Amidst working as remote and dispersed teams for a year, one aspect we’ve grown to depend on more than anything is secure means of file sharing.
For managers of remote teams, it is imperative that they distribute tasks efficiently. Without secure and reliable online storage and sharing solutions, important documents run the risk of getting lost or misplaced while being transmitted via email.
For organizations with a geographically dispersed workforce, cloud services are a necessity. Allowing data to be stored on servers and accessed from anywhere in the world, team members can work collaboratively on files from any device, be it a computer, smartphone, or tablet, irrespective of their location.
As the world is entering the second year of the global pandemic, the number of secure file-sharing solutions has increased significantly. These programs are easily accessible and numerous options are available at no cost.
Remote teams must exercise caution while selecting an appropriate file-sharing tool. In this article, we shall discuss various file-sharing systems and their benefits that they can extend to remote teams.
What is the Definition of a File Sharing Application?
In the beginning, it was advised against sending large files by email owing to the security concerns that it poses. Moreover, the task of searching for specific attachments among countless emails in an inbox can be a tedious and time-consuming endeavor, akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
File-sharing applications offer an efficient means of communication and collaboration amongst teams to share pertinent files. This simplifies the storage and organization of all documents and papers at one centralized location, making access to them easy and convenient.
Why Should a Remote Team Consider Investing in a Secure File Sharing Application?
This program can effectively manage your team’s file storage as well as the corresponding activities. Instead of depending on third-party software for file sharing, direct access to your servers can be provided to team members by setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN). For larger businesses with a well-established IT department, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) serve as an ideal option. However, creating your own network requires a significant amount of time and financial resources. Learn more about creating your private network here.
It is imperative to bear in mind that the speed of a VPN network may not be compatible with standard internet connections, which could lead to work delays. This problem becomes magnified if your remote developers operate in different time zones. In such cases, file-sharing applications may provide a more viable solution, especially for small businesses that have a globally dispersed workforce.
The Significance of File-Sharing Applications for Remote Teams
- With quick access to necessary information, tasks, documents, and files via a file-sharing application, your team can concentrate on their productivity and performance.
- Reap the benefits of combined savings by integrating your file storage, administration, and sharing with a file sharing application or file management system.
- File-sharing applications are time-saving, ensuring quicker communication not only within teams but also with clients, making them incredibly useful.
- Thanks to file-sharing applications, it is now possible to exchange information and documents in a secure manner without compromising anyone’s privacy.
- These applications enable the swift and hassle-free sharing of significant volumes of data, including charts, images, presentations, and more, regardless of their size.
- These tools can help reduce time and effort spent on searching through countless emails and documents for information related to previous projects and team discussions.
Multiple Characteristics of Secure File-Sharing Services
There are more intricate technical requirements for an efficient and effective file-sharing service than the ones highlighted here. Apart from providing a seamless user experience and attractive interface, the application must also ensure secure sharing of data and maintain team synchronisation.
Before selecting a file-sharing program for your remote workforce, consider the following:
Comparing and Syncing Folders
With their introduction of folder synchronisation, Dropbox has emerged as the most well-known service for online sharing of large files. Most file-sharing tools available today have since adopted this concept. After downloading and installing one of these programs, a new folder is established on the user’s computer that is automatically synchronised with a cloud-based storage system, enabling other team members to view and modify the stored files.
Any modifications made to a file in cloud storage are automatically synced across all your devices, ensuring that you always have access to the most current version of the file, no matter who made the changes or where they were made.
When it comes to third-party access to your databases, data security should be of paramount concern. While most service providers are willing to discuss the encryption they employ, the specifics of their security architecture are generally kept confidential.
In 2012, Dropbox encountered a security breach that led to the exposure of 68 million credentials. This highlights the hazards associated with cyber-attacks, and Dropbox did not release the complete details until 2016.
The privacy regulations and laws that apply to a service depend on its physical location. For instance, US-based providers may be subject to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Prism Project, which involves a set of counter-terrorism programs. As part of this initiative, service providers are required to grant the government access to their user data to prevent terrorist activities. If this is a concern, it may be worth considering the physical location of your service provider.
The cost of storage is typically determined by the service provider. Certain services provide a limited amount of free storage, beyond which you may be charged for sharing files with your desired recipients. It’s essential to keep in mind that there are restrictions to the amount of free data you can download. If your project is on a larger scale, you and your team need to explore a paid solution.
Below are the prices of some of the most popular file-sharing applications.
Best Applications for Secure File Sharing at Work and in Business
Dropbox Basic is a free programme that provides 2GB of storage capacity. It is compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android platforms, allowing users to choose the platform that best suits their needs. Business plans start with a minimum of three users and three terabytes of storage, and can be expanded to meet the needs of any company size.
Since its establishment in 2007, Dropbox has evolved into the top provider of file sharing, with over 500 million users worldwide and more than 50% of the market share. Its compatibility with a range of devices, including the Kindle Fire, has made it the most preferred choice. Nevertheless, Microsoft and Google are gaining significant traction in customer acquisition, presenting a challenge to Dropbox’s market share.
2. Google Cloud Storage
Google Drive is among the first and most reputable cloud storage solutions on the market today. It is the most popular Dropbox alternative, mainly due to its generous free account storage size of 15GB, which is available on all major platforms such as PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Google Drive is compatible with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, enabling you to save and share your work online forever. However, if your team uses Microsoft Office or a different programme that is incompatible with specific file formats, you’ll need to convert them.
If you’re seeking greater confidentiality, you should consider a Canadian company. Their official policy is “knowing nothing,” implying that even under legal restrictions, they can’t access your data. Furthermore, in the event of a cyber attack, your account will still be secure as Sync.com doesn’t store passwords or encryption keys.
Sync.com provides various functionalities that are unavailable on Dropbox, including limiting the number of file downloads and offering 5GB of free storage when you sign up. Additionally, users can expand their storage capacity by referring friends.
ProofHub is a comprehensive platform that delivers a centralised file management system, in addition to various other programmes for file sharing and team cooperation. Furthermore, integrations with third-party services like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive are also supported. There are no user fees, and we provide a 10% annual discount when you choose our Ultimate Control Plan (valued at $99/month) and pay upfront. The deal is currently limited.
5. Synology Drive
Synology Drive is an online application, which enables users to access it from any computer, and synchronise data across multiple computers. Its automated synchronisation capabilities help streamline file management in an office setting.
FileCloud is a cloud-based software created to deliver safe file sharing for enterprises of any scale and across all industries. This platform enables users to save and share files safely, either on an on-site server or a web-based system.
7. Business OneDrive
If your team needs a file-sharing solution, OneDrive for Business might be the perfect fit. This software acts as a central hub for the storage, sharing, and synchronisation of data and files used in a business. As it is an online service, OneDrive for Business allows for collaborative and asynchronous work on the same file by multiple users situated in various places.
Hightail is a software intended to assist in managing and sharing files of all sizes. It’s an excellent workplace tool that allows users to share big files easily and securely authorise access to them.
At first glance, it may seem that there is little differentiation in the available choices. The fundamental goal of these tools is to facilitate secure file collaboration, irrespective of the location of the users. With the information provided thus far, selecting the most suitable tool for your specific requirements should be straightforward, considering the size of your organisation and the goals of your project.
In this area, only well-established firms like Google and Microsoft are perceived as significant rivals to Apple and Samsung. However, there are some specialised rivals that provide unique features, such as Sync.com, ProofHub, and Spideroak. If you prefer to support smaller business, keep reading to learn more about these services.
It’s crucial to remember that having the appropriate software alone is not sufficient to establish a successful team. To operate a thriving business, it’s important to have a team of competent employees. If you need assistance in recruiting the right individuals for your team, feel free to contact us.