Megaupload's comeback as Mega draws nearer

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 2, 2012
Updated • Mar 11, 2013

When the file hosting website Megaupload was taken down with a bang and its founders taken into custody after a policy raid, it shook up the Internet. Not only became it clear quickly thereafter that the operation should not have taken place in this form at all, but also that other file hosting operators began to panic and started to exit out of the business or change their business model to avoid the same fate as Megaupload.

It is unclear if there will ever be made a single conviction in the Megaupload case. What happened though was that the site's business has been interrupted for the last ten months which some in favor of the takedown may see as a victory. Then again, the file sharing scene that is using file hosting sites to spread files on the Internet simply adjusted to the new situation and moved on to new hosts, like it is always done. As far as rightful file owners go, it is not clear if they will ever see their files again.

The Megaupload operators in the meantime are preparing the launch of their new file hosting service Mega which they hope will not only bring back much of the traffic that they lost but also keep away any attempt to take down the service due to new features implemented in it.

The basic idea behind Mega is that the service itself knows nothing about the files its users load up to the service. This is done via on the fly encryption and decryption in the web browser. The user holds the key - literally - to the files stored on Mega, and it is up to the user to share that key with others. The second corner stone of Mega is the use of a large number of hosting partners around the world instead of a few data centers like Megaupload did. This not only improves the service's defense against takedowns, as it is complex to raid targets in many different countries and regions, but also the speed of downloads thanks to servers being closer to users of the service. Mega won't operate servers in the United States for obvious reason.

It is too early for a verdict, considering that Mega has not launched yet. I'm probably not the only one who has a few concerns about the new service.

  • It is link to Megaupload makes it a prime target, or at least something that  authorities will take a closer than usual look at when it starts its operations.
  • Encryption may be a good way to protect user data on the servers and show to the world that it is the user's responsibility if files get shared, but that does not really change the fact that Mega will benefit from those operations by providing the infrastructure and earning money from it.

If you plan on using Mega for file hosting, I suggest you have a backup of your files ready either locally or at another file hosting service just in case something bad happens to the file host as well. This is actually a sound thing to do for all files hosted on the Internet.

Are you interested in the new Mega or file hosting services in general? Which services do you use to host and download files from?


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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