Review: Mediafire

Updated: June 7th 2013.

Are you looking for an alternative to Dropbox or Google Drive? If so perhaps Mediafire is the answer.

To give you some background I have had enough of spending a lot on new computers when there are lots of good cloud storage and application solutions. Two obvious ones are Dropbox, which offers basic file storage and syncing across computers and Google Drive which offers storage, syncing and applications. Mediafire is slightly different and sits between these two as it does not sync files across computers, you basically upload them and share folders or files and download them if you or someone else wishes and like Google it also also comes with a range of office applications. Here is a quick summary of Mediafire and its relative advantages and disadvantages. Please note that the review is based on a paid pro subscription to Mediafire.

Advantages

  • Office suite is comparable to Google Docs in terms of basic features.
  • Avoids problem of auto syncing files which are very large, especially when on a slow network.
  • Files uploaded via the website are scanned for viruses, Dropbox does not offer this function.
  • Paid accounts support up to 10GB file sizes, free accounts limited to 200MB. Google also supports 10GB file sizes. Dropbox only limits file sizes to 300mb when they are uploaded via a web browser.
  • Free accounts have 10GB space as standard, paid accounts 100GB, plus you earn more for signing up more users.
  • 1TB of downloads per month with pro accounts, this can be rolled over. Great if you need to host files for use on your website or blog which may eat up bandwidth or space. Dropbox limits downloads per web link to 20GB per link per day for free accounts and 200GB per link per day for paid accounts.
  • Sharing files is very easy and the other party does not require an account or client in order to view them.
  • You can share files with others via Facebook and Twitter.
  • Files can be shared once via the one time download feature, with a set expiry date.
  • SSL upload encryption available.
  • Document collaboration is easy and other people do not need to sign up to  collaborate.
  • Client available for all major platforms including Android and Linux
  • IOS app is easy to use and makes uploading movies quick and simple.
  • You can provide an upload link to others or on your website so that people can easily send you files.
  • Reasonably fast download rate (update: as of June 2013 it seems to have improved quite a bit).
  • You can share files via a link or share them using a password, the latter is a very nice feature and avoid the need to force people to sign up for services.
  • The file uploading tool is generally easy to use and supports multiple uploads at once. You and other can also upload to your account via the web.
  • Pricing is comparable to Google, with the basic 100GB plan on both services costing €4.99 per month, this is half the price of Dropbox.
  • Fast and helpful customer support.
  • Other people can upload to a designated folder without them needing an account.

Disadvantages

  • Adverts and captchas are used on free accounts, although if the person hosting the account has paid then these are not displayed.
  • Very small file size limits for free accounts.
  • Slow upload rate, often around a 200KBPS on connections with much higher upload rates, which is far less than other services. If I am paying I expect far more than this quality of service.
  • No FTP upload
  • Except for the office suite this is not a collaboration environment, so unlike Dropbox people cannot edit the files you share with them then auto sync.
  • It is perceived as less trustworthy by many people as it is essentially a file sharing site with extra features. However, it has been used by many major companies.
  • Free accounts DO NOT offer long term storage so do not use them as a backup solution. Paid accounts do offer long term storage but again are not recommended as a backup solution.
  • Mac client doesn’t seem to work on all Intel Macs (well not mine anyway).
  • Office environment lacks integration with other third party applications.
  • Their website feels slower than Google or Dropbox.
  • The office applications do not seem to be very well integrated into the rest of the file storage options. For example I tried using images already stored on Mediafire inside a document and this was not possible; instead I had to upload them again or forage around for the url for the file on Mediafire.
  • It lacks basic file handling features when sharing with others, for example you cannot password protect then share a directory. Instead you can only password protect and share files.
  • You cannot create an archive of lots of files online then simply put the file immediately online without downloading it. This is annoying.
  • If people want to upload  files set in a specific  folder structure, this is not possible without you setting up the folder structure first then sending them individual links to each folder.
  • Annoyingly the IOS App lets you upload Quicktime movies to the website but you cannot view them online. However, you can view the movie on your iPhone again (should you wish to do so).

The biggest annoyance that I have come across so far is that you cannot password protect folders. This is a serious issue if like me you want to use it to share lots of large files but only with a select group of people. For this you must manually share a link for each file and set up a password. This means Mediafire in view is not a good medium for sharing lots of files in an ordered way, it is however good for sharing large single files.

In summary Mediafire is really just a file sharing site with an added office suite. It lacks the breadth and depth of features that you find with Google and does not automatically sync files. The latter is an advantage and disadvantage. If however you want a quick and easy way to send large files without forcing people to sign up to anything then it is a good choice. For sheer integration with other products and services Google is the clear winner. If however you you simply want a way to share large files without the privacy concerns attached to Google then Mediafire is a good option.

 

About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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One Response to Review: Mediafire

  1. Telmo Papança says:

    Stay away from this! I got the pro version, used Desktop app for Mac and in the first use uploaded a folder, 30GB, all my work in the last three months. While it was loading, I changed the name of the folder. The sync got screwed up, stopped streaming online at 7GB, but I didn’t notice anything wrong at the moment. In the next day the folder was gone from my local folder, not even in the trash, and on the cloud I only had 7GB.

    Contacted them, 2 weeks to get the answer that they didn’t know what happened, the data was nowhere to be found, and the only thing they did was return me the pro fee.

    I warn everybody, stay away from this. They promise safe data and fail to deliver.

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