Egnyte Connect Review
Cloudwards.net's favorite EFSS provider, Egnyte Connect offers speed, ease of use, security and a decent pricing scheme, making it perfect for almost every small business. Check out our full Egnyte review for all the details.
Free plan available
If you’re running an enterprise-level business, finding the best EFSS service is a necessary step on the road to success. That’s because cloud storage services can improve the collaboration of your employees, which makes work easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
It’s common for OneDrive for Business and Dropbox Business to be among the first services people think of when considering cloud storage services that fit their business needs. However, there’s plenty of reasons to consider Egnyte Connect as a tool to improve the collaboration and productivity of your company. In fact, it’s our overall best enterprise service.
Egnyte Connect managed to rise to the top in our best EFSS roundup thanks to its powerful sync and sharing features, a vast library of productivity app integrations, a strong approach to security and its easy-to-use web, desktop and mobile clients.
Its support lacks online chat, though, and you need to pay extra for advanced support, but those aren’t major misses. Custom role creation is also hidden behind a more expensive plan. Egnyte, like most of the best EFSS services, doesn’t provide block-level file copying.
We’re going to talk more about these features and others in more detail in the categories below.
- Secure file sharing
- Affordable pricing
- Enjoyable user experience
- Office Online & Google Docs integration
- Large third-party app library
- Network drive option
- End-to-end encryption
- No Linux support
- No block-level sync
- Custom role restricted to the “enterprise” plan
- Need to pay extra for premium support
- Citrix ShareFile
- Shared Folders
- Google Docs Integration
- Visit Citrix ShareFileCitrix ShareFile Review
- Dropbox Business
- Shared Folders
- Google Docs Integration
- Visit Dropbox BusinessDropbox Business Review
Egnyte, like the rest of the EFSS field, has plans that are suitable for small and large businesses with multiple users, but it also has a plan that accommodates just a few users. Because of that, the “team” plan is suitable for home use, too, provided you don’t mind extra features instead of more basic ones. That, and the slightly less value you get.
It provides 1TB of storage for $10 per month per user. If you go with services such as Sync.com or pCloud, which are geared toward home use, you could get 2TB for less than $10 per month if you pay for the whole year in advance. For more details about those services, read our separate Sync.com review and pCloud review.
However, the “team” plan provides many features in addition to its 1TB of storage. Those include web editing, generating upload links, Microsoft Outlook and Office integrations and many other third-party integrations.
Plus, Egnyte Connect still provides its original business plan lineup. For that, you need to purchase at least five license subscriptions, but it provides overall excellent value compared to most of the EFSS field.
The “office” plan provides 5TB, which is more than just about any other service in that price range. Thanks to that, we placed Egnyte Connect in second place for best overall value among EFSS tools that we’ve looked at, behind only OneDrive. If you want to compare their prices, read our OneDrive for Business review.
The “business” plan raises the storage capacity to 10TB of space, but it also adds some extra capabilities, such as report auditing, advanced authentication and role-based customization, as well as the ability to sync your local storage devices, such as NAS, to the cloud. If you’re not familiar with NAS, read our what is NAS explanation.
The “business” plan also provides hybrid cloud storage in case you want to store some content in the cloud and some on a local server. However, for this review, we’ll be sticking to the platform’s cloud capabilities.
There’s also an “enterprise” plan for businesses with more than 100 employees, which gets you premium support, AD/LDAP integration, single sign-on (SSO), role-based administration and Egnyte key management. However, you have to contact Egnyte to get a price estimate.
Egnyte Connect Overview
Egnyte enables you to upload and access content using a desktop, browser and mobile client. Desktop clients are available for Windows and Mac, but not Linux. If you need cloud storage that plays well with the Penguin, consult our best cloud storage service for Linux roundup for ideas. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS.
When you install Egnyte’s desktop client, it creates a sync folder in your file system. The sync folder model, which was created by Dropbox, enables you to replicate content both between your hard drive and the cloud. We’ll talk more about Egnyte’s sync capabilities in the “sync” section.
Egnyte Connect differs from most EFSS platforms because it uses a different desktop client called Egnyte Drive, which is basically a network drive that lets you access cloud data from the comfort of your file system. However, it doesn’t actually store content on your hard drive. Instead, it shows up as a separate drive on your computer.
If you only use this feature to access files, rather than tagging files for offline access, you will enjoy a bit more security because it decreases the likelihood of someone accessing valuable content on a stolen computer. You can also route data through a proxy server, which adds another layer of privacy protection.
Egnyte on Desktop
The desktop client is clear and streamlined. Like with other cloud storage clients on the market, you use a system tray icon to open it. Once you do, you can access and search your most recent files. Plus, you can enter settings, which let you manage your drives, tweak the preferences, access help and review folders selected for offline access.
We would prefer to have a button that launches the web client, but this way, you will have to navigate your browser to Egnyte’s site and manually log in to the client. That said, the web client has a clear arrangement. The left sidebar contains a folder hierarchy, which lets you access all your folders. You can also access your trash and recent files.
The menu in the top-right corner lets you navigate between tasks, the links you’ve shared and received, apps and integrations, or files, which is the default view. Plus, you can see your reports, manage settings and access help. If you can’t find your files, you can use the search bar below this menu to quickly find them.
We like that you only need to click a file or folder to have an action menu appear. Plus, a sidebar on the right shows the activity in the current folder. Overall, the web experience is great.
Egnyte Mobile App
The mobile app lets you preview your files and folders, upload new content and share it. You can also quickly access your bookmarked folders, generate reports and read notifications. The only minor fault we could find is that it doesn’t show a prominent upload button in the “all files” view. Rather, you have to enter your shared or home folder to create content.
That’s understandable, though, as you can’t upload content directly to the “all files” folder. Besides uploading, you can scan a document and upload it directly. That goes for photos, videos and audio files. You can also create a text file and upload it.
The mobile app also lets you open and edit any content you have stored in the Egnyte cloud. File previews don’t require third-party tools because Egnyte has a built-in PDF previewer. That means you can still view Office documents on your phone without having to pay for Office 365. That said, if you want to edit files, you’ll need a secondary app installed on your phone.
If you want to enhance the security of your mobile device, you can turn on a passcode lock and, surprisingly, encrypt your local files. We’ll talk more about the security features in the corresponding category below. Overall, the mobile app provides an enjoyable experience.
To add and manage users with Egnyte, you need to navigate to the “settings” page from the top-right burger menu. Then click on the “user & group” tab. There, you’ll find the “user” and “group” tabs, which help you accomplish those tasks.
You can add three types of users: administrator, power and standard. Admins have access to all the basic features needed to manage the cloud storage space, including adding new users.
Power users have a limited set of features compared to administrators, and you can also configure which of those features they can access.
That includes the ability to use sync on desktop, download the desktop client, view users and groups, invite standard users, and receive folder notifications and the Egnyte newsletter. They can also keep a private folder for their personal files.
Standard users can only access content through the web client, and you can enable them to receive notifications and the Egnyte newsletter.
Egnyte also gives you the ability to create custom roles, which you can assign to power users, but you’ll need to upgrade to the “enterprise” plan to be able to use it. If this feature is important to you, but you don’t need an enterprise plan, Citrix ShareFile or Box might be better bets. For more information on them, read our separate Citrix ShareFile review and Box review.
The “groups tab” enables you to create and add users to groups and set up group owners. You can also invite new users to the group by adding their email.
Plus, Egnyte provides advanced reporting features, which let you monitor storage, users, connected devices and link shares, among other things. Although they’re useful, their designs feel outdated, which is in stark contrast to the rest of Egnyte’s web client.
Folder and file sharing features are one of the most important aspects of an EFSS service. That said, some have integrated these features better than others. Egnyte Connect falls in the “better” category, and we’ve even ranked it as our top EFSS tool for file sharing.
To manage folder sharing, you can hover over any folder, except for private ones, and click the “share” button that’s associated with it. Next, you can invite individual users or entire groups and give them one of four different types of access, which include the following permissions:
- Owner: full permission and edit capability
- Full: download, edit, upload and delete
- Editor: download, edit and upload
- Viewer: preview and download
You can also invite others to view and download your folders by generating share links. This link can be copied and pasted to an app, such as Slack or Skype, or you can email it to recipients. A sharing link gives you an option to specify who has access to it. You can set that to “anyone,” “anyone with a password,” your file server users or the users you email the link.
Plus, you can attach the folder name to the link, set the link to expire on a specific date or after a number of clicks, and get a notification when it’s clicked.
We also like that Egnyte includes a page that shows the links you’ve shared and the links other users have shared with you.
Too many cloud storage tools overlook this, which makes it all too easy to lose sight of shared content and puts your intellectual property and confidential reports at risk. You can also generate a link report, which you can export as a CSV file.
Like we mentioned earlier, Egnyte Connect doesn’t have a standard sync folder. Instead, it uses a network drive, which lets you access your content without downloading it to your computer. However, if you tag folders for offline use, the files in them will be downloaded.
On the other hand, if you drag and drop content into the drive, it will be synced to the cloud. Keep in mind that, by default, anything you place in the drive will be stored both on your hard drive and in the cloud. That can make you quickly run out of hard drive space, so you can make use of Egnyte ’s selective sync feature to disable hard drive storage for any folder or file.
The initial sync of our 1GB zipped test folder took exactly the time we expected it to take. However, you can’t expect faster speeds when collaborating on already stored files.
That’s because Egnyte doesn’t use a block-level sync algorithm, which transfers only the parts of files that changed, rather than the entire file. Block-level sync can speed up the file transfers, which results in near real-time collaborations. If you want that, Dropbox is your best bet, and you can read more about it in our Dropbox Business review.
Egnyte provides users with native task-management capabilities to oversee collaboration. Other EFSS tools, including Box and Dropbox, integrate with task management apps, such as Trello, but few offer native capabilities. That’s great for business owners looking to save on subscription costs for third-party tools. Note that Egnyte provides Trello, too.
You can create and assign tasks by right-clicking a file and selecting “tasks.” You can set its name, assignee and due date.
Egnyte also provides a “my tasks” page, which lets you manage created tasks. You can edit, delete or mark them as complete. To make it easier to find tasks, the page shows separate lists for the ones assigned to you and assigned by you.
In addition to its built-in task-management feature, Egnyte has many apps you can integrate with to drive work productivity. Egnyte differentiates between “Egnyte add-ons,” which you access from the Egnyte web client, and “external integrations,” which you access outside the client.
Add-ons let you connect to Slack, DocuSign, Microsoft Office Online, Google Drive and G Suite. Very few cloud storage providers integrate with both Microsoft and Google, with Box being another one of the few. If you’re already subscribed to Office 365, there’s an integration for that, too, though you have to speak to an Egnyte representative to enable it.
External integration includes Egnyte for Gmail, SAP, Salesforce, Zoho, AWS Single Sign-On and more. In fact, Egnyte has a large number of other apps you can pick from, many of which are free. The app library lets you search for integrations by name or filter them by category and industry.
Categories include collaboration, analytics, sales, business automation, project management and more. How well an EFSS service integrates with add-ons often helps separate it from the rest in the field. In that regard, Egnyte stands as one of the best. There are also several security integrations we’ll mention in the following section.
Strong cloud security is a requirement in an era when cybercrime is commonplace. For example, man-in-the-middle attacks might intercept your data on its way from your computer to a server. You also might become a victim of ransomware, which requires you to pay a sum to get your file access back.
The key methods that protect your content from such activity are encryption and data center security. Egnyte’s data centers employ 24-hour surveillance, biometric access controls and N+1 redundancy, and they can resist natural disasters, including earthquakes and fires. The facilities are also Tier 3 and SSAE-16 Type II compliant.
The TLS protocol protects your data in transit between your devices and the Egnyte servers. You can also enable FTP and restrict it to its secure version, SFTP. If you’re not familiar with these protocols, read our what is FTP explanation. Your data is also protected using AES 256-bit encryption.
When your data arrives at a data center, most EFSS services decrypt it to pull file metadata for indexing before reencrypting it. Egnyte doesn’t, which means it’s an end-to-end encryption solution.
Egnyte Private Encryption
However, note that the service stores and manages your key by default. If you’d like to have zero-knowledge encryption, you’ll have to enable Egnyte Key Management. To do that, you will have to subscribe to Egnyte’s “enterprise” plan. The good news, though, is that Egnyte integrates with Boxcryptor so you can have private encryption regardless of the type of plan.
Boxcryptor allows you to manage your key and encrypt your content before you send it. However, if you do it that way, Boxcryptor’s encryption will interfere with Egnyte’s block-level sync algorithms because they need to be able to read your files.
However, even good encryption doesn’t help prevent attempts to steal your login credentials, and hackers can do that in a reasonable amount of time. To prevent that, you should create a strong password.
Egnyte also protects you against weak passwords by letting you mandate minimum strength requirements and length for passwords, as well as require users to reset their passwords every so often. Plus, you can prevent users from resetting passwords to previously used ones and suspend user accounts after several failed login attempts.
In addition, Egnyte also enables you to set up two-factor authentication. If enabled, users will have to enter a security code in addition to their normal credentials when logging in from an unfamiliar device. That way, if someone steals a password, they won’t be able to log in.
If you subscribe to the “enterprise” plan, you can also integrate Egnyte with a single sign-on service so you can better manage users’ passwords and let them log in to multiple business platforms using the same credentials. Options include AWS SSO, OneLogin, Bitium, Okta and Ping Identity.
Last, Egnyte lets you cut off users’ devices from sync. That way, if you lose a device or someone steals it, you can make sure whoever has it can’t access your cloud content.
Even though Egnyte has strong data center security, you might not be entirely comfortable storing your most critical business information in the cloud. In that case, Egnyte lets you build and use your own hybrid cloud solution.
Hybrid cloud storage services let you keep data in the cloud and on personal servers. By keeping some content on personal servers, you can be certain that you have all the custom security measures in place.
Egnyte provides tiered levels of support. All tiers provide 24/7 support, in one form or another, for all customers. However, what kind of support you get depends on your plan. You’ll also have to dish out more for the best available support.
|Standard||Office||Online case submission, knowledgebase, forum|
|Premium||Business, Enterprise||Online case submission and telephone support, knowledgebase, forum, quick-start user and admin guides|
|Platinum||Enterprise||Priority case submission and telephone support, knowledgebase, forum, quick-start user and admin guides|
The articles in the knowledgebase are straightforward and have screenshots that make it easier to follow the solution’s steps. The knowledgebase is divided into categories to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. However, if you have trouble finding an answer, you can use the search bar function to quickly locate it.
If the knowledgebase doesn’t help, you can post your question in the community forums. They’re active with admins, community managers and even retired employees answering questions.
You can also contact support for more direct assistance. We sent an email request with a basic question and got a response in a little more than an hour. The only issue we have with Egnyte’s support is the lack of an online chat feature. That said, most other cloud storage services, including Dropbox, don’t offer chat support either.
Egnyte Connect is a capable service that gives you powerful sync and share capabilities. Those include sync features, such as block-level file transfers and selective sync. On the sharing side of the equation, Egnyte enables you to share folders with permissions in place and generate links with adequate levels of protection.
In addition, Egnyte has native tasks features and a rich library of add-ons and external integrations. To make it even better, Egnyte has a great value, thanks to its competitive pricing plans.
We also like that Egnyte has strong security, which includes end-to-end encryption, custom password requirements, two-factor authentication, device pinning and SSO integration. Egnyte also integrates with Boxcryptor to provide private encryption.
Thanks to all of this, Egnyte is the overall winner of our rankings for the best EFSS services. That said, we also like to hear different opinions. Let us know all about your experience or thoughts on Egnyte in the comments below. Thank you for reading.