File Sync and Share Buying Guide
File sync and share has become a hot category of late. With so many business users sharing data over consumer-grade file-sharing services, it was only a matter of time before enterprise tools arrived on the market.
"As companies move to a more mobile workforce, there is a need for secure access to corporate information on mobile devices,” said Whitney Bouck, general manager of enterprise at Box. "This demand is driving the adoption of sync and share technologies. However, to gain the business benefits of these technologies, CIOs need to consider a solution that satisfies both the security and scale requirements of IT, and the ease-of use needs of the user.”
IDriveSync is described as an easy, fast, and secure cloud storage and syncing service which can sync an unlimited amount of devices.
The basic version, which offers 10 GB of sync space, is free, and extra space can be obtained by inviting friends. This comes with unlimited devices on a single account, file retention and free versioning. IDriveSync Pro is $4.95 per month with 150 GB of space, or $14.95 for 500 GB.
It recently added private key encryption, and to ensure security, the key isn't created or stored by IDriveSync. The company says private key encryption feature isn’t offered by the likes of Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive and SkyDrive. The one that does (SpiderOak) has only read-only access through the Web.
“Our out-of-the-box feature allows users to sync any of their folders strictly to the cloud only rather than to all of their devices, giving them another flexible way to sync,” said Raghu Kulkarni, CEO of iDrive.
While most file sync and share players are starters, EMC has recently entered the fray via its acquisition of Syncplicity. According to Jeetu Patel, general manager of EMC Syncplicity, this product lets users access, update and share work files from all of their local and mobile devices without having to get involved with VPNs, FTP solutions and email file size limits.
“EMC’s Syncplicity enables enterprises to deploy file sync/share solutions in private cloud environments (via EMC Isilon and Atmos),” said Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT.
You don’t have to drag-and-drop items into a special folder, check them in-and-out of workspaces or organize them the way that a project team dictates. At the same time, it has security built in. Files can be stored either in the public cloud or on premise using NAS (EMC Isilon), Object (EMC Atmos), or Block (EMC VNX/VNXe) storage systems.
“Syncplicity allows users to sync any folder on a local machine so they can organize files the way they want and have access to the latest version, on all their devices by clicking save,” said Patel. “It provides mobile push sync so files are always available offline without forcing the user to download them first.”
Dropbox made its name as a consumer service. But it has rapidly scaled up to the enterprise via Dropbox for Business. This service can operate as the centralized place for the company’s files, while assuring employees are working from the most updated file at all times, and syncing files and documents to all devices, including iPads and mobile phones. The company says it has over 100 million users to date (presumably most are users of the consumer version). But the company also claims to be used by over 2 million businesses and 95 percent of the Fortune 500.
The enterprise version provides additional management, security and support capabilities, such as member management, Active Directory integration, team activity reporting and centralized billing. On the security side, features include two-step verification, mobile passcodes, sharing controls for links and folders, single sign-on and remote device unlinking.
Dropbox for Business offers unlimited storage space, live phone and email support, and file recovery services. It is offered as an annual subscription starting at $795 per year for up to five users and $125 per year for each additional user.
“Dropbox for Business can be molded to fit the needs, workflow and type of work for any end user,” said Anand Subramani, a product manager at Dropbox.