The file hosting business is a tough one. Not only do you have to compete with some of the largest tech companies in the world -- Microsoft and Google are in the space -- but also against all the other services.
If that would not be enough, it has almost become a requirement for services to create desktop and mobile clients for their services so that users can sync and access files easily and wherever they are.
Being late to the party is usually a bad starting position, and while MediaFire offered a desktop client before, MediaFire Express for Windows, Linux and Mac, the new client seems to be a fresh start attempt for one of the world's most popular file hosting websites.
Unlike MediaFire Express, which was available for Linux as well, MediaFire Desktop is only available for Windows and Mac at the time of writing.
You can download the client for Windows or Mac from this page. Please note that it is labeled beta at the time of writing, and therefore not suited for productive environments. While I did not notice any issues during tests and while running it on Windows, it does not mean that everything will work out in the same way for you.
The installation itself should not pose any issues. You are asked to pick the installation location for the client, defaults to the local AppData directory by default, and that's about it. The installation took longer than I would have expected it to take though.
You are asked to restart your computer after the installation finishes. It is not really necessary to run the program, but integration in Windows Explorer may only become available after the restart.
You can log in to an existing MediaFire account if you have one, or sign up for a new one. Both options are handled in the client software itself.
As far as new accounts go, you can sign up with your email address, or use your Facebook login to do so.
Once you have entered your data, you are taken to an "upgrade your account" offer page. What's kinda puzzling here is that it stated that I have 15 Gigabyte in my current plan, while the website stated that I had 50 Gigabytes. I'm not sure what is up with that, but the client did display that I had 52 Gigabytes available (50 initially, and then 2 Gigabytes extra for installing the desktop client).
Side note: You can get free storage upgrades for other activities. If you connect your Twitter or Facebook account, or post on Twitter or Facebook, you get 1 Gigabyte each. If you install the mobile or desktop client, you get 2 Gigabytes each, and if you refer friends, you get up to 32 Gigabytes (1 Gigabyte for each friend). All in all, you can get up to 40 Gigabytes of extra space this way.
Anyway, you can upgrade your allowed storage to 100, 200 or 500 Gigabytes from here for a monthly subscription fee.
You are then asked to pick a setup type. You can run the typical setup, which will configure the desktop app with default settings, or the advanced option which gives you full control over folder locations and sync options.
If you want to pick a custom folder location for the sync folder -- the default one is in the home folder -- then you should pick advanced here.
Note: Under Windows, the home folder is your users folder, e.g. c:\users\Martin\ so that you will find the MediaFire sync folder here. Depending on which version of Windows you use, you will also find it in your favorites listing automatically in the sidebar.
As far as synchronization is concerned, you can either have all folders and files synced, or only select folders.
A tour is offered in the final step which explains some of the core features of the app. You can skip it if you are not interested in that.
MediaFire Desktop runs in the system tray for the most part. You can click on the icon to display the notifications area.
Here you can also open the home folder, the settings, or use the client's screenshot functionality.
Screenshots (shortcut Ctrl-Alt-S)
A click on the screenshot icon lets you create a screenshot of any part of the desktop. You use the mouse to draw a rectangle around the contents that you want to create a screenshot of, and get options to modify the screenshot before you save it locally, upload it to your MediaFire account, copy it to the Clipboard, or print it.
As far as editing tools go: you can add arrows and text, highlight or blur parts, or draw a rectangle around contents on the screenshot.
As far as saving goes, you can only save the screenshots as png files.
The preferences of MediaFire Desktop leave little to be desired. Here you can customize the folders that you want synchronized, configure network settings, and define whether you want to enable the "following" folder or not.
The latter lets you synchronize files that are available in the following folder on MediaFire.com.
The Windows Explorer right-click menu is only displayed to you if you are in the MediaFire Home folder on your system.
Here you can run the following commands:
If you are using MediaFire Express currently on Windows or Mac, you may want to consider upgrading to MediaFire Desktop as it has more to offer to you. If you are running Linux, you do not have any choice but to stick with the Express app for now.
The client leaves little to be desired in terms of functionality, and if you are currently shopping for a new screenshot tool, you may find it adequate for that purpose as well.
All in all it is a solid client that you can make use of to synchronize and share files hosted on MediaFire.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.