Secure cloud storage provider MEGA launches MEGAsync desktop tool for Windows

New Zealand-based MEGA has launched MEGAsync 1.0 FINAL for Windows, the first stable release in a planned trio of desktop tools (Mac and Linux versions are promised soon) giving MEGA account holders access to their cloud-based files via their computers. It follows the launch of the mobile MEGA app for Android and iOS.

MEGA -- which includes Kim Dotcom among its founders -- offers robust, secure cloud storage using 2048-bit RSA encryption. It also offers a generous free 50GB of storage space, with paid-for plans offering up to 4TB secure storage with extended bandwidth (up to 8TB/month).

MEGA’s security conscious features include end-to-end encryption, which means any data stored on its servers can only ever be encrypted by the user’s client devices using their password as the master encryption key. This is protected by 2048-bit RSA encryption, which -- coupled with a strong enough password -- should be impervious even to brute force attacks.

Users can sign up for a free 50GB package with 10GB/month bandwidth limitation, or upgrade to one of three paid-for packages: the entry level PRO I package costs $12 a month, or $120 a year, and offers 500GB storage with 1TB/month bandwidth.

Users can download, install and sign into the Windows app. Once signed in, the app will create a dedicated MEGA folder inside the user’s personal Documents folder and download either all or a selected subset of the user’s files already stored online to this location.

Users can then use this folder like any other -- files saved into here or updated within here are then automatically encrypted and uploaded back to the user’s cloud-based account in a similar manner to the likes of Dropbox and SkyDrive.

Overlay icons indicate which folders and files have been synced or not within Windows Explorer itself, but users can also click the MEGA Notification area icon for a more detailed update of current and past file transfers. Users can also pause file transfers, view their account information and tweak selected program’s settings from here.

One nifty tweak is the ability to sync different MEGA folders to different local folders via the Syncs tab -- users can also use this window to switch the default folder that MEGA syncs too should the Documents\MEGA location prove undesirable. A separate Bandwidth tab also allows users to tweak upload speeds should the automatic settings fail to prevent the user’s internet connection grinding to a halt while the app syncs in the background.

The mobile apps have some tricks up their sleeve too: you can stream video directly from your MEGA storage, for example, plus make specific files available for offline viewing too. On the other hand, lack of thumbnail support for certain file types such as PNG images, can be an irritant, forcing users to open the image to confirm its contents.

MEGA will appeal to those who need a large amount of secure storage space -- 50GB should prove ample for most basic user’s needs, and dwarfs any other free storage currently on offer. MEGAsync 1.0 FINAL is available now as a freeware download for PCs running Windows XP or later; the MEGA app is available for both Android and iOS (optimized for iPhone).

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