Egnyte Connect Guide in 2021 for Admins, Power Users and Standard Users

Egnyte Connect is a powerful business cloud storage service, though it can be a bit overwhelming. To get you started, here’s our Egnyte Connect guide that will teach you everything you need to know to use the service like a pro.

Jacob Roach
By Jacob Roach (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-04-19T07:36:46+00:00

We rate Egnyte Connect as the best business cloud storage provider on the market, and for good reason. Its excellent security, usability and features are simply unmatched. Although it isn’t difficult to get set up with an Egnyte Connect account, we compiled everything you need to know about signing up for the service and managing your storage in this Egnyte Connect guide.

Key Takeaways:

  • Egnyte is dead simple to use, regardless of if you’re an administrator or a normal user. 
  • Egnyte’s desktop app is useful, but the web interface has a lot more options.
  • Egnyte’s integrations make the difference, so make sure to explore the app center to find what you need. 

Here, we’ll cover how to create a new account, how to upload files, how to manage users and much more. Egnyte offers a 15-day free trial, but if you want a little more information on the service, make sure to read our full Egnyte Connect review.

  • Egnyte Connect is an online storage and collaboration platform for businesses. It offers plans for small businesses with only a few users and large custom solutions, along with native integrations for Google Workspace and Microsoft Office Online.

  • Egnyte automatically syncs, so you shouldn’t have to do it manually. However, you can perform a refresh in the advanced settings of the desktop application or generate a sync report to see if any of your sync sources are failing.

  • You can automatically map an Egnyte network drive in Windows by downloading the desktop application and signing in to your account. If you have multiple servers, you can add them through the desktop app.

What Is Egnyte Connect?

Egnyte Connect is a business cloud storage and collaboration platform. Although it offers a limited plan for one to 10 users, Egnyte is mostly focused on larger teams and custom installations.

The big selling point for most is that Egnyte offers native integration with Google Workspace and Microsoft Office Online. It earned a spot in our best cloud storage for collaboration guide for that reason. Although Egnyte offers storage space of its own, you can loop in other data sources. That includes public clouds like Box and Dropbox (read our Box review and Dropbox review), as well as local file servers. 

Additionally, Egnyte stands out with excellent security and threat detection. The more expensive plans come with machine learning-based content classification, content lifecycle policies, compliance and threat detection. 

The basic function of Egnyte, though, is to localize your business operations. It’s a platform to store, sync and collaborate on files, combining the functionality of tools like Huddle and OneDrive under one roof (read our Huddle review and OneDrive for Business review).

Getting Started With Egnyte Connect

Let’s quickly go through how to create an Egnyte account and download the Egnyte desktop app.

  1. Sign Up for the Trial

    Getting started with Egnyte is simple. Head to egnyte.com, and you’ll see two options. If you need a custom solution or want a guided tour, select the “request demo” button, chat with a sales agent and schedule your demo. For this tutorial, click the “start free trial” button in the upper-right corner.

    Egnyte-homepage-2020
  2. Fill in Your Information

    Egnyte offers a 15-day free trial that includes 10 employee licenses, 10 partner licenses and 20GB of storage. You can upgrade at any point during the trial without losing anything in your account. Fill in your business information, choose a suitable name for your server and start your free trial.

    egnyte free trial sign up
  3. Verify Email and Download the Egnyte Desktop App

    After following the steps and verifying your email, you’ll land in the Egnyte web interface. We’ll get back to here in a moment, but first things first: the desktop app. Click the “let’s get started” box in the lower-right corner, then select “try the desktop app.” If you’re configuring for a large team, make sure to read Egnyte’s guide for mass deployment.

    egnyte download desktop app

Egnyte Desktop App vs Web Interface

You’ll probably spend most of your time with Egnyte in the web interface. The desktop app gives you access to syncing and collaboration tools, but most of Egnyte’s features are located in the web app. Egnyte Connect is available for Windows and macOS and requires 350MB of hard drive space (Egnyte recommends 5GB for caching purposes). 

In its basic form, the desktop app integrates with Windows File Explorer and allows you to add new files and folders to your account. You can select any local folder and automatically sync it with your account, as well as view and open files in your account. Egnyte accomplishes this through a network drive, so your files won’t take up space on your hard drive. You can also share files from File Explorer.

The best feature of the desktop app is co-editing. Basically, if you open a file through the desktop app, other users can edit it in real time based on your settings.

That’s it for the Egnyte desktop app. It’s functional, though it definitely serves as an extension to the web interface. Through the web interface, you can manage your apps and integrations, generate reports, manage versions and access admin settings. It’s not really a question between one or the other. If you have to choose one, though, stick with the web app.

Egnyte Training: How to Use Egnyte Connect

Now that you have an account set up and the apps ready to go, let’s dive into the basic functionality of Egnyte. 

How to Upload Files to Egnyte Connect

You have several options for uploading files to Egnyte Connect. We’ll start with the web app. With it open, you can drag and drop any file or folder into the web interface to start an upload. If you go this route, Egnyte will upload the files/folders to whatever folder you currently have selected.

egnyte web app upload files
Egnyte offers several ways to upload files, but dragging and dropping are the easiest.

Egnyte gives you access to a private and shared folder by default. The private folder is available to you, while the shared folder spreads across your team. You can create new subfolders within each, but everything needs to go into either the shared folder or your private one. You can also upload files through the web app by clicking “upload” at the top of any folder.

Uploading Files on Desktop and Mobile

Through the desktop app, you have two options. You can open the network hard drive in File Explorer and drag and drop files/folders into the drive. They’ll show up in your account shortly after.

You can also connect a folder by right-clicking it and selecting “connect to Egnyte.” A connected folder automatically syncs with your account, so you’ll see anything you add to the folder mirrored in your account. Similarly, if you delete anything from a connected folder, it will also be deleted from your account.

Outside the web app and desktop app, you can upload files through the mobile app. Egnyte offers a mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and you can upload files stored on your mobile device through the app. Additionally, Egnyte offers FTP upload, cloud migration and local storage sync

How to Share and Request Files

Since most of your time with Egnyte will be spent in the web app, we’ll be referencing it mostly. Keep in mind, however, that functions like sharing and requesting are available through both the desktop and mobile apps. 

If you want to share a file, find it in your account, hover your mouse over it and click the “share” button (it looks like chainlinks). You can copy a direct link, which will let anyone who has access to the folder see the file directly, or you can generate a link. There are several options for links: you can limit downloads, choose an expiration date and more.

Egnyte Connect sharing features
Egnyte offers several options for link sharing, including expiration dates and limited downloads.

Egnyte Folder Sharing Options

Folders have a few more options. You can follow the same process for bringing up the share menu, or you can open the folder and select “share” in the top menu. Direct links and folder links still apply. However, you can also manage folder permissions for other users in your Egnyte account, as well as request files.

The file request feature allows users outside of your network to upload files to your Egnyte account. You can generate a file request link for any folder, which will allow someone to upload files to that folder. However, they won’t be able to see what’s inside.

As long as you have the Egnyte desktop app installed, you can also share through Windows File Explorer. Right-click on a file in your Egnyte drive and select “share.” You’ll be redirected to the web app with your sharing options.

Egnyte Connect Admin Guide

Egnyte is a playground for power users, as administrators have access to a far greater range of features outside of sharing and uploading files. In this section, we’ll cover user settings, task management and report setup.

Egnyte Connect User Management

To access the user management screen, open the Egnyte web app and click on the hamburger menu in the top-right corner (three lines). In that menu, click “settings,” then tab over to “users & groups.” Here, you can add new users, manage your existing ones and organize users into groups.

First, let’s add a user. Click “add new account” in the top-right corner to get started. You have four options, three of which are relevant to actual users. 

  • Administrators: Administrators have access to every folder, file and setting, and they can’t be restricted from accessing folders.
  • Power users: A power user is a standard user account. They have access to all upload methods, as well as their own private folders. Admins can give some additional privileges to power users.
  • Standard users: Use the standard user permission level for everyone outside of your business. Standard users are restricted in a number of ways. They can’t create links, use the desktop app or upload via FTP, but they still have access to the web application.

You can also create a service account. Service accounts are for apps that you might integrate. 

Editing Users and Groups

To edit a user, mouse over their name and select “details.” You can do several things on this user management screen: view uploads, track login history, see the contents of the user’s private folder and even pin down the apps they’re using. 

egnyte user management menu
Egnyte’s user management screen gives you an overview of a user’s activities, files and login history.

Back on the main user management page, tab over to “groups.” Here, you can create and add users to groups. Create a new one using the button in the right corner, then add users using the button in the right corner on the following screen. Groups allow you to quickly assign permissions to multiple users without selecting everyone individually.

Finally, back out of the groups page and tab over to “configuration” from the main settings screen. There, select “user types & roles.” You can manage the permissions of each user level, such as disabling the ability for power users to add standard ones. If you have the proper plan, you can create custom roles in the “roles” tab.

Egnyte Connect Task Management

Egnyte includes a task manager that makes it easy to assign workflows to files. Select any file in your account using the checkbox. This will open a small menu. Select “tasks” to open up the task view for that file.

egnyte task management
Egnyte’s task management tool is simple but still allows you to track basic workflows.

If you have existing tasks, you can see them here, along with comments and other details. Select “new task.” You can add a name, assign it to a user and set a due date. After that, you can check tasks assigned to you and assigned by you by clicking the “my tasks” button at the top of the web interface.

The task management app is simple, so don’t expect the functionality of monday.com or the other best project management software. However, you can comment on files and mark tasks complete to manage your workflow.

Egnyte Connect Report Generation

Egnyte provides several reports directly through the web app and several more that you can generate on the fly. Click the hamburger menu in the top-right corner of the web app to get started. This will open the reports center, which displays information about your storage space, users, devices and links.

In the left-side menu, you’ll find several more reports you can generate. By default, only admins can generate reports. However, power users can also generate reports if given that capability by administrators. “Audit” reports aren’t available on Teams plans.

Here are all of the report types: 

  • Folder size report: Shows the size and number of folders, as well as other folder statistics.
  • Private folder size report: Shows the size and related statistics for private folders.
  • Link summary report: Displays all active sharing links, as well as expiration dates.
  • Sync status report: Displays the sync status of all sources, including failed syncs. 
  • Lock summary report: Shows all locked files in your account, as well as who locked them.
  • Folder permission report: Shows the list of users and groups that have access to a specific folder and/or subfolder.
  • User and group permission report: Shows the list of folders that selected users and/or groups can access. 
  • File audit report: Displays information about the activities of each user on files and folders in your account.
  • Permission audit report: Shows permissions across users and groups over time.
  • Login audit report: Shows the login information for all users on your server, as well as failed and successful login attempts. 
  • User provisioning audit report: Tracks the creation and deletion of users, showing when user permissions have been updated and by who.
  • Group provisioning audit report: Shows a history of group creation, updates and deletion, as well as the associated users.
  • Configuration settings audit report: Displays all changes made in the “configuration” section of the settings menu.
  • Saved and scheduled queries: Shows all scheduled and saved reports you have.

Egnyte Training: Apps and Integrations

The best part of Egnyte is its exhaustive list of apps and integrations. From the web app, click the hamburger menu in the top-right corner and select “apps & integrations.” You’ll land in Egnyte’s app store, which includes native add-ons, first-party apps and external integrations. Egnyte add-ons add new functionality to the web app, while external integrations simply connect external apps with your storage.

Enabling integrations is simple. From the app page, mouse over the app you want and click “view details.” Egnyte will direct you to a page with a little information about the integration. Click “view details” again to set it up. The process for external integrations is different for each one, but it’s usually straightforward.

egnyte integration settings
Egnyte’s add-ons bring new features directly to the web app. External integrations, on the other hand, simply connect to your storage.

Egnyte Connect Add-Ons

Egnyte add-ons are easier. When you mouse over them, you’ll see an “enable integration” button instead. Click on it, and you’ll see a list of options. By default, integrations are disabled. You can enable them for specific groups, allow users to enable the integrations if they wish or enable them across your users. 

If you just want to manage your integrations, tab over to “app control center.” Here, you can see all of the integrations enabled on your account, as well as change the settings for them.

If you have a custom app, you can add that, too. Select “create custom app” from the app center and upload a JSON file with your app. This file needs all of the necessary information to register with Egnyte, so make sure to read the documentation for custom integrations.

Final Thoughts

Egnyte Connect is a showcase cloud storage and collaboration platform for customers large and small. Whether you’re an administrator or a user trying to learn the ropes, we hope this Egnyte Connect guide has helped get your organization set up.

Do you have any more questions about Egnyte? Let us know about them and about how you’re enjoying Egnyte in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.