Most small businesses have to send files at some point. Maybe you just need to make documents available to your team or you could have to send a big project over to a client. With small files, you can easily just attach them to an email and send them off. But larger files tend to be more complicated.
Things like videos, photo albums, apps and large documents take up a lot of digital space. So you need a file sharing program or service with the capacity to send them quickly and securely.
Criteria for Choosing the Ideal File Sharing Program: Our Methodology
Selecting the right file sharing program for your small business is crucial in today’s digital landscape. These tools are the backbone of efficient collaboration and data management. To help you make an informed choice, we’ve developed a comprehensive set of criteria, ranked on a scale of importance from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest importance and 1 being the lowest:
- Security (5/5):
- Ensuring the safety and privacy of your business data should always be the top priority. Look for robust encryption, secure user access controls, and compliance with data protection regulations.
- Ease of Use (4/5):
- User-friendliness is essential. A file sharing program should have an intuitive interface and be easy for your team to adopt without extensive training.
- Collaboration Features (5/5):
- Collaboration is key for small businesses. Evaluate the program’s collaboration tools, such as real-time editing, comments, and version tracking.
- Storage Capacity (4/5):
- Assess your business’s storage needs and choose a program that offers enough space to accommodate your files without constant upgrades.
- Scalability (3/5):
- Consider your business’s growth potential. A program that can scale with your needs and accommodate more users or data is advantageous.
- Integration Capabilities (4/5):
- Look for a program that seamlessly integrates with other software your business uses, such as project management tools or customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
- Cost (3/5):
- Budget constraints are a reality for small businesses. Compare pricing plans and ensure the chosen program aligns with your financial resources.
- Customer Support (4/5):
- Responsive customer support can be a lifesaver when you encounter issues. Evaluate the program’s support options, including live chat, email, and phone support.
- Mobile Accessibility (4/5):
- In today’s mobile work environment, the ability to access and share files on mobile devices is essential. Ensure the program has user-friendly mobile apps.
- File Recovery and Backup (5/5):
- Accidents happen. A good program should offer easy file recovery options and have a robust backup system to prevent data loss.
- User Feedback (3/5):
- Research user reviews and testimonials to gauge the program’s real-world performance and reliability.
- Compliance and Regulations (5/5):
- Depending on your industry, compliance with specific regulations (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR) may be essential. Verify that the program meets these requirements.
File Sharing Programs
Luckily, there are plenty of file sharing programs that are simple and accessible for small businesses. Here are 15 of them.
Google Drive allows you to easily store, sync and share files using your Google account. It’s free for personal users who only need to store a small amount of files. Or you can sign up for any business or enterprise edition of G Suite to get access to large or unlimited storage and sharing.
Small Business Deals
If you’re looking to share files to and from Apple devices, you might simply use Apple’s iCloud platform. Simply locate files within iCloud and then specify who you want to send those files to. It also allows for easy storage and syncing among your own Apple devices.
Dropbox offers a full file organization platform for your team. You can use it to quickly send files to members of your team or even to clients or customers outside of your organization. You can also set up folders and organize team communication. There’s a basic option if you just need to send a small file or two. Or you can sign up for a paid business account for a small monthly fee.
For a more robust file sharing solution, FileCloud offers an enterprise level platform. You can send secure file across the company’s servers. They also offer secure storage and backup options. You can even choose the region where you want your infrastructure.
From Citrix, ShareFile offers file sharing, storage and syncing capabilities for businesses. You can even integrate it with various platforms like Google, Microsoft, and Zapier to make sharing as easy as possible.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s file sharing and storage platform. It comes with most versions of Microsoft Office 365. So many businesses already have access to basic OneDrive functionality.
From Amazon Web Services, Amazon S3 is a simple storage solution that’s made for scalability. You can use it to store and retrieve even the largest files or digital objects from just about anywhere.
Box is a content management platform that also offers workflow and collaboration tools for businesses. You can upload files to your team thread so they’re easily accessible for everyone or just send them to specific people.
MASV is mainly made for video creators that need to send very large files to clients or team members. It’s known for delivering those files quickly through its large network of servers.
Egnyte is an enterprise grade file sharing and storage platform that puts an emphasis on security and content governance. However, they also offer a small business plans for organizations with 100 employees or less.
WeTransfer offers a very simple service simply for sending large files to others around the world. You don’t even need to sign up for an account to use it.
ADrive is a cloud solution that offers storage, backup, editing and transfer options. There are both business and personal accounts available with a variety of plans and features to choose from.
An online document management software, eFileCabinet gives businesses the option to store and manage all of their important documents in one central location. They also provide encrypted file sharing if you need to send items to people outside of your organization.
OneHub allows you to store and share all of your files within the cloud. You can even sort and organize them within the platform in the same way you would on your own computer so you can easily find all the items you need.
If you want to share files without uploading them to the cloud, there’s Binfer. Binfer creates direct connections between devices to you can send large files quickly and securely. There are a variety of monthly plans available depending on the size of the files you regularly send.
Data Privacy and Compliance: A Crucial Aspect of File Sharing Programs
In an era defined by data breaches and evolving privacy regulations, data security and compliance are paramount concerns for businesses of all sizes. When choosing a file sharing program for your small business, it’s essential to delve into the program’s approach to data privacy and its compliance with relevant regulations.
- Data Encryption: Look for file sharing programs that employ robust encryption methods, both during transmission and while stored on servers. End-to-end encryption ensures that only authorized parties can access and decipher the data.
- User Access Controls: The program should offer granular control over user access permissions. This allows you to restrict access to sensitive files and grant permissions on a need-to-know basis.
- Data Residency: Consider where the file sharing program stores your data. Some programs provide options to select data residency regions, ensuring compliance with regional data privacy laws.
- Compliance with Regulations: Depending on your industry and geographical location, compliance with specific data protection regulations may be mandatory. Verify that the file sharing program aligns with these regulations. For instance, businesses dealing with healthcare data should ensure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, while those handling European data should seek General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
- Data Retention Policies: Understand the program’s data retention policies. It’s essential to know how long your data will be stored and whether you have the option to customize retention periods to meet your business’s specific needs.
- Data Backup and Recovery: A reliable file sharing program should include robust backup and recovery features. Accidents happen, and having a solid backup system in place ensures minimal disruption in case of data loss.
- Auditing and Reporting: Comprehensive auditing and reporting capabilities allow you to monitor file access and usage. This feature is invaluable for maintaining transparency and ensuring compliance with internal policies and external regulations.
|Robust encryption methods for data during transmission and storage, ensuring only authorized access.
|User Access Controls
|Granular control over user access permissions, enabling restriction of sensitive data access as needed.
|Options to select data residency regions, ensuring compliance with regional data privacy regulations.
|Compliance with Regulations
|Alignment with industry-specific and geographical data protection regulations (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR) as applicable.
|Data Retention Policies
|Clarity on data retention policies, including customizable retention periods to suit business needs.
|Data Backup and Recovery
|Robust backup and recovery features to minimize disruptions in case of data loss or unexpected events.
|Auditing and Reporting
|Comprehensive auditing and reporting capabilities for transparent monitoring of file access and usage, aiding compliance.
The selection of a file sharing program holds significant importance for your small business. It transcends mere convenience, impacting the security, accessibility, and compliance of your data.
In today’s digital landscape, data security stands as a paramount concern. Whether it involves safeguarding proprietary business data, protecting confidential client information, or ensuring the security of vital project files, robust encryption during data transmission and storage is non-negotiable. This ensures the confidentiality and protection of your digital assets.
User access controls further enhance security by allowing you to define precise permissions for individuals or teams. Following the principle of least privilege minimizes the risk of data breaches, granting access only to authorized personnel.
Consider the physical location of your data, as it plays a significant role in data privacy. Some file sharing programs offer data residency options, enabling compliance with regional data privacy laws. Depending on your industry and location, compliance with regulations like HIPAA or GDPR may be mandatory, further underscoring the importance of aligning your program with these requirements.
Understanding a program’s data retention policies is essential. Tailoring these policies to your business’s specific needs empowers you with control over data management.
Accidents can occur, making data backup and recovery features a crucial aspect of any file sharing program. Having a reliable backup system in place ensures minimal disruption in the event of data loss.
Transparency and accountability are vital components of an effective file sharing program. Auditing and reporting capabilities enable you to monitor file access and usage, ensuring adherence to internal policies and external regulations.
In the ever-evolving landscape of data breaches and privacy concerns, prioritizing data security and compliance is essential. When choosing a file sharing program, carefully weigh these considerations to ensure your selection aligns with your business’s unique needs and industry-specific requirements.