ShareFile vs. Box

Citrix ShareFile or Box. The choice of data storage software is not like deciding between cherry or grape soda. It’s less about taste and more about substance.

While fundamentally similar, ShareFile and Box differ in many ways. And while you (hopefully) only drink a few sodas, your data storage software is your full-time job. Having one that acts and reacts the way you desire can make your job — and your life — a little easier. Having one that doesn’t can add undue stress, confusion, risk and overall poor performance to your work week.

Three Components to Compare

Companies all over the world must choose which type of cloud software is right for them, and ShareFile and Box are two of the most popular on the market today. It’s a big decision when you consider the investment of money, time and resources needed to implement such a program across an entire company.

The biggest investment, though, is in trust. Trust that the software will keep your data safe and secure. Trust that it will improve process and performance. Trust that it will pay off.

ShareFile vs. Box comes down to three main components, and they are arguably the three most important factors in a cloud-storage solution.

  • Security
  • File size
  • Storage enclave

Let’s examine those key differences between ShareFile and Box so that you can make an informed decision about your company’s software investment.

Security

No discussion of cloud storage ever takes place without the topic of security. Above all the other bells and whistles, security is without a doubt the most important aspect of any type of software — particularly the one you use to store all of your financials and other sensitive documents.

Many cloud-storage software programs were built and then had a layer of security added on top. ShareFile used security as its core and then built its program around that. The result has been nothing short of airtight. In fact, an estimated 30 percent of the users of ShareFile are financial services firms.

Just a small sampling of ShareFile's security features include:

  • Datacenters that are SSAE 16 Type II accredited or ISO certified
  • Encryption that remains in place whether the file is at rest or in transfer
  • Redundant backups to multiple data centers
  • Remote wiping for lost or stolen devices
  • Customized passwords and multi-factor authentication
  • File self-destruct after a predetermined amount of time
  • Account activity tracking and reporting

Do you operate under the watchful eye of HIPAA? Not only does ShareFile security fully support HIPAA compliance regulations, but ShareFile will even provide and sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement for you upon request.

Maximum file versions — Encryption is a proactive way of safeguarding a file. But another layer of security involves the recovery of a file that has been incorrectly modified. Remember, not all security risks involve malicious intent. Mistakes happen, protocols change and old data has to be mined up and updated or changed.

File versioning is one way to make that happen. File versioning is a feature that allows you to revert back to previous versions of a document and see the file in its various forms throughout its lifecycle. This means you can access a file the way it existed before specific changes were made.

Box offers a file-versioning feature. However, it is capped at 100, meaning you can only revert back to the previous 100 versions of a file. That may sound like plenty on the surface, but consider how many times some files are modified on a regular basis. Some files are updated every single day, meaning you could exhaust your allotted 100 versions in just a few months.

ShareFile offers unlimited file versions. This means you can revert back to a previous version of a file as far back as its original creation date. This makes it easy to pinpoint exactly when the incorrect or unnecessary edits were made and retrieve the file from there. Plus, an activity log shows who made the changes and at what time to add a trusted layer of accountability.

File Size

File size needs to be considered when choosing a cloud storage solution for your company. Files consisting of mountains of data, high-resolution photos or lengthy videos can equate to huge file sizes. Do you really want to have to split those up into multiple files in order to share them?

Box users who aren't on an Enterprise plan are limited to sending files of no more than 5 GB. It sounds like a lot, but is it? Actually, 5 GB equates to only about 35 minutes of high-definition video.

Limitations on file size means limitations on internal process and client satisfaction. It means having an increased number of smaller files to send, which in turn leads to increased confusion among users and a better chance that some pieces will be placed out of order or left behind completely.

Uploading and sending files with ShareFile means greater capacity, better performance and enhanced customer experience. At the enterprise level, ShareFile users can process files of up to 100 GB in size. That’s the equivalent of an entire library floor of academic journals.

Storage Areas

Utilizing the cloud for your data is certainly advantageous. But when it’s the only option, can it also be limiting? There are a number of reasons why using a blend of cloud storage along with a private, on-premise storage area is beneficial.

  • Many industries have strict regulations about the way sensitive information is stored and transferred, and a public cloud can not always satisfy these restrictions.
  • We do business globally as part of a global economy. Unfortunately, cloud access is limited in many parts of that globe and some countries even have Internet restrictions. Having data stored on your device is the surest way to keep it with you at all times.
  • Internal company data that does not need to be shared doesn’t have to be kept in the cloud, and many CEOs and IT executives feel more comfortable having that information stored privately.

There will likely always be a place for internal storage or at the very least, for the very foreseeable future. ShareFile understands this need and allows its users to have on-premise, internal storage for their data in addition to their cloud-based portal. What’s more is that users are not limited to just one or the other. Files can seamlessly go back and forth on this two-way street in a hybrid fashion.

With no on-premise storage option and no internal server syncing ability, Box is a one-way street and users are essentially stuck in the cloud.

On top of that, we live in an age where work is conducted on a multitude of devices that includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and even smartphones. Not all of the tools we use are cloud compliant and not all of the technologies we use play nicely together. While the use of the cloud is hugely beneficial for all that cross-device use, it’s only so if the tools used to build the data are cross-device compatible.

What's Important to Your Business?

In deciding between ShareFile or Box, ask yourself what’s important to your company. Is the security of your data at the forefront? Is file size capacity imperative? How will the restrictions of a cloud-only solution restrict your operations?

Conduct your due diligence and choose a cloud storage provider that will protect your data and protect your investment.

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