Citrix ShareFile review
Businesses reluctant to trust their data to the cloud should pay attention: Citrix ShareFile is a cloud file-sharing service that aims to persuade the doubters. As well as promising a secure, easy-to-use, business-focused package, Citrix’s ShareFile goes one better by spreading the load across multiple data centres to guarantee 99.9% uptime.
Citrix offers a choice of plans, with the Basic package starting at £17.50 per month, and providing a modest 5GB of storage and support for two Employee accounts. The Professional plan costs £35 per month, with 10GB of storage and raises the maximum number of Employee accounts to ten. The Corporate plan costs £59 per month, ups cloud storage to 20GB and the Employee count to 20, and adds a tool to sync user accounts with Active Directory.
As you move up the pricing models, extra features come into play. The Professional plan includes an Outlook plugin so users can send and request files without using the portal. During installation, you can set it to use ShareFile for attachments over a certain size, and force users to go through this service or allow them to choose when to use it. The Corporate plan adds a layer of device security, where Windows and OS X users can access the ShareFile service only from registered systems. More security is provided for iOS and Android mobile devices, such as locking them remotely, wiping all traces of ShareFile data and revoking access privileges.
Unlike rivals that have evolved from a consumer product, ShareFile is built from the ground up for business. As a result, it also offers many features you won’t find elsewhere; for example, the range-topping Enterprise plan – for which pricing is tailored to the company in question – adds the option to use on-premises or cloud storage zones for file sharing. We also like that all the ShareFile plans include a branding service for portal and email customisation. This adds essential authenticity to emails, so they look professional and don’t get binned as spam.
Regardless of which plan you opt for, Citrix ShareFile is incredibly easy to get to grips with. Simply log in to an account, select the Send File option in the web portal, enter the recipient’s email address and choose the file you wish to send. Clients don’t need anything installed at their end: they receive an email with a secure link to the file you’ve sent them. You can also request files from clients by sending them a secure upload link via email.
There’s no limit on the number of supported clients, but for stricter control over their activities you can designate them as Employees. Each plan limits the number of Employee accounts but these allow you to decide precisely what they can do. Basic permissions include options to allow Employees to create folders, use a personal File Box and edit the shared address book. You can also decide which admin privileges they can have, such as modifying account policies, running reports, and viewing other users’ emails, File Boxes and sent items.
The web portal is simple to use, and opens with views of personal and shared files and folders. For the latter, you can create a folder, decide which clients and Employees can access it, and request email alerts when files are uploaded or downloaded.
The File Box is a temporary store where files are held for 30 days, but for longer retention you can move them to permanent ShareFile folders. An activity log is maintained for every folder so you can identify which users accessed it and the actions they performed.
Citrix also provides a ShareFile Sync application that we tested with Windows 8.1. It links up with your account so you can sync files from a local folder, or from shared and favourite folders. The Sync app adds a Save As place to Office allowing you to save documents directly to your local ShareFile folder for automatic syncing to the cloud. You can also enable FTP/FTPS access to your ShareFile account, and use popular apps such as FileZilla to upload and download files.
Citrix has also created a choice of mobile device apps. We loaded the iOS version on our iPad, which allowed us to view our account’s files and folders, send and request files, and passcode- protect access to our ShareFile account. One of the smartest features is mobile editing, which allows shared Office documents to be downloaded and edited in the iPad app. Selecting the pen icon in the app loaded the document in a new window where we could edit it, save it back to ShareFile and sync it to all account users.
Citrix’s offering is more expensive than other cloud services, but it justifies this by beating them soundly for features. If you want a secure file-sharing service for your business, then look no further than Citrix ShareFile.
|Software subcategory||Other software|
Operating system support
|Other operating system support||Windows 8 and 8.1|
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