New Zealand entrepreneur Kim Dotcom — still wanted by U.S. authorities on allegations of copyright infringement — has launched a new online service for storing and sharing files.
Staying true to his outsized personality and reputation for excess, Dotcom unveiled the Mega service with great fanfare, renting a helicopter and hiring actors dressed as police agents to re-enact a raid that followed the shutdown of his first venture, Megaupload.
The new Mega service promises user privacy and a generous 50 gigabytes of free storage space — officially for documents and other files you own or are authorized to share.
What Mega doesn’t promise is a good experience. Instead, it feels like a work in progress.
Several other services do what Mega does — and do it better. Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive let people store files remotely using a Web browser. Like Mega, they all let you create links that you can send to friends to download and view specific files.
All three go further by letting you do so from a wide range of browsers. Mega warns that using anything other than Google’s Chrome browser is bound to cause problems. That includes Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which comes with every Windows computer, and Apple’s Safari, which comes with Mac machines. Chrome comes with, well, Chromebook machines, which few people have.