When Mega opened its doors to the public yesterday it quickly went down or at least slow like hell as thousands of users were trying to register an account on the site. Tweets suggested that it had reached 100,000 registered users after an hour, and broke the 250,000 user mark later that day.
Many users who tried to sign up where either stuck after submitting the registration form or at the email verification phase as emails from the service seem to be delayed by a lot. And those who were able to complete the registration process soon found out that uploading to the site was also impacted by the rush to register an account.
The publicity the service received, thanks to the infamous raid one year ago and media coverage, are likely the two main reasons why users are lining up to join it. When you look at the features that it is offering, it is only making available one that sets it apart, and that is full encryption on the device the files are uploaded from or downloaded to. While this makes things easier it is not unheard of considering that anyone can encrypt files manually on a system before uploading them to the Internet.
The 50 Gigabyte of storage has been compared to cloud synchronization services like Dropbox or SkyDrive which offer less free storage. The comparison is not fair though as Mega is not a file synchronization service right now. There is no desktop program or mobile app, which means that all the uploading and downloading happens in the browser.
The storage you get as a free user does not look that impressive anymore when you compare it to other file hosters such as Mediafire which also makes available 50 Gigabyte for free or Rapidshare which claims to provide all users with unlimited storage.
For now at least, Mega is nothing more than a file host that is securing contents uploaded to the servers by giving users control over the encryption key. This is certainly an interesting feature that sets it apart from other solutions.
It will be interesting to see how the service evolves in the coming weeks and months. It is likely that the current bottleneck will be dealt with in a timely manner so that site registrations and uploads should not be delayed by minutes, hours or even days anymore.
Mega could become a competitor for file syncing services when sync tools get released by the operators. If these tools work well, it will have an edge over its competition thanks to the storage it makes available and the encryption.