9 Essential Business FTP and File Sharing Features

Does your file sharing solution meet the needs of your business in today’s online world? FTP  and the ability to quickly and securely send large files are just the tip of the features iceberg. We’ve compiled a list of file sharing features designed for businesses. Plus a look at Enterprise FTP which can offer an organization high capacity storage and premium support.

Don’t get stuck with a file sharing solution just because you’ve been using it for years.

It’s time to make file sharing work for you. Finding the right features and functionality that work for your business can deliver more than just quick file uploads.

Businesses need features that are intuitive and easy to use. They also need features that instill trust in the security and storage of their data. Trust can come in the form of compliance with regulations, security features, reporting, and knowledgeable support staff.

Let’s review some essential FTP and file sharing features businesses find invaluable.

1.  Security and Compliance

Security Security Security

Well, it’s not just a hot topic right now. Data security is a core feature that everyone depends on when sharing information online. The internet connects the whole world. Today we have many levels of data security for online transactions and file storage.

But, how can you know your data is really secure?

First, many things can increase the security of your data when stored and shared online. Read about data security and the four levels that secure your file shares with ExaVault.

Guess what?

Businesses rely on all four levels of data security when using FTP and storing files.

  1. Data security at the account level.
  2. Data security at the data level.
  3. Data security at the server level.
  4. Data security at the physical level.

Knowing how your files sharing service operates within the various levels of data security is important.

Many FTP and business file sharing companies like ExaVault offer enterprise-grade security. In most cases, enterprise-grade security means data security is priority number one.

Features of enterprise-grade security include:

Enterprise-grade security features

A huge benefit for business is having additional security options they can implement for specific users and for their account.

Such as:

  • IP address restrictions
  • Secure connections with SFTP
  • Complex password enforcement
  • Immutable audit logs

 

Compliance & Regulations

Businesses look for things like GDPR compliance. While not everyone is an EU citizen, compliance with the GDPR is a way of showing you agree that data security is vital. Giving priority to the rights of an individual regarding their personal data establishes trust and provides a measure of protection.

Finding a file sharing solution that has done it’s due diligence to comply with GDPR is important for all businesses. While no certificate or checklist guarantees compliance, a file sharing solution that cares about data security will have information on its website showing what they have done to comply with GDPR. One example is ExaVault’s page that goes over their commitment to GDPR. Having this type of client facing page is a key element any business should look for going forward to remain compliant with their own products or services.

2. SFTP & SSL

Send Files Securely

FTP is the oldest protocol for sending files. Modern business file sharing includes the speed and ability to send large files that FTP provides with added security features like encryption.

We’re talking about SFTP and SSL.

SFTP is “secure file transfer protocol” and for many businesses an essential feature for file transfers. SFTP is functionally similar to FTP but requires authentication by the server. The data transfer takes place over a secure channel. The SFTP file transfer process is more secure because the connection is encrypted.

When choosing a file transfer service, it is common for businesses to look for SSL encryption. Using SSL or the Secure Sockets Layer establishes encrypted links in between a browser where you are uploading or downloading your file and a web server.

3. Mobile Friendly Access

Compatibility is key.

How do you stay connected? When you need to send a file or review a business document mobile access is a must. Having a file sharing service that allows access via any device and any platform fits the needs of modern business.

File sharing access on any device

A web-based interface that lets businesses connect to their FTP server and transfer files with one click saves time. It’s another feature essential to modern file sharing.

4. Comprehensive Auditing

Businesses come to rely more and more on reporting for daily activities. Comprehensive auditing allows businesses to be in control of their file shares.

A great file sharing solution will include usage statistics, activity logs, and detailed reporting options. Sometimes all you need is to see your account activity at a glance. Other times, it is beneficial to have access to more detailed reports. Reports can provide information to help manage projects, users and other business aspects.

5. Custom Branding

Every business wants their name to stand out. Custom branding options are the perfect feature to make sure your name and logo are what clients see.

What is custom branding?

With FTP and file sharing solutions, custom branding is how you make your business shine. Let clients who are uploading or downloading files to your account feel like they are only dealing with your business.

Popular custom branding options for business file sharing include:

  • Using your company name and logo.
  • Changing the color theme to match your brand or colors.
  • Customizing emails sent from the file sharing service – send emails with the look and feel of your brand plus a “from” address of your choice.
  • Adding your URL for a custom domain.

Custom branding options for file shares

The benefit of custom branding is that feeling of trust your customers will have when dealing with your company. No third party or vendor logos getting in the way.

6. Unlimited Bandwidth

Upload and download as many files as you need to.

Video files, audio, and large images require a lot of bandwidth. Using FTP to send large files only works if you have the bandwidth to support it. Having a file sharing solution that offers unlimited bandwidth is one of the top features businesses look for. If your FTP solution includes unlimited bandwidth, there should be no additional charges for sending large files or videos.

7. Unlimited Users

Unlimited users provide unlimited flexibility.

What’s the catch?

Depends on the pricing model. Some file sharing solutions include up to a certain number of users for the set cost of the plan you choose. Then there is an additional per user cost for each user over the minimum included in the plan. This isn’t necessarily a negative. But, if your business requires multiple users to have access to the FTP and file sharing account, you could be looking at quite a cost increase each month.

There’s another option…

Unlimited users with no per-user fee. The option for unlimited users may be enough of a feature for some businesses. No per user fee pricing model turns this essential file sharing feature into a value-added bonus for companies of almost any size. Set up 100 users with separate logins and permissions. Your monthly account fee stays the same if you increase or decrease that number. Stay productive, get the users you need onboard, and no fluxuations for accounting to deal with.

8. Engineering Support

Slow download speeds. Trouble connecting to FTP. Got an error message that doesn’t make sense.

Who do you contact when you need support for a technical issue?

Engineering support - call center

No one wants to waste time during their busy workday emailing or talking to customer service representatives and see no resolution in sight. That is why modern businesses find engineering support to be an essential feature included in their FTP and file sharing solution.

There are a variety of ways to access support. Email, phone, online communities and support libraries. Live chat is a popular support channel when available.

What makes engineering support so amazing?

In the file-sharing world, engineering support refers to getting direct access to the product engineers when needed. Sometimes this is called developer access. Either way, having this type of support available is essential because you know you’ll get answers to the toughest technical issues – should such an issue ever arise.

9. Real Time Notifications

Get notified of account activity in real time.

Once you customize your notifications, this will be one essential file sharing feature you won’t know how you lived without. Know when files are uploaded or downloaded. Stay on top of your business file transfers with email notifications.

File sharing features include email notifications

Depending on the solution, there are many options for notifications. You can get alerts about account activity. Email alerts can notify you of activity by specific users or activity in specific folders. Businesses find real-time notifications invaluable as a tool to keep workflow efficient and transparent.

10. Bonus Feature: Enterprise FTP

It’s 2018, and more businesses are looking for an Enterprise FTP file sharing solution.

What’s the big deal with Enterprise?

For one thing, an enterprise file sharing solution includes premium features.

For example:

  • High capacity storage
  • Premium support
  • Guaranteed transfer speeds
  • Enhanced custom branding options
  • SLAs – service level agreements
  • Dedicated account manager

Enterprise features are designed with large businesses and organizations in mind. High capacity storage often includes 1TB plus. A dedicated account manager provides a single point of contact for all your account questions. Yes, you still get the engineering support for tough issues (if that is a feature offered by your solution provider).

Bottom line:

If your business FTP and file sharing solution doesn’t offer these features, you may want to shop around. There are a ton of other great file sharing features tailored to specific industries that you may need too. Now’s the chance to find something that works great and enhances the file sharing aspect of your business.

Look no further…. Check out this list of FTP, file sharing and document management software reviews. FitSmallBusiness put together this list of top file sharing features, pricing and user reviews for Dropbox, ExaVault and many other file sharing solutions.