The Mega website began accepting registrations at 6:48 am Auckland time, and had 500,000 people sign-up in the first 14 hours, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The major difference between Mega and its predecessor Megaupload is that Mega enables file encryption through an Internet browser with only the user having the key to unlock the file, a move that will prevent governments or storage providers from viewing the contents. The data will be stored on two sets of redundant servers in two different countries.
Mega offers 50GB of free cloud-based data storage, and is set to compete with cloud storage providers like Dropbox, which charges $9/month for 50GB.
While some hosting providers got burned by their involvement with Megauplaod the first time around, including Carpathia who had to pay $9,000 a day to host Megaupload data after it was shut down, there is nothing inherently illegal about Mega, and its lawyers are working to keep it that way.
Mega is working with several providers at launch, including EuroDNS (who Ars Technica suspects may be the mysterious Luxembourg-based investor in Mega), and Cogent’s German operation. Hosting.co.uk will resell Mega to its customers.
Dotcom told attendees of his huge Mega launch party on Sunday that two new services will be added in six months, including Megabox, a music service that will give artists a portion of the profits. The second is Megakey, which allows people to access that content for free if they earn credits by installing a plugin that substitues ads served by websites with those fed from the Mega network, Ars said. A third service called Megamovie is also in the works, and will offer a similar setup, according to the report.
A points reward system was at the heart of the indictment against Megaupload last year, so it will be interesting to see how the credit system with Megakey will pan out.
Talk back: Do you think Mega will have issues operating legally given Kim Dotcom’s history? As a hosting provider, would you be interested in reselling Mega? Let us know in a comment.