MediaFire Cloud Storage
MediaFire is a simple and easy to use cloud storage service with an emphasis on making file sharing quick and simple. Not only does MediaFire make file sharing easy but with a 10GB free account providing unlimited bandwidth for file downloads it has become a popular choice for many who regularly share large files.
With this, admittedly good, file sharing aside it is sadly lacking in certain areas and for many will be unsuitable for many use cases. No desktop sync client, no encryption options and no multi-factor authentication mean MediaFire, sadly, has limited value outside the sharing of non secure files.
Key Features of MediaFire
- Simple, easy to navigate, web-based design
- Smartphone apps for iOS, Blackberry, Windows and Android
- Reasonable 10GB free account
- Unlimited downloads / bandwidth (ad supported)
- Great file sharing system built-in
- One-time sharing links
- No built-in encryption tools
- No support for 2FA!
- No desktop sync software
- No lifetime plans
Signing up to MediaFire
Signing up to MediaFire is very quick and easy, it is also very privacy focused requiring only a name and valid email address to take advantage of the generous 10GB free account.
Once logged in for the first time, MediaFire, provide a useful welcome message explaining how the web based file manager works, this file manager being the main portal for all access with the cloud drive given there is no desktop sync client available at present.
Working with and Sharing Files within MediaFire
Once logged into MediaFire we can start using the web based file manager tool, this file manager is basic but well laid out and easy to navigate nevertheless. By default MediaFire have a file structure ready made to make categorising photos, documents, music and photos quick and simple from the get go (see below):
To add files to the MediaFire drive we must make use of the web based console in lieu of any desktop client software which MediaFire does not provide. Adding and downloading files is as simple as dragging and dropping from the PC to the web browser to upload and visa versa to download.
It is important to note here MediaFire stand apart from many other cloud providers here in not limiting the amount of downloads which can be made before any kind of restrictions and timeouts take place, this even applies to the free account which is great to see!
Sharing files is a key part of such a cloud storage service and it is clear MediaFire have put a lot of though into getting this part right. When it comes to sharing not only can a sharing link be easily created for any file or folder by simply right clicking on this entity but additional sharing settings can also be configured.
Once on the main sharing page we can generate a public sharing link for our files as well as share directly to social media thanks to the social media integration, we can also get specially formatted sharing links ready for integration into forums and websites, excellent!
One of the other most notable sharing features is the 1-Time link, this is essentially a sharing link which can be used only once and will automatically expire afterwards, this is also available on the free and premium accounts which is very good to see.
Another very useful feature is that of the “FileDrop”, this feature, which can be turned on when creating a new folder allows anyone with a public link to upload files and folders directly to your cloud drive without the need for user accounts and passwords.
Finally, another really useful feature of MediaFire is the ability to upload web resources directly to your cloud storage using only the publicly accessible URL. This means files, photos and even videos can easily be added to the drive without the need to download them to a PC first and then spend potentially ages waiting for them to be re-uploaded, excellent!
Using the MediaFire Smartphone Apps
MediaFire have smartphone apps available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows. For the purposes of this review I will be focusing on the Android app which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.
The Android app builds further on the features of the desktop version and makes sharing files easy through other apps, email and via regular sharing links. There is also an option to automatically upload any photos and video taken on the phone to the MediaFire cloud storage.
MediaFire Free vs Premium
The free MediaFire account comes with 10GB of storage and all of the highly rated file sharing functionality found in the premium accounts (including the single use links). This free version is advertising supported, however, during my testing I found them to be nonintrusive and of no major concern.
MediaFire do offer a Pro version priced at $7.5/month for 1TB of storage. This Pro account also has the benefit of having no ads on display, direct download links (which skip the branded download page) and bulk downloads whereby a group of files can be downloaded together as a zip file.
Another useful feature of the Pro account is that individual file download limits are increased form 4GB on the free account up to a massive 20GB, in addition to this MediaFire provide priority support to all Pro users.
Media Fire also have a business account with similar features to the Pro account supporting a team of up to 100 users from $80/month. This business account also allows for fully customised branding to be applied to the download pages which might be very useful for businesses serving files to customers under their own brand name.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues I have found relating to security is the lack of multi-factor authentication across all account types. Whilst this isn’t a deal breaker it is now becoming commonplace on many other cloud storage providers and will, I think, be a very important upgrade if it does hopefully come.
With authentication aside it is great to see the implementation of single-use sharing links, being single-use reduces the risk of multiple users downloading the files. Password protected links would provide a similar level of protection, however, these don’t appear to be available as of yet!
MediaFire also implement an optional inactivity lockout timer which can be enabled on the account. Once enabled this feature will lock the web console requiring the user to re-enter their password at regular intervals for additional security.
MediaFire provide a useful web-based knowledge base and support portal in addition to an online ticketing support system for more complex queries.
MediaFire provide a 10GB free account in addition to two premium offerings:
Pro: $7.5/m for 1TB
Business: $80/m for 100TB shared across up to 100 users
MediaFire is a solid, albeit fairly basic cloud storage facility catering nicely to those who regularly share large files with others across the internet.
The free account offers a generous 10GB of storage in addition to unlimited download bandwidth, link sharing options and use of the innovative single use link feature. It is also great to see the ability to allow file uploads to the free account thanks to the “FileDrop” feature which can be used by anyone with the necessary sharing links.
Premium accounts are fairly priced given the storage and sharing features on offer, however, I feel the lack of multi-factor authentication and a desktop synchronisation client will turn away many otherwise would-be premium users.
Overall this a good solution for file sharing but in my opinion it is potentially lacking too many features to compete seriously with the likes of pCloud, MEGA and Google Drive.