We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.

Kathleen O'Neill • 8 years ago

Earlier this year, I signed up for a 200 Gig Dropbox account for purposes of storing a large number of photo and video files I've taken at shows, and also for sharing the edited pictures and videos with the performers. The first time I attempted to do so, a few hours after I posted the link, I heard that my account had been suspended. I was shocked, it sounded as if I'd been making and distributing kiddie porn. I found out that Dropbox imposes a limit on the amount of data that can be downloaded from your account within one day. If it reaches that limit, the account is suspended until the following day. I don't remember exactly the cut off point, or if the suspension time was by the day, or by the 24 hour period, but I do know that only a handful of people had been able to download the files before the suspension notice. A two and a half hour video in full HD makes a pretty hefty file, and I knew that some of the performers planned on sharing the video on their large screen televisions, rather than on their phones, so I didn't want to diminish the quality of the video by reducing the file size.

Doing the math with the number of gigabytes allowed per day, the size of the file, and the number of people waiting to download, it would have been ten days before everyone had a chance to see it. Considering what I pay each year for a Dropbox account that size, if I do this two or three times in the course of a year, it would be faster and cheaper to just burn a bunch of DVDs.

I had no idea of this restriction when I signed up. I don't know if Mega has any similar restriction, but this factor makes it not worth it for me to have the paid account. I can find another place to stash my files for less money. As soon as I clear out what's in my account, I'm going back to the free version.

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

This is true, and I wish they would state this up front. The bandwidth limits for Dropbox are posted here: https://www.dropbox.com/hel... Basically, 200GB per day for paid accounts. 20GB per day for free accounts. Mega's bandwidth limits are 1TB to 8TB per month, depending on the paid plan. Mega's free plan has a 10GB daily limit.

unsean • 8 years ago

This happened to me to (I do videography, and used Dropbox to get clients updates on the project). Pretty scary, if only because, as you said, you have no idea why it happened (in my case the client was having difficulty downloading files, and made multiple attempts).

Diego Garcia • 8 years ago

MEGA is not really that new. MEGA has received a lot of criticism because the owner K during 90s developed MEGAUPLOAD. To all the youngsters, Megaupload is the ancester of all cloud storage. So to say MEGA is new is not true. The fact they offer 50GB + encrypted key is already a winner, although we can question how safe that key actually is. They haven't promoted themselves for the past few years, because of criticism and piracy issues from the past. I use their service, have 2 emails registered, so that's 100 FREE CLOUD STORAGE. Their interface is amazing, fast, lean like a fighting machine.

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

Thanks for your thoughts. Here's a good article on MEGA's security: http://arstechnica.com/busi... The key itself is encrypted using the account password.

OpenSpeedtest.com • 8 years ago

Google Deive, OneDrive, DropBox etc. We can Trust More. i am afraid one day FBI or some agency shutdown MEGA. then How i get my files back? Still Megaupload people never get their files back!!

Graham Miranda • 7 years ago

You are definitely not wrong. Plus, MEGA net worth is somewhere around 200 million where has Google's Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive and Dropbox net worth will definitely be in Billions. The point being those big companies will have at least 4-5 copies of our files but with MEGA you don't really know what will happen after one server farm is closed down.

Guest • 7 years ago
Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Mateusz, thanks for your patience. Here is our review of hubiC: http://www.backupreview.com...

Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Hi Mateusz. Thanks for recommending hubiC. That does look like a popular service, and I will check it out.

Guest • 7 years ago
Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Hey Mateusz. I did not get a chance to review it yet. Check back with me at the end of May okay?

Guest • 7 years ago
Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Hi Mateusz. Sorry for the delay! Mike Lohnash is currently reviewing it, and it will be posted by the end of the month.

akkadaya • 8 years ago

Mega saves files on 2 servers in 2 different countries so when one server is shut down you will be able to download from the other one

OpenSpeedtest.com • 7 years ago

Yes. Most services have mirror servers and backup. Even megaupload had similar setup.
But... Where is user data stored on megaupload?

Hop this service will not get any problems.

locoma • 8 years ago

really nice article, you cover everything I was wondering about in a really neatly displayed way that is easy to read through, and you keep it updated and respond to comments. Five stars to you!

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

Thank you so much. I am honored :)

Igor Escalona • 7 years ago

Mega doesn't preview pdf files. And Dropbox does :/

Anonymous • 8 years ago

Dropbox has selective folder sync too.

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

Yes, but it's only for folders inside the Dropbox folder. In this case I'm referring to the ability to sync any folder on the hard drive.

locoma • 8 years ago

THIS is what made me go with MEGA, there are folders in my HDD that I want to backup but don't want to move, because I've kept them organized that way for years. I haven't found a limit to the amount of folders I can configure this way yet. I hope there is none.

studotwho • 6 years ago

To backup folders that aren't in the dropbox folder, I create symlinks using the NTFS utility, "mklinks". You can have files stored anywhere, create an NTFS link/junction in your dropbox folder and start syncing the contents as though the files were in the dropbox folder all along.

locoma • 5 years ago

holy cow man that's a great idea, I had no idea that trick worked with dropbox!! Thanks!!!!!

Ghost666 • 6 years ago

MEGA unfortunately has no finder integration in OS X, dropbox has that...
I hope MEGA will inegrate that feature too.

Jerry George • 7 years ago

Both dont have main feature remote URL upload. Mention it man.

Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Hi Jerry. Just to clarify, remote upload means like http://uploadcloud.net ? Or where unregistered users can upload files? I don't know a lot of cloud storage services that support this. Is there a reason you can't upload from the Dropbox or MEGA websites themselves?

Sasa Serbia • 7 years ago

I use internet at copenhagen university, 1Gbps and when I use mega to upload files, upload speed is 35kb/s, as you can see in screenshot, there are many files but small ones, nothing really big, I am waiting already 20 minutes and I will give up:

marcelograciolli • 7 years ago

I'm having serious problems with MEGA on security issues. I had important files within the MEGA and they disappeared. I am in contact with MEGA support for over a month and I can not get my files back. My last contact with the company, they restored my folders but there is nothing in them so it is not a reliable service. It is the tip!

ferdiz • 7 years ago

Nice comparison Geoff, thank you for taking your time researching and writing this. Much appreciated.

In addition to the many great alternatives that have been mentioned in the comments here, I don't think anyone has mentioned Copy.com. Copy.com is made by Barracuda Networks and launched in 2013. And the service seem to be popular among some Linux users, particularly Fedora and Debian...

Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Thanks Ferdi! I'm a big fan of Copy, and you can read my review of it here.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. • 7 years ago

Be weary when storing files on MEGA as they don't maintain servers that well. I use them to store some large data in rar spits with recovery volumes. Sometimes I can't download one or two parts and luckily the recovery volumes come in handy which without would make the data mostly useless. And what if those were full files, unsplitted, unguaranteed? Sometimes some of the splits get released and they're OK, so far none of them complained about CRC32/BLAKE2 failure, but others remain "blocked" and I assume corrupted and unrecoverable (RAID failure etc on their part). It has its cons and pros, but reliability of data should be no.1 concern.. Good thing IT pros can get around this, but the rest... ? Not without harsh reminders.

Graham Miranda • 7 years ago

Don't know if this matters but I have a 300Mbps fiber connection and while uploading to:

Mega I got around 770 Kb/sec to 1.2 Mb/sec (8Mbps) speed max. While downloading from them I got around 12 Mb/sec (155 Mbps approx).

While uploading to drop box I got around 4 to 7 Mb/sec (100 mbps) and while downloading from them I got around 32 Mb/sec (My maxed out connection)

Guest • 8 years ago

How solidified is MEGA as a cloud service? Could it potentially disappear like his last one?

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

It could definitely disappear. That's why I always recommend local backups in addition to the cloud. Dropbox is a more solidified and larger service.

ppiiff • 8 years ago

it is not true that MEGA cannot decrypt your files. It is not true that "your data is encrypted and decrypted only on the client-side", they would not be able to deduplicate files this way. Just read once again what they say on website "your data is encrypted & decrypted _during_transfer_ by your client devices and never by us". They have your key, and _can_ decrypt your file, they just a promise that they wont do it.

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

Hi ppiiff. This is not correct. Data can be deduplicated via convergent encryption, which I'm assuming is what MEGA uses. I've sent them an email asking them to clarify. It is true that the key is stored on their servers, however the key is encrypted using the account password. From https://mega.co.nz/#blog_3 - "Because the master AES-128 key is encrypted using your password, remembering the password is vital. Losing it means you don't just lose the ability to log on to the service - you lose the ability to decrypt your files."

Update: MEGA replied to my email. They said they don't use convergent encryption. Hard to believe, but they only deduplicate data on a per-user basis, not across all accounts. I quote: "The way we identify duplicate data is by comparing the hash of the encrypted data. Since it's encrypted data, it means only your own files are checked for duplicate files, as the hash would be different for other users, as they have different encryption keys." They further stated, "we are strictly against convergent encryption."

tl;dr MEGA is super duper private.

PJ • 7 years ago

Hi Geoff, this is at odds with Megas T&C's, which states:

"Our service may automatically delete a piece of data
you upload or give someone else access to where it determines that that
data is an exact duplicate of original data already on our service. In
that case, you will access that original data."

Taken from: https://mega.co.nz/#terms

Any chance of chasing them up again for clarification?

Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

Nice catch. I asked them to clarify, since that wording seems to conflict with their stated policy of only deduplicating data on a per-user basis.

Here is their response:

Hello Geoff.

Everything is per-user, nothing is across multiple users, because all
data that is uploaded is encrypted, we have no way of decrypting the
files to look at them, which means the hashes for every file will be
different across every user.

Even if they uploaded the same content, their encryption key is
different, the encrypted data will be different, hence the hash will be

> "Our service may automatically delete a piece of data you upload or
give someone else access to where it determines that that data is an
exact duplicate of original data*already on our service*."

It means if you upload a file or share a file with someone and our
system detects that the hash of that file is the same as the hash of
another file in your account, it will not store the file for a second
time, it'll just link to the existing data.

Kind Regards,

Mega Support
CMYu • 7 years ago

Hi Geoff, since cross-user dedup may have huge storage/cost saving and convergent encryption seems easily adopted/implemented, I am wondering why MEGA chooses not to use it. Could you please give some comments? Besides, do you think there are some cloud storage services/file hosting services that use convergent encryption?

mato • 7 years ago

Because convergent encryption is not all that secure and Mega strives for top security.

Geoff Akerlund • 7 years ago

MEGA hasn't told me their reasons for not using convergent encryption, other than stating "we are strictly against convergent encryption." I imagine it's for privacy, since convergent encryption is open to some attacks http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Bitcasa is a famous cloud service which uses convergent encryption. I'm not aware of many others.

Henry • 8 years ago

Dropbox offers now 1TB for $99/year

Geoff Akerlund • 8 years ago

Indeed. Dropbox is now the winner in the price category.

Mark Polo • 7 years ago

Sadly MEGA seemingly doesn't want to compete in that category. If only Onedrive (or dropbox) would allow you to sync any folder you want. Sigh.

Ansem • 8 years ago

hi, i have a problem with mega: when i delete a file in my folder, mega don't delete it from the cloud.
For example if I sync a folder X withe the file Y, i delete Y on my pc, if i go into mega the file Y is still in the folder X.
i don't have this problem with dropbox. how can i resolve it with mega?

unormal • 8 years ago

IsnĀ“t that the whole point? If you accidentally deletes your folder on your computer it will still be on the cloud :) Backup.

samekto • 8 years ago

Mega now has a Mac client which works well. I find Mega generally faster in download than Dropbox Apart from the ubiquitousness of Dropbox, and the relative newness of Mega, the latter's 50GB is a huge plus.