Services for sharing large files (MEGA is still not a Dropbox killer)
Two years ago I wrote an article comparing Mega to Dropbox, two file sharing services. The point of the article was that Mega was not a Dropbox killer. Mega had just launched, and maybe because all the hype around Mega’s owner, Kim Schmitz, many sites were proclaiming the end of Dropbox. Mega’s main offer was generous storage space and very strong file encryption. Back then, it didn’t offer native file synchronization (which now does).
Bauke Roesink has published a very complete roundup of file sharing services titled Transfer Big Files. He asked 44 professionals about their favorite service for sending large files. The article is worth reading. It offers not just the poll’s results but the actual insights. (You can read mine, also published in his article, following this link.)
Based on Roesink’s poll, the most used service for sharing large files is Dropbox (44% votes), followed by Google Drive (13%) and OneDrive(6%). While Mega now offers native file syncing and probably better file encryption than the other services, less than 3% said they used Mega, and none as their first option.
A strong argument for using Dropbox was simplicity. If you want to share a file in your Dropbox folder, just right-click the file to get a link that you can send by mail or using your favorite messaging app.
With Mega, there is no easy right-click action to share your data. You’ll need to log into Mega’s web page. What’s more, MEGA’s cryptographic security model depends on the confidentiality of the keys needed to decrypt the files. But to share a file with someone else, you need to share this confidential key. As Mega’s site warns you, by sharing a file you could be compromising the security of your Mega folder.
I still think that Dropbox and Mega are trying to solve different problems. If you need very strong encryption, Mega is a solid choice. You will be able to sync your files to your machines, but beware of the security implications of trying to share your files with third parties. On the other hand, if you want reliable and simple file sharing with a reasonable level of security, then Dropbox is the service of choice.
Update 2017-06-27 Check this article from CloudWards about cloud storage security and how Dropbox stands against some of its competitors.
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