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ShareFile vs FTP

Businesses have depended on FTP for file transfer for years, but many people find it to be a cumbersome tool and a time-consuming process. File transfer protocol places responsibility on clients and vendors to download and use client software, which can take some time to find and learn. Standard FTP also transfers sensitive business files in plain text with no protection for data. Managing the necessary servers requires significant time and IT resources, which make FTP an unsustainable solution for savvy businesses. Fortunately, there is now an easy-to-use, cloud-based alternative for modern business.

Ease of Use and Management

Unlike FTP, ShareFile can be accessed using any web browser and does not require the opening of additional ports or the installation of special software to use it. FTP traffic travels over port 21, a special port that is often closed by firewalls at large corporations for security reasons.

If your employees and clients can surf the internet, they can use ShareFile.

With FTP, creation and management of user accounts is notoriously inefficient. Creating a user account for a new client often involves going through your IT staff. Additionally, FTP has no built-in mechanism for retrieval of forgotten passwords, wasting the valuable time and resources of you and your clients and putting your project deadlines in jeopardy. Unfortunately, most companies deal with FTP's user management problems by simply creating one user account that they share with all clients, allowing all clients to view and download each other's data.

With ShareFile, adding users to a folder and configuring their permissions is as simple as typing their e-mail address. ShareFile takes care of the rest, including generating and e-mailing a password to the user and providing them with a mechanism to reset their password if it's forgotten.

"Our largest client has FTP disabled on their corporate firewall. Without ShareFile, we would have to send our files by mail, costing us valuable productivity."


FTP transfers files and passwords in clear text for anyone to see. This can be a major security hole, especially for companies in businesses such as healthcare, law, accounting, or any industry where data privacy is important. ShareFile uses SSL encryption, the same technology used by banks and popular e-commerce services such as to securely transfer credit card data.

"FTP transfers files and passwords in clear text for anyone to see."Features That Add Real Business Value

ShareFile offers many value-added features that are simply not available with FTP such as company branding, keyword searching, configurable e-mail alerts, and our streamlined 'Send a File' and 'Request a File' functionality.

Company Branding

When you sign up, your ShareFile extranet is customized to match your company's web site at no charge. Everything from the color of the hyperlinks on your ShareFile portal to the branding of the e-mail notifications is customized to match your company's brand.

You can even place a ShareFile login box directly on your company's web site, making ShareFile the most seamless and professional way to exchange files with clients.

Search Files and Folders

FTP offers no ability to search for files or folders by keyword. If your clients are looking for a particular file amongst a mountain of other files and folders on your FTP site, they can quickly become frustrated and give up on finding the file.

ShareFile allows for quick keyword searches to make finding files and folders a breeze. Enter one or more words (or even part of a word) and ShareFile will search file names, folder names, titles, and descriptions and will quickly return all relevant results.

Tracking and Alerts

ShareFile's customizable e-mail alerts always keep you in the loop. Choose to be automatically notified whenever files are uploaded into a particular folder or when a client downloads important files that you sent them. Or, browse a detailed audit trail of who downloaded which files and when. ShareFile's e-mail alerts will save you hours of lost productivity.

'Send a File' and 'Request a File' Functionality

For cases when you need to send a file (or a client needs to send you a file) as quickly and easily as possible, ShareFile features 'Send a File' and 'Request a File' functionality. These functions allow you to literally send a file to a client by pasting a hyperlink into your e-mail software. The client simply clicks the link to download the file.

With our 'Request a File' functionality, you can e-mail your clients a hyperlink so they can simply click and upload in one step without even needing a username or password!

Great Technical Support

FTP is a low-level protocol, so there is no company standing behind it and offering technical support. If you use FTP, you'll find yourself needing to provide your own technical support and helping to troubleshoot issues with clients.

ShareFile has the best technical support in the business. If you or one of your clients runs into a problem or simply needs some quick instructions, simply contact your account representative or one of our expert technical support engineers by phone or e-mail.

See for yourself how ShareFile can save you hours of time and reduce ftp-related stress. Sign up for a free trial today!