Mega (service)

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01 mega logo.svg
Mega web application in 2013
Mega web application in 2013
Developer(s)Mega Ltd.
Initial release19 January 2013; 7 years ago (2013-01-19)
Written inC++, JavaScript, Java, Objective-C
Operating system
Available in50 languages[1]
List of languages
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Basque, Bosnian, Brazilian Portuguese, Breton, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh
LicenseMega Limited Code Review Licence (source-available freeware)

Mega (stylised in uppercase as MEGA) or is a cloud storage and file hosting service offered by Mega Limited, an Auckland-based company.[2] The service is offered primarily through web-based apps. Mega mobile apps are also available for Android and iOS. Mega was known for its large 50 GB storage allocation for free accounts,[3][4] but now offers 15 GB for free accounts.

The website and service was launched on 19 January 2013, by Kim Dotcom, who had founded the now-defunct service Megaupload. However, in 2015 Kim Dotcom disassociated himself from the service and stated that the New Zealand government had seized the shares of a Chinese investor and has control of the site. Mega Limited responded that the authorities have not interfered with its operations.[5]


Kim Dotcom's first file-hosting site Megaupload was seized and shut down on 19 January 2012 by the United States Department of Justice, which began criminal cases against its owners. After Gabon denied the new company domain name,[6] Kim Dotcom announced it would instead be registered in his country of residence, New Zealand, under the domain name[7] Mega launched on 19 January 2013 – a year after Dotcom's original site was shut down.[8] Kim Dotcom reported on Twitter getting over 100,000 registered within the first hour, speculating that this may make Mega the fastest-growing startup in history.[9] Kim Dotcom also reported on Twitter that the site was extremely busy, and received thousands of user registrations per minute at the time of the tweet.[10] Kim later reported Mega having more than 1 million registered users, and 60 uploads completed every second.[11] Three days later that number was updated to 500 uploads completed every second.[12]

Early users of the site experienced various issues, including slow-to-nonexistent upload speeds and problems logging in.[13] The service improved slightly over the next three days, but remained insufficient for large volumes of uploads. Others said there appeared to be no way to close an account in case it got compromised.[14] Technology commentators blamed the poor performance on the site's popularity, noting it was ranked in the top 150 websites in the world in the first few days of its existence, subsequently dropping a few thousand places.[15]

On 4 July 2013, the Mega Android application was released on the Google Play marketplace.[16] Four days later, on 8 July 2013, the Mega software development kit (SDK) and affiliate program was released.[17] On 4 September 2013, Kim Dotcom stepped down as Director of Mega.[18] In a later interview with the Washington Post on 7 September, Kim Dotcom announced Mega was getting 20,000 signups for the service every day.[19] Furthermore, in 2013 Mega was receiving about 100 DMCA takedowns per day.[20] On 26 November 2013, the official Mega iOS application was released on the App Store marketplace.[21] On 20 January 2014, the official MEGAsync application was released for Windows[22] and on 6 September 2014, the official MEGAsync application was released for Linux.[23]

In March 2014, Dotcom announced his intentions to list Mega on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.[24] In September, a report published from the Digital Citizens Alliance – commissioned via brand protection organisation NetNames – characterising Mega as a 'shadowy cyberlocker'[25] was branded "grossly untrue and highly defamatory" by Mega's CEO.[26]

In July 2015, Dotcom said he does not trust Mega service in a Q&A session with tech website Slashdot, claims the company had "suffered from a hostile takeover by a Chinese investor who is wanted in China for fraud" and that the New Zealand government seized this investor's shares and now has control of the site. Dotcom encouraged readers not to use it and that he plans to set up a completely open-source nonprofit competitor. Dotcom announced on his Twitter account that he plans to release a detailed breakdown of Mega's status.[27][28][29] Mega responded that the authorities have not opposed or interfered with any of Mega’s operations.[30]

In January 2016, Mega announced that the service has 35 million registered users that have uploaded 12 billion files.[31]

Later in 2016, Mega Ltd. released the source code to their client-side software under the Mega Limited Code Review Licence, a source-available software licence, on GitHub.[32]

Data encryption[edit]

Dotcom has said that data on the Mega service will be encrypted client-side using the AES algorithm. Since Mega does not know the encryption keys to uploaded files, they cannot decrypt and view the content. Therefore, they cannot be responsible for the contents of uploaded files.[33] Dotcom stated that encrypting files allows them to work with a larger number of data hosting companies around the world, decreasing the likelihood of a Megaupload-style seizure of servers by one government. He mentioned in an interview with Ars Technica that "Each file will be kept with at least two different hosters [sic], [in] at least two different locations," and "That’s a great added benefit for us because you can work with the smallest, most unreliable [hosting] companies. It doesn’t matter because they can’t do anything with that data."[34]

In the first few weeks after the Mega launch, various security problems were found that researchers said an attacker could use to gain access to a logged-in user's files.[35][36][37] In response, Mega started a vulnerability reward program which offers a reward of up to €10,000 for reporting security problems to Mega.[38]

The Mega team indicated that some companies, such as film studios, will have direct access to remove files if they discover the encryption keys online and determine that the content infringes their copyright. Dotcom added that if such companies want to use that tool they would have to agree, prior to receiving access, not to sue Mega or hold the site accountable for the actions of its users.[39]

Data allowances[edit]

  • Free account users receive:[4]
    • 15 GB of base storage quota.
    • An additional 35 GB trial at signup, expires after one month.
    • Additional storage allowances can be activated through various "achievements", but also expire. The maximum permanent storage is 50 GB.
  • Paid account users are provided with four tiers of options:[40]
    • 400 GB storage (1 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • 2 TB storage (2 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • 8 TB storage (8 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • 16 TB storage (16 TB of bandwidth per month)


Mega has released some documentation of its API so developers can write their own applications.[41]

According to Mega, in the near future they will provide reference client libraries/SDKs for various programming languages. For now, their JavaScript site code is the only official sample code available, although some programmers have developed samples of the Mega API in Python[42] and .NET,[43] and some applications have started to appear, including features like online video[44] and file synchronization.[45]


According to Mega, the site "works with all major current browsers", but there can be some inconveniences to using browsers other than Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. For example, with Internet Explorer 10, as it has a "memory leak in the Blob saving functionality, the user has to close and reopen the Mega tab every couple of hundred megabytes[46] of inbound file transfer".[47] There is currently no option for sharing among a group of users.

New features[edit]


In February 2013, Dotcom unveiled that Mega would be expanding into e-mail, chat, voice, video, and mobile.[48] In December 2014, he revealed that his company would "soon" launch a browser-based chat service.[48] In mid-January 2015, Mega launched MegaChat in beta,[49][50] marketed as a web-based, encrypted alternative to applications like Skype and FaceTime.[49][50]

Browser extension[edit]

Mega released a browser plugin extension called MEGA Chrome Extension in 2015. It was advertised as reducing loading times, improving downloading performance, and strengthening security.[51] Mega also released a browser extension for Firefox.[52]

On 5 September 2018 it was reported that the extension on the Chrome Web Store was compromised by the addition of code designed to steal website credentials and cryptocurrency.[53][54][55] The original code on the GitHub page was not affected.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mega". Mega LTD. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  2. ^ Mega Limited in the New Zealand Companies Office Companies Register.
  3. ^ "Review: What to expect from Mega's free 50GB of cloud storage". ZDNet. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "MEGA Review - Updated 2018". Cloudwards. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  5. ^ Duckett, Chris. "Mega denies claims by Kim Dotcom of NZ government control of company". ZDNet. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Gabon suspends Kim Dotcom's domain". 3 News NZ. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Dotcom goes for NZ web address". 3 News NZ. 13 November 2012. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Elaborate claims about new Dotcom site". 3 News NZ. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  9. ^ Dotcom, Kim (19 January 2013). "Kim Dotcom's tweet: 100,000 registered users in less than 1 hour. Fastest growing startup in Internet history? #Mega". Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  10. ^ Dotcom, Kim (19 January 2013). "Site is extremely busy. Currently thousands of user registrations PER MINUTE". Twitter. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  11. ^ Dotcom, Kim (22 January 2013). "60 uploads complete every second!". Twitter. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  12. ^ Dotcom, Kim (25 January 2013). "When 500 uploads complete "every second" you know you created something powerful". Twitter. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  13. ^ Satherley, Dan (22 January 2013). "Dotcom apologises to Mega users". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  14. ^ Boone, Jeb (23 January 2013). "Concerns raised over Mega site security". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  15. ^ 3 News online staff (28 January 2013). "Mega: service improves as visitors drop off". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  16. ^ "MEGA".
  17. ^ "MEGA launches SDK and Affiliate program". Official blog. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  18. ^ CEOWorld magazine (4 September 2013). "Kim Dotcom Has Stepped Down As Director Of Mega File-Storage Startup". Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Kim Dotcom is still wanted by the FBI. But that isn't slowing him down". The Washington Post. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Keynote at OSDC 2013". Internet Ganesha. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  21. ^ "MEGA".
  22. ^ "MEGA".
  23. ^ "MEGA".
  24. ^ "Kim Dotcom's Mega to list on NZ stock market". BBC. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  25. ^ NetNames. "BEHIND THE CYBERLOCKER DOOR: A Report on How Shadowy Cyberlocker Businesses Use Credit Card Companies to Make Millions" (PDF). Digital Citizens Alliance. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  26. ^ Andy. "Mega Demands Apology Over "Defamatory" Cyberlocker Report". Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  27. ^ "Interviews: Kim Dotcom Answers Your Questions – Slashdot". Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Kim Dotcom: 'I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore'". The Next Web. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  29. ^ "Kim Dotcom Warns Mega Users to Backup Their Files - TorrentFreak". 21 April 2016.
  30. ^ "Kim Dotcom promises to launch an open-source competitor to Mega (updated)". Engadget. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  31. ^ "MEGA turns 3!". 20 January 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Mega Limited". GitHub.
  33. ^ Graeber, Charles (28 March 2013). "Megaupload Is Dead. Long Live Mega! | Threat Level". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  34. ^ "Building Mega: Ars' pre-launch interview with Kim Dotcom". Ars Technica. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  35. ^ "SpiderOak's Analysis and Recommendations for the Crypto in Kim Dotcom's Mega, Part One". 23 January 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  36. ^ "A word on cryptography". 22 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  37. ^ "Mega's first week - a retrospective". 26 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  38. ^ "The Mega Vulnerability Reward Program". 2 February 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  39. ^ "MegaUpload rises from the dead as Mega – Internet & Media - CNET News". 18 October 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  40. ^ "Mega packages". Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  41. ^ "The Mega API". Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  42. ^ "Using the Mega API, with Python examples! | Julien Marchand • Dev blog". 28 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  43. ^ "sybil-sink/mega-sdk · GitHub". 8 March 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  44. ^ Andres_age (28 February 2013). "MegaDownloader for Watch videos online - streaming tutorial for". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  45. ^ "Windows client and .NET API for Mega". Mega Desktop. Archived from the original on 2 November 2002. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  46. ^ "MegaDownloader 1.7 for faster & Unlimited Mega Downloads". 18 January 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  47. ^ "A word on browsers". 18 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  48. ^ a b Protalinski, Emil (28 December 2014). "Kim Dotcom's Mega to launch browser-based encrypted video call and chat service 'soon'". VentureBeat. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  49. ^ a b Mathews, Lee (22 January 2015). "Kim Dotcom launches MegaChat, the video chat service even Snowden trusts". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  50. ^ a b Condliffe, Jamie (22 January 2015). "Mega Just Launched End-to-End Encrypted Audio and Video Chat". Gizmodo. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  51. ^ retrieved 29 July 2015
  52. ^ "MEGA".
  53. ^ Kan, Michael (5 September 2018). " Chrome Extension Hacked to Steal Logins". PC Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  54. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (4 September 2018). " Chrome extension caught stealing passwords, cryptocurrency private keys". ZDNet. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  55. ^ Nguyen, Chuong. "Hacked Chrome extension disguised as legitimate version steals logins". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 23 January 2019.

External links[edit]