MediaFire offers cloud storage and file synchronization, and they operate out of Shenandoah, Texas. Founded by Derek Labian and Tom Langridge in 2006, the company has a reported 43 million registered users, and the site ranked number 10 among cloud storage providers in 2014.
Moreover, even earlier, Adam Pash, of the well-known tech blog, Lifehacker announced that “you can share any size file with MediaFire” in the midst of a web services landscape that, by and far, lacked such offerings at the time. And, indeed, MediaFire hit the ground running, as, in July of 2012, the company offered up to 50GB storage for free, a staggering amount of storage for that time.
Plus, in 2014, MediaFire even stepped up its Professional Storage Plan from 100GB to 1TB and offer it for $2.50/month, beating Microsoft One Drive on a rate per gigabyte basis. However, as good times tend to do, they seemed to soon fade for the data storage company from Texas.
And, in 2018, one source doesn’t even rank the company in their top ten list of data storage options, despite the company still offering tons of storage space ar rock-bottom pricing, including a 10GB plan for free. And, as for the question, is MediaFire safe? Well, we will try to get to the bottom of that and more in this article.
File Security is Top Dog in 2018
In fact, the same top ten ranking source that snubbed MediaFire, lists Sync.com as “your best bet for overall cloud storage needs,” since the company currently offers 5 free GB of storage, a sync folder, file link sharing, upload links, “zero-knowledge” personal encryption standards, file versioning, and the ability to sync any folder, as well as the aforementioned free option.
Cloudwards even goes as far as to claim that if you see words like unlimited storage or lifetime signup, that is usually an indication that there is something amiss. Moreover, the recommended litmus test is to remember that good “cheap” online storage will cost you around $5 per month and is usually capped at 1TB.
Reportedly, one of the reasons that Sync got the top spot is that combines more free storage space than DropBox with top-notch file security. Security, it seems, is on everyone’s mind these days, and that alone may be the reason why MediaFire isn’t more popular.
But that is not to say the company offers no security, as the MediaFire website just doesn’t list any information on security at all, except that it won’t sell user information to third parties. That said, the company offers oodles of space at some of the lowest pricing out there, including 100TB of storage for $40 a month.
You can even try it yourself at the MediaFire website, where you can get a 10GB box and grow it to 50GB through referrals and by liking the company’s social media pages. But don’t expect any file syncing or responsive customer support, as, by many accounts, the company is slow to respond to requests and MediaFire has disbanded any syncing software that they once had.
A Closer Look at MediaFire
Despite their lack of info on file security (we’ll get back to this later), the company’s web interface looks pretty sleek and modern, if not a little austere. Featuring a nice big launchpad for drag and drop, deleted files are also displayed prominently and easy to restore. Plus, there is a file tree displayed at all times and an optional grid view, which users can toggle to.
Clearly, a lot of thought went into developing the web interface, although it is a bit of a mystery as to why a desktop client and file syncing have not been developed. Plus, uploading folders is reportedly not supported, and uploading files one at a time is both time-consuming and a bit of a disappointment as many other providers accommodate both folder uploads and desktop syncing.
The mobile app is reportedly a little better, but it is evidently built around the idea of photo uploading, at the detriment of other file types. Despite all that, MediaFire tends to fare well is in situations where you need to get large files off from your phone or computer, but if you are thinking of using it for an integrated backup system, it may save you some pain by looking elsewhere first.
Ironically, according to one source, MediaFire once offered very good cross-platform app support, but then the company suddenly disbanded all of their apps, except the for the mobile ones. Another interesting note on the mobile apps is that you can earn 2GB of storage space for downloading them, and they both offer an extra upload booster that almost doubles your upload speed.
However, we were disappointed that some extra features were only unlocked by upgrading to the Pro Plan, like the ability to create one-time links, share files, and access priority support, but chalk that up to the long list of paradoxes associated with this company.
A great example of what we are talking about comes via the Business Plan, which offers the option to have multiple users, share files, and collaborate. However, there is no versioning support, so collaboration efforts are confusing at best. Plus, uploads are strangely capped at 20GB despite mammoth-sized storage limits, making the service ill-suited for video sharing or high-end graphics.
MediaFire claims that every month more than 840 million users rely on the company to send files, but that seems a little hard for us to believe given the disturbing lack of security descriptions to be found anywhere about the company. Now, to be fair, you could claim that Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, and DropBox have neglected to offer a level of personal encryption as well, and you would be correct.
However, MediaFire seems to be deliberately dodging these issues in all of their company literature. So one reviewer took it a step further and contacted the company directly to get some answers.
When asked specifically about their encryption policy, the company was slow to respond but eventually issued the following statement:
“While all users [sic] sessions are encrypted, the files are not stored with any encryption. This is to facilitate linking and file sharing, as many users need our platform to allow connections to content they are trying to send out to others.”
Essentially, what this means is that MediaFire uses an encrypted https TLS connection for all file transfers, so data is protected in transit, as are user sessions. However, once a file reaches their servers there are no explicit security protocols set up to protect data or session log files, other than the implicit measures taken to protect any web services infrastructure.
So, in answer to the question is MediaFire safe? We can confidently answer that MediaFire does nothing to actively encrypt and protect personal files while they sit on company servers. At least the company promises not to sell your information to third parties in their User Agreement.
However, the media storage company does two things well: they offer a ton of storage and their pricing is at rock-bottom levels. But you will, admittedly, be making several compromises for all that cheap storage, as folder uploads aren’t supported and neither is syncing to your computer. And while the mobile upload of pictures seems to work well, syncing other files, even on a mobile device, still presents a challenge.
Plus, in order for MediaFire servers to store your files for longer than a year, you will need to log into your account or they will disappear without notice. Moreover, there is no guarantee of security for you or your files and no active encryption, aside from standard https protocols.
And, without file versioning, we find it hard to even recommend the 100TB Business Plan at $40/month, which supports group sharing and collaborations. However, if you are interested in a photo backup for your smart device or need to upload a large file in a hurry, MediaFire may be a good option for temporary storage and sharing.
But as for answering is MediaFire safe, we feel the answer is decided no, it is not.