File sync software and services are only becoming more and more prevalent in the business arena as time goes on; as workforces become increasingly mobile, and as collaboration remains crucial to successful business operations, companies simply cannot do without a seamless and secure way to sync and share files between people, locations, and devices.
And let’s face it: counting on transporting and sharing your files via USB memory stick or thumb drive is not only inefficient, it’s insecure.
So where do you start? Take one step into the market and you might fall over; there are so many solutions out there that claim to be the right one for your business, and on the surface they pretty much all look to be the exact same.
The good news is that there are fundamental differences that you can use as a benchmark to see which offering is the best fit for your company. As a technology services firm that stands on both the support and the delivery side of file sharing solutions, we’ve taken our unique perspective to put together a list of some trusted solutions, along with the key factors to consider when you’re making your selection.
Reviews of the best file sync and share solutions for business
Here’s a list of some our favorite providers and what they offer that make them the best in the business:
- Dropbox. The big name in file syncing. Dropbox offers a professional edition that adds business-level aspects to the ultra-popular free program, such as tighter security protocol.
- ShareFile. Owned by Citrix, this software was created with businesses—not consumers—in mind from the beginning, so its tools are well-developed in that regard.
- Box.com. While very similar to Dropbox, it built its business-level tools very early after inception, which is clearly demonstrated in the maturity of its corporate offering.
- BTSync. This is a newcomer to the game and its main focus is data security, offering extremely strong encryption and no central location for the files. While this service doesn’t give you the same level of control over individual user access as the other services in this list, it’s worth a look if you are concerned about who is storing your data and where exactly it resides.
- Anchor (now eFolder). Lastly is Anchor, which is one of the more popular solutions in use by technology services firms. This is the software behind our own cloud-based file sharing solution, so we clearly put a lot of trust in its capabilities.
While these services all do things a little differently, there are some common factors that should be the focus when matching the offerings with your business needs. We’ll work through these below.
Key factors to consider when choosing a file sync and share solution
Here are the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing a file sharing solution:
- Data security. Can you choose who can access which files? Do you have the ability to wipe files from certain devices in the case of lost or stolen equipment? Will your data be encrypted?
- Ease of use. Just like any business technology, it has to be easy to use. If you have to jump through hoops to get files to their destination, people will fall back on the old habits of USB drives or emailing documents to themselves.
- Cost. Most providers have a free offering, but that usually does not provide the security options listed above. What will your investment look like in the long run? Where might you incur additional fees?
- Location. Do you want the data stored in the cloud? Whose cloud? Would you prefer it to always be under your own control?
- Integration. How does the solution work with your existing file servers or cloud storage? With all of the money you’ve invested in a centralized and secure storage solution, the two, ideally, will work together.
So there you have it—a few solid options for file sync and share solutions, along with some guidelines for evaluating the options that are out there.
Remember: while not having a proper file sharing strategy in place poses its own risks, choosing the wrong solution could have even more serious ramifications including unmanageable data sprawl and flat-out data loss. This is why it’s so critical to take the time to properly (exhaustively) vet the solutions that are out there.
If it all seems overwhelming, don’t worry—there are plenty of resources out there that can help you through the selection process.
In the end, picking the right file sync and share solution for your business can greatly increase productivity and resource availability, while in some instances even enhancing your data’s security. That’s worth the time to get it right.