Businesses and startups need to share files internally and externally to maintain a smooth flow of information. In modern workplaces, this often involves using digital tools to send the document instantly.
With that in mind, every tool used for sharing files with clients or colleagues should have security protocols to prevent your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
This article will cover the most secure file-sharing tools for businesses. Continue reading to learn the benefits of using secure applications to share sensitive files.
6 Essential Features of a File-Sharing Tool
Here are the main features and factors to consider when selecting a software program for sharing documents.
Protecting data should be your primary concern when transferring files across digital channels. Modern file transfer tools use multiple security features to reduce the probability of unwanted access to sensitive business information.
Some must-have security protocols include:
- Password protection, expiring links, and watermarking.
- Encryption protocols such as 256-bit, TLS/SSL, and SSH keys.
- Two-factor authentication using a one-time password (OTP) or authenticator app.
Use access control tools to assign roles and restrict permissions to specific users. In addition, you can also specify the folders that users can view on a user-to-user basis. If you are suspicious of malicious traffic coming from IP addresses in a particular nation, you can use country access restrictions (CAR) as an extra layer of security.
Keeping tabs on who views your file is a must-have feature; it helps you spot irregular file access faster and enforces communication transparency. Most tools with access control also allow you to track engagement analytics.
The software program you use for transferring files should automatically store them in a database using the autosave function. This will help you retrieve your data if the link is broken or you accidentally lose access.
Tools like SecureDocSharing also allow you to change the source file without adjusting the parameters of the sharing link.
In the past, most file transfers were limited to PDFs and JPEGs. But with several new file formats becoming available, you need a tool that handles as many file extensions as possible. Focus on text-based formats like DOC, DOCX, XLS, CSV, and PPT.
Excellent customer support
Software programs malfunction occasionally; that’s part of the natural lifecycle. When this happens, you’ll need to contact support to help fix these issues. You can learn more about the service’s customer support from customer reviews.
You need a tool that delivers the best worth for the money. So, look for free online tools like SecureDocSharing. If you want to use a paid service, choose one that allows a trial period.
Now that you know the features that every top-notch service for sharing files should have let’s go through the best in class for business operations.
Apart from sharing files, you can also use Dropbox to sync, sign, share, store data, and track document analytics for individual files and entire projects.
You can also use Dropbox for Education, Technology, Construction, Marketing, Sales, HR, and Media. These tools have been adapted to specific industries by default, so you don’t need to configure them yourself.
Dropbox integrates with Slack, Zoom, HelloSign, Trello, Zapier, Salesforce, and other software programs. Users also get access to productivity tools and vast cloud storage.
Dropbox Paper allows you to create files, share them, and keep your team in sync. With the Admin Console, you can track all analytics for your documents. You also have the remote wipe option, as well as mobile-friendly web forms.
Furthermore, Dropbox protects your documents in transit through restricted downloads, access controls, custom requests, expiration dates, watermarking, and password protection. You can manage them using Dropbox Vault.
- Plus (1 user) — 2TB of storage at $9.99 per month
- Family (6 users) — 2TB of storage at $16.99 per month
- Professional (1 user) — 3TB of storage at $16.58 per month
- Standard (3+ users) — 5TB of storage at $15 per user per month
- Advanced (3+ users) — Limitless storage at $24/month
- Enterprise (multiple users) — Limitless storage at a negotiated price.
This service allows you to send different document formats via a secure environment. As a PandaDoc’s app, SecureDocSharing keeps your documents secure from the moment you upload them. You also have control over who can view the files you share in order to track user engagement analytics.
SecureDocSharing comes with an easy-to-use web interface that allows you to drag and drop documents quickly. You can also use the access management features to do the following:
- Customize sharing links
- Add passcodes
- Add an expiration date
- Control document download access
- Require email to view documents
- Extend expiration
- Track who opens the document
SecureDocSharing is entirely free. You can use this service to share any file format, provided it is below 10MB.
This file-sharing service is a cloud-native SaaS that provides fast, secure document transfers for businesses.
Files.com uses automation to onboard users. You can send requests, and the incoming file will go straight to your inbox. Companies rely on this tool to enhance collaboration internally and externally with prospects and clients.
Due to its safe and massive storage, Files.com is the perfect file-sharing solution for tech companies, media houses, and legal firms. You can share as many individual documents as you want or send them in a folder.
As a cloud-based tool, Files.com takes compliance seriously. The service adheres to HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and other local and international regulatory requirements.
The platform is secure, thanks to built-in authentication tools like Yubikey, Google Authenticator, and Duo. It also supports SSH keys and SSL certificates. And most crucially, Files.com allows you to add your custom security settings APIs, SDKs, and webhooks.
Other security features on Files.com include watermarking, password protection, expiration dates, single-use links, preview-only modes, and custom branding.
Files.com integrates with Microsoft (Azure, SharePoint, Active Directory & Office), AWS (S3 & SNS), Google Cloud, Box, Zapier, and others. You can download the app on macOS and Windows.
- Starter — 1TB (50k daily API requests)
- Power — 1TB (250k daily API requests)
- Premier — 10TB (2 million daily API requests)
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive is a file-storage service that allows users to store, share, and receive documents from anywhere. This tool enables collaboration by allowing you to share documents with recipients instantly.
Since it is a cloud-based tool, you can use it online without consuming space on your local on-prem storage. Custom configurations enable you to manage your OneDrive Personal Vault as you deem fit.
OneDrive works on macOS, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, as well as other Microsoft-owned products.
With OneDrive, you can back up your files on local storage, giving you better control over the version history. Also, its offline storage gives you access to files, even without an internet connection. You can scan your documents from your mobile device and share them with OneDrive.
OneDrive’s Open Vault gives you personal storage space for sensitive documents such as passports, IDs, passwords, contracts, patents, and intellectual property. You can protect this vault using biometrics or two-factor authentication (2FA) methods. Open Vault also locks automatically after long periods of inactivity.
More so, every file you upload to one drive is encrypted with a unique AES256 key, which you can store in the Azure Key Vault.
OneDrive gives your business access to the following tools:
- Microsoft Cloud
- Dynamics 365
- Microsoft 365
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Industry
- Small Business
- Azure Marketplace
- Visual Studio
- OneDrive for Business (Plan 1) — $5.00 per user per month
- OneDrive for Business (Plan 2) — $10.00 per user per month
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic — $6.00 per user per month
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard — $12.50 per user per month
When it comes to cloud storage and document sharing, Apple goes one better with the help of cloud computing — which is powered by iCloud. As Apple’s response to Microsoft’s OneDrive, iCloud is a built-in file storage platform for Apple users.
You get free 5GB storage, which might not be enough for the files your business needs to store and share. That’s why upgrading to iCloud+ is essential for business owners.
iCloud+ allows you to share images, Word files, scanned documents, and media files. Depending on your chosen plan, you can integrate features like Private Relay, Hide My Email, and HomeKit Secure Video support.
You can also share files and folders via email or secure link. And before you can share files via iCloud+, you need to activate the two-factor authentication to boost your security.
- iCloud+ 50GB: $0.99 monthly
- iCloud+ 200GB: $2.99 monthly
- iCloud+ 2TB: $9.99 monthly
The only drawback to sharing documents via iCloud is that only teams using Apple devices can access them.
Google Workspace Drive
Google Drive is another cloud-based tool for sharing and managing documents, but it is only one part of the multi-faceted products available in Google Workspace.
Drive enables teams to make decisions faster by enhancing seamless cooperation and document sharing across multiple channels. You can share documents without having to send them as email attachments.
Google Workspace manages security using Cloud Identity, a combination of 2-Step Verification, Single Sign-On (SSO), and endpoint management.
Vault allows you to save and share documents in a well-organized portal that specifies the retention period for its contents. You can also use Work Insights to track how your teams are collaborating. And with the help of the Security Center, you can monitor files to identify potential data privacy threats.
Google Workspace also gives you access to all Google Apps, including Docs, Sheets, Keep, Forms, and Slides — which you can control from the Admin Console. To protect your documents from remote access in specific regions, use Access Transparency.
- Free — 15GB
- Basic — 100GB at $1.99 per month
- Standard — 200GB at $2.99 per month
- Premium — 2TB at $9.99 per month
- 5 TB — $24.99 per month
- 10 TB — $99.99 per month
- 20 TB — $199.99 per month
- 30 TB — $299.99 per month
ShareFile is a Citrix-owned service that enables businesses to share and receive files securely. This service is perfect for remote teams because it syncs workspaces and data governance efforts.
With Citrix ShareFile, you can automate approvals and process feedback on documents. This will help you streamline workflows in real time.
Companies in insurance, engineering, real estate, healthcare, accounting, sales, marketing, legal, and HR can use ShareFile to improve the speed and security of operations.
ShareFile provides a wide range of security and administrative features, including:
- Legally binding eSignatures
- Co-editing and co-authoring capabilities
- Custom portal for clients, stakeholders, and internal teams
- Mail and URL encryption
- Data loss prevention (DLP) systems
- Datacenter controls from SOC 2 and SSAE 16 audits
- Industry-specific compliance standards
Citrix ShareFile also integrates with tools like Zapier, TeleSign, Trumpet, Google Cloud, Fujitsu ScanSnap, and Microsoft Office.
- Standard (5 users) — $50 per month ($9.90 per additional user)
- Advanced (5 users) — $80 per month ($16 per additional user)
- Premium (5 users) — $122 per month ($24.30 per additional user)
- Virtual Data Room (5 users) — $338 per month (negotiable for additional users)
Box is a content management platform that offers document-sharing services for small, medium, and large businesses. This tool is highly touted in many industries because it provides frictionless security and data privacy for sensitive document transfers.
With Box’s Content Cloud, your teams can work together on one secure platform. Companies with massive teams can rely on the support from the ever-expanding Box online community.
Box is packed with security and compliance tools that businesses benefit from.
- Box Shield — for preventing data breaches with intelligent threat detection
- Box Governance — for managing document retention and disposition policies
- Box Zones — for complying with data residency laws globally
- Box KeySafe — for storing and managing encryption keys
- Data Privacy — for protecting your data according to GDPR and CCPA
- Industry Compliance — for managing industry-specific compliance requirements
- IT and Admin Console — for managing access controls and visibility
- Box Core Security — for advanced protection
- Box Canvas — for whiteboarding and visual collaboration
- Box Drive — for saving documents on local drives
- Box Sign — for eSignatures
- Box Notes — for meeting notes and reviews
- Box Mobile — for smartphones and mobile devices
- Business (3+ users) — $15 per user per month
- Business Plus (3+ users) — $25 per user per month
- Enterprise (3+ users) — $35 per user per month
- Enterprise Plus (3+ users) — Negotiable
As the name suggests, WeTransfer is an online file transfer service that allows teams to share documents and collaborate seamlessly.
WeTransfer also allows teams to manage file transfers using advanced data encryption modules. The platform also uses automation to scan documents and test them for vulnerabilities before they can enter your workspace.
WeTransfer Portals enable businesses to arrange their important documentation into secure folders for easy access. Contributors can also leave comments and reviews to ensure a smooth feedback loop.
You can also add passwords to your transfers to ensure that only people with the key can open or download the document. Custom branding and transfer overview tools will help you customize the documents you send.
With WeTransfer Premium, you can change the content even after the recipient has accessed them via the sharing link. You can also set a duration after which no one can access the files.
Pricing (yearly billing)
- Free — 2GB
- Pro ($10 per user per month) — 200 GB, extra 1TB storage per person.
- Premium ($19 per user per month) — Unlimited storage.
MediaFire is a file synchronization tool that businesses can use to manage and share documents within the organization as well as externally. This tool is perfect for collaborations because it has a simple interface.
The MediaFire platform uses FileDrop to receive files. You can also log into your dashboard to delete or view recent documents.
MediaFire has a native app that you can download on OSX, Windows, Android, and iOS. You can use the web interface to share your documents if you want to save space.
- Basic — 10GB free
- Pro — 1TB at $3.75/month per user
- Business — 2TB at $50/month per 100 users
Hightail is a cloud-based tool that allows businesses to upload, receive, and track shared documents. Backed by OpenText, Hightail allows companies to send their files across secure channels.
Here are the features used to secure your document:
- Access code protection
- Link expiration
- Recipient identity verification
- Download prevention
- Download receipts
- Automatic notifications
- File activity reports
Hightail also integrates with OpenText Media Management and Adobe CC. You can connect with cloud storage platforms like Dropbox and OneDrive to share large documents via an Uplink URL.
- Lite (2GB storage) — Free (100 MB upload limit)
- Pro (Unlimited storage) — $12 per month (25GB upload limit)
- Team (Unlimited storage) — $24 per user per month (50GB upload limit)
- Business (Unlimited storage) — $36 per month (500GB upload limit)
FEX.net is a cloud storage platform that allows users to share and receive files and folders via a secure link. Only users with a unique key can retrieve the documents.
The crowning jewel when using FEX.NET is that it allows users to send files anonymously. In addition, the interface is easy to use even if you don’t have technical experience. The tools and navigation buttons are accessible on every device.
The platform has two main features that allow you to transfer and receive files. It also uses auto-clear features to ensure that the documents you share will disappear after seven days. Alternatively, you can sign up for the paid plan to store your files longer.
You can use FEX.NET online via the web interface or download the native app to your Android or iOS device. Other applications of FEX.NET include the FEX FON internet radio and the FEX SMART TV app for smart televisions.
The trial is free for 7 days. The available monthly paid plans include:
- 1 GB — $0.08 per month
- 32 GB — $0.75 per month
- 128 GB — $1.17 per month
- 512 GB — $2.5 per month
- 1 TB — $3.5 per month
- 2 GB — $4 per month
Why Your Business Needs Secure File-Sharing Tools
Here are the reasons why companies and startups should use file-sharing tools to communicate internally with colleagues and externally with clients.
They protect your data
The security features in file-sharing tools safeguard your important documents and trade secrets from unauthorized access. Even if a hacker manages to figure out your password through brute force attacks, they’ll still need to go through two-step verification and biometric authentication. This extra layer of security will keep your documents safe and encrypted in transit.
They save time
Tools like SecureDocSharing compress files before sharing them. This reduces the file size and makes it easy to send them within seconds. Also, this lossless reduction makes it possible to reduce document transfer limitations, which is a vital asset for fast-paced workplaces.
They streamline collaboration
When you send files using a cloud-based file-sharing tool, your teammates and clients will be able to access the documents at the same time. Since these documents have tracking controls, you can monitor who opens the file and when they open it. This will make it easy for people worldwide to collaborate on the same document.
They back up your documents
Offline storage platforms are not foolproof; a data breach can wipe out all your files. But when you share files using a cloud-based tool like Google Drive, a backup will be created as part of the version history. And if anything goes wrong, you can retrieve your documents from the cloud storage or use version history to roll back to where previous changes were made.
Businesses need file-sharing services to transfer and receive files internally between teams and externally with shareholders and clients. When choosing a tool for sharing documents, consider the available security features and access controls. And make sure the pricing suits your budget.
If you want an easy-to-use tool that costs nothing and provides ultimate security, look no further than PandaDoc’s SecureDocSharing.