Archive for the ‘FileCloud’ Category

Troubleshooting FileCloud

 

We understand that setting up and maintaining FileCloud can be a bit of a task and you might need a little help from us while doing that. So we thought we will make it easier and answer some of your frequently asked issues of FileCloud.

We will cover different applications of FileCloud troubleshooting in this blog.

FileCloud Installation Troubleshooting

Unexpected problems can happen when you are installing or configuring your new FileCloud software.

If FileCloud Webserver or Database does not startup, it is most likely that another process is using the ports used by the Webserver and the Database.  By default, FileCloud uses these 3 ports (80, 443, 27017), so if other programs are using these ports, the servers will not start up properly.

The most common applications that use these ports are Microsoft IIS, Skype, TeamViewer.

An alternative option to see Process running on ports 80,443 or 27017 is through GUI. Go to Start>>All Programs>>Accessories>>System Tools>>Resource Monitor (or Run resmon.exe)

PID (4) – Image (System) running on port 80 implies IIS may be running. Stop the IIS and try to restart Apache

Mod-Rewrite Setup Check Fails during Install

  1. Verify that the mod_rewrite apache module is properly installed and activated
  2. In the Apache configuration file for the site, ensure “AllowOverride All” is set correctly for the site.
  3. Ensure, that the Apache .htaccess file is present in the WWW Root (say /var/www or c:\xampp\htdocs)

FileCloud Server Troubleshooting

Whenever FileCloud encounters an error it records the issue in the log files with an error code. We suggest you go through the log files to know the error type.

Error codes are recorded with a prefix of CLFC and a series of 5-digit numbers

For example CLFC-012345

You can use the error code to understand:

  • what went wrong
  • what the possible cause maybe
  • suggested steps to resolve it

Sometimes, one issue can cause one or more error codes to be reported in the log file.

In this scenario, you will see errors in the following formats:

CLFC-xxxxx 5 digits represent a single error
CLFC-xxxxx-xxxxx 10 digits represent an issue with two errors
CLFC-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx 15 digits represent an issue with three errors

Therefore, to resolve the problem you should address each error code.

Find out more about error code glossary here

FileCloud Sync Troubleshooting

Because of the wide variety of local computer environments as well as a variety of network and server configuration, there can be sometimes issues when synchronization occurs.

This can also make troubleshooting complicated. Use the following topics to find steps that will help you troubleshoot and resolve issues.

  • Files that don’t Sync
  1. Windows Operating Systems only allows files and folder names of around 260 characters or less. So paths longer than those are not synced. If the entire file path and name exceed 260 characters, shorten the name or move the file or folder to a higher-level folder within your FileCloud.
  2. Files and folders ending with “‘.” and “,” characters will cause an error. The files must be renamed.
  3. FileCloud Sync doesn’t sync some files with characters that are incompatible with some operating systems.  Rename them to something more suitable for use across multiple operating systems.

Note – Sync only detects changes when the file size changes. If the file size does not change, then the file modification is not detected by sync.

  • Change Sync Folder location

FileCloud Sync app stores synchronized files at a default location

The default location of this sync folder is listed below :

  • Windows:C:\users\<user>\My Documents\FileCloud
  • Mac OSX: {HomeDir}\FileCloud
  • Linux: {HomeDir}\FileCloud

To change the sync folder, open the “Settings” option, and then click on the “Settings” tab.

  • Change sync cache folder

FileCloud Sync app stores temporary files in a cache folder.

The default location of this cache folder is listed below :

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\FileCloudSyncData
  • Mac OSX: {HomeDir}\FileCloudSyncData
  • Linux: {HomeDir}\FileCloudSyncData

To change the default location,

  1. Stop the FileCloud Sync App
  2. Copy the contents of the FileCloudSyncData folder to the new folder that you want (For example,  You can copy it to “H:\FileCloudSyncData)”.
  3. Change the syncclientconfig.xml file, and modify the “value” key of syncclientlocation entry to the path you want (For example, <value>DEFAULT</value> to <value>H:\FileCloudSyncData</value>.
  4. Restart the Sync app
  • FileCloud Sync Icon overlays not visible
In Windows 10, Microsoft installs OneDrive icon overlays and makes other app overlays disappear. There is a limit of 8 or 9 max overlay handlers that can work. For more info, please see
For example using regedit check the registry entries at   – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers

FileCloud Drive Troubleshooting

  1. Log files are located at %APPDATA%/FileCloud Drive/data
  2. There is a limitation to creating shortcuts to FileCloud Drive.  When a user reboots their PC shortcuts no longer work because the map FileCloud Drive uses to build the path to your files is deleted when the PC reboots. You can create a new shortcut after you navigate through the application, and the map is recreated.
  3. Folder and file names cannot contain: .. \ / : * ? ” < > |
  4. By default, Drive automatically logs you in as the previous log-in user even after your machine is restarted. To disable auto-login, see disableautologin on the page Advanced XML Drive Options.

 

FileCloud iOS Troubleshooting

Getting the device logs is the first step to understand a problem and distinguishing between server-side issues and iOS issues.

Sharing log information with our support team will help us investigate your issue and solve it promptly.

To use the on-device console to access log files:

  1. To reveal an on-device console, tap five times with two fingers.
  2. Use the app normally to see information, warnings, and errors displayed in real-time.

To access the log files from user settings:

  1. In the bottom left of the iOS app, click Settings.
  2. In the Global Settings page, click Get Log Files.

Note: Your administrator can also get the logs from your device remotely. 

Just contact your administrator and reproduce the actions that cause the issue you are experiencing.

FileCloud Metadata Troubleshooting

Starting with FileCloud Version 20.1, the setting TONIDOCLOUD_MAX_METADATA_EXTRACTION_FILE_SIZE_MB in cloudconfig.php file enables you to override the maximum file size for automatic metadata extraction to take place.

By default, the value of the setting is:

  • 500MB for local storage
  • 100MB for Azure / S3

Change the maximum file size for metadata extraction:

  1. Open cloudconfig.php at
    • Windows: XAMPP DIRECTORY/htdocs/config/cloudconfig.php
    • Linux: /var/www/config/cloudconfig.php
  2. Find the following:
    define("TONIDOCLOUD_MAX_METADATA_EXTRACTION_FILE_SIZE_MB",500);
  3. Change the value of the setting.

    For example:

    define("TONIDOCLOUD_MAX_METADATA_EXTRACTION_FILE_SIZE_MB",128);

FINRA Compliance with FileCloud

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Talks ...

FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) rules serve as a guideline for the financial industry, detailing the specific policies that its members must follow and the information they need to collect, maintain, and protect.

FINRA enforces compliance with record-keeping rules, including SEC books, record rules applicable to broker-dealers, and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) record-keeping rules. These regulations aim to provide regulators and investors quicker, faster, and more secure access to critical information to protect investors’ and stakeholders’ information and interests.

These rules broadly try to cover the following areas of threats and process

  • Identify and assess cybersecurity threats;
  • Protect assets from cyber intrusions;
  • Detect when their systems and assets have been compromised;
  • Plan for the response when a compromise occurs; and
  • Implement a plan to recover lost, stolen, or unavailable assets.

Features offered by FileCloud for FINRA

The five core sections of the checklist follow the NIST Cybersecurity Framework: Identity, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.

  1. Identify – Do you store or use PII like social security numbers, date of birth, etc for your business? FileCloud will help you access and identify these risk inventories with the metadata tags and federated search. So you can monitor and restrict the use of this data with the unauthorized entity.
  2. Protect – Protect your sensitive data with end to end encryption, antivirus, and ransomware protection. You can also restrict the sensitive data for authorized personnel only with the help of FileCloud
  3. Detect – FileCloud keeps track of complete audit logs (what, when, who, where, and how). Receive detailed share analytics and logs of file uploads, downloads, deletions, and previews. Audit logs can be searched based on keywords.
  4. Respond –  FileCloud can help you protect file records from accidental deletion and corruption. If a user deletes any sensitive files, FileCloud can be configured to send email alerts to administrators and supervisors.
  5. Recover – FileCloud features the most robust data storing, archiving, and retrieving settings in the industry, enabling customers and solution providers in creating a compliant-ready enterprise file access and sharing solution.

FileCloud helps you with addressing these rules with the following features

  • Ability to allow only private shares

File sharing allows users to provide public or private access to files stored in FileCloud Server with various levels of access privileges.

To control how users share files and folders in ways that are appropriate for your organization, administrators configure the following options:

  1. You can choose to allow or restrict file sharing for all accounts in FileCloud
  2. When a user wants to share a file or folder, administrators can decide which options should be automatically chosen.
  3. Administrators can configure FileCloud to allow sharing to happen for a temporary time or allow shares to existing as long as the file or folder exists
  4. Instead of just communicating the most secure sharing procedure to your users, administrators can configure settings in FileCloud Server to automatically require passwords and hide the display of account names that can be used for attacks.

 

  • Data and file backups

You can use the FileCloud Backup Server to create a copy of an entire server installation.

The backup includes:

  1. files
  2. folders
  3. users
  4. groups
  5. shares
  6. audit logs

 

Viewing and Restoring Backups - FileCloud - FileCloud Support

 

  • Federated search capabilities

As an administrator, you may need to find a file or folder quickly in a large data set.

  1. FileCloud supports searching the entire FileCloud system for files and folder with the Federated Search feature.
  2. The search may be a regular file or folder name search
  3. For full content search, configure content search 

 

  • Recycle bin capabilities

If you had accidentally deleted file/folder, you can recover it from the deleted files link. The deleted files section acts as a recycle bin to store the files that are deleted. The administrator must have enabled this feature to send the deleted files to recycle bin if not the files will be permanently deleted. To recover the deleted files you can move cut from the deleted files and paste to the location where the file must be restored.

 

  • Anti-virus and ransomware protection

You must address virus scanning as it is a critical security feature, especially when file storage is involved.

  1. FileCloud allows users to upload files with arbitrary content.
  2. It is of utmost importance to make sure that the uploaded files are checked for malicious content in the form of viruses, trojans, malware, etc.
  3. FileCloud readily integrates with a variety of non-commercial and commercially licensed antivirus solutions available in the market.

You can configure FileCloud to scan uploaded files in the following ways:

  1. Use ClamAV, opensource antivirus software that is included with FileCloud
  2. Use ICAP to integrate your own choice of antivirus scanning software with FileCloud

  • End-to-end encryption

FileCloud protects the confidentiality and integrity of your files in transit and at rest.

  1. AES 256-bit encryption to store files at rest.
  2. SSL/TLS secure tunnel for file transmission.
  3. Site-specific, customer-managed encryption keys in a multi-tenant setup.
  • Ability to set retention policies

As an administrator, you can create Retention policies to automate some of the processing related to protecting files and their folder groupings. This policy-based automation is designed to help secure digital content for compliance, but it can also enhance the management of digital content for other business reasons.

  1. Retention policies are created and attached to files and folders.
  2. These special policies allow you to define the conditions that enforce a set of restrictions on how each file or folder can be manipulated.
  3. For example, you can create a Retention Policy that disables a user’s ability to delete any of the files and folders named in the policy.

 

  • Document hash

A new built-in metadata set called Document Life Cycle contains a CheckSum attribute that provides a unique fingerprint for every file.

CheckSum: File SHA256 Fingerprint

The SHA256 Fingerprint:

  1. Is a unique text string generated by the SHA-1 hash algorithm.
  2. It is a standard for the implementation of a secure hash algorithm.
  3. It is a one-way hashing function that can be used to act as a signature of a sequence of bytes.

While multiple files can have the same size and the same name, there is only one unique HASH for every file.

  1. A new SHA256 fingerprint is generated every time a file is changed (uploaded, edited, renamed)
  2. The CheckSum is shown for every file in the User Portal on the Metadata tab
  3. You can use the hash to compare the integrity of the file downloads. This is a standard way to verify a file.

This feature was added to help you know for sure, and be able to prove when a user has shared a specific restricted file

 

  • Preservation of audit logs

As an administrator, you can use audit logs to quickly see what has changed on your FileCloud Server site, such as:

  1. Were any new accounts created recently
  2. How many clients are logged in
  3. What are users commonly searching for on the site
  4. How many files are being uploaded and downloaded

 

What is e-Discovery? How FileCloud can Help Your e-Discovery Requirements?

93 percent of all documents in the world are created electronically, of which 70 percent never even go through a hard copy conversion. Organizations need better tools and software to get a better insight into their information. With e-Discovery, you can meet your e-discovery obligations quickly, cost-effectively, and defensibly. In addition to its e-discovery and legal functionality, it provides you with advanced e-Discovery machine learning and analytics capabilities

What is e-Discovery?

Electronic discovery, also known as e-Discovery, refers to any process in which electronic data is sought, located, secured and searched with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. More often than not, companies are simply not prepared to find electronically stored information (ESI), especially email and associated attachments.

How Governments Can Benefit From e-Discovery

For one thing, no one would ever choose a tower of paperwork stuffed over a laptop. The manual scrutiny and resources involved in managing paperwork are simply ludicrous when compared to digital data. Furthermore, digital files can also be recovered and un-deleted once they have made their way into a network and appeared on multiple hard drives. E-discovery tools allow you to parse through all kinds of data for examination in civil or criminal litigation, including:

  • E-mail
  • Images
  • Calendar files
  • Databases
  • Spreadsheets
  • Audio files
  • Animation
  • Web sites
  • Computer programs
  • Malware

You may have heard the term ‘cyberforensics’ being thrown around casually on a CSI episode at some point. What most people are unaware of that it is merely a specialized version of e-discovery used to create a digital copy of the suspect’s computer hard drive for extraction of evidence while preserving the original hardware at a secure location.

The EDRM Framework

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) provides a common, flexible, and extensible framework for the development, selection, evaluation, and use of electronic discovery products and services. It guides organizations through all the stages required to meet federal rules that govern the use of ESI in litigation. The model helps companies effectively respond to discovery requests from initial information management to the presentation stage

It is also important for IT to help gather large datasets prior to the handoff, which can save organizations considerable legal expenses down the road.

Information Management

This is more of a goal than a step. As organizations mature, they are putting structured content management and archiving systems in place. This allows them to enforce company-wide retention policies and more easily respond to discovery requests for a minimum cost and with little or no disruption to the business.

Identification

Once a discovery request is initiated the organization has to determine what data is required, where it’s stored, and who the custodians are, etc. Pertinent data may reside in a variety of locations, including personal computers, file servers, and storage systems. Search and index technologies are required for identification, so a good content archive indexes the metadata and content including attachments. The index makes discovery searches more efficient by returning a high percentage of relevant information.

Preservation

Once reviewers identify the information they want, IT has to preserve the data and ensure it is not altered or deleted. Simply opening a document can change critical metadata, such as the access date, which can then affect the validity of the document.

Collection

In the Collection phase, information is compiled in one place for processing. The Collection process should preserve the original metadata associated with the content. The opposing party may request the information gathered during discovery in its native format. IT can save headaches later in the process by collecting information in its native format from the outset, which helps demonstrate its authenticity.

Processing, Review, and Analysis

The Processing phase aims to reduce the initial size of the dataset. A first-round search is likely to produce reams of irrelevant documents and files, including duplicates and content unrelated to the legal discovery request. In the Review phase, legal counsel examines the material that remains after culling to ensure that the resulting dataset is relevant.  The main goal of the Review stage is to extract relevant messages from archives and export them into a legal review tool. Finally, in the Analysis phase, counsel further hones its legal strategy

Production and Presentation

These final phases are typically managed by outside counsel when preparing for trial with the opposing party.

 

How FileCloud helps you in e-Discovery

FileCloud simplifies record management by setting policies for automatic document life cycle management from creation to archival and final disposition. FileCloud offers many flexible policy types, including retention, archival, legal hold, and admin hold.

As an administrator, you can create Retention policies to automate some of the processing related to protecting files and their folder groupings. This policy-based automation is designed to help secure digital content for compliance, but it can also enhance the management of digital content for other business reasons. Retention policies are created and attached to files and folders. These special policies allow you to define the conditions that enforce a set of restrictions on how each file or folder can be manipulated.

You can create a Retention Policy that disables a user’s ability to delete any of the files and folders named in the policy. The retention policy is a name that can apply to any of these types of policies: Admin Hold, Legal Hold, Archival, Retention, and Trash Retention. Retention policy types allow you to: block specific actions on files and folders and specify what happens when the policy expires

Create Retention Policy

Access Files on NetApp Filer While Working from Home

 

The acronyms CIFS (Common Internet File System) and SMB (Server Message Block) are both used as meaning the same thing in most of the NetApp documentation, but they’re not exactly the same thing. SMB was developed by IBM, and CIFS is a particular implementation of SMB which was developed by Microsoft.

NetApp Filer is the storage system product made by NetApp.  It can serve as storage over the systems using networks such as FTP, NFS, SMB. It can also serve data over block-based protocol  FCP, FCoE, and the likes. The Product is also called NetApp Fabric attaches storage or NetApp All Flash FAS.

 

Internal Architecture

At the bottom block of the storage architecture, we have physical disks – our hard drives. the disks get grouped into aggregates, so the aggregate is a set of physical disks. One of the attributes of our aggregates is the RAID group which defines the RAID configuration. The next block we have is our volumes. You could have multiple volumes in the same aggregate, or maybe just one volume in the aggregate. The next block above volumes, we have our Qtrees which go in volumes. Qtrees are an optional component. If the containing volume is being accessed by a NAS client. The last component we have in the storage architecture is our LUNs, our Logical Unit Numbers. A LUN is specific to SAN protocols and is the storage container that SAN clients use for their storage.

LUNs

You can see the different components build on top of each other. We need to have our physical disks. Our disks get grouped into aggregates. For our clients to be able to access data we configure our volumes, which go in our aggregates, and optionally we can configure Qtrees that go in our volumes and appear as a directory to NAS clients. Lastly, if we’re using SAN protocols we’ll need to configure LUNs. Our LUNs either go into a Qtree or into a volume.

 

Snapshot  and Backups

The NetApp filesystem provides a convenient way to recover files that have been accidentally deleted or otherwise damaged, within a short time frame – a system referred to as “snapshots”. File recovery becomes a simple copy procedure on the current filesystem, avoiding the need to contact support personnel for tape recovery and the hassle of time delays caused by the relatively slow speed of tape drives and the necessity of Systems Administration hands-on interaction. In addition to the local snapshots, a second filer keeps disk-to-disk copies of our primary filer. Backups are currently done at least daily and as often as every hour depending on the load it puts on our file server; however, snapshots are only kept on a monthly basis on the backup filer.

 

How Can FileCloud Help?

NetApp Filer/FAS is a family of highly scalable, network-attached storage (NAS) appliances from NetApp. NetApp Filers are high-performance, scalable storage products used by large enterprises. Many organizations use the NetApp FAS appliances to store documents and files and make it available as network shares via LAN. They are typically exposed as CIFS or NFS shares in LAN and offer low latency access to large files.

FileCloud can help employees working from home access enterprise file shares stored in any Netapp Filer system. Users can receive seamless access to all files without using a VPN. FileCloud also integrates with all of your organization’s existing IT systems (AD, NTFS, and storage appliances such as NetApp FAS) while remaining completely affordable, so that your investment into remote work for your team is minimal with great results. With FileCloud, no migration of files and NTFS permissions is required, saving massive amounts of work and time.

Access internal shares from home office

 

FileCloud Benefits

  • Secure, remote file share access without VPN using your windows file shares
  • Integrates with Active Directory
  • 100% Native Windows File Share and NTFS Security integration
  • Mapped drive and mobile apps
  • Built-in ransomware, Anti-virus protection
  • Smart Data Leak Prevention (DLP) and content classification capabilities
  • Powerful audit trail and remote device management
  • Help companies meet their security requirements & compliance standards such as FINRA, ITAR, FEDRAMP, HIPAA, and  GDPR
  • Use existing IT infrastructure – maximize ROI

Top 5 box Alternatives for Business File Sharing in 2020

 

Looking for alternatives to Box? Many people want Cloud Content Collaboration software to help with the interface, file sharing, file support, and file Audit. What’s important is finding out what software is right for you. We have a list of Cloud Content Collaboration tools that are best suited for your needs if you are looking for an alternative to Box.

Before jumping on to the list of the best alternatives, let us breakdown and see what box offers and compare the features with others

Box

Box is a cloud content management solution that enables enterprises to transform how they operate digitally; enabling a secure, digital workplace that drives employee productivity and team collaboration from anywhere, while streamlining collaborative business processes and driving intelligence across the extended enterprise.

The system places a strong emphasis on security, especially with collaboration and workflow. For instance, a user or administrator can protect their shared links via passwords set with an expiration date. Or, they can view the times and frequencies of when specific content is viewed or edited. Box also allows users to share content outside of the company (i.e. clients or other partners), no matter what device they use. It does offer 10GB of storage for free

  • Mobile access
  • Integration with other applications  such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
  • Ability to add/edit multiple users
  • Editing documents
  • Workflow automation
  • Box Notes functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
  • Custom branding
  • Global compliance standards, such as ITAR, HIPAA, PCI DSS 3.1, FINRA/SEC 17a-4, FISMA, ISO27001:2013, and ISO 27018

 

Box Sync 4.0.8004 Download for Windows / Screenshots / FileHorse.com

Pros

  • Sync allows users to sync folders/files from Box Cloud to your finder so it feels like your just working from finder but it’s being backed up the cloud! BoxSync when used in conjunction with a box account does a great job of doing automatic backups on the cloud, that also help in access from different computers/collaborators simple.
  • Box is a great way to securely store and share files in the cloud. The granular permission settings within each folder allow the administrator to help regulate privileges from editing to downloading, and reading which is a great tool when looking to share with multiple parties at different levels.
  • Box is easy to set up and uses with decent functionality for the initial version
  • MetaSearch on Enterprise allows granular searching. Every time someone has ever used a single word is indexed.
  • Security focuses on compliance, encryption, enterprise-grade management.

 

Cons

  •  There’s no indication when a file is open by another user. This has led to multiple users editing a document, and those documents don’t merge well or at all, leaving a red exclamation point indicating there’s an issue or an alternate file.
  • When compared to its competitors (Google Drive/OneDrive), Box does look a bit unappealing owing to its price tag.
  • For new users, it can be a bit difficult getting started with Box
  • Box sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  •  The user interface is not the best for Box. It’s not as user friendly as some of the other software

Now that we have covered some pros and cons on Box let’s go through some of the other  FileSharing software available

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is simple. It’s just a folder—a magical folder that syncs everything you put in it up to the cloud. Before Dropbox, file sharing and sync were geeky and confusing, so it’s no wonder that it quickly became the default cloud-storage app after it launched in 2007. While it’s far from the only way to sync your files, the hidden features put Dropbox a step ahead of the rest.  Dropbox has provided the opportunity for employees in the organization to manage and share files locally and remotely without the need for carrying thumb drives from workstation to workstation. Not only has this feature enabled flexibility and efficiency in the workspace but also improving the standard of work, saving time and energy as compared to other file management solution. While the sharing of information is critical Dropbox for Business allows the administrators to issue special permissions for users to access links and files. Administrators can further perform other security tasks such as the setting of expiration dates for every information that has been shared with the Cloud. These types of security measures are available to avoid a breach of information on Dropbox for Business.

 

The new dropbox.com—files and team activity, all in one place ...

Pros

  • File Versioning – Once a file has changed still it keeps an older version of the file and can be accessed as well which is great and is kind of a backup on its own.
  • Dropbox has fantastic conflict resolution features – automatically creating a “conflicted copy” of a file whenever a potential conflict is detected (i.e. a file is being edited by two people at the same time).
  • Dropbox also has plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
  • Dropbox provides a “smart sync” feature, allowing for files to be seen on the computer locally, but not stored locally until opened up. This allows a user to access all of his/her Dropbox files without using up disk space

Cons

  • Dropbox for Business is very limited compared to alternatives. Both Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 cost comparable or less, and includes not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
  •   You cannot edit files without downloading them. It would be great to see this feature added in the future.
  • The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link.
  • Mobile version faces challenges when dealing with big files hence not as flexible as the desktop version Syncing folders from desktop

 Google Drive

Google Drive is simply a cloud-based storage option that gives you the ability to keep your photos, emails, and other files on their server.

But having extra storage is just the beginning.

Google Drive also comes with a suite of office tools rivaling the heavyweights from Microsoft Office, including:

  • Docs, Google’s word processor comparable to Microsoft Word
  • Sheets, Google’s version of Excel
  • Slides, the Google answer to PowerPoint

You can even share these documents and make edits in real-time so collaborating with your team has never been easier.

How to Use Google Drive | Tips, Tricks, and Advice | Digital Trends

Pros

  • With mobile application and website access, You can access your files anywhere you have internet.
  • It is free, which makes it a great asset to any small business that does not have a lot of funds to spend on IT.
  • Readily compatible with many apps. All your data stored in one place. With your google account, all the stored data can be accessed at any time.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need the knowledge to use it as an end-user.

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  •  Sometimes the interface could become a bit cluttered with the files that were uploaded and it was difficult to tell which ones were most recently shared/ uploaded without sifting through and organizing them myself, however, this is probably more of an aesthetic issue.
  • There isn’t an offline option to work on a document saved to Google Drive.
  • No mounting to your computer to use as a hard drive

 

One Drive

Microsoft OneDrive supports a specific file-syncing technology called block-level copying, where files are broken into smaller packages. When you make a change to a file, only the packages that house those changes are re-uploaded to the cloud—instead of the entire file. The result is data transfers that take far less time. Microsoft OneDrive’s backup options are more limited, only allowing for photo and video backup. But on the plus side, you get more control over your photo backup settings, including organization options for new photo uploads and the ability to select a file type for HEIC photos

 

Microsoft OneDrive - Screenshots

Pros

  • It interfaces with the Microsoft suite well, which is good if you’re already engaged with much of the other software applications. Being able to access anywhere with the shortcut is very useful.
  • Great with device synchronization which ensures access of files from any device. Integration is more reliable and effective. Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously. If we add the Active X tool, you can upload elements unlimitedly.
  • , OneDrive is far easier to set up than using a flash drive. The reason why is because all you need to set it up is a Microsoft account and you’re good to go!

 

Cons

  • Private vault doesn’t have great 2FA options. Need to get an authenticator app code, vs just using something like Windows hello – More difficult to upgrade storage once you get past 1TB
  • It has less storage on a free plan compared to drive.
  • User Interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Synchronization of shared files needs work.

Citrix Sharefile

The latest version of ShareFile has updated workflow options allowing you to send documents out for signatures, feedback, and approvals. There’s integration with Microsoft Outlook, which lets you push document attachments directly from Outlook to ShareFile, sharing those documents securely with others. There are new desktop integrations, similar to those you’ll find in Dropbox, which let you do drop a file into a folder on your Mac and have it synchronize with ShareFile so it’s available on all your device. While it still lacks the kind of refined group management tools we see in a file-sharing application, the service’s Distribution Groups are a move in a good direction.

ShareFile Dashboard

Pros

  • Great plugin support, such as the Outlook plug-in makes provision for secure file-sharing with customers as well as secure emails very easily.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing.
  • Easy to share and request for large size files to personnel inside and outside the organization
  •  Ability to integrate with existing Office 365 Deployment for ease of use. It allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface not always intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  •  Sorting out your preferences, in the beginning, is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from not being that well interconnected to Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Sharefile subscriptions come with very different pricing options with varied features. So, if you go with a basic plan you would only get basic features like storage and sharing. Other plans are a little bit costly and include features like Office 365 co-editing, Gmail and Outlook plugins, encryptions, and electronic signatures.

FileCloud

FileCloud, by Codelathe, is an on-premise as well as a cloud-based file sharing and sync solution offering a much secure environment for sharing and storage with unlimited client accounts allowing for a much greater ROI (return on investment) compared to Dropbox. The client base spans globally with over 3000+ enterprises.

FileCloud has been focusing on security, data leak prevention, content classification, data governance, and retention for some time with an intuitive and easy to use interface and advanced administration controls.

  • Access files from anywhere for uninterrupted work on the go. You just need an internet connection to access data in real-time
  • Remote file sharing without VPN or FTP
  • A collaborative workspace ensures that multiple teams working on same project can collaborate seamlessly
  • FileCloud ServerLink provides geographically-distributed multi-site enterprise file sharing solution
  • Hybrid storage for fast, low-latency access via LAN and anywhere access from the cloud
  • Security and encryption for protection against data breaches
  • Regulations and Compliance for HIPAA, FINRA, EU-GDPR, FIPS-140 2
  • Unlimited file versioning
  • Free unlimited client accounts
  • A storage agnostic solution which can be deployed across any scale-out NAS or an object-based storage system

FileCloud has two plans FileCloud server (self-hosted/on-premise) and FileCloud online.

Plans start at $5,000/ year for 100 users and go up to $18,000 for the enterprise version. Dropbox’s comparable Dropbox business advanced plan costs $24,000/ year for 100 users.

Uploading Items - FileCloud - FileCloud Support

Pros

  • File cloud allows users to quickly able to upload and share with a customized link and easy to organize. Setting the restrictions is fairly easy as well and notifications of who accessed what is a good confirmation that the intended party received the files.
  • The FileCloud user interface is simpler and completely web-based for full functionality, which is a nice change from the most popular cloud-based file-sharing tools. Drag and drop to copy, click to share, the URL for a file can be easily copied by any user who understands “Paste” into an email.
  • The GUI is simple to use and massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world. Speeds for uploading and downloading seem pretty good and there have been no vendor issues when transferring files of 100 + MB to GB.
  • With FileCloud you can share and store commercial data and at the same time offer a backup and guarantee of access through mobile devices. Its interface is very minimalist and you can access its options with a few clicks. There are various ways in which you can access the files of the company or organization in which you work, without compromising security.

Cons

  • The setup process can be a bit intimidating but I found various resources that walked me through the process
  • We would like a better outlook plugin. I feel it could be more powerful and some minor changes would polish it.
  • We would appreciate being able to use a protocol different than HTTPs for the downloads as some companies can restrict it. Having the possibility of using sFTP would bring a huge plus in the flexibility of the tool.
  • It’s not a free service, it costs money.

Customize Your Notification for Better User Experience With FileCloud 20.1 – Admin Settings

In this part, we will delve into different ways in which the Admin can modify notification settings using the Admin portal.

Admin Portal

The administrator can set notification settings with the following methods:

  1. Global notification settings

You can enable global notification settings in the Admin Portal under Settings -> Misc -> Notifications

 

2. Policy

You can also set Policy rules for notifications under Settings -> Policy.

Under Policy settings, we have added a notification tab to manage notifications, as shown below

 

 

In the admin portal, you can also go directly to the Notifications tab and manage/edit path rules manually, provided that it is a valid path of a valid user.

You can also manage Network Folder Notifications from the admin portal. You can enable or disable notifications for these, as shown below

 

Admins can also go to the Users tab to manage notifications for each specific user

 

Customize Your Notification for Better User Experience With FileCloud 20.1 – User Settings

Getting notifications is a choice and we allow our users to make it. Notification is supposed to be a productive intimation rather than a constant, annoying ping in the background. We understand that and have refined our notification settings so that you can opt to get notified for the things important to you and mute or rather not be notified by the things which are not of your concern.

FileCloud’s notification system has been redesigned to give users control over what notifications they receive. Previously, email notifications could only be controlled by administrators, and users could only mute, allow notifications, or unsubscribe from notification emails.

In this update, we have given users the ability to override admin settings (only if the admin has that option enabled), opt for notifications at the granular level, and change the frequency at which they receive notifications.

This blog will be covered in 2 parts.

The First part will be to let you know as a user where you can change the notification settings and in the second part, we will take you through the different ways the Admin can change the notification settings using the Admin Portal.

Notification Settings

These settings can be set and managed in both User and Admin Portals. Before everything, the Admin must enable user override permissions.

 

 

The Main settings are set at the Admin Portal as before. The admin must allow the user to override his permissions before the users can change their notification settings in their portal.

Effective Rules for Notification

The following shows the hierarchy of the notification settings. The settings that come after override the ones before (provided that the admin has enabled the override feature for users).

If, say, the policy settings had disabled certain notifications for a folder, the user can then override this with the user setting and enable notifications.

User Portal

Users are able to change the notifications settings within the user panel, in two ways.

  1. Global Settings – Under Settings there is a new notification tab through which users can change the notification for all their Files and Folders at a time

 

Users can also select the frequency of notification emails here. You have the option to choose instant mail notifications to receive emails for every update or select between for daily, weekly or monthly digest wherein the changes for each file/folder are accumulated and sent at the end of the day, week or month respectively.

Users also have the option to set custom frequencies, where the user can select their preferred frequency (in minutes) to get notification emails.

 

2. Path Rules – Users can also change the notifications from a specific file or folder using Path Rules.

 

Changing to Default

If you have custom notifications enabled and you attempt to switch back to default settings ( i.e. the notification settings from your admin) you’ll get a pop up confirming that you want the user-set notification to be disabled and that the default admin settings will be put in place. You can do this globally or to a specific file/folder.

 

 

Notification Icon in User Portal

After the effective rule is applied, users can view whether the notification for the file/folder is set.

If the effective notification is disabled, then the bell symbol in the Detail tab of the file/folder is inactive.

If the effective notification is enabled, then the bell icon will be blue. The detail tab also lists out the actions for which notifications are enabled, as shown below.

 

In the next part, we will show you how an Admin can change the notification in the Admin Portal. Stay tuned!

Top 10 File-Sharing Solutions in 2020

Top File Sharing Solutions

In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. 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. 


Our Criteria

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!


1. FileCloud

Browsing Folders - FileCloud - FileCloud Support

  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.

ProsCons
Affordable, no paywalls, money/time-saving featuresUnfortunately, 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

How to Find Anything in Google Apps - The Ultimate Guide to G ...

  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

ProsCons
Strong team collaborative toolsHas had major security issues through developer error
Clean mobile and desktop softwareOn the pricey end: $30,000 for 100 users/ year
Allows offline mode and offline file-editingKnown occasional syncing issues

3. Dropbox

Dropbox -

  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.

ProsCons
Clean mobile and desktop applicationsDisappointing 2GB starting storage space
Automatic synchronization of files and foldersFrequent past security issues
"History" feature allows access to past versionsPricier end of things, 5 user minimum

4. Box

Cloud Storage Services for Business Use - armix.one

  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.

ProsCons
Platform-independent, apps for most major devicesMore expensive than most competition
Secure, regulatory-compliant solutionLocal encryption can slow file transfers
Tons of features, intuitive to useNo on-premise or local storage

5. Egnyte

Egnyte Business Review | PCMag

  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.

ProsCons
Great security measuresMore expensive than most competition
Robust user and group permissionsNo Linux support
Custom branding capabilitiesReported network and sync issues

6. OneDrive

Microsoft updating OneDrive with better web UI and sharing options ...

  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.

ProsCons
Integration with Office 365 programsFile-size limit of 10GB
Provides file-versioning featuresNo on-premise / self-hosting options
Great security measuresSecurity measures locked behind paywalls

7. OwnCloud

ownCloud Phoenix - rebirth of the ownCloud user interface – ownCloud

  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.

ProsCons
Feature-rich, open sourceRelatively high cost
Support for local storage and on-premiseNo endpoint backup or granular subfolders
Work across all popular operating systemPoor support and documentation

8. Citrix ShareFile

Localized ShareFile WebUI available | Citrix Blogs

  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.

ProsCons
Great security measuresFile-size limit of 10GB
Provides file-versioning featuresNo Linux support
Simple to use, clean user interfacePricey, misleading licensing plans

9. NextCloud

Nextcloud 16 introduces machine learning based security and ...

  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.

ProsCons
Strong collaborative featuresLack of support and documentation
Good security measures, with encryptionSelf-dependent for updates
Compatible with common operating systemsOn the pricier end of things

10. Syncplicity

Syncplicity Cloud Storage Service Review | Cloud Storage Advice

  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.

ProsCons
Hybrid file-hosting solutionHigh user minimum, expensive
Great customer service, 24/7 supportNo user-managed encryption keys
File restorations and automatic backupLow storage - 300GB

Top 10 Cloud-Based File Sharing/Sync Apps For Android/iOS

The concept of cloud computing was born 60 years ago. Yup, even before the internet, as we know it, came into play! Since then, the world has been trying to move file- and data-sharing from physical to the remote space. Let me give you a simple and prevalent example: movies & music, from physical performances, have evolved to become the radio, TV, cassettes, floppy disks, pen drives & memory cards, and finally to streaming services. In almost every technological form, we have come a long way.

What’s made the cloud-based file-sharing prevalent today? If you ask me, I think the reason behind the growing popularity of cloud-based file sharing is globalization. After all, from the biggest to the smallest businesses worldwide – we all depend on globalization.

If you have a small business in a quaint locality, and you are happy with your income, why would you want globalization? The answer to that question is simple, every business, no matter how big or small, works incessantly for profit, the margin here being irrelevant.

So, if through instant data sharing, analysis, and profitable results, your business can grow, not only beyond your locality but beyond even your country’s borders, wouldn’t you champion such technology? I know I would.

Now, onto the most important question that you can and should ask before investing in such a novel technology:

What Can Cloud-Based File-Sharing Do for Your Business? 

The undeniably biggest benefit of cloud-based file-sharing is the increased accessibility. You and your team can access any file, at any time and from anywhere when you choose cloud-based file-sharing over traditional options.

A lot of money, time, and effort are also saved in this process. No maintenance charges, and upgrades, no need to buy extra machinery, no need to train employees about complicated infrastructures, and no accidental data leaks.

One of the biggest concerns that people have about the cloud is the issue of security. Yes, the fear of data breaches, of hackers taking away your data, and of data loss reigns supreme among the doubters. And certainly, some file-sharing solutions have had these issues in the past. However, a good file-sharing avenue is protected by two-factor authentication, anti-virus, specific permissions, policy enforcement, access control, password protection, and end-to-end encryption.

When you make smart choices in your file-sharing solution, there is no need to worry about “security issues”. In fact, advanced security should be one of the reasons why you choose to move to the cloud. Now that we’ve discussed some of the key factors, intrinsic qualities, and FAQs of cloud-based file-sharing technology, it’s time to give you some of the best options in the category. Should you choose this fast-evolving technology, you should be armed with the right information. Let’s go.

The Best Cloud-Based File-Sharing Apps for You

FileCloud

Of course, we have to start with FileCloud; we believe in our product. FileCloud serves as an ever-evolving file hosting and sharing platform for businesses of all sizes.

You can use FileCloud to sync up all your data in all your devices without the need for an external storage unit, no backups necessary. Also, you can use this software to collaborate with your partners, clients, employees, project partners, and even clients if required; and that too, in a secure, hassle-free manner.

Of course, we put FileCloud first for a reason; there are many benefits associated with the solution. Here’s an overview, have a look for yourself!

  • The administrator has robust tools and handy functionalities to monitor users, files, and sites, allowing him/her to create the best-suited workflow & policies for him/her.
  • FileCloud has multiple access points including, web browser, browser add-ons, mobile apps, and virtual drive.
  • With FileCloud, you can enjoy multi-level file & folder sharing. Additionally, you can share files publicly protected with passwords, or share files privately protected with permissions.
  • Users can enjoy endpoint backup, instant updates, customization, data loss prevention, and selective sync.
  • FileCloud offers it’s service in various price points, customized based on industrial and individual needs. Also, the scalability of FileCloud is appreciated by many.
  • Unlimited storage depending on client requirements is another one of FileCloud’s offerings.

An added bonus of using FileCloud is that it is extremely user-friendly and always innovating to accommodate new tools and techniques to create a better user experience.

best file sharing app

Google Drive

The Google ecosystem will never let you down. Even in cloud-based file-sharing and cloud storage, Google has brought in a winner, aka Google Drive. It is available for personal use, for industrial use, and for company use. It allows the users to access any file from anywhere, edit them with admin’s permission, share & collaborate easily, and it is also compatible with a wide range of devices allotting the same benefits to a multitude of file types.

Google Drive uses a multi-layered SSL encryption along with other security measures to protect the data stored in it.

However, it is not all good and no foul with Google Drive; after all, it is limited just to Gmail. Also, it offers a limited amount of storage, the prices are a bit on the higher side after that, and Google, as we know, has faced problems with data breaches previously.

file sharing app

Dropbox

Dropbox launched almost 4 years before Google Drive and hereby, manages to rank high among Cloud-based file sharing apps worldwide. If you were to compare the two, you would see that while Google Drive wins at first because of it’s storage capacity, Dropbox wins it all because of it’s foolproof, robust security, slightly easier file-sharing, and faster sync.

Dropbox has automatic file backup; so, you will not lose your file accidentally. It’s advanced software integration allows it to mesh with some of the most popular companies among users, like Microsoft, Slack, etc. It can even work with comprehensive and diverse cloud storage systems. One functionality to blow your mind is Dropbox’s ability to keep working offline.

The storage space, however, is limited in Dropbox. Search functionality is also not as robust as it is in others, and sieving through deleted files can be a real pain.

file sharing app

Box

Of course, there is no mentioning Box without comparing it to Dropbox. Box, you see, is geared towards organizations and enterprises, in simple words big conglomerates, whereas Dropbox focuses on individual consumers and SMBs. However, that has changed since 2018.

Both Box and Dropbox have been heading straight into enterprise collaborations along with cloud content management via G-Suite and similar services.

Box has more flexibility with 4 plans, it offers unlimited storage, and is cost-effective for the services it provides. Box is also extremely secure, user-friendly, corporate-friendly, customizable, and a lot more smooth-functioning. On the flip side, it has been accused of being a little non intuitive when compared to the others, there is a lag in sync, search functionality needs a lot of work, and version control is abysmal sometimes.

file sharing app

OneDrive

OneDrive, Microsoft’s brainchild & the new kid on the block suffered from a severe identity crisis wandering from name to name: Windows Live Folders, Windows Live SkyDrive, SkyDrive, and finally, it appears to have settled on OneDrive.

The capacity and capabilities of this software varies from version to version. However, it is considered to be one of the leading cloud storage and file-sharing platforms in the market today. People who use Microsoft Office in any way form, be it Word or Excel, prefer this software to others.

It’s no surprise that OneDrive integrates very nicely with Microsoft Office, along with it’s mobile apps offering awesome real-time collaboration. It also offers a free plan to give the clients a taste; 15GB of free storage along with a chance to EARN extra storage space through a referral incentive. You can store and access any kind of file on it.

Collaboration is easier because it works best with Microsoft Office, it’s preferred platform. An added bonus is that your company’s social media networks too can be linked with your OneDrive.

As far are cons are concerned, the biggest con and the most appreciated pro of OneDrive is that the software integrates the best with Microsoft Office. With others, it’s just not as good. It also has some privacy concerns, it has been one of the biggest targets of hackers, and the data is encrypted in transit through SSL but remains unencrypted at rest.

file sharing app

Tresorit

Tresorit, the popular cloud storage, and file-sharing service based in Switzerland & Hungary was officially launched in 2014. Did you know they hosted a hacking contest for 468 days offering people up to $50,000 to hack their data encryption methods gaining access to their servers? Nobody won. Tresorit’s security is just that beefy. Many awards and accolades later it ranks as leading cloud storage and file-sharing software.

Tresorit, as discussed above, is probably the most secure cloud service provider, it has client-side encryption & zero knowledge storage, which are quite rare. It is also easy to use, has a great syncing capacity, works on multiple devices, and each file is safe through deletions.

However, it’s not all good even with Tresorit because conflict files are common, it freezes often freezing the entire device with it, it can seem a bit expensive when compared to others, it can also be a little slower, and some people complain that retrieving a lost password is quite difficult.

file sharing app

Egnyte

Egnyte hasn’t been around for as many years as many others, but it has some unique features. It is a cloud platform offering “enterprise file synchronization and sharing,” according to Egnyte’s spokesperson. It was co-founded by Vineet Jain and incorporated in 2008, while it’s mobile apps were released in 2015. With 16,000 clients worldwide, Egnyte has already reached the benchmark of $100 million recurring revenue.

Egnyte is notably easy to install and user-friendly. Amongst Egnyte’s other offers are excellent file storage, file-sharing, fast uploads as well as downloads, great UI, version control, a great structure of permission, and outside organization sharing.

However, it isn’t flawless. It can crash easily with large files, has some syncing issues, does not support drag & drop, tracked changes are not visible while previewing word files quickly, it can lag sometimes, and it has broken links.

file sharing app

Citrix ShareFile

ShareFile is a content collaboration platform offering file-sharing and syncing opportunities. ShareFile was acquired by Citrix in 2011, and since then it has been named Citrix ShareFile. It has a lot of robust and compelling features including but not limited to workflow management, easy collaboration of documents, e-signatures, and easy Microsoft as well as Gmail integration.

ShareFile offers a free trial for 30 days with unlimited storage and inclusion of up to 5 employees. It uses 256-bit SSL, a highly appreciated security measure that is used by banks and popular e-commerce sites like Amazon. However, it has a complex folder structure, it is slow, expensive, have low upload speed, and sync might be delayed sometimes.

file sharing app

HighTail

YouSendIt started it’s journey in 2004 and ended up as a successful cloud service provider rebranded as Hightail in 2013 changing it’s ideal from file-sharing to offering collaborating services. On it, you create a new space, name it, and create a project with a goal in it. In it, you can ask for approvals for files from included members, track activity, share drafts in a private mode with an access code. The best thing about Hightail is that despite being it’s competition, Hightail works smoothly with other file-sharing apps. Additionally, it comes with two types of plans, file sharing and creative collaboration.

On Hightail, however, it might be difficult to search, links expire pretty fast, sync lag is not uncommon, and you cannot copy download links for files. Also, the paid version is quite expensive.

MediaFire

MediaFire is comparatively unknown to the cool crowd, but, it’s 10GB free plan is comparable to that of Box. It can be the starting point for the budget-friendly pupil. You can easily upload files of up to 4GB in size, and MediaFire ensures that every file is scanned for viruses, a very rare feature. It is also easy to use, has great intuition, and very cost-effective.

Conclusion

Have you found a match yet? Look, the features and the prices are quite comparable, but you should always match features to price. It has to serve you in the long term. Software that is readily updated, and has great customer service and serves you the best is your best choice. The choice is yours — we hope that we helped you make an informed decision.

Working from Home and the Threat to Business Continuity

work from home

In January 2020 the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As the epidemic’s full implications became apparent, governments across the world begun issuing stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and travel restrictions in a bid to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and prevent the overload of public health systems with patients affected by the disease. This forced many organizations and institutions to rethink their mode of operations. The result was remote work becoming a requirement for many, sometimes overnight.

With the ubiquity of mobile devices in this digital age and most business applications being available via cloud services, migrating workloads from the office to home should be a relatively simple process. However, very few organizations were prepared for large-scale remote work.

For most IT teams, the challenge lies in ensuring their IT infrastructure can handle most, if not all their employees working remotely. But for the sake of the health and safety of their workforce, it’s a challenge they have to rise to while ensuring the continuity of their business operations during an unprecedented pandemic situation that has affected everyone across the globe.

Remote Working is Not a New Phenomenon

Remote work is an already attractive option for employees who prefer greater flexibility. It completely eliminates commuting time for workers with familial obligations; and as the workforce segment that supports aging family members continues to grow, the demand for flexible working arrangements will only rise. However, while remote work is being increasingly demanded by workers and facilitated by technology, according to Gartner, most enterprises (93%) defer to supervisors to decide who works from home and when they do. But due in part to an innate lack of trust, only 56 percent of supervisors actually all their employees to work from home – even if there are supporting company policies in place to facilitate it.

Enterprises that have already invested in the cloud from an infrastructure perspective, or largely rely on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps are naturally at lower risk of experiencing technical difficulties during this time. The inescapable use of remote work for business continuity should signal to all enterprises that it is time to revisit their remote work policies and redesign them for robust use.

While the shift to remote work has accelerated, we believe that employees and organizations will begin to see the advantages of remote work and become better adapted to to it. Though the coronavirus disease has certainly affected work patterns in the short term, there will almost inarguably be far-reaching global technology implications, including increased demand for solutions such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Infrastructure is Key to WFH Productivity

A lot of the technology currently used to facilitate remote working has been around for decades. For most organizations, the underlying software, hardware, and support infrastructure have been designed to accommodate a small subset of the workforce. Performance, reliability, security, and the availability of applications and data are crucial. With the number of new at-home students and workers in the tens of millions, organizations are rushing to shore up their infrastructure to support new users while ensuring basic performance expectations are met.

Apart from the clear-cut, procurement of the correct tools, licenses, and deploying them quickly across a broad workforce: IT teams must also make sure that their colleagues can reliably utilize the resources. This includes access to basic apps like email, file sync, and sharing, via remote desktop access and other virtual desktop infrastructures.

Naturally, unanticipated stress has been put on remote working technologies, leading to security and bandwidth concerns. Whether or not existing on-premise enterprise setups are able to cope with the sudden, yet prolonged increase in users trying to access the organization’s applications remotely, solely rests on the quality of the network connections available.

Right of the bat, most businesses tried to access how much capacity they’ll require by running one-day tests. Agencies like NASA ran remote networking stress tests to understand what the impact of adding thousands of new remote workers would have on their networking capacities. Teleworkers will have to connect to their data repositories, applications, and other offerings to maintain business continuity. The effective transmission reliability and throughput of a VPN in combination with the internet can easily become a bottleneck.

A VPN is Not the Answer to All Your Problems

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud is becoming mainstream among enterprises. Several applications now run in the cloud, making it easier than ever to leverage and acquire those apps to make enterprises more efficient and agile. The cloud has given rise to a world of mobility where workers can be productive from anywhere since access to applications is no longer tied to physically being in the office. With the coronavirus outbreak triggering a sudden influx in the need for work-from-home precautions, the need for easily accessible applications has never been more apparent.

As it stands, typical enterprise infrastructure involves applications that are hosted and installed within the office, and are only accessible from the confines of the office network. Most file servers are either hosted on Windows or Linux, with the two main types of file systems being NFS (Network File System) on UNIX/Linux and CIFS (Common Internet File System) on Windows. A vast majority of the organizations that have been in operation for a while, typically use CIFS or NFS file systems. An NFS allows remote hosting of resources over a network, by mounting file systems that facilitate the interaction as is if it was local.

CIFS is also cross-platform and folders can be shared over a local network or across the internet. Accessing files on a CIFS network over a VPN via a mobile network is possible, but the connection can be patchy, access to client applications will likely be limited and extremely slow. Whenever a remote worker needs to access an enterprise application or document, they must first turn on the VPN application, which in turn grants them access to information sitting within the company network. For VPN applications to work optimally, they require adequate network throughput and VPN hardware capacity. While this is easy to achieve on systems built for about 20 -30 percent of employees working remotely, it can easily be overloaded when this number skyrockets; regardless of how many licenses are available for the VPN application.

Overloaded VPN concentrators may require massive injections of rules managers and hardware. However, VPN hardware is not the type of thing you can easily pick up at your local BestBuy, it calls for a rigorous procurement and installation process that could end up taking weeks. The VPNs that organizations typically rely on to manage and access critical files have multiple limitations. With full office closures happening overnight, and workers being asked to work from home. Several of those workers are going to turn on their VPN to access business files and applications, only to discover that their connections are down. IT support staff should brace themselves for a flood of calls from frustrated colleagues trying to navigate through the nuances of remote connectivity, support issues will be hard to diagnose remotely because they involve third-party hardware and networks.

Luckily, several apps that once had to be hosted within an office network have since transitioned to the cloud. Productivity applications like Google G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and communication platforms like slack have seemingly eliminated the need for VPN applications. Sadly, VPNs are still central to how several enterprise workers access their files and applications. And an overnight migration to a public cloud architecture overnight is not a practical solution for them.

Making the Most Out of What You Have

In the event user or performance, issues arise. There are steps that IT teams can take to reduce the load on networks and various on-premise IT resources. Managing employees’ expectations is important and making them aware of possible degradation in the performance of the services and applications they rely on to complete their tasks may lessen the amount of stress the IT department is under.

To ensure workers remain productive and business continuity is not stifled, IT teams must find a way of enabling mobile access and file sync for data that lives behind a cooperate firewall without the need for a VPN and without re-configuring permissions whilst utilizing existing LDAP or Active Directory authentication. Several enterprises have heavily invested in scalable Network Attached Storage solutions like EMC Isilon and NetApp Filer. Solutions like NetApp provide low latency access to files as network shares via a WLAN or LAN. But they can still be used as part of a remote-work infrastructure with virtual desktop infrastructure applications.

There are no one-size-fit-all software, infrastructure or bandwidth that an organization can purchase to solve this problem by using legacy approaches, including the use of VPNs. Fortunately, the solution is simple. A solution that will allow enterprise data to sit securely on-premise at the office, and still be accessible to users via the cloud and not through a VPN. FileCloud can help remote workers collaborate, access, and share files securely with ease by mapping existing file servers on EMC Isilon and NetApp Filer as network folders and instantly make them available on networks outside the office. FileCloud easily integrates with existing active directory, NTFS file permissions, and network shares; giving employees low latency access to large files without having to recreate complex permissions.

Image courtesy of freepik.com

Author: Gabriel Lando