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Files.com vs. Citrix ShareFile

Files.com vs. Citrix ShareFile

Files.com vs Citrix ShareFile

Overview of Files.com

Files.com is a U.S-based cloud-native Managed File Transfer (MFT), automation, and integration platform that enables organizations to securely store, transfer, and share files between users, teams, and organizations. MFT technology provides the secure transfer of data efficiently and reliably compared to insecure technologies such as FTP and HTTP. Files.com provides a cloud-centric approach to file-based automations and integrations while emphasizing security, compliance, and data residency for business-critical file transfers and exchanges.

Files.com home page
Figure 1.0 | Screenshot of Files.com home page

Files.com is primarily designed for business-critical MFT workloads. And it has been providing these services to enterprise customers for over 10 years now, servicing 6500+ global customers across key industries like healthcare, finance, media, technology, and more. Files.com acts as both a client and a server for SFTP, FTP, and Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) protocols. This allows you to easily connect to any partner, customer, or system without compromising security.

Key features and capabilities include: 

  • Full custom domains, with custom SSL certificates and dedicated IP address
  • Real-time and scheduled sync integrations with third-party storage services such as Amazon S3, Azure, Google Cloud, SharePoint, Box, Dropbox, and more.
  • Bi-directional FTP/SFTP—which means Files.com can act as an FTP/SFTP client in addition to a server, enabling complex workflows.
  • Native apps for high-performance internal transfers.
  • Advanced automation and workflows, including bi-directional webhooks, GPG encryption/decryption, click wraps, and watermarking
  • Enterprise Single Sign On (SSO) services that support all major SSO providers
  • Out-of-the-box integration support for various third-party services and technologies
  • Encryption at-rest and in-transit protects the confidentiality of data during storage and transfers.

Files.com offers a free seven-day trial with full access to the entire platform, including all integrations, automations, protocols, and APIs. When you’re ready to buy, your trial environment will seamlessly convert into your paid environment.

Overview of Citrix ShareFile

Citrix ShareFile is a cloud-based content collaboration, file-sharing, and sync platform that supports all the document-centric tasks and workflow needs of small and large businesses. The goal of Citrix ShareFile is to help your team store, collaborate, send, and share files of any size, and on any device without compromising security. Citrix ShareFile uses a hybrid cloud model that allows for a separate, independent network for data storage and another for facilitating the services.

Citrix ShareFile home page
Figure 2.0 | Screenshot of Citrix ShareFile home page

Citrix ShareFile offers a variety of features, including mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone that enable mobile editing and offline editing of documents.

Other features and capabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • The ability to manage sensitive corporate content on ShareFile using a remote wipe, encryption, passcode lock, and poison pill features.
  • The ability to send and obtain e-signatures on documents with the integration of RightSignature
  • The ability to send encrypted email through a Microsoft Outlook plugin or an online portal
  • Custom Client Portal for your clients to upload and download documents
  • Access and sync your files automatically, share data, and create time-saving workflows across any device.
  • Office 365 integration allows for real-time co-editing and versioning
  • Centralize content access to speed collaboration and simplify feedback and approvals.
  • Option to store data in own data centers, Citrix-managed data centers, or use existing file storage systems via StorageZone Connectors

Files.com vs. Citrix ShareFile: How They Compare

Installation and Setup

Files.com is a SaaS-based MFT application, which means there are no installation hassles other than the usual sign-up process using an internet-connected device with a supported browser. Once the sign-up process is completed, your account will be activated instantly, and you can dive in and start exploring.

The admin portal makes onboarding easy and allows you to email invitations to new users. During this process, you can add users to groups with global share settings or define individual share access permissions. Desktop apps are available for Windows and macOS, and after users log into their account, it creates a mapped drive for swift access to shared cloud folders. Desktop apps extend your Windows or Mac devices with a Files.com drive, so you can open and save files in any application. A personal web portal provides access to private and shared folders, with options to upload and download files and folders.

Just like Files.com, Citrix ShareFile is also a fully managed cloud-based service, which means there are no installation hassles other than the usual routine sign-up process. ShareFile cloud service is accessible by any computer with a supported web browser and an internet connection. To utilize all features and functions of the ShareFile web application, Citrix recommends the latest version of the following browser types: Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari. Once the sign-up process is completed, go to your folder, and you’re ready to start uploading and downloading documents.

Cloud Storage and Backup

Files.com isn’t designed for online storage and backup, but it performs this function indirectly. It is primarily a cloud-based MFT application, which focuses on the secure transfer of files. This also implies that the huge amount of file data that passes through the Files.com network for file transfers is also securely stored on their cloud storage servers. Uploading files, copying files, creating, or updating new versions all contribute to addition in storage usage. In addition, Files.com also allows you to schedule sync integrations with 3rd party storage services such as Amazon S3, Azure, Google Cloud, SharePoint, Box, Dropbox, and more.

When it comes to cloud storage for small and large businesses, Citrix ShareFile stands out among the rest. Unlike others, Citrix ShareFile offers unlimited storage as standard across all plans. Citrix isn’t attempting to do away with your existing cloud storage platform, rather, it wants to work with them. Citrix uses what it calls Personal Cloud Connectors to let you connect to cloud storage platforms such as Box, OneDrive Business, Google Drive, and Dropbox to your account and see your files inside ShareFile. Citrix ShareFile also allows you to connect non-cloud-based storage platforms and collaborate in real-time with SharePoint support.

Collaboration and Sharing

The real power of Files.com is made manifest when it comes to business-critical Managed File Transfer workloads, Content Collaboration, and File Sharing. Some Files.com customers deploy the service to their entire organization, unifying MFT and File Sharing.  Others leverage the built-in integrations with SharePoint, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and others to build workflows and automations around content stored in another platform.

Files.com allows you to share individual files, groups of files, or entire folders via a unique secure link that functions as a bearer key. Once the link is generated, you can send it to the chosen recipient via email, chat, or any other method. In addition to the “Share Links” capability, Files.com also comes with user history logs, custom branding, built-in web hosting mode for hosting entire static websites (including JavaScript and CSS files) with web hosting features, share permissions that allow you to password protect, preview-only, add an expiration date, and even watermark the files you share.

One unique feature that makes Files.com stand out among the rest is the share link inbox, which is designed for receiving files uploaded by anonymous users from anywhere in the world. Imagine the simplicity of providing a hyperlink in an email or on your organization’s website for anyone needing to upload documents such as invoices, receipts, legal documents, reports, and more. All these are designed and executed in a way that does not compromise the security of other files or your site as a whole.

You don’t need to look too far or too deep into Citrix ShareFile to know that file sharing is one of its greatest strengths, just as its name implies. The true value of Citrix’s cloud platform comes in sharing and connecting other cloud platforms to your account. You can share files by emailing them directly from your Citrix ShareFile account, by uploading files from your computer to a shared folder, or by generating a file link and sharing it with others, including those outside of your network. Citrix ShareFile allows you to set share permissions such as expiration date, receive a notification when someone uses the link, and what they are allowed to do with it such as viewing it online or downloading it to a local device. However, Citrix ShareFile does not have built-in features for tasks, comments, or online editing. To edit documents such as MS Word online, your organization must have a paid subscription to Microsoft 365.

Integrations and Extensions

Files.com does not intend to replace your existing cloud file-sharing and collaboration solutions, rather, it wants to work with them. This is why it comes with out-of-the-box integrations with all key cloud providers such as Microsoft (Azure, SharePoint, OneDrive, Active Directory & Office), AWS (S3 & SNS), Google (Cloud & Drive), Box, Dropbox, Zapier, and dozens of others. Developers can also leverage Files.com native SDKs, API, and CLI tools to build custom integrations, and connect to any folder located almost anywhere. and extend the capabilities of the application.

Citrix uses several methods to let you connect with other applications and extend the capabilities of  ShareFile. One of which is the use of connectors. ShareFile Connectors allow ShareFile users to access files and folders stored on a connected on-premises or cloud-based resource. There are several integrations available outside of Connectors, the most important of which is Zapier, which lets you connect Citrix ShareFile to lots of apps. Citrix ShareFile also provides native integration support to several other applications. Citrix provides an API platform that allows partners to integrate their applications with Citrix ShareFile. This allows the extensibility and integration of ShareFile with your existing enterprise systems and frameworks.

Security and Privacy

Files.com is loaded with lots of security features to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data. The security features include encryption for data-at-rest and data-in-transit, four types of two-factor authentication, nine enterprise identity (SSO) integrations, and support for customer-managed GPG keys, SSH keys, and SSL certificates, built-in integrations with Yubikey, FIDO/U2F, Google Authenticator, Duo, Authy, and SMS. Highly configurable security settings include password policies, session policies, 2FA policies, and brute force rules. Files.com has servers across the globe and provides the option to configure the geographic region (and by extension, political jurisdiction) where your files will be stored to meet regulatory requirements.

Similarly, when it comes to security, Citrix ShareFile does everything within its power to keep your files safe and secure, including implementing two-factor authentication (2FA), single sign-on (SSO), encryption for data-at-rest and data-in-motion, OAuth token for apps that use the ShareFile API, Virtual Data Room for secure document storing and distribution, Citrix Analytics for threat detection and mitigation, remote wipe, device lock, and other advanced security features let you control how sensitive data is stored, accessed, and shared. Citrix ShareFile also supports integration with third-party Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solutions.

Licensing and Price Plans

Files.com offers affordable pricing options for businesses of all sizes. Its pricing plans are broken into Starter, Power, and Premier price plans as shown in the table below. Plan pricing is partially based on user count, which means that you must commit to a minimum number of users. Charges are based on one total monthly number called “Usage,” representing your total billable usage of the Files.com service. This “Usage” number is the sum of your “Storage Usage” and your “Transfer Usage”.

Features Starter Power Premier
Minimum User Commitment 5 Minimums Apply Minimums Apply
Monthly Usage Included 1 TB 5 TB 10 TB
Daily API Request Limit 50,000 250,000 2,000,000

Table 1.0 | Files.com Pricing Plans

Citrix ShareFile comes in three subscription plans: Standard ($50/month), Advanced ($80/month), and Premium ($122/month). Each of the ShareFile subscription plans is configured for five users out of the box. You can certainly add more users if you so wish, but it comes at an additional cost. There is also a separate plan called Virtual Data Room (VDR) that comes with features such as dynamic watermarking, click trails, view-only access, and others. The Virtual Data Room plan is expensive; but it is the ideal solution for businesses such as law firms, financial institutions, and software companies that deal with private confidential data that requires secure transaction processing. A 30-day free trial of Citrix ShareFile across all plans is available on request, with no credit card required.

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