Kim Dotcom is Back with Mega
The biggest name in online file sharing is back. Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload and its associated sister sites, marked Saturday’s one year anniversary of Megaupload being shut by unveiling his new online file sharing service Mega. The site looks to be bigger and better than its predecessor site and the big splash among users seems to back that up.
According to Dotcom, the site was almost immediately bombarded by users upon launching. He tweeted that the site had 250,000 registered users within two hours of launch and said at a press conference that the number of users hit 500,000 within 14 hours. Several hours after launch, users were still reporting that access was slow due to the heavy traffic on the site.
Mega boasts many improvements over what was previously available from Megaupload. The first thing many will notice is that Mega gives users 50 GB of online storage for free. There is also premium packages offering additional storage for a price. You can get 500GB of storage for €9.99, 2TB for €19.99 and 4TB of cloud storage for €29.99. Each of those prices are monthly.
Uploading is done using a simple drag and drop system. We have a similar functionality here in which you drag the file you want to upload and drag it onto your internet browser. This is supplemented by a new file manager system. In the future, Mega plans on having a file system integration that allows your Mega cloud drive to appear on your computer alongside your other drives like any other removable storage drive. Mega is also working on mobile access and sync tools for unspecified platforms.
So what’s to stop Mega from getting shut down again? First, there’s a new terms of service that is said to affectively absolve Mega from any and all liability for copyright infringement on the part of its users. In order to prevent arguments that Mega knowingly stored copyright materials, all files you uploaded are encrypted before upload so Mega doesn’t actually know what you’ve uploaded because you’re the only one with the decryption key.
Mega also has some very impressive sounding encryption protocols to secure the site. That image on the right (from Gizmodo) boasts 2048-bit encryption. Most encryption around the interweb is either 128-bit or 256-bit. The big thing is that the encryption also factors in how you move the mouse and how you type in your username and password. The idea is that this will add an extra layer to protect you (and Mega) from hackers and the US government. However, that Gizmodo article I linked says that Mega can selectively lower your encryption levels so it’s best to keep on their good side.
Dotcom also used the launch to tweak the Department of Justice and the Motion Picture Association of America with a teaser of Mega Movie. The screenshot Dotcom tweeted indicated that it’s a video streaming service which looks to be far more advanced than Megavideo with categorization between movies, TV and music, a popular video list and a list of personal recommendations. While I’m sure this will piss off the Americans, I’m certain it’s better than the random video streaming sites I use to catch up on old TV shows.