A decent service with some sharp edges, MediaFire offers limited functionality at a low price.
By Brian Law – Last Updated: 24 Nov'17
It’s hard what to make of cloud storage provider MediaFire: on the one hand it lacks desktop syncing and versioning capabilities and it doesn’t publicize what, if any, security measures are in place to protect users’ files.
On the other hand, while it certainly falls far short of our best cloud storage picks, MediaFire may still appeal to some users thanks to strong mobile support for images, a generous allotment of free storage and low pricing.
To try MediaFire yourself, visit MediaFire for 10GB of free storage, with the opportunity to earn up to 50GB extra by referring friends and completing other tasks. Otherwise, read on as we review MediaFire’s highs and lows.
- 10GB free plan
- Very affordable
- Fast upload speeds
- Follow collaborative files
- Decent 20GB file-size limit
- No desktop apps
- No folder uploading
- Limited feature set
- No versioning
- Deletes data when inactive
- Free version has ads
In general, MediaFire isn’t a very feature-rich storage solution, but it still provides affordable, high-volume storage for mobile and desktop users who don’t need frequent file access. The tradeoffs may be worth the low price to some users.
Just be cautious, as MediaFire doesn’t indefinitely store files. You’ll need to access your files in some capacity at least once a year to guarantee retention.
MediaFire once had good cross-platform support, but then got rid of most clients. The only apps available are for iOS and Android and, unlike most cloud storage services, desktop clients for Windows and Mac aren’t available. You have to upload and access files using a browser interface.
However, if the lack of desktop support isn’t a deal breaker for you, MediaFire offers plenty of space at very competitive rates. Anybody who needs to free up space on their computer by storing files long term could definitely benefit from the service’s affordable pricing. Also, the web interface provides surprisingly fast upload speeds.
Mobile users who take a lot of pictures stand to benefit most from using MediaFire and we would almost go so far as to claim the app is designed with this kind of user specifically in mind, though its shortcomings have barred it from entry in our best online storage for photos list.
The iOS and Android apps are straightforward and automatically sync photos; you even get an additional 2GB of free space for downloading them.
MediaFire also offers a “power upload” option, which effectively doubles the app’s upload speed. As it consumes more battery power in this mode, it’s best to plug your phone in before toggling it, but that’s a small price to pay for such a speed increase.
By upgrading to MediaFire Pro, you get an enhanced feature set in addition to a storage increase of up to 1TB. These features include the ability to create one-time links to share files, upload files from other websites and also gives access to priority support.
However, non-mobile users will find that many features found in other storage solutions are simply missing, including file versioning. The only option to recover files with MediaFire is pulling them out of the trash after you’ve deleted them.
If you need to upload very large files, you might also run into problems. Although the 20GB file size limit is larger than what you can upload with some services (as you can read in our OneDrive review, that service has a 10GB limit), it still pales in comparison to Sync.com, which maxes out only once you’ve hit your storage limit.
MediaFire doesn’t offer an office suite like OneDrive and Google Drive do and doesn’t have any application integrations with third-party services, so it isn’t the best cloud storage platform for facilitating collaborations. It does, however, have a built-in text editor in beta for those who need to do some quick online editing.
If the 10GB of cloud storage you get for free isn’t enough, MediaFire has one subscription plan for personal users, which is called “Pro.” You can go month-to-month or sign up for a year in advance for a 25 percent discount.
$ 5 00monthly
$ 45 00yearly
$ 50 00monthly
$ 480 00yearly
Can be increased to up to 50GB with referrals.
Storage up to 100TB. Includes 100 user accounts.
Pricing for MediaFire is competitive, normally. At the time of this writing, the service is also offering an additional 50 percent discount, visit MediaFire for more details.
MediaFire also offers business plans billed monthly or quarterly for up to 100 users. With the business plan, you can get up to 100TB for $5,400 per month, though smaller plans are available.
MediaFire’s web interface is modern and user-friendly with a nice layout and drag-and-drop functionality. Deleted files are easy to access and a folder tree is visible at all times to the side of your current open folder. For those who prefer grid layouts, there’s an option for that, too.
The webpage still looks good on high pixel density displays. The interface is easy to navigate with very few surprises. Without its excellent online interface, though, it would be very hard to recommend MediaFire at all for desktop use. The lack of a desktop client, particularly a sync folder, is unusual and disappointing.
On top of that, MediaFire’s web app is far from perfect. Despite the straightforward file management, getting files onto MediaFire’s servers can be a pain. It’s impossible to upload folders, so you’ll need to manually add all files you wish to upload. Attempting to add folders just results in the files sitting in the queue indefinitely.
This was a major disappointment. When I contacted customer support, they claimed that single-tier folder uploads would work when using Google Chrome, but the browser switch did nothing to remedy the issue, even when dealing with a folder containing just two text files.
The mobile app is very well put together, though a bit more constrained in purpose than the web interface. Specifically, the MediaFire mobile app is mostly built around photo backup. The app doesn’t feature the broad import and export options of apps like Google Drive (Google Drive review). The “+” button at the bottom exclusively uploads photos.
While MediaFire doesn’t offer a lot of versatility, it does most of what it claims to do well enough to make use of it. If you’re offloading some large files to save hard drive space or just want to backup a large photo library from your phone, the process will be quite smooth. Outside of these specific situations, things get a little rougher.
MediaFire falls short on syncing. Syncing between mobile devices happens quite smoothly, but without the ability to sync to desktops, you’ll be spending quite a bit of time uploading and downloading rather than just saving your files and forgetting about them.
As almost all of the providers in our best cloud storage comparison chart offer a sync folder, it’s hard to believe that MediaFire would just leave this feature out. It can’t even be considered an oversight, as MediaFire did once offer a desktop app, which was then phased out, a decision that really limits MediaFire’s potential.
File sharing, though, is quite functional: it is straightforward and works just as you’d expect. Send someone a link and they can use it to download the file. Without a subscription, these links will be ad supported, so be aware that it’s not exactly a clean look. If you invest in the Pro subscription, you’ll also be able to create one-time links.
MediaFire, however, doesn’t support the common ability to assign an expiry date to links. If you do need to secure a previously shared file, though, you can turn the link off, closing the file to anyone who is not actively following the file.
This security feature is nice, but expiry dates and passwords like Sync.com uses (see our Sync.com review for more details), are a better way to maintain control of sensitive content.
MediaFire also lets others follow files. This capability cleans up collaborations so you don’t need to send links back and forth when working with someone long term.
Our MediaFire speed tests showed usable results. These tests were run using a 300MB test file over Ethernet with average speeds of 29.28Mb/s down and 5.96Mb/s up.
|300MB Test File ||Upload time:||Upload Speed:||Download time:||Download speed:|
MediaFire’s upload and download speeds kept up with normal use. Compared to most services, MediaFire is nothing to write home about, but it holds its own.
Due to MediaFire’s inability to upload folders, though, you will need to upload individual files manually, slowing down the process significantly.
MediaFire does assure users that the content they upload remains theirs. While this is good to know, it’s also expected of any cloud storage provider in 2017, so no bonus points there. What MediaFire remains unclear about is its encryption and the privacy of those files. Nowhere does MediaFire state whether it has access to your files.
Without that information, you can’t assume any level of security. MediaFire isn’t zero-knowledge and there’s no indication that your files will even be encrypted on MediaFire’s servers. Your data could be extremely vulnerable to hacks or other unwanted access. This hole in MediaFire’s service is impossible to ignore. Don’t store anything sensitive here.
If security is vitally important to you, we’d encourage you to take a look at our roundup of the best zero-knowledge cloud services.
MediaFire’s customer service team is rather slow, but seems genuinely friendly and helpful. The agents know the service well enough to answer your question with specific instructions. If you’re patient, they can help you through any issues. If time is of the essence, though, you may be out of luck. One of my requests went unanswered for four business days.
In the case that your question can’t wait, the MediaFire knowledgebase can be helpful for some basic tasks. Articles are well written and have helpful screenshots to guide you. For more complicated tasks, you’ll be lucky to find any related articles and MediaFire offers no user forums to get help from more experienced members.
There’s no doubt that for MediaFire’s low price, you’ll be making some compromises. Folder uploads aren’t an option. If you’re looking to sync devices, the lack of desktop integration makes it impossible. Even if you’ve replaced your laptop with a tablet, the mobile app doesn’t offer deep enough operating system integration to be used as a general-purpose storage service for all of your files.
Without versioning, collaborations become too risky. However, MediaFire does still have an enticing price tag, especially if you catch it on sale. If you’re primarily interested in photo backup for your phone or need to offload a large amount of data to save space on your computer, MediaFire may be right for you.
That’s it for our MediaFire review: are you a fan or a skeptic? Let us know in the comments below and thank you for reading.
|Free Storage||10 GB|
|Price||Starts from $ Array per month|
|Free External HD Backup|
|Bare Metal Backup|
|Exclude File Extensions for Backup|
|File Size Limit||20 GB|
|Share Photo Albums|
|Server Side Encryption||256-bit|
|Keeps deleted files|