Introducing MEGA – The Best Free Cloud Storage Out There?
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Mega is a free online file storage. This means instead of storing your files on your hard-drive or your phone’s storage, you can store your files on MEGA’s computers and access them in real-time via the internet. Yet, MEGA is a cloud storage with a difference. It decrypts the files by a key on the user’s device. This means MEGA has no access to the files of its users, and therefore the files can be read only by the user! This is a process called end-to-end encryption. Regardless of the technicalities of MEGA’s privacy solutions, it’s one of the best cloud systems out there, and one that you may wish to consider for your everyday use and for your collaborative projects.
1. 15GB of Space for Free
MEGA is easy to sign up to, and its web interface is aesthetically pleasing. You can use it, if you wish, without installing any apps and only through your browser. MEGA gives you 15GB of guaranteed space for free, with rewards that last for 30 to 365 days, and from 10GB to 35GB. So, for example, if you refer a friend, you will get 10G which lasts for one year. But 15GB of space is more than enough for backing up the photos on your phone and the documents on your tablet or laptop. Whilst there are paid plans, MEGA cloud is essentially free to use and completely ad-free!
2. Great Mobile App
MEGA has a dedicated mobile app both for Android and iOS phones and tablets. It flows really well and is relatively easy on your device’s resources. It automatically backs up your camera pictures to the cloud. You can set it up so as to make it upload only via Wi-Fi, or only when the phone is plugged in to the charger. You can also tell the app to upload only photos, only videos, or both photos and videos. MEGA app allows you to add one more media folder. You can use this feature to back up your WhatsApp photos automatically.
There are only two small issues – and I am nit-picking here – with the app. Firstly, the mobile app is unable to sort files by size in the Camera Uploads folder (although it has advanced sorting for all other folders). Secondly, the app changes the colour of the status bar to red/orange on android devices when the app is open—almost the same colour when the battery saver is on. So it may make you think you’re running out of battery and give you a little bit of a fright when you are using the app. But besides these, MEGA app is one of the best free cloud syncing apps out there.
3. Integrative Desktop App
MEGA has its own free apps for Windows, Mac, and even Linux! You can download MEGAsync for all operating systems. Their desktop app is impressive! MEGAsync fully integrates your cloud folders and files with your computer’s native structure. This means you won’t have to use the desktop app, but your native file manager in order to manage your cloud files. You can manage your MEGA the same way you manage your files and folders on your desktop, tablet, or laptop. Upon installing MEGAsync, you are given the option of having all your MEGA files and folders synced and incorporated with your computer, or selecting specific folders to be synced. You can always change your mind by right clicking on MEGASync’s tray icon and choosing ‘Settings’ . This is extremely useful as you can have your documents and folders synced in real time with your cloud, without having to upload your files manually. The app works seamlessly, without crashing even once (at least on my devices), or disturbing you with unnecessary messages and pop-ups.
Tip for students: If you are using reference managers, such as Zotero, you won’t need to pay or create an account to get very limited space. You can simply ask MEGA to sync all your Zotero library (often found at C:\Users\[your username]\Zotero) and you will have your references backed up to your cloud!
4. File Versioning, Link Sharing, and Collaborative Environment
One of the greatest features of MEGA cloud is its file versioning. What does file versioning mean? Imagine you are working on a Word or spreadsheet document, and you have saved the file on MEGA. You edit your document and re-upload it later, only to realise you deleted an important paragraph or table. You want it back? No problem. MEGA keeps all the previous versions of your documents so you can restore them. This is extremely handy if you have synced your documents on your computer with MEGA desktop apps. Every time you edit a document, MEGA creates a version backup for your file. You can simply right click and restore a previous version.
File sharing is another integral feature of MEGA. Wish to share your essay with a friend, or the photos of your tip with your bestie? Simply press Get MEGA Link and share the link securely with your friends.
If the other person has a MEGA account, you can also share and collaborate on projects. This is an indispensable feature if you are collaborating on projects with your friends, classmates, or colleagues. For example, if you and your colleagues are working on editing a video campaign for your social media accounts, your can share the folder and set specific permissions (read only, read and write, or full control) for each person you share the folder with and collaborate away! You can share a folder using web-based interface or your mobile app, but not using your desktop app at the moment. However, once a folder is shared, the desktop apps permit you to update, edit, or delete the shared items.
MEGA is one of the best (and possibly most secure) cloud systems on the market at the moment. MEGA is user friendly, and perhaps the only one you would need for backing up your everyday files such as your WhatsApp and Instagram files and camera photos. It is also the perfect cloud system for students, writers, and bloggers, as it securely stores and versions your projects, dissertations, screenplays, poems, Adobe projects, or your digital designs. The collaborative folder sharing feature allows you to share your folders with your classmates, friends, and colleagues and work on them together. You can also share the links to your folders and files with anyone who does not have a MEGA account. MEGA has its own native apps for all devices and all operating systems enabling all your devices to stay in sync. Take a photo on your phone and edit it right away on your laptop before posting it on Twitter or Facebook! In addition, MEGA gives you 15GB of storage, which is more than what its serious competitors such as OneDrive (5GB) or Dropbox (2GB) offer. Only Google Drive offers 15GB of free space to its users, but the reward system which MEGA offers, makes it possible for its users to easily increase their storage space to 25GB by simply referring a friend. You will get one year of extra 10GB storage for each friend you invite to MEGA. Overall, I am impressed with this free online storage system and I highly recommend it.