My Top 8 Best OpenSource Software



Hey im doing a top something post hehehe, well these are some of the opensource software i use to build websites, its not all i use, and i don't use just opensource software, but as of now these are the ones i use more often, and most likely will use something else only if they don't fit the bill, this of course excludes awesome stuff like Linux or , so here is my list:

1 - Wordpress
The almighty god of all that is blogging, wordpress has grown a lot over the years, but unlike projects/software like firefox, openoffice/libreoffice, pidgin, gimp... they haven't really had a bad run or started to deteriorate a bit, its been constant good improvements, and even quirky issues are normally resolved without much of a hitch, its most powerful feature is the way it is structured although now it has automatic updates, its core is completly independent from the design or the content, upgrading manually 99% of the time envolves just switching the code, the second best thing is the plugin system that is also independ from the core, turning a bad plugin off is just a question of renaming the plugin folder, these and the almost infinite range of functions you can add make wordpress the number 1.

2 - Zenphoto
Also known as the worst themed gallery software, i really can never get myself to use any of their themes, they seldom are updated and the ones that are officially supported are kinda lame-o, but who cares, their themes are remarkably simple to build, but the best feature of zenphoto is how automated it is, you dont need flash uploaders or running scripts to create thumbnails or do any kind of weird jumps and hoops to upload your photos, nope, you just upload them anywhere you want it to the album folders, and if its a new folder zenphoto will create a new album if its a new picture, the zenphoto will add it to the album, that simple, and guess what, thats what i want with a gallery!

3 - VestaCP
Ahh VestaCP you have a bit of a bad rep, but i tell you this, between all the opensource hosting panels software, i kinda have the impression that you are the only one that cares what the users want, maybe you and KloxoMR, don't get me wrong webmin/virtualmin and the rest are all pretty good, but for some its just a secondary product or just a layer for a LAMP stack, but with VestaCP although i wouldnt say they are on the cutting edge, they do provide a nice clean easy product that at least is growing to a direction i approve, like apache with nginx proxy ^_^

4 - MyBB
Its what forum software should be, its light, its expandable its simple to use but still full featured! I wish i used more, now i dont have that much forum sites, but the only one i have was moved from SMF > PHPBB > BPRESS > MYBB and now i think it is in its rightfull home, great software.

5 - Tiny Tiny RSS
Awesome opensource alternative to the much dead Google Reader, its light fast and simple to use, its great if you want to manage your own stuff.

6 - Drupal
The ten pound mamoth of the bunch is drupal, although this somewhat popular CMS lacks in extensability/backwards compatibility/easyness it more than makes up for it with the ability to do anything! want a social network... BANG! done! want a voting site, oh wait no a voting site with flying eagles that shoot videos and then convert them to pictures of your reaction with your webcam, well im not sure... but if any CMS can Drupal can, so i normally use it when wordpress isn't good enough or i want to create something really unique.

7 - Vanilla
I wanted to love it, but although its layout and features are excellent one thing or another have made me skip vanilla or quit on vanilla, still it doesn't change the fact that its pretty good and works pretty good.

8 - Pydio
Its a file manager/file sync, I've been testing it out as an alternative to dropbox, its great and much lighter and faster than say owncloud, its a great piece of software and its not higher on the list cause i haven't been using it for that long time to say its the best ever!

Best Security Practices for Wordpress


Dont look surprised when your wordpress site is hacked, is wordpress security so weak?

No, not really, its just popular and as such there are more vectors to attack its security, still as a heavy wordpress user i can give you some good tips to keep your site secure, ill divide this into setup the site and securing the site, once you should only need to do once, the other its best to be ongoing, im also assuming that you have your server setup correctly and secured as well as your wordpress is up to date and your computer is secure as well, if those are good, then what i say bellow will keep you 99% safe!

Secure on Setup

On wp-config.php when you install on $table_prefix  = 'whateveryouwant' put a random string! - This will prevent mysql injections that might target the default wp_ table prefix (if already installed use something like phpadmin to go into the database and change the prefix there and then add it to the wp-config.php file)
On wp-config.php under define('WP_DEBUG', false); put define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true); - This prevents editing of php files under wordpress, most people dont edit them anyways (i just login with sftp and edit directly), so people trying to exploit will have more difficulty doing so
Use a strong password - I know its silly to say but a strong unique password with lots of letters, numbers and characters is always a good thing.

On First Login

Login with your default admin account, create a new account with admin privileges and then delete the old admin account - This prevents login requests or brute-force that would go directly to account number 1 or admin account
Disable user registration, go the options panel and disable user registration - If you dont intent for other users to post, there is no point in allowing registration.
Install only the Plugins you Need - Even if disabled, only have plugins and themes that you need, they could be used

Security Plugins to Install

BruteProtect or Login LockDown - To Prevent login attempts and brute force attacks (or in alternative find a Two-Step Authentication plugin).
Install a Clean Theme - Make sure you get a nice free theme from Wordpress.org or a paid from a good provider and keep it up to date, the more complex the theme the more likely it will have code that might become insecure, so get a good one and keep it updated.
Advance Automatic Updates - Will keep your wordpress install and plugins up to date!
Akismet - It comes with Wordpress for a reason, before it, wordpress comments were horrible and plagued with tons of spam.

Extra!

Please pleassseeee make backups, dont trust your webhost, make your own, thats the only true way of being 100% secure, use a plugin for it, i like BackUpWordpress and Keep Backup Daily, but any you like will do!
Use Cloudflare or Incapsula - These give pleanty of extra features, like cdn but they also filter and protect your traffic from a lot of nasty stuff on the web.
Wordfence or Better Wp Security - If you want more heavy security, its totally optional and in my opinion if you are well locked down they dont add anything!
Use htaccess to lock in wp-admin if you are the only user, search for this on Google pleanty of sites explaining.
Use Wordpress Jetpack plugin it protect you from some security flaws and it will help on automatic plugin installs, plus a ton of other things
Use Mx Toolbox or Sucuri Site Check to check if your site has been exploited!

The best rule of all is to be prepared for the worst, have backups and check from time to time to see if your site is up to date and everything is running fine, most of these are automated but its best to always keep an eye and if everything breaks just clean everything and put back a backup :)

Dreamhost Hosting Review


If you don't know who Dreamhost are, just write Dreamhost on Google :D they are one of the largest hosts nowadays and up until recently I was a big fan and a client for over 10 years, wow! 10 YEARS! So as you all know i tend to only review hosta i stopped using, so why have i left Dreamhost?

First lets start with some history, for a while Dreamhost was the home of a bit of weirdly offbeat hosting, their hosting setup was unique, their culture was unique, their services were unique, also it was one of those hosts that gave you freedom, even when you screwed something over or abused some of the services or just didn't have your wordpress well setup they were lenient and most of the times helpful, it wasn't about oh its your fault or i cant do anything, it was a matter of helping you out even if it was your fault, their hosting was weird but cool, you never cared about how much space you were using or resources cause it just worked!

And from a very affordable price you had a ton of extras to play with it was a playground feel and something very unique on the hosting industry, it reminds me of when Gmail started, you just had so much to work with now, even with kinks you always forgave cause... well lets just say it... Dreamhost was awesome!

And although i had move most of my sites and apps to vps/cloud/dedicated hosting, i still was very happy with my Dreamhost account!

Was? Oh yeah since about 2 years ago, they changed and a lot and besides the culture part... well it was fun but its not the essential, the change was in their network and features, the moved from a clustered type of hosting where i have to say it had the occasional downtime but overall it was fantastic speed and resources to a plain basic shared hosting setup one that is very stifled on resources, a hosting account that at its max had 20+ sites all running a lot of traffic, including a buddypress social network and a forum, now cant handle 2 wordpress sites at the same time without giving 503 errors.

Now compare that with a test vps i have that also has 2 pretty new wordpress sites but getting there, this vps is KVM with 256mb of Ram and 1vcpu, is it awesome, no? but after a well setup (nginx/apache/mariadb) its running those 2 sites like butter its almost native speed, while on Dreamhost you basically traded that slight instability for basic performance, those 2 sites load slowly and i guess any more php sites and my account would die, by the way i was paying 7$ a month on Dreamhost and i pay 1$ a month on Atlantic.net and altough Dreamhost "gives more" like control panel, backups, the most important part, the hosting is pretty weak!

The fact is that shared hosting on Dreamhost is dead, they want people to move up to VPS, to their Cloud Offerings, to their Specific Wordpress Offerings or Dedicated, they went were all the other hosting companies have been going since... well forever! They give you a great offer on shared hosting, but the shared hosting is so restrictive that any usage above a very low margin will probably need to upgrade, thats fine, but that wasnt the Dreamhost I sign up for!

Dreamhost could easily put nginx in front of apache, or just tweak their shared hosting to be as fast and streamlined as possible but they of course have no incentive for that, when you sign up for their vps you can do that yourself so they can do it, it reminds a bit of my issues with webfaction and their weird limitations...

Also i tried 2 times their VPS platform, the first time was a bust well mostly because their shared hosting was still in the old platform so it was literally moving to something worst with more limitations in everything, the second time around it was better but for that price and performance i expected a big leap from the shared hosting, i was using the shared mysql but than again why would i need to pay for vps and then for vps mysql, its just plain not good.

I also asked to be moved in the last 6 months to another datacenter and they did it, but nothing changed, still plain boring performance and hosting, this wasnt a easy decision i really liked Dreamhost, my kind of hosting, but they arent anymore, and so i move to bigger and better things, so to finalize this... yeah i left and im not going back, and sorry to say that ill probably also pass on their cloud offerings, burn me once... ok stopping the rant >_< sorry sorry, here is a resume :P

Dreamhost Strong Points

  1. Awesome Control Panel
  2. Basic Hosting Feature Set
  3. The Shared Hosting Price is Alright
  4. Good Network

Dreamhost Weak Points

  1. Shared and VPS Hosting has Weak Performance
  2. Shared Hosting Increased its Limits
  3. The VPS Hosting Price is Expensive
  4. Lost Some Extra Features
  5. Its Price point has lost Value (You dont get the same bang for buck you once got)
  6. Lost part of its Nerdy/Tech Culture and Charm
  7. Uncertainty Regarding New Features (Adding then removing features)

WP Super Cache Vs W3 Total Cache Vs WP Fastest Cache Vs Hyper Cache Vs Quick Cache Vs Wordfence Security



Yes i know plenty of wordpress cache plugins comparisons posts, but i went around checking those and most are just a matter of opinion and taste or had some good data on performance both on the frontend and the backend of wordpress, my sites tend to have some optimisations built in mostly on the server so even with plugin there is some cache going on both on php and mysql as well as using nginx as a reverse proxy for the static files.

So i went ahead and made a basic wordpress site with one of the official themes and some random content, good enough, then checked some of the memory consumption and speed inside wordpress with the P3 Plugin and used Gtmatrix and Google Pagespeed to check the performance on the page, i also checked server side but as far as i can tell all the plugins didn't use enough resources to be negligible, so what are my findings:

Performance Comparison of Wordpress Cache Plugins


Cache Plugin Memory (sec) Speed Size (KB) Requests Pagespeed
No Plugin 0 5.49 965 32 75/100
WP Super Cache 0.084 5.0 962 33 75/100
W3 Total Cache 3.6 11.33 965 33 75/100
WP Fastest Cache 0.083 4.7 757 30 90/100
Hyper Cache 0.008 5.0961 32 75/100
Hyper Cache + Autoptimize 0.097 6.7 690 24 90/100
Quick Cache 0.04 4.93 961 32 75/100
Quick Cache + Autoptimize 0.1 5.44 696 24 91/100
Wordfence Basic 0.15 6.97 965 33 75/100
Wordfence Falcon Engine 0.14 5.63 762 34 90/100

Notes: I've added Autoptimize to the cache plugins that don't have the ability to combine and minify code, to see if it helped. Also note that all of these results besides pagespeed are averages i did test 3 times to make sure, although gtmatrix does use random servers to check so the speed part can be a bit off, so dont take it literally its more important the size and requests as well as overall pagespeed ranking for true performance, yes i know i could have used a fixed server but i wanted a more normal usage scenario.

No Plugin


Like i said above by default my sites work and cache well enough to rate a standard 75/100 on Pagespeed, also enabling by default gzip and other small wordpress tweaks help too, still its only here as reference point, of course most wordpress sites would rate a bit lower.

WP Super Cache


I've used it a lot in the past, still i've moved on to other cache plugins because its a bit like W3 Total Cache, it has become with time less user-friendly, from all the plugins it was the most troublesome to turn on and to turn off (leaves a lot of stuff behind) also with default settings it didn't cache much, also one of the reasons i left was that sometimes updates would kill my sites, its still a standard but i think its not good enough anymore.

W3 Total Cache


This one is WP Super Cache on steroids, im sure its awesome since it has everything and then some, and although a bit easier to setup than it used to be, its kinda one that need a lot, i mean A LOT of pampering, it should only be used on large sites and sites where you control the server side and can enable the caches that W3 will use, also on my test and with default settings on it clearly was the worst plugin of them all, probably cause i should have changed something somewhere.

WP Fastest Cache


Although this plugin kinda broke a part of the wordpress backend (probably a css out of place), it was one of the most complete and simple plugins and you can see that it did a pretty good job and i didn't even enable all the functions, it incorporates pretty much everything you expect in a small package, however 2 things keep me from using it, first there is no control over the html/js/css minify, and from my experience most my sites would break if i cant tweak this (Autoptimize does give you that control) the second is that the panel tries to ping ipinfo.io i don't like plugins that do stuff like that.

Hyper Cache


The one I'm currently using on most of my sites, its simple clean and to the point and as you can see it does its job, besides one nagging issue when the plugin or wordpress updates the plugin seems to stop working and you get the "You must save the options since some files must be updated." still unlike WP Super Cache the site doesn't stop working, so it a safe and good plugin with very low memory consumption.

Quick Cache


I like this one, its has a nice panel, its simple and it worked just fine, still some of its best features are hidden away for a premium package and well that makes it under perform, i would understand if these features were more high end stuff like using CDN's or tweaks around server side, but things like minify should be part of the basic feature set and as such this plugin is comparable with Hyper Cache but with more resource usage.

Extras to Consider

Wordfence Security


Its mostly a security/firewall plugin for your site that also has a caching plugin built in, so why not try it out, it has 2 settings so i tried them both, the basic and their so called falcon engine, i did see a improvement and it worked fine, still its of course a much bigger plugin that does a lot of things besides the caching, but if you are looking for both a security plugin and a cache plugin, this might be good for you.

Autoptimize


Its a plugin that minifies html/css/js and combines it, it can do it both on the head or move those scripts to the end of the body to help the page load, its also very flexible and you can skip files or tweak so it doesn't break your site, some of the other plugins had these features or part of it, but this plugin gives you complete control and as such is a nice combination with other caching plugins.

So what was my choice?


Ill keep using Hyper Cache, it works well, the feature set is good enough and it doesn't break my site ever, when i need to give a bit more i add Autoptimize or if its on Cloudflare i just tweak the html/css/js from there, it was my choice about a year ago when i move away from WP Super Cache and as far as i can tell it still was the best choice.

Webfaction Hosting Review


So I was a user of Webfaction hosting for a year, and nooo don't take my dramatic image that Webfaction sucks! Hehehe it just sucked a little but it failed quite a bit, lets start from top shall we.

Webfaction is a shared hosting provider, it kinda sits between traditional shared hosting and running a VPS/Cloud/Dedicated hosting, its basically shared hosting with the basics plus lots of the resources and freedom of having control of most of your account, sounds great? Yeah i thought so too!

After some issues with some of my hosting i decided about a year ago to keep a part of my sites on  dedicated and some on shared hosting, so Webfaction looked like my perfect choice for a shared hosting provider (my end goal was 3 Webfaction accounts), still before singing up with I sent a e-mail with some questions, one of those was regarding the PHP and if that would run from the memory on the server or if it was included since their site doesn't state that clearly, i was told that i wouldn't need to worry about PHP since that was part of their setup and thus outside of my personal memory, only if i installed my own apps would i use up that memory, great!

So moving some of my sites over i had to get used to their control panel and system, that has some particulars compared with other shared hosting, but nothing too complicated and in some sense pretty cool, like the ability to run folders with just Nginx for example (bypassing the heaving Apache), still it took a while to move things over (about 8 sites, with 10GB of data, 5 MySql databases), performance wise it wasn't all that good, i had some downtime (3 times at least) and weird issues like blazing speed one moment and crawling and timing out the next, after some back and forth with support (that although reasonably fast they are very bland with replies and tend to not give details on issues) and about 3 months in and more talking with support the server was moved to Cloudlinux and that would fix the issues.

And yes it helped, kinda, now i wasn't getting those server wide glitches but started getting out of memory issues, were support sometimes telling me its my fault and other times telling me it isn't a issue and shrugging it off, and that was my normal operation with Webfaction for another couple of months, with my sites going down all in a row, i had 8 sites on Webfaction, because i never had outstanding hosting, I moved the only important site out, but still the performance wasn't improving, 2 of the sites were placeholders and the rest were smallish static or wordpress site, the total traffic per month was like 5GB to 10GB and around 1000 visit per month for the combined sites, my contacts with support always started with me asking what was the issue and they say that PHP was running and had to be terminated and me replying that i was told PHP wasn't a issue and i don't understand why PHP is running out of memory if i barely have visitors, and finally shrugs or promises that it would magically get fixed.

This kept going on, at one point support wasn't even able to determine what was the PHP file that brought the site down (apparently support doesn't have access to logs or Webfaction doesn't make any logs of these issues), but since it wasn't always the same domain even i was unsure, suffice to say it was a pretty miserable experience, so after 7 months in, i quit Webfaction and moved everything over to another one of my VPS (and yes the performance has been fantastic and PHP runs like a dream), i paid yearly so my fault there, so here is a resume of what i think are the strong and weak points of Webfaction hosting.

Good Points

  1. Feature Filled Hosting Platform, from php, python, perl, git, django.... you name it.
  2. Good Control Panel, although tricky, after you get used to it, it has some great features.
  3. Good Hosting Specs, with plenty of space and bandwidth.
  4. Lots of Control, of your hosting with shell account and the ability to run your own software
  5. Good Fast Network, at least in their Amsterdan location that i used.
  6. Really Good Community, they showed a lot of ways to go around issues and some of the things you can do on the platform.

Bad Points

  1. Support isn't Knowledgeable, at least of their platform or lacks any real access, they are polite but i needed answers, not shrugs and reboots, especially when they say its a issue on my side and then point me to a "optimize your site" article as a solution for a plain Wordpress site that received 10 visits that day and was able to crash my entire account!!!!
  2. Monitoring the Server wasn't Proactive or Fast, every-time i had a issue even if the entire server was down it seemed like a surprise to support (and i don't go running for support, I normally wait 30min or more just encase its some reboot or small glitch), not too sure what they are monitoring :/
  3. Although told otherwise PHP is considered an App, so every time it runs it takes memory from your account (in my case between 30Mb and 60Mb, so i had 256Mb of RAM at the time = i can only run around 5 instances until their prevention tools shut me down), so if you have 1 site you are good and you can run multiple PHP processes, if you have 5 or 6 like me, or if you have a very popular forum or Wordpress site, you will get shutdown FAST (check Webfaction's "tools to prevent server high loads" and "cgroups" and "Cloudlinux")
  4. It doesn't use Standard Configurations, so you get some issues and incompatibles with some scripts, of these 4 its a issue you can fix easily by searching the forums.

So to summarize, Webfaction likes to compare itself as a superior VPS, but it really isn't! a quality VPS is unfortunately superior (at least in availability of resources), even a smaller one, the now 512Mb of RAM on Webfaction isnt superior to a equivalent VPS, were you can run a LAMP (+Nginx) stack with 150Mb of RAM and plenty of space to run PHP and anything you want smootlhy, its just a bit more work to setup hehehe, i would say if you have just a couple of sites and you want a good shared hosting with more freedom than the average Shared Host than Webfaction is a nice choice and like Webfaction likes to say hosting for developers (so expect issues?!?), but if you want to run critical software or if you need your sites to run smoothly, then Webfaction is unfortunately not the best choice.

Moving Away from PointDNS


[ Rant Warning ^_^' ] Since i have most of my domains on ResellerClub and from my tests on DNS performance, ResellerClub DNS is like me hosting my own DNS (it will be slow and probably only on one location), its kinda the bare minimum, so I've used other DNS services, but ended up going with PointDNS, it had the basic features and pretty good performance, but since they got bought/sold/merged into Copper, they have been changing more and more of their basic features!

I don't mind adding new features and asking money for them, that's perfectly reasonable, but going back on previously free features is where i draw the line, i feel cheated, well not in the sense that i have to pay (altought now i do!), but in the "you got me here with these features" cheated (ie i would never have used PointDNS if they didn't have these features).

Taking back features is like going back on your word and so i have lost confidence, they decided to make their e-mail redirects paid, but since i only need hosted DNS for less important domains or 3rd party hosted domains (like hosted in Blogger, Tumblr...), that feature is pretty helpful for me, so I'm moving away, I still think they have a pretty good, clean and reliable DNS service, but at this point even using ResellerClub or hosting my own is a better alternative, as of now I'm moving to NameCheap DNS!

Positives of PointDNS

  • Clean Layout
  • All the Basic Features
  • Reliable DNS Service


Negatives of PointDNS

  • Inconsistent Layout
  • Inconsistent Pricing
  • Turning Standard Features into Paid
  • Lack of Support/Manual
Update: A Couple of days later they send a e-mail cutting from the 10 free domains i used to have to just 1, gawd, no respect for customers, they give 30 days to decide... extortionist much?

Review of Tresorit "Secure" Cloud Sync


In my quest for some good secure cloud hosting/sync aka Dropbox clone, ive tested and used a lot of diferent cloud sync providers, might as well start posting my findings, today im starting with TresorIT, coming from Hungary, being their main features their client side encription and any folder can be synced.

So lets start with the install, I installed it on a Windows7 Laptop, that went fine and started fine, standard stuff here, i do note that this soft is installed on a very strange place (it installs on AppData instead of Program Files), also it created a ton of .tresor or .tresorit hidden folders, a bit weird but nothing much.

On running its a bit bare with information, username and password (so i assume the client side encription is done with that password) and off it goes, syncing away, however there is no way of knowing what is it doing, also its not as fast as say Dropbox or Skydrive, but the worst thing is that if you turn it off and delete a file and then turn the program back on... it wont retrieve the file from the server... so whats the point here?

That is pretty much standard syncing operation (if the software is not online at the time of the deletion you bring back the file from the server or if there is a new file update the file on the server, you dont erase the file on the server), so basically if there is corruption or you accidentally delete a file, or if you need to retrieve a file from the server online you are screwed, so what are you syncing for?

Yeah as of now TresorIT is pretty much useless, if you want syncing without protecion of data you might as well choose Bittorent Sync, its way safer (cause you at least know more about the security than blindly trusting TresorIT), its way quicker (on LAN its Blazing!!!!) and well if you delete something you are also screwed anyways!

TresorIT Advantages:

  • Stable enough Software
  • A presumption of security


TresorIT Disadvantages:

  • Basically if it stores files in the cloud, yet there is no clear way to access them if you need them (so what the point?!?!?)
  • Lack of information on syncing
  • Not the fastest of the bunch
  • Weird Instalation on Windows 7
  • Contacted Community and Support about issue, didnt get any reply from support >_< meh cryptic organizations dont give a nice vibe!

If you reeeeaaalllllly need to check them out, its TresorIT.com!

Use Mega for Mega Backups


So Mega is not just for Sharing!

You know Mega! If you don't, you probably don't read much tech news, the very much hyped product of Megaupload founder, its basically (at least for now) a Megaupload clone, a filehost, just cleaner and easier to use with encryption built in, so why my glee of Mega?

Well i do backups of everything, from my android to my computers to my websites, backups is just part of everyday life, sure its mostly automated but its one of those things that are important especially when you invested so much time and money on your data, still there are times, especially with my websites that i need some long term storage, my backup box stores about 3 copies of all of my sites and that takes a lot of space, but these copies are rotating so if there is a slight issue, such as creeping corruption or some deleted file, those backups can become useless.

So besides my current setup, i have the need for less used/long term backup storage, but why dont I use amazon s3, amazon glacier or another alternative, thats true, but i want a simple system for backups something i can just, grab a couple of files and load it there just in case from time to time, also old dumps from my android or random files that im sure i wont need anytime soon, its not essential stuff, no need to run another system.

Mega boasts their encryption on the client side (while others like Dropbox and Google encrypt on their side, what that means is if Google or Dropbox wants they can see your files), still as with all these companies its a matter of trust, if you trust these companies to do what they say they do, however for this particular case all my site backups are encrypted and compressed so its a mute point although still a point for Mega.

Mega is just a plain better filehost, its super simple to use, the files are backed up (at least in 2 places), the uploads go without any problem (compared with Dropbox or Box or Gdrive web uploads that do hang up from time to time), the files stay forever (at least that's the official policy), there is no filesize restrictions even though most backups are only 100Mb or so, there are some that are 1 or 2GB in size, no problem with Mega, and if i ever need to download, its blazing fast, enough said! Im sold and so should you!

Just as a broad comparison why Mega is better than most other filehosts:

General Filehost - No security, no reliability and a tendency to lose your file in a whim.

General Webhost - Better reliability but again no security, and they tend to not like you hosting big files.

Rapidshare - They change their policy constantly and its always for worst, i was their paid customer for 2 separate times and both i got screwed, never again.

Mediafire - They say they are a cloud hosting company, but well they dont guarantee that files are kept, only if a file is popular, unusable for any kind of reliable file hosting.

Dropbox - Great and reliable if you pay them, if you dont pay them you are a second class citizen, also their service only works great with their desktop client, no point.

Skydrive - They scan your files, that says it all, plus, can you trust Microsoft?

Google Drive - They want a perpetual license for all your files, plus, can you trust Google?

As a sidenote...

Box - Actually pretty good, my account with them is several years old and i never lost a file, still they have a pretty stiff filesize limit of 250Mb, so not ideal for what i need, but outstanding for small files backup!

PS: Cant wait for Mega Sync Application for Windows/Mac/Linux!