Top 10 EFSS Solutions of 2021
In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. The recent shift towards remote work due to the COVID pandemic has done nothing but encourage this move even more. Never have there been quite so many enterprise file-synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solutions available on the market — and while a wide range of choice is always good, it also makes it much more difficult to choose the perfect solution for your organization.
After all, investing in a solution that offers either too little or too much functionality can cost you valuable time, money and resources. And no one wants that! As such, we’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of great EFSS solutions for your consideration, so that you can pick the one that offers all the features your enterprise might need, while remaining affordable and within your price range.
Naturally, being one ourselves, we have compelling opinions about what makes a fantastic EFSS solution. Here are the factors that we’re taking into account when choosing our list of Top 10 Enterprise File Sync and Sharing solutions on the market:
- Pricing: Shelling out the big bucks doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best solution. Aside from the base price, making sure a solution offers the features that you need (for example, unlimited client accounts) could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
- User Interface: What good are all the features in the world, if you and your team can’t figure out how to use them — or worse, if they’re hidden in so much clutter that using them feels more like a chore than a convenience?
- Data Governance & Compliance: If your organization regularly handles sensitive data, you might be familiar with data governance policies, such as HIPAA or GDPR. A good solution helps you comply with these policies and avoid hefty legal fines by offering granular file-access, user policy management and data residency.
- Data Security: Features like remote data-wiping, encryption in-transit and at-rest, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), and alert notifications help keep your data in the right hands, even when devices are stolen or lost. That’s pretty important!
- Integration: More than likely, you and your team uses Microsoft Word or Google Docs as your main word processor. Perhaps you send your emails via Outlook. A good EFSS solution integrates with popular office programs such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Drive and Outlook, so that your workflow stays uninterrupted.
- APIs: Besides integrating with commonly used programs, the ideal EFSS solution should offer a wide range of APIs so that it can work and interact with the software that your team uses.
- Customization: When your team, customers, partners and vendors access your files, do you want them to see the EFSS solution’s logo plastered across everything, or do you want to be able to label your portal with your own logo, assets and branding?
- Mobile & Remote Access: You might not have constant access to your office computer, or even your laptop, but most of us always keep our phones around.
- Administrative Tools: A great EFSS solution doesn’t just make it easier to collaborate and share files, but also to manage your team. An admin panel for you and your sysadmins to manage user policies, view real-time performance reports and a centralized device dashboard, plus other security tools, is a must.
- Collaborative Tools: As more and more enterprises move to remote work, we believe that it’s not enough for modern EFSS solutions to simply store files, but also to provide tools for easier, more efficient team collaboration. These include common team folders for remote teams to share files with each other, the ability to comment on files and send messages to each other while working.
- Identity Management: This means integration with standard enterprise identity solutions, such as Active Directory (AD) and Single Sign-On.
- Virtual Drive: The ability to mount remote files as local files, so that data is only downloaded when they are being accessed and edited. This means a lot less memory usage on your part, and tons of space saved on your hard drive.
- Content Management: A good file-sharing solution offers file-versioning, metadata classification, user policy management and light workflows for the easier management and organization of your team’s hard work.
Now that we’re on the same page about what the perfect EFSS solution looks like, without further ado, let’s move on to what you’re here for: the list!
✓ Pricing: FileCloud Online: $10/user/month (Standard), $15/user/month (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: $4.20/user/month | FileCloud Server: Contact for Quote
✓ Storage: FileCloud Online: 1TB out-of-the-box, +100GB/user (Standard), +200GB/user (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: Unlimited
✓ Security: FileCloud is compliant with all the most stringent data governance policies, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.
✓ Features: From deployment models to unlimited client accounts, branding capabilities and more, FileCloud is filled with incredible enterprise-level features.
Naturally, we’re proud of our own product and firmly believe FileCloud to be one of the most powerful and affordable EFSS solutions on the market. FileCloud offers on-premise, public and a unique hybrid cloud deployment model. This deployment flexibility separates FileCloud from its competitors, and ensures that your team can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud storage systems — read more on our hybrid infrastructure here.
Our pricing is also one of the most affordable on the market, while offering larger storage plans, better enterprise-level features, and unlimited FREE external client accounts — all great for your wallet and your ROI. Feature-wise, we consider seamless, remote access to your data as the bare minimum that a good file-solution should offer. Collaborative and content management tools, a comprehensive admin panel, plus infinite customization options are all features that ensure not just your team, but also your clients and sysadmins get in on the enhanced EFSS experience.
Last but certainly not least, FileCloud is compliant with most data security governance policies, meaning that you’ll never see your organization’s good name tainted in headlines labelled with “Security Breach” or “Data Leaks”. Plus. it’ll save you tons on the fines and fees that’ll rack up if you go with a less-secure option.
|Affordable, no paywalls, money/time-saving features||Unfortunately, FileCloud isn't an open-source software.|
|Compliant with all data security governance policies||With all these features, FileCloud's UI can get a bit complex for beginners and laymen|
|Integration with most common office softwares, APIs|
2. Google Drive: GSuite
✓ Pricing: Free Plan: Free | Basic Plan: $6/user/month | Business Plan: $12/user/month | Enterprise Plan: $25/user/month
✓ Storage: Free Plan: 15GB | Basic Plan: 30GB | Business & Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users
✓ Security: Encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. Multi-factor authentication.
✓ Features: Google Drive comes with powerful, recognized collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Having quickly risen in popularity over the past couple of years, Google Drive is now a powerful file-sharing solution on the market. A file storage and synchronization program created by Google, it’s best known for its collaborative capabilities via Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which offer real-time collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets and slides respectively.
The solution’s enterprise plan, GSuite, comes with a similarly clean and intuitive UI, as well as integration with popular enterprise softwares such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited cloud storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes apps like Gmail, Google Keep, Google Sites, as well as enterprise-grade access controls, e-discovery for emails, chats and files.
However, reportedly, users have encountered frequent connectivity and syncing issues while using Google Drive. Plus, while Google Drive has fairly beefy data security with encryption in-transit and at-rest, human error on part of the developers has led to security issues, such as when Google Photos started sending private videos to strangers.
|Strong team collaborative tools||Has had major security issues through developer error|
|Clean mobile and desktop software||On the pricey end: $30,000 for 100 users/ year|
|Allows offline mode and offline file-editing||Known occasional syncing issues|
✓ Pricing: Basic Plan: Free | Plus Plan: $11.99/user/month | Professional Plan: $19.99/user/month
✓ Storage: Basic Plan: 2GB | Plus Plan: 2TB | Professional Plan: 3TB
✓ Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit; however, known past security issues
✓ Features: Unique “Paper” and “Showcase” features: basic “Notes” and “Portfolio” app respectively
Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention Dropbox in a file-sharing solution comparison post. With its clean, intuitive UI and easy-to-use features, Dropbox has become a well-known, household name in terms of file storage. Dropbox also offers password-protected links, integration for Office 365 and Google Drive, and strong administrative tools. However, while it certainly has its pros, we feel strongly that there are better enterprise-level file-sharing solutions — and here’s why.
Due to the system’s popularity, it’s always been a popular target for hackers. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption. Their customer service certainly leaves more to be desired, as seen from their lack of 24/7 customer support.
And above all that, despite having fewer features than many enterprise-level solutions out there, Dropbox is far from the most affordable on the market, especially with their 5-user minimum. Plus, with their measly 2GB- free storage and paywalls for unlimited storage, it certainly feels like the solution is out to milk their users dry.
|Clean mobile and desktop applications||Disappointing 2GB starting storage space|
|Automatic synchronization of files and folders||Frequent past security issues|
|"History" feature allows access to past versions||Pricier end of things, 5 user minimum|
✓ Pricing: Box Starter: $5/user/month | Box Business: $20/user/month | Box Business Plus: $33/user/month | Box Enterprise: $47/user/month
✓ Storage: Box Starter: 100GB | Box Business: Unlimited | Box Business Plus: Unlimited | Box Enterprise: Unlimited
✓ Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user perms and customer-managed encryption keys.
✓ Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation
While perhaps less of a household name than Dropbox, Box, founded in 2005 and based in California, is also an incredibly strong contender on the EFSS market. With tools that integrate with other services, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.
Plus, Box’s security is nothing to scoff about, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering tons of options for encryption and user management.
Unfortunately, with their heavy local encryption, Box transfers tend to get slow — something that could impede or even cripple the seamless remote workflows that have become the norm today. Box also does not offer any options for on-premise or self-hosting, nor local storage, and does not perform end-point backups. Plus, while it certainly provides tons of enterprise-level features, it’s also significantly pricier than almost any solution on the market.
|Platform-independent, apps for most major devices||More expensive than most competition|
|Secure, regulatory-compliant solution||Local encryption can slow file transfers|
|Tons of features, intuitive to use||No on-premise or local storage|
✓ Pricing: Office Plan: $8/user/month | Business Plan: $20/user/month | Enterprise Plan: Contact for a quote
✓ Storage: Office Plan: 5TB | Business Plan: 10TB | Enterprise Plan: Scales with your needs
✓ Security: Standard encryption, includes user and group access permissions
✓ Features: What stands out most with Egnyte is their great auditing system which timestamps user activities, plus a robust access permission system.
Egnyte has recently become one of the leading choices for enterprises, claiming to have been designed with businesses in mind. Egnyte provides the branding capabilities to customize logos, URLs and message headers, providing a more professional look. In addition to useful sharing and collaborative features, Egnyte also provides great security features, such as intuitive access permissions and encryption. It also integrates with most operating systems and devices.
Unfortunately, there have reportedly been frequent sync/network problems with the solution. While robust in features, Egnyte provides little documentation for these features — combined with poor customer service, creating a steep learning curve for their product. There are also paywalls for features such as audit reports and storage sync, for an already-relatively-high price tag.
|Great security measures||More expensive than most competition|
|Robust user and group permissions||No Linux support|
|Custom branding capabilities||Reported network and sync issues|
✓ Pricing: Business Plan 1: $5/user/month | Business Plan 1: $10/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month
✓ Storage: All Plans: 1TB – extra storage space can be purchased separately for up to 1TB/$9.99/month
✓ Security: Standard encryption, file-locking, paywalls for SSO/SAML Authentication
✓ Features: Advanced sharing, mobility and security. Heavy integration with Office software.
Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. Naturally, this Microsoft-based solution heavily integrates with Office 365 programs that most teams use, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as Outlook, which is a huge plus. Certain plans even grant access to said software. It also provides encryption at rest and in transit. Overall, it has robust features that make it a strong solution, as expected from Microsoft.
Unfortunately, data privacy issues have surfaced time and time again with large corporations, and OneDrive is no exception. When using this solution, Microsoft can scan your files for “objectionable content”, stating that file security cannot be guaranteed for said content.
|Integration with Office 365 programs||File-size limit of 10GB|
|Provides file-versioning features||No on-premise / self-hosting options|
|Great security measures||Security measures locked behind paywalls|
✓ Pricing: Standard Subscription: $3,750/50 users/year | Enterprise Subscription: $9,000/50 users/year | Custom Subscription: Custom pricing for 10,000 users and above
✓ Storage: Unlimited Self-Storage Space
✓ Security: Standard Encryption, Multi-Factor Authentication, NTFS Support
✓ Features: Custom branding, open-source customizability, local storage options
ownCloud is a reliable file sharing infrastructure with a client-server architecture, allowing users to setup a complete private file-sharing service with data encryption server side while avoiding popular public ones like Google drive or Dropbox. An open source solution, it offers rich features and the ability to use on-premise / self-hosting.
However, most potential users balk at the massive price tag of $9,000/50 users/year — even if you divide that into per user per month, it’s still pretty hefty — especially compared to available file solutions that have the same features while staying at 1/4 of that price! Due to being open source, there’s also a lack of a strong support system, and poor documentation. It also doesn’t offer endpoint backup, nor granular subfolders.
|Feature-rich, open source||Relatively high cost|
|Support for local storage and on-premise||No endpoint backup or granular subfolders|
|Work across all popular operating system||Poor support and documentation|
8. Citrix ShareFile
✓ Pricing: Standard Plan: $55/5 users/month | Advanced Plan: $85/5 users/month | Premium Plan: $135/5 users/month | Virtual Data Room Plan: $375/5 users/month
✓ Storage: Unlimited Storage Space
✓ Security: Standard encryption and SSL/TLS. Recovery sites in both the US and EU.
✓ Features: Collaborative and productivity-enhancing tools, custom electronic signature tool. File-versioning features.
Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication. This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud.
Unfortunately, despite their generous offer of unlimited storage, they do have a file size limit. The solution itself doesn’t support Linux. Plus, with a standard plan starting at $55, paywalls for features and their enforced 5-user pricing plan, it’s safe to say that Sharefile isn’t the most affordable solution for smaller organizations. Reportedly, Sharefile’s licensing plans are also misleading.
|Great security measures||File-size limit of 10GB|
|Provides file-versioning features||No Linux support|
|Simple to use, clean user interface||Pricey, misleading licensing plans|
✓ Pricing: Basic Plan: $2,136/50 users/year | Standard Plan: $3,823/50 users/year | Premium Plan: $5,510/50 users/year
✓ Storage: Unlimited Self-Storage
✓ Security: Standard Encryption, SSO, SAML Authentication, 2FA, File-Locking
✓ Features: On-Premise and Cloud file-hosting, large file support, local storage support, OS compatibility
While Nextcloud is a free, open-source software, Nextcloud Enterprise comes as a powerful, pre-configured EFSS solution that takes some of the guesswork out of configuring their free, alternative solution. It certainly totes the basics expected of any EFSS solution, such as audit logs, a desktop sync client and user management, and has great security with end-to-end encryption.
Unfortunately, similar to ownCloud, which Nextcloud was a spinoff of, the open-source software can come with a lack of support and documentation. As such, many deployments, updates and bug fixes fall to you and your team — wasting precious time that could have been used on other productive activities.
|Strong collaborative features||Lack of support and documentation|
|Good security measures, with encryption||Self-dependent for updates|
|Compatible with common operating systems||On the pricier end of things|
✓ Pricing: Personal: $5/user/month | Business: $5/user/month | Enterprise: Contact for quote | Government: Contact for quote
✓ Storage: Personal: 100 GB | Business+: 300GB
✓ Security: Standard encryption in-transit and at-rest, SSO, 2FA
✓ Features: Hybrid solution, remote access and mobility
For a solution that’s much less popular and well-known, Syncplicity offers a surprising punch with their rich features, hybrid hosting options, great security, file restorations and backup. In addition, good things have been said about their customer support, with online chat and a 24/7 phoneline.
At a price of $60 for even the lowest personal plan and a whopping minimum of 25 users, Syncplicity is far from the most affordable solution on the market. Syncplicity also doesn’t support customer-managed keys. Plus, Syncplicity uses a traditional interface — great for the early 2010’s, but perhaps not the most modern for today’s standards.
|Hybrid file-hosting solution||High user minimum, expensive|
|Great customer service, 24/7 support||No user-managed encryption keys|
|File restorations and automatic backup||Low storage - 300GB|