Kim Dotcom’s reborn Mega finally hits the web (our first impressions)

By on

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.05.16 PM

Today’s the day when Kim Dotcom’s reborn Mega becomes open to the public, after months and months of hype. Launching on the anniversary of the infamous raid last year, the world is all watching the launch – fans, governments and, obviously, Hollywood. And it looks like, much to the displeasure to Hollywood, it is planning to stick around.

When Megaupload was taken down last year, it looked like any basic file sharing site. With the launch of Mega.co.nz, it has taken a leaf out of other file storage sites such as Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. Mega obviously has world wide attention to its name and as the potential to be restored to the former glory that was Megaupload. It may have a huge task ahead, given that Megaupload was responsible for 4% of the world’s internet traffic.

Mega’s interface is pretty simple. When you have logged in, you are presented with a file manager similar to Google Drive. From here, you can upload you files. I decided to throw in a copy of Nebulosa by Migel Angel Fabre, before you knew it it was sitting waiting in my cloud storage. In the side bar of the file manager you are presented with four options: Cloud Drive, Trash Bin, Contacts and Inbox – the latter two allows a secure way to have your emails and contacts in the cloud.

There is a little catch when you sign up for Mega. If you forget your password, you’re done for. You cannot reset it.

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.08.13 PM

Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 12.10.47 AM

Free users will get 50GB of storage – more than what its competitors are offering. For example, Dropbox is only 5GB on their free plan. Whether that has an impact on their customers is still up in the air. However, if you want to increase that, Mega is pretty generous since you can get ten times more than the free offering under 10EUR. Their plans are:

  • 500GB storage and 1TB bandwidth for 9.99EUR
  • 2TB storage and 4TB bandwidth for 19.99EUR
  • 4TB storage and 8TB bandwidth for 29.99EUR19.99

You can save 17% if you pay for the plan for a year. However, Mega is not selling these plans directly – you will have to go to one of their partners and buy a code to get a pro account. CEO of Instra Corp, a New Zealand-based domain provider, Tony Lentino has said they are providing billing and tech support for Mega. Lentino has also been named CEO of Mega.

Some people are asking, what’s stopping Mega from going down the same path Megaupload did? Well all of your files are encrypted locally before they are uploaded to Mega’s severs. So even if they wanted to, they can’t see what you’ve uploaded.

Mega is encrypted by a 2048-bit RSA key. Mega says:

All encryption is end-to-end. Data uploaded is encrypted on the uploading device before it is sent out to the Internet, and data downloaded is decrypted only after it has arrived on the downloading device. The client machines are responsible for generating, exchanging and managing the encryption keys. No usable encryption keys ever leave the client computers (with the exception of RSA public keys).

Due to his bail conditions, Dotcom is an “advisor” to the company. However, there have been hints at Mega expanding – of course, such as the MegaBox, which is said to be a Spotify killer. Mega’s blog also says that they are working on creating Mega as a local appliance, having applications (e.g. word processing suite) and instant messaging.

We’ll know more when Dotcom has a press conference tonight. And we’ll have a live blog from Kim Dotcom’s Mansion, which you can find here.

Luke Chandler is a New Zealand-based contributor. He is a member of the TECHGEEK.com.au’s Contributor Network.

Join the Conversation

  • James

    US government has created a monster..