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Is MEGA free to use? Absolutely!

Hey there! If you‘re wondering whether MEGA offers free cloud storage, the answer is a resounding yes!

MEGA provides one of the most generous free plans out of any major cloud storage provider. You get a whopping 20GB of storage completely free, forever!

In this detailed guide, I‘ll cover everything you need to know about MEGA‘s free and paid plans. You‘ll learn:

  • Exactly how much free storage space MEGA provides
  • How the free plan works and its limitations
  • How MEGA compares to Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive
  • Whether MEGA is safe and legal for storing your files
  • Tips for using MEGA free without hitting annoying limits

By the end, you‘ll understand what you can and can‘t do with a MEGA free account. Let‘s dive in!

Here‘s exactly how much free storage you get

When you sign up for a new MEGA account, here‘s what you get for free:

  • 20GB of base storage. This is your core free allotment that lasts forever.

  • 5GB bonus storage. You get this by installing MEGA‘s mobile app.

  • Up to 30GB bonus storage through achievements. This expires after 180 days of inactivity.

That brings your total potential free storage to 55GB! Of this:

  • 20GB base storage never expires
  • 5GB mobile app storage won‘t expire as long as you keep the app installed
  • 30GB bonus storage lasts 180 days after your last account activity

So realistically, you can expect to always have 25GB+ of free storage, with extra space as you earn achievements.

Compared to other popular clouds, MEGA gives you much more free storage:

Cloud StorageFree Storage
Google Drive15GB

As you can see, MEGA wins hands-down when it comes to free cloud storage!

Here‘s exactly how the MEGA free plan works

As a free MEGA user, you can:

  • Access your storage from MEGA‘s website and mobile apps

  • Upload new files and folders

  • Download existing files

  • Share files and folders via shareable links

  • Preview documents, images, audio and video

However, free users face these key restrictions:

  • 5GB daily bandwidth limit – You can only upload or download 5GB per day.

  • No syncing – Can only manually upload/download files. No automatic syncing.

  • No permanent file versioning – Versions deleted after 30 days.

  • No streaming – Cannot stream video or audio files.

So in summary, you get plenty of secure cloud storage. But bandwidth and features are limited compared to paid plans.

You really can use MEGA‘s free storage forever

I know what you‘re thinking… "What‘s the catch? Is there some time limit on the free storage?"

Nope! MEGA‘s free storage offer is permanent. Your 20GB of base storage lasts forever as long as you:

  • Log in at least once every 6 months. MEGA will delete inactive accounts after 6 months. But occasional logins keep it free indefinitely!

  • Keep bonus storage active. The 30GB from achievements lasts 180 days after your last activity.

As long as you log in twice a year and earn achievements now and then, you can use MEGA‘s free storage for life!

There is no sneaky time bomb that will suddenly delete your files or force you to pay. The 20GB is yours to keep enjoying.

Upgrading to paid plans unlocks extra features

Let‘s say you want to go beyond the limits of the free plan. MEGA offers affordable paid plans to remove restrictions:

Pro Lite$5/month400GBMore transfer, file versions
Pro I$10/month2TBUnlimited transfer, office apps
Pro II$20/month8TB+ Sync & mobile apps
Pro III$30/month16TB+ Video streaming

With a paid plan you get:

  • Unlimited transfers: No more annoying daily bandwidth caps!

  • Permanent file versions: Restore previous file versions forever, not just 30 days.

  • Syncing & mobile apps: Automatically sync folders across devices.

  • Streaming: Instantly stream video and audio files.

The more you pay, the more full-featured MEGA becomes. But even the lowest Pro Lite plan lifts the biggest free account limitations.

And the best part is you keep your free 20GB of storage regardless of whether you pay!

How MEGA‘s free plan compares to the competition

Curious how MEGA stacks up against other top cloud storage providers? Here‘s a detailed feature comparison:

FeatureMEGAGoogle DriveDropboxOneDrive
Free storage20GB15GB2GB5GB
Max file sizeUnlimited5TB20GB100GB
Bandwidth limit5GB/dayNoneNoneNone
File versioning30 daysForever30 daysForever
Desktop syncManualYesYesYes
Mobile appsBasicFull appsFull appsFull apps
SharingLink sharingFull sharingFull sharingFull sharing
StreamingPaid onlyFreeFreeFree

Here are the key differences:

  • MEGA – Largest free allowance but limited features and bandwidth.
  • Google Drive – Great well-rounded free plan with abundant storage.
  • Dropbox – Least free storage but excellent apps and collaboration.
  • OneDrive – Solid free storage with deep Office integration.

Based on this comparison, Google Drive looks most compelling free option for combining large storage, no limits, and full features.

But MEGA still stands out if you specifically want the most free space available.

MEGA takes privacy and security seriously

I know some folks worry about privacy and security with cloud storage services.

The good news is MEGA takes this very seriously, given its slightly controversial origins.

Today MEGA operate 100% above board as a legitimate business. And security remains central to their offering.

Here‘s why your data is safe with MEGA:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption – Only you control the keys to decrypt your files, not MEGA.

  • Secure data transmission – All files encrypted with SSL during transfer.

  • No reported breaches – MEGA has maintained an excellent security track record so far.

  • User-controlled privacy – MEGA cannot see or surveil your files or account.

So in summary, MEGA offers rock-solid security and privacy. Your data is safe as long as you control your master encryption key.

MEGA is legal to use in most countries

There‘s a common misconception that MEGA must be illegal or sketchy to use. This is outdated thinking.

The reality today is that MEGA is legal to use in most countries. A few key points:

  • MEGA operates as a legitimate business under strict NZ and EU law.

  • They cannot see or control what files users store encrypted on their service.

  • Standard copyright laws still apply. Don‘t share pirated material on MEGA.

  • A few repressive countries block MEGA entirely. But it‘s legal in North America, Europe, Australia and most free countries.

So while MEGA had controversy under previous ownership, today it‘s a certified safe and legal service in major countries. Just don‘t abuse it!

Tips for avoiding MEGA bandwidth limits

The biggest annoyance with MEGA‘s free plan is the restrictive 5GB daily bandwidth limit. Here are 5 tips for dealing with it:

1. Split up large transfers

If you have a big 8GB file to upload, split it into 2 x 4GB chunks. Transfer one piece each day.

2. Use MEGA‘s browser extensions

Browser add-ons like MEGAsync help manage pause/resume of large transfers that span days.

3. Schedule big transfers at midnight

The bandwidth quota resets at midnight UTC. So schedule right at midnight to optimize.

4. Refer friends for bonuses

You can earn extra bandwidth by referring friends to MEGA.

5. Upgrade to a Pro plan

Cough up at least $5/month and your bandwidth limits disappear completely!

So in summary, workarounds exist to avoid MEGA‘s bandwidth limits. But it takes effort compared to unlimited services like Google Drive.

Can I stream video or music from MEGA?

This is a common question from folks with large media libraries stored on MEGA. Unfortunately, video and music streaming is not included in the free plan.

If you try streaming a video from MEGA while free, here is what happens:

  • You can start playback for a few seconds as it begins downloading to your device. But…

  • It quickly stops and displays an error once you hit the bandwidth limit.

Instead, you need to fully download videos first before you can watch them without limits. Or you can upgrade to a paid MEGA plan to enable seamless streaming. Even the lowest Pro Lite plan includes streaming.

So while you can preview media files on MEGA while free, streaming requires paying for Pro level access.

Can I sync MEGA to my desktop?

Another common desire is to have MEGA automatically sync files to your PC like Dropbox or OneDrive. Unfortunately, syncing is not possible on the free plan either.

MEGA previously offered official sync clients for desktop platforms. But maintaining these proved too costly, so they discontinued them in 2019.

Today, the only official way to sync MEGA with desktop is through their browser extensions or mobile apps. These allow manual uploading and downloading, but not automatic two-way sync.

Again, you‘ll need to upgrade to a paid Pro plan to unlock official sync clients for desktop. MEGA reserves premium features like syncing for paying subscribers.

Should I pay for MEGA cloud storage?

At the end of the day, is it worth paying MEGA for extra storage and features? Here are some pros and cons to weigh:

Reasons you may want to upgrade

  • You need more than 20GB of storage
  • You want unlimited bandwidth without daily limits
  • You need permanent file version histories
  • You want to stream audio and video
  • You want to sync MEGA to desktop automatically

Reasons you may not need to upgrade

  • You only need MEGA for simple backups
  • You‘re happy manually uploading/downloading files
  • You already pay for Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive
  • You want collaboration features MEGA lacks

The bottom line

Paying for MEGA makes the most sense if you need lots of secure storage and maximum file privacy. More casual users are probably fine sticking with the generous free plan.

Wrapping up

So in summary, the answer is yes – MEGA provides an awesome free cloud storage option!

You get a huge 20GB storage allowance with strong security, mobile apps, and no sneaky time limits. MEGA‘s free plan beats most competitors hands down.

Just be aware of the bandwidth limits, lack of syncing, and missing features vs paid plans. As long as you can work within the reasonable free usage limits, MEGA is a fantastic free service!

I hope this detailed overview helps explain exactly what you can expect from MEGA‘s free and paid cloud storage plans. Let me know if you have any other questions!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.