamwork because it is encrypted using the same protocol as the rest of MEGA. But remember that metadata, like your contact's email address, is not encrypted. Chat may be accessed in the desktop version of MEGA and the mobile app.

Within the confines of the conversation, you can share files, and you can do so either by uploading them from your personal computer or from the MEGA cloud drive you use. Unfortunately, sharing a file within the conversation does not display a file preview. Thus you will need to make a note of the file's name. Even if it's a minor issue, MEGA definitely has room for improvement in this regard.

MEGA stores prior versions of each file you upload, protecting it against inadvertent edits that might be stored in the cloud and rendering them useless. Versioning is turned on automatically, and a small clock symbol will appear next to any files that have an older version of the same file.

Because MEGA places such a great emphasis on privacy and security, there are few areas for collaboration alternatives within the platform. As a result, integration with third-party applications such as Google Docs is impossible. Google Drive is a top choice for sharing and collaborating on files in the cloud.

MEGA Pricing

MEGA's outstanding free plan, which includes 20 GB of storage space and a substantial transfer quota, is the service's primary selling point. In addition, MEGA offers a different business plan and four different premium options. There isn't much need to upgrade to one of these more expensive plans unless you really need the extra space they provide.

Free User Account Functionality

The free plan provides access to nearly all of MEGA's features, except link expiration and password protection, extended file retention periods, and the opportunity to share your monthly transfer limit with other customers.

Its 20GB of fixed storage space makes it competitive with the best free options. In addition, there are many different methods by which your storage space can be increased.

You will receive 5 GB of additional storage space after installing MEGAsync, MEGA's desktop program. In addition, you will receive an additional 5 GB of storage space if you download and install the mobile app and an additional 5 GB if you validate your phone number. These bonuses, which add up to 15 GB, are suitable for an entire year.

In addition, if you invite a friend to use MEGA, you will receive an additional 5 GB of storage space for free. If you have confirmed referrals, you will receive a bonus for one full year for each. This will allow you to quickly increase your storage capacity whenever you require it at no additional cost.

You should not be concerned if the additional storage space does not appear immediately. MEGA will contact you in a few days to inform you that your free storage space has been added, but it may take longer for the area to appear in your account.

The amount you can move in and out of a free account is unknown and resets itself every 24 hours. If that's a problem, you must use a virtual private network to access MEGA.

Consider Icedrive, another privacy-focused cloud provider with a great free plan that provides 10GB of storage if you don't think a free membership with MEGA is for you.

Paid MEGA Plans

MEGA's Pro Lite package is the most affordable way to enhance your existing MEGA cloud storage account. It costs $5.85 per month and includes 1 terabyte of transfer and 400 gigabytes of cloud storage (4.99 euros). You also can pay an annual charge, bringing the total you owe to $58.59 annually (49.99 euros).

After the Basic plan, the Pro I plan is available for a monthly fee of $11.71 (9.99 euros) or a yearly fee of $117.19 (99.99 euros). In addition, it provides 2 terabytes of cloud storage space and a transfer quota of 2 terabytes.

The Pro II plan costs $23.43 ($19.99) monthly or $234.39 ($199.99) per year. This grants you 8 terabytes of storage space in the cloud and an 8 terabyte monthly transfer quota.

The Pro III plan is the priciest option, coming in at $35.15 a month (or 29.99 euros), so it includes 16 terabytes of transfer & storage space, respectively. However, suppose you decide to go with a company account. In that case, you can take advantage of unlimited cloud storage & transfer for a monthly cost of $5.86 (5 euros) per subscriber, with a requirement that there be a minimum of three subscribers.

These plans are not the most cost-effective ones available. pCloud is a better value than other cloud storage options and offers a superior level of service overall. You can find additional information by reading our comprehensive review of pCloud.

Ease of Operation

By today's standards, the interface design of MEGA appears to be a little bit obsolete, with its bright reds and dark grays contrasting with each other. However, the legibility of the text is greatly improved as a result of this, and it is now much simpler to both notice and read. In addition, MEGA was updated in 2021 to include a dark mode, which makes the platform more comfortable to use late at night.

MEGA provides customers multiple apps, each offering a unique entry point into the service. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS, in addition to the two desktop applications we mentioned. MEGA.io (previously MEGA.nz) has a website and add-ons for Chrome and Firefox. Finally, MEGAcmd is an expansion that adds even more features to MEGA.

The Browser Version of MEGA

The primary method of interacting with MEGA is through the browser interface, and this is also where all of the essential tools are located. You will spend most of your time working in the "cloud drive" tab, which is located to the left of the various accounts provided for simple navigation. Your cloud drive's directory structure is presented on the left-hand side of this tab, while your files are shown on the right-hand side.

You can access all of your files from this location. When you right-click on a file or folder, you have the option to manage sharing links, as well as to move, copy, or delete the item, as well as to download or preview it. In addition, you can use the "file upload" or "folder upload" buttons to upload stuff to MEGA, or you can drag and drop it.

MEGA Desktop and Mobile Apps

The MEGAsync app is primarily responsible for the management of the desktop experience. When you install the software, a MEGA folder will be created on your computer. This folder will be used to store and sync all of your data. During the process of installing the application, you will be given the option to synchronize all directories or only choose folders.

On Windows computers, the MEGAsync app is represented by an icon in the taskbar. The app's primary purpose is as a transfer manager, letting you sync and unsynchronized folders and files. In addition, while online, your computer can act as a peer-to-peer service, allowing you to broadcast data to other users.

The lack of a "back" button when opening a menu is a little annoying, as it requires you to exit the app and relaunch it from the taskbar. When you have a tremendous amount of tasks to do in the application, this has the potential to become quite unpleasant very quickly.

The mobile app operates the same way as any other mobile app that uses a cloud service. You can transfer files between locations, send links, and upload and download files. In addition, you may access MEGA's chat feature through the mobile app, and turning on "media upload" will instantly upload all of your photographs and videos to MEGA.

Usability Issues

MEGA has added a considerable number of functions since it was first released. However, neither the user interface nor the pre-existing functionality has been updated to reflect these new additions. As a result, there is a functional overlap between several apps and social media platforms, which can cause consumers to become perplexed about which option best suits their needs.

A MEGAdrop folder allows anyone with the link to upload to it, but you can't make upload links for folders. Unfortunately, MEGAdrop folders cannot be shared via download links without being converted back to ordinary folders. It would have been possible to overcome this problem by enabling users to generate their own upload links.

Compared to Dropbox, which offers one of the most refined user experiences of any cloud storage provider, the service's cluttered user interface is especially apparent. In our evaluation of Dropbox, you'll discover additional information regarding this topic. It is one of the cloud services that is the easiest to use and represents a shift from the cluttered interface of MEGA.

Those who have experienced difficulties while utilizing MEGA's service can benefit from reading our comprehensive guide.

Syncing and Sharing of Files

MEGA provides a comprehensive range of features for file sharing, with only a few minor things absent. It is possible to exchange files and folders in various ways, and there are even some attractive and distinctive features that rival services do not provide.

Sending links to files is the most common method of file sharing, and you can generate these links using the option to "get the link." Each connection is secured by encryption, and the keys to the encryption can be delivered independently. In addition, you may make links more secure by giving them passwords and assigning expiration dates to them.

You can also share files by utilizing the "sharing" option; however, this option is more beneficial for folders because it lets you specify permissions for various people. For example, you have the option of setting the permissions for a specific recipient to either "read-only," "read and write," or "full access." A MEGA account is required to share anything. Thus you can only do so with other MEGA users.

MEGAdrop folders let people without MEGA cloud storage accounts upload to your folder. Because of this, anyone with the link to the MEGAdrop folder can upload to it.

The only things missing from the capability of MEGA's sharing feature are the ability to set usage limits for links & to prohibit particular users from viewing linked files; nevertheless, encryption keys & password security should be capable of taking care of the latter portion adequately.

MEGA Sync

The MEGAsync application will generate a sync folder on your hard disk, and all your data will be synchronized inside this folder. In addition to creating new folders in MEGA, you can also choose which existing folders to sync.

Syncing folders is a breeze and may be accomplished through the system tray icon of the desktop application. Selecting "sync" from the app's three-dot menu and "add sync" will allow you to choose which folder you wish to synchronize. The next step is to decide which local folder you want to upload to your MEGA cloud account and select an existing folder or make a new one.

However, because MEGA does not support block-level sync, any modified file must be reuploaded entirely rather than only the revised sections. Because of this, synchronizing data is performed slightly slower than some competitors.

MEGA Speed

In earlier iterations, MEGA suffered from disappointingly slow upload and download rates. Thankfully, the most recent updates to the application have brought about some welcome improvements. As with all of our other testing of cloud storage, we uploaded a folder containing a variety of files totaling 5 GB, utilizing a connection speed of 100 Mbps for both uploading and downloading.

In preliminary tests, uploading a folder that was 1 GB in size took 24 minutes. It is reassuring to note that MEGA has significantly reduced the time needed to complete uploads, which is especially important given that we are uploading a far larger folder. Speeds of downloading are acceptable, though not particularly fast.

Is MEGA incredibly quick? No. However, because of its increased performance, we can now suggest it to customers who prioritize speed as one of their most important requirements for cloud storage. On the other hand, Dropbox is an excellent option to consider if you want an all-around speed demon because it provides some of the most remarkable performance available in the market.

MEGA Protection Systems

MEGA takes great pleasure in its security, which is also one of the platform's most vital points. MEGA is among a small number of cloud storage services that offer end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption. Moreover, unlike most other storage providers, its encryption services are provided at no additional cost to the user.

The data you store with MEGA is encrypted locally. Therefore, only you can access the decryption keys. This ensures that your information is secure from MEGA and other nefarious parties. However, a vulnerability in how it manages encryption keys, discussed in the privacy section, may doubt this.

MEGA secures your files while at rest with industry-standard 128-bit AES encryption and while in transit with the TLS protocol, both using 128-bit AES. This ensures that your data cannot be intercepted by malicious third parties. At the same time, it is being posted to or downloaded from the MEGA servers, rendering man-in-the-middle attacks obsolete.

MEGA employs a process known as two-factor authentication, which adds an additional layer of protection to the operation of logging in. This ensures that your private information is safe even if a third party has access to your account details.

Even if someone can access your data, the client-side and end-to-end encryption will protect the confidentiality of your files, making MEGA an appropriate location to store all your sensitive information. All of these factors contribute to the MEGA cloud service's high level of security.

Due to the high level of security, Mega will not be able to assist you in resetting your password if you forget it. However, if you download a recovery key, you can regain access to your account. If you ever find yourself unable to remember your password, having a copy of it in a secure location will allow you to regain access to your account.

As we touched on briefly before, in 2022, cryptography researchers uncovered a severe security weakness that posed a risk to MEGA's security profile. This flaw had the potential to compromise MEGA's security. You can learn more about the vulnerability in our post titled "MEGA security weakness," which centers on the RSA encryption technique used by the service.

MEGA's Privacy Settings When it comes to MEGA's privacy settings, things can become a little bit complicated. The vast majority of MEGA users shouldn't have anything to worry about in terms of the security of their data when using the service. However, some people are concerned about MEGA because of its murky history, which has been shrouded in controversy ever since the company's inception, and because of its connection to Kim Dotcom, known as the "pirate king."

The servers that makeup MEGA can be found in numerous nations around the European Union, Canada, and New Zealand. This indicates that MEGA is obligated to conform to the requirements of the GDPR, a regulation that safeguards your personal information. Furthermore, all MEGA users, not just those in the EU, are afforded the safeguards of the GDPR.

To avoid a situation similar to the one that befell MEGA's predecessor, Megaupload, MEGA has dispersed the servers that make up its server network in this manner. This is done to prevent the government of any one nation from ordering the removal of MEGA's servers.

Is It Risk-Free to Use MEGA?

Utilizing MEGA's services is entirely risk-free. But there are a few details about user information that you should know.

According to the company's privacy policy, the service may share user data with third-party advertising, but the user will remain anonymous. That is comparable to how companies like Google and Microsoft, in addition to a few other organizations, run their businesses. If you aren't very concerned about the possibility of your data being shared with third parties, then you won't have to worry about this being an issue.

Because of the client-side encryption MEGA uses, the company never gets complete access to your uploaded data. In addition, even if MEGA was ordered by a court to hand up your data, it would not be decipherable because the company uses a zero-knowledge service.

In any case, MEGA does keep track of some metadata regarding your MEGA usage, such as:
  • Accessing MEGA from each device's unique IP address
  • The many types of browsers and operating systems utilized by those devices
  • Dimensions of files, the order of versions, and the hierarchy of parent-child relationships
  • Several timestamps, including the dates and times when files were made and removed.
  • Any MEGA user's email address who has been added as a contact or with whom the user has shared data using MEGA's sharing feature.
  • Those that you have exchanged messages with on MEGA's chat system and their email addresses
  • Takedowns and suspensions of user accounts
  • Your interactions with MEGA's communications
  • Your profile options, including your chosen image for your account's avatar

While this information isn't extensive, it is sufficient to determine whether or not a user is in violation of MEGA's TOS or applicable copyright laws.

Unfortunately, cryptographic experts identified severe weaknesses baked into the encryption scheme of MEGA's service, which caused the company's claims to be zero-knowledge to run into a roadblock.

You can read the whole thing if you're interested in the specifics. However, MEGA's encryption mechanism might use a total rethink. Customers' data could still be decrypted by an inside actor if that person had access to MEGA's infrastructure and encryption keys.

Despite this, we don't believe the attack is very likely to succeed and are still comfortable promoting MEGA as a private and secure cloud storage service because it demands effort from MEGA. Nonetheless, the revelation of the vulnerability is cause for concern, lowering MEGA's grade in this respect.

MEGA, Kim Dotcom, as well as China

In 2013, Kim Dotcom laid the groundwork for what would become MEGA.nz. Since he left the MEGA in 2015, he has asserted that it is now under the control of a Chinese investor man named Yan, who is sought in China for corruption. He alleges that MEGA was taken over by William Yan. It has not yet been determined whether this is accurate; however, it should be made aware because some individuals might not choose to use a service mired in controversy.

It is also essential to remember that a sizeable proportion of MEGA's shareholders are related to or controlled by the Chinese government. It is well known that China does not prioritize protecting the personal space of its citizens. Again, there is no evidence to suggest any misconduct occurred; yet, it is essential to be aware of these dangers.

You may rest assured that not even MEGA can decipher the code used to encrypt your files. This indicates that you have no reason to be concerned about the President of China looking at images of your pet.

Assistance to Customers

Regarding providing good customer service, MEGA falls a little short. There is a help center with answers to frequently asked questions. However, you can email the customer care team if you cannot locate the information you need there.

The support center has sections dedicated to specific apps and services and sub-parts to particular questions. The help center covers a decent amount of ground, and most of its articles come with accompanying visual guides.

Email is the one and only way to communicate directly with a representative of the customer care department. Even though MEGA provides email help around the clock, the amount of time it takes to respond can vary. It asserts that it will answer within twenty-four hours, but waiting even one day may be too long for certain people. For example, after submitting our trial question, we heard back from someone within six hours.

Phone help and a community forum where customers may discuss problems with one another are not included in its customer care service. Live chat is another feature that would be useful to have in this department. The 24/7 availability of Google Drive's extensive customer care services is something from which MEGA should learn.

Consensus Opinion

Despite all the controversy surrounding it, MEGA is still a reliable cloud storage service. Because of the company's unwavering commitment to users' privacy and protection is among the most reliable cloud services currently available. In addition, each security measure can be utilized without incurring additional costs; hence, its encryption services do not require any further payment on your part.

MEGA is one of the finest free cloud services since its free plan offers a very generous 20 GB of storage space, and users have the option to upgrade to more freedom. It is missing a few small functions, but its vast storage should be adequate to suit the requirements of the majority of users.

On the other hand, MEGA's costs can be expensive if you require more storage space than what the free plan provides. Therefore, you may be better off using a service such as Sync.com, which offers most of the capabilities of MEGA at a lesser price and without the controversy linked to MEGA.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts about MEGA. Will the drama be enough to dissuade you from using the service, or will the allure of free encrypted storage be too great to resist? Share your thoughts with us in the section below! We appreciate you taking the time to read our comprehensive MEGA review.