MediaFire has for a long time been associated with businesses and individuals that wish to share their content with others, but it can be used more directly as a Cloud storage facility.
Is there more to this product than just an amazingly low price?
Initially, it seemed that MediaFire is offering like FlipDrive, in that they are both entirely focused on a web interface, with no client application.
The inability to create a dynamic link between a computer and the storage is a problem, but apps are available for both Google Android and Apple iOS that can copy pictures from a mobile device to the Cloud and also enable easy access to any files already stored there.
And, then we discovered that there is a MediaFire Desktop application that the interface entirely fails to mention when you sign up.
The reason for that coyness is that back in 2016 it stopped developing this sync tool, and while you can download it, MediaFire account logins are now rejected.
That you can still download a tool that hasn’t worked in 30 months is depressing, and could easily confuse the less tech aware user.
What’s more bizarre about them cancelling this facility is that in the blog post to announce the discontinuing of MediaFire Desktop the representative says ‘We also recognise that the currently vibrant ecosystem of cloud syncing clients provides many choices for customers looking for that desktop syncing functionality.
Right, so we recognised how important sync was, and then removed it?
In this blog it is also mentioned that MediaFire is focusing on a new Desktop app, and more than two years later that hasn’t matured into anything that its customers can utilise.
However, at least it worked once, where things like file versioning have never existed, and seem unlikely to be added any time soon.
And, more importantly, security doesn’t appear to be a headline feature either.
In summary, for users who aren’t on phones or tablets, this is purely a web-based file storage and sharing application, and shows little ambition to be any more than that.
Tools and security
MediaFire doesn’t mention security on its site, so best to assume that there isn’t any other than it uses HTTPS. If you want encryption, it is best to encrypt your files by hand before dispatching them to MediaFire.
For computer users, there are no other tools than the web interface, and that gets a few extra features if you are a Pro or Business user.
One twist is the concept of a 1-time share link, where you can distribute a file but in a controlled way. Free users can have ten 1-time share links per day, Pro users a hundred and Business users get five thousand.
If you’ve been thinking ‘why would I buy this?’, the answer lies in this section.
One argument might be that the pricing is simply amazing, and makes almost every other Cloud storage business look expensive in comparison.
For starters, the free MediaFire option gives you up to 10GB of space, and through various inducements, such as connecting to Facebook, posting on Twitter and referring friends you can boost that to 50GB. That’s enough for a decent collection of photos or a thousand albums of MP3 music, and all for free. But there are adverts if you are adverse to those.
The two paid tiers are Pro and Business, equating to personal and commercial users. And, at this time it’s offering up to a 50% discount on space for both options.
Pro for a single user is $3.75 (£2.88) per month if paid annually and for that, you get 1TB of space. Pay monthly and its $5 (£3.85), which still sounds very reasonable for a terabyte of online space.
The Business solution is $40 (£30.77) per month is paid annually or $50 (£38.46) monthly, and provides up to 100TB of online space. No, that’s not a typo, it is one hundred terabytes. And, you get access for 100+ users on that account.
On the face of it, that’s a fantastic deal for any company, providing a very cheap extra level of backup security or inexpensive archiving option.
As you might have guessed there is a snag, and the major one is how do you get those files up to MediaFire? Because managing terabytes of files through a web interface puts practical limits on the speed and extent of what can be uploaded.
In this respect, MediaFire can quote whatever numbers to the customer, in full knowledge that exploiting 1TB is a challenge, and 100TB is practically impossible.
Without a client sync tool or proper security, we can’t imagine a business that would use this, unless they’ve got some clever plan as to how to exploit the substantial amounts of storage space that MediaFire has to offer.
I’m sure some user or company has found a good use for this service in its present condition, but for most users, the low cost is overshadowed by the numerous caveats involved in using it.
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