Citrix ShareFile Review
If keeping track of your company's goings-on is your main criterion when selecting an EFSS, look no further than Citrix ShareFile. However, when it comes to integrating other suites, it falls a bit short, as you can read in this full Citrix ShareFile review.
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Citrix ShareFile is a file sync and share service geared toward improving the productivity of people working in a remote environment. It does that by offering classic cloud-storage functions, such as sync and user management. However, it also has more features that help it rank among the best EFSS providers, which we’re going to talk about in detail in this Citrix ShareFile review.
A key mechanism of ShareFile is its user management features, which are some of the best on the market. In addition, the user experience is intuitive and enjoyable, the security is strong and sync works without a hitch. There are also a couple of innovative sharing features.
That said, ShareFile has some drawbacks. The third-party integrations are lacking when compared to competing services, and its email support feature doesn’t work, either. Plus, the pricing plans require that you have at least five users, so they’re not as flexible as those of the competition.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so we’ll see what else ShareFile does right and what it doesn’t. Stick with us as we go into more detail below to help you determine if Citrix ShareFile is a service that will fit your business needs.
- Excellent user management
- Great reporting tools
- Selective sync
- Workflow automation
- Strong security
- Capable sharing
- No block-level sync
- Somewhat expensive
- Plans require a minimum of 5 users
- Can’t password-protect links
- Citrix ShareFile
- Shared Folders
- Google Docs Integration
- Visit Citrix ShareFileCitrix ShareFile Review
- Autotask Workplace (Soonr)
- Shared Folders
- Google Docs Integration
- Visit Autotask WorkplaceAutotask Workplace Review
ShareFile has four subscription plans: standard, advanced, premium and virtual data room. All require you to purchase at least five licenses, which is more than you need to buy with other EFSS solutions, including Box and Dropbox, although you pay just as much per user per month. ShareFile offers an annual 10-percent discount, though.
Citrix ShareFile Pricing
6-months plan $ 55.00/ month
$330.00 billed every 6 month
1-year plan $ 50.00/ month
$600.00 billed every year
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6-months plan $ 85.00/ month
$510.00 billed every 6 month
1-year plan $ 77.00/ month
$924.00 billed every year
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6-months plan $ 135.00/ month
$810.00 billed every 6 month
1-year plan $ 122.00/ month
$1464.00 billed every year
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|Virtual Data Room|
6-months plan $ 375.00/ month
$2250.00 billed every 6 month
1-year plan $ 338.00/ month
$4056.00 billed every year
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All plans can accommodate unlimited users and provide custom branding, mobile applications, sync and two-factor authentication. Plus, there’s no limit to your storage space, and the maximum file size is 100GB.
That’s also the set of features you get when you subscribe to the “standard” plan. You can subscribe to it — and the rest of the plans — by paying the quarterly or annual fee.
The fee comes down to $50 per month for five users if you pay for the year, or $55 if you go with the quarterly payment. Each new user is $9.90 or $11, depending on the type of payment.
The “advanced” plan extends the list of features with some powerful additions. They include co-editing Office 365 documents (which requires that you have an Office 365 license), Outlook and Gmail plug-ins, Feedback and Approval Workflow (more on workflows in a later section), encrypted email, secure mobile data wipe, full-text search, folder creation templates and more.
To enjoy this set of features, you’ll have to dish out $77 per month per five users if you pay for a year in advance, or $85 if you pay quarterly. Adding new users will cost you $15.30 per user, or $17 if you decide to pay per quarter.
The next plan is “premium,” which Citrix ShareFile advertises as “the most popular plan.” It certainly has additional features on top of the ones available to the previous plans. Those include custom workflows and a set of features that work with electronic signatures.
As you might have guessed, “premium” doesn’t come cheap. Paying for five users will come down to $122 per month when you pay for a year in advance. Each new user will set you back $24.30. If you’d rather pay quarterly, the price for five users is $135 per month and adding a new user is $27.
The last plan is called “virtual data room” and it’s not a standard cloud storage plan. Rather, it’s a plan that provides only 5GB of storage but gets you advanced security, control and sharing features. As such, it’s a great choice if you have sensitive data that you need to place in a storage that behaves like a vault.
Citrix ShareFile Free Trial
You can find a detailed comparison of the plans’ features here. However, it’s best if you try Citrix ShareFile for yourself, and you can do that using a free 30-day trial. It’s nice that you don’t even have to enter your credit card information.
We like how Citrix ShareFile provides unlimited storage space, along with some advanced features. However, you need to have at least five users, which might be unnecessary for some small businesses.
With OneDrive for Business, you also get unlimited storage for $10 per user per month, but OneDrive lets you start with just one user. Another good alternative is Box, which requires three users to start. However, Box’s unlimited plan is $17.30 per user per month.
Citrix provides clients for desktop, web and mobile. Desktop clients are available for Windows and macOS. There is no Linux client support, so those who want it will need to look for a different service, such as Dropbox Business, which plays well with the penguin.
Once you install the desktop client, you will see a special sync folder within your desktop file system and a system tray icon. The sync folder appears like a regular folder, but one that’s connected to your cloud storage space.
Citrix ShareFile Login
Note that you need to download a separate client called Citrix ShareFile Sync to be able to tweak sync. A decision to separate the advanced sync options from the regular desktop clients is strange and isn’t one we’ve found with other cloud storage providers. We’ll talk more about how well ShareFile performs sync in that section, below.
Citrix ShareFile doesn’t stray from the recipe that Dropbox established years ago; its desktop client consists of a sync folder along with a system tray icon. When you click the tray icon, a pane will open above it, which you can use to preview your recent files, view the sync queue, open the sync folder, tweak the settings and launch the web client.
Using Citrix ShareFile Business
The desktop client is modern and clean, and we can say the same about the web client. Its default view is the dashboard, which has tiles that show your recent files, the most common actions and tutorials. You can also edit the dashboard to include your favorites or remove any of the enabled tiles.
To navigate the app, you use the left sidebar, which connects you to your folders, workflows, inbox, users and settings. When you click “folder,” the content in the center pane will show you data in the cloud.
You can choose to preview it either in grid or list views. To perform actions on an individual folder or files, you can select it and choose an action from the top of the center pane. Alternatively, you can right-click an object and select an action from the menu.
That’s a better option because file selection behaved in an erratic way for us. However, the bug was short lived. We can’t say the same for using the search bar because the search function was always stuck on “searching” and never showed us any results.
On the upside, we like how you can access and edit the settings for the current folder you’re in. To do that, hover over the three dots next to the name of the folder.
If you’re away from your computer, you can also access your files in the cloud using a mobile app for Android or iOS. The mobile app also enables you to tag your files for offline use. You can also upload files from your phone, as well as take photos or record videos and audio for upload. Overall, the app has a simple and clear design.
To take advantage of ShareFile’s powerful user management features, you need to navigate to the left sidebar and select “people.” That lets you assign licenses and perform similar admin activities.
The “manage users home” tab lets you create either “employee” or “client” accounts. Client accounts don’t require a license, but they don’t have allocated storage space and can’t be granted certain admin privileges. They can collaborate on content, though.
On the other hand, “employee” accounts offer more customization options, which include setting privileges, and Citrix ShareFile offers fine-grained control over what users can do.
You can give users the ability to change their password, manage clients, edit distribution groups, manage folder templates and more. You can also assign the following five folder permissions to individual users: view, download, upload, delete and admin.
If you need to exercise more control, you can generate reports for various account activities. You can generate 11 separate reports, which you can further customize. For example, there’s an impressive array of 14 different activities available for the usage report that you can customize.
If you have many users, the group management features are important because they let you manage multiple users at once, which saves you time.
When you assign folder access to groups, you can give them the same permissions as you would individual users. We like how flexible this is, but there’s no way to tweak which users can interact with groups. If you need that, we again invite you to give Box a try.
You can share an existing folder or file by selecting it and clicking the “share” button from theweb client. You can choose to share via email, get a link, or, in the case of files, share for approval and feedback. The same actions are available from the desktop client, too.
File Sharing with Citrix ShareFile
If you share via email, you can include multiple recipients, restrict the number of downloads per user from one to unlimited, make access expire after a certain number of days — or never expire — and set permissions.
The permissions you can set are: “view online only,” “view online with watermark,” “view and download with watermark” and “full control.” Plus, you can add encryption to your email and set to receive an email when someone accesses the share.
When you generate a link, you can allow the recipients to have full control or just view the shared content. Like when sharing a folder, you can set the link to never expire or to time out after a certain number of days. You can also restrict (or not) the number of downloads.
One additional and interesting option is “checkout,” which informs other users that you’re currently editing a file. This prevents mix ups while collaborating.
The content control options are decent, but ShareFile doesn’t let you protect links with passwords. That means anybody who has your link can access your content.
When you share for feedback and approval, you can choose one of several actions:
- Get approval: participants can approve, request changes or reject edits
- Collect feedback: participants can comment, and no official approval is needed
- Create request list: you can request specific individuals to fulfill tasks
The first two actions also let you assign a due date, and the third one lets you specify who has administrative access rights to the request list.
Syncing is one of the most important features because it enables you to use many devices and collaborate in near real-time on files with others without having to manage files yourself.
Sync keeps files on your hard drive and replicates them to the cloud, which lets you access them while offline. However, that can be an issue if you have limited hard drive space. If you think you might have such an issue, you should use the “selective sync” feature, which helps you save space by disabling sync for specific folders.
To tweak what content you want to sync, you will have to download and install the Citrix ShareFile Sync app. Once you do, click the ShareFile Sync taskbar icon on your desktop and select “preferences” to choose which folders you want to sync.
ShareFile’s sync speeds for initial file uploads compare well with other EFSS services. We managed to upload our 1GB zipped test folder in less time than we expected, which is a great result.
However, subsequent uploads aren’t as fast as they could be because Citrix ShareFile doesn’t use a block-level file copying algorithm, which helps speed up file uploads by only transferring the parts of files that changed, rather than the entire file.
Tools that enhance productivity are important for an EFSS solution. ShareFile provides several native and third-party apps that drive productivity.
The native apps include Citrix Files for Outlook, which encrypts emails and lets you send and request files; ShareConnect, a tool that enables you to remotely access your desktop applications and edit files; Scan to ShareFile, which lets you send scanned files directly to ShareFile; and Print to ShareFile, a print command that creates PDFs and sends them to ShareFile.
However, ShareFile doesn’t have native productivity tools like some of the other services. Because of that, you have to rely on third-party integrations. Citrix has a decent number of partnerships with other services, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Microsoft Office 365 is the first third-party integration on Citrix’s list. Although you can use Office Online for free, it only allows you to preview Office files. In order to edit and collaborate on documents in real-time from within the ShareFile ecosystem, you have to purchase an Office 365 subscription for your business.
The second highlighted add-on is Zapier, which enables you to automate repetitive tasks to save time. Plus, like we mentioned before, ShareFile lets you create custom workflows, which help you automate manual tasks and requests. This enables you to streamline project management. It’s nice that you have a choice between a couple of automation apps.
Besides these, ShareFile offers several third-party integrations — such as Okta, Lua, Orion, eFileCabinet and Applied — that will benefit small business owners.
However, it’s a small list compared to many other services. If you need more integrations, a good choice would be Egnyte Connect, which you can learn more about it in our Egnyte Connect review.
Citrix encrypts files before sending them to storage. Files are also protected during transfers by the TLS protocol, which helps prevent attacks — such as man-in-the-middle attacks — from succeeding.
Encryption ensures that nobody but you can read your files by scrambling them server-side. That lessens the impact of data breaches because those who gain access to your files won’t be able to read them without also knowing the encryption keys for those files, which are kept on a separate server. There’s no private encryption, though.
The servers that hold your data are stored in hardened data centers designed to withstand natural disasters, physical attacks and virtual attacks. The data centers are also ISO 27001 certified, which means they have strong information security. They are also SOC1 and SOC 2 compliant.
Files are also replicated on multiple servers using Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure to ensure high file durability and availability. If you’re not familiar with Azure, read our Microsoft Azure review.
Encryption and data center security features are common, but Citrix ShareFile provides a rare security feature: custom password requirements. This is a nice touch because encryption won’t help protect you from attacks that might crack your weak passwords. If you have a specific password requirement, you can be sure that your employees have strong passwords.
ShareFile also provides two-factor authentication, which is one of our favorite features. It requires employees and client users to enter a security code they get via SMS in addition to their usual username and password when logging into ShareFile from an unfamiliar device.
ShareFile also enables you to custom manage your login policy, including logging out users after a set period of inactivity, locking out users after a certain number of failed login attempts and requiring two-factor authentication.
If someone steals your device, ShareFile lets you cut of sync and wipe it remotely. With this feature, you can prevent people from accessing cloud content from a stolen device.
On top of this, you can set your devices to require a pin or password for access, remove accounts after a set period of time, disable automatic login and disable offline access to files.
You can access the help center by clicking the “help” link in the upper-right corner of the web client. The knowledgebase has articles and videos that can help you solve your issues. You can also feed the support page a specific question, which is then used to find related articles.
The articles are easy to follow and have screenshots that help guide you. There’s also an FAQ section that helps you find answers to the most common questions. That said, if the knowledgebase doesn’t help, ShareFile also has a community forum and direct support.
The ShareFile community is active and is frequented by software engineers, presumably employed at Citrix.
The last thing you can try, if you don’t solve your issue, is to get help directly from ShareFile technical support. To do that, you can give them a call or submit a ticket. However, when we tried to submit a request, the button for doing so didn’t work.
Live chat is available 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, but only for users who subscribe to Citrix’s Customer Success Services program. You’ll have to contact Citrix to get a price estimate for that subscription, though.
ShareFile’s prices are similar to those of the competition, but it’s not as flexible. Companies with only a couple of users should probably opt for a different service.
Another important drawback is the poor library of third-party integrations. Having more is better for businesses that want to improve collaboration, and we can’t think of any that don’t. We also noted some bugs in the web client and the support page.
That said, it has strong security, capable and fast sync, and folder and file sharing with a couple of innovative features. Overall, we find Citrix ShareFile to be a capable service.
We want to hear what you think about ShareFile and what your experience is with it. Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.