If you’ve read our separate Egnyte Connect review and Box review but still can’t decide which service works best for you, we’re here to help. Choosing between the two isn’t clear cut because both are on our list of the best EFSS providers. To help you make up your mind, we’re going to pit Egnyte vs. Box and see which one comes out on top.
Egnyte Connect is a capable service that provides plans with great value, strong security, rich sync and share options, and an intuitive user experience. Although Box has more expensive plans, it also provides more user management options. Plus, you can’t easily dismiss its sync and sharing features, nor its excellent security.
Although these EFSS services can perform somewhat different functions for different business users, they focus on similar factors including file sync and share, security, user management, productivity apps and storage cost. We’re going to compare both services in these categories, with the exception of productivity apps because those are equally matched.
At the end of each round, we’ll declare a winner, and we’re going to announce the overall champion at the end of the article. We’re going to start the battle with a comparison of how much storage the services provide and at what price.
It’s best if you get a lot of storage for your money. The more you get, the better the value of the subscription plan. It’s also important to have multiple plans that you can choose from because it enables you to find a plan that suits your needs. For that reason, it’s best if the service offers a free plan or a trial, which enables you to test the service.
Before deciding on a plan, though, it’s important to know which features and what type of support you need, as not all plans offer the same set.
If you have only a few users, Egnyte Connect’s “team” plan will do the job. It’s $10 per month per user and provides you with 1TB of storage. You can have from one to three users, which makes it a viable solution for a single user, too.
For those who need more than three users, the “office” plan will suffice. It can accommodate from five to 25 users and provides 5TB of online storage for $8 per month per user. If you need between 25 and 100 users, the “business” plan is your best bet. It gets you 10TB for $20 per month per user.
Business owners who have more than 100 users will have to subscribe to the “enterprise” plan, which requires you to get a price estimate from Egnyte. The “enterprise” plan provides storage that scales with your needs. If you want to know more about that plan’s features, consult Egnyte’s pricing page.
Box has a similar pricing structure, but it also includes a couple of personal plans. If you’re not a business, you can subscribe to either the “individual” or “personal pro” plan. The “individual” plan is free and gets you 10GB, while “personal pro” provides 100GB for $10 per month.
The first business plan is “starter,” which requires a minimum of three users and can support a maximum of 10 users. It gets you just 100GB of storage space at a price of $5 per month per user.
However, the next plan, “business,” provides unlimited storage for $15 per month per user. It requires a minimum of five users but doesn’t have an upper limit.
The “business plus” plan gets you the same amount of storage space and number of users, but it provides more features. You can see which features it adds on Box’s pricing page. The plan will set you back $25 per month per user.
For advanced content management and security features, you can subscribe to the “enterprise” plan but, like with Egnyte, you need to get a quote for it.
Round One Thoughts
If you need unlimited storage space or some specific Box feature, Box is the better choice here.
However, it’s plain that Egnyte Connect is a better deal for small businesses that don’t need unlimited storage. Even if you’re a bigger business, you might not need so much space, and Egnyte will get the job done. Therefore, the winner of this round is Egnyte Connect.
Sync is the key feature of any EFSS service because it enables you to replicate files to the cloud and to all your devices while collaborating with teammates in almost real time.
How well it syncs depends on a number of factors, including your distance to a server and the use of a block-level sync algorithm, which speeds up the transfer of already-uploaded files by transferring only the parts of files that have changed, rather than the entire file.
However, neither Egnyte Connect nor Box use a block-level sync algorithm. That’s not so strange, though, because most EFSS services don’t provide it. If you think it’s necessary, though, give Dropbox Business a try. You can read more about it in our Dropbox Business review.
That said, Egnyte Connect uploaded our zipped test folder in exactly the time we expected, given our connection bandwidth.
Egnyte Connect doesn’t use a standard sync folder approach. Rather, it uses a network drive, which lets you preview your files without downloading them, which saves you space. That said, if you need to store files for offline use, you can tag them for that purpose.
When you place files in the network drive, though, they will be stored on your hard drive and the cloud. If you want to store files only in the cloud, you can use selective sync to disable storing on the hard drive.
Box’s sync works using the standard model, which in this case means the opposite of Egnyte. By default, Box will sync files from the cloud to your computer. Plus, all the files you place in the sync folder will be replicated into the cloud but also remain in your hard drive.
You can make your files remain only in the cloud by using the “unsync” option from the web client. Box lets you do the same from the desktop client, but note that your files won’t be available offline.
We tested Box’s transfer speeds using the same method as Egnyte, and the results were comparable.
Round Two Thoughts
Both services have fast speeds and a similar approach to syncing. However, we prefer Egnyte’s approach better because, by default, it helps you preserve hard disk space. That’s even more important if you use ultra-slim laptops with SSDs, which are popular with business users.
Using sync is fine, but to collaborate with others you need to share your files. It’s best if sharing is easy, fast and capable of going directly to individual users and groups. Strong content control options should be available to protect your shares from unwanted access. Such controls can include password protection, expiry dates and permissions.
To share files and folders using Egnyte Connect, you can generate links. After you do, you can define who has access to them. That can be “anyone,” “anyone with a password,” only your users or those you email the link to. Plus, you can password protect the link, set it to expire after a number of downloads or on a specific date. You can also disable downloads altogether.
Another interesting option is the ability to generate an upload link, which others can use to share content with you.
You don’t have to share a folder only as link, rather, you can invite individual users or groups to join the folder and assign them permissions. That can be “owner,” “full,” “editor” and “viewer.” Once you share using either method, you can see on a separate page the links you’ve shared and links others have shared with you.
Box also lets users share by generating a link for files and folders or by inviting users to join folders. Regardless of the method, you can give invited users “editor” or “view” permissions. “Editors” can preview, edit, upload, share and download content, while “viewers” can only share and download.
You can also make the link public, visible only to people from your organization or accessible only to the users you invite. No matter who has access, you can set the link to allow only “viewing” or “viewing and downloading.”
Plus, you can secure the link with a password, set an expiry date and disable download. You can also use the “file request” feature to let others upload content to your cloud storage space.
When sharing folders, you can also give users one of seven different levels of permissions: co-owner, editor, viewer uploader, previewer uploader, viewer, previewer or uploader.
Round Three Thoughts
Both services have strong sharing capabilities, so we have to split hairs to decide who’s the winner. Box has more permission levels, which enables you to finely tune access, but it’s not obvious that everyone needs such a fine level of control.
Plus, Egnyte’s links can expire after a number of downloads, and Egnyte supplies a page that shows an audit of your shares. That’s where we split the difference, so Egnyte Connect wins this round.
Moving your business data to the cloud is no picnic because perpetrators of cybercrime would like nothing else than to gain access to it. Because of that, it’s paramount to have strong cloud security. That consists of encryption, in-transit protection, features that combat ransomware, two-factor authentication and more.
Encryption scrambles your data so that nobody but you can read it. Well, nobody who doesn’t have your encryption key, at least. Because of that, it’s best if services provide private encryption. Plus, they should have the TLS/SSL protocol to protect your files in transit.
It’s best if services provide two-factor authentication, which gives another layer of protection for user credentials. When enabled, two-factor authentication requires users to provide a code when logging in from an unfamiliar device. As you can see, this isn’t a category you can disregard, so let’s see how Egnyte and Box compare.
Egnyte uses AES 256-bit to encrypt your files before they leave your computer. In transit, the TLS protocol protects your files with the same level of encryption. Once your files are on its servers, your data remains in its encrypted form. That said, Egnyte manages your key by default, which means your encryption isn’t private.
However, you can use Egnyte Key Management to specify an external master key with your password that encrypts Egnyte’s encryption key. If you don’t want to use Egnyte Key Management, you can use Boxcryptor, a private encryption add-on.
Egnyte uses two-factor authentication so you don’t have to worry about unauthorized logins. As the admin, you can also specify custom password requirements, session timeout, password reuse prevention, password rotation time and more.
You can also use single sign-on (SSO) services, such as OneLogin, Bitium and Okta to further secure and simplify the login process.
Egnyte also gives you the option to perform remote device wipe, which deletes synced files and cuts off access to the cloud content.
Egnyte’s hardened data centers use biometric access controls, 24-hours surveillance and redundancy, and they can resist natural disasters such as floods and fires. The facilities are also compliant with SOC 2, ISO 270001 and SSAE 16 Type II standards.
However, if you don’t want to keep your data in Egnyte’s data centers, you can use your own hybrid cloud solution, which means you can keep some data in Egnyte’s cloud and some on personal servers. This enables you to implement the specific security features you need.
Like Egnyte, Box uses 256-bit AES to encrypt your files before they leave your device. The TLS protocol will protect them in transit. However, Box stores and manages your key. If you want to do it yourself, you can use Box KeySafe or encrypt your files using Boxcryptor.
Box helps protect your credentials by providing two-factor authentication. It also enables you to use SSO services, such as Bitium, Okta and OneLogin. You can also specify how strong users’ passwords should be, session durations, password reuse restrictions, password-changing schedules and more.
Box provides device pinning, which enables you to specify how many devices each user can connect to the cloud. In addition, this lets you check devices in use by your users and cut their access to the cloud. However, files that are already synced will stay on the devices. You can add remote wipe to your account, but you will have to contact Box.
Box has an interesting feature, though, called “box shield,” which lets you tag content as “confidential” and helps you control it. For example, you can detect suspicious behavior and prevent that content from being shared.
Box keeps your data in hardened data centers, which adhere to ISO 27001, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, SSAE 18 and other standards. Plus, they employ constant monitoring, video surveillance, redundancy and N+2 fault tolerance.
Round Four Thoughts
Both services provide excellent security. The difference is that Egnyte provides hybrid cloud, which enables you to implement your own security protocols and native remote-wipe capability. Box, on the other hand, requires you to add remote wipe from a third-party vendor, but it provides Box shield.
That gives Egnyte just a bit more of an edge, so it’s the winner in this category. However, if you need Box’s specific features, it’s a great choice, too.
User management lets you stay on top of everything that your users do and configure their permissions and groups as you see fit. This ensures that users and groups can access and manage only the content that they need to. Because of that, the chances are low of unauthorized access or any kind of mishaps.
Egnyte lets you define users as administrators, power users and standard users. They each have various levels of permissions. Administrators have access to everything, including adding users, while power users have access to standard features, can invite users, manage groups and more. Standard users can only use the web client and receive notifications.
If you need more, Egnyte gives you the option to create custom roles for power users. To make it easier to manage users, you can create groups and invite users to join.
Egnyte also enables you to generate reports, which can provide data on used storage, connected devices, users and more. The reports are useful but look outdated.
When you add new users, Box lets you define how much storage each user can use and give them one of several permissions. In addition, you can define which folders the user can access and set one of seven different permission levels.
After you add a user, you can include them into a group. Box enables you to give different permissions to different groups, which makes managing multiple users easier. You can also set who can manage the group. That can be the admin, members of the group or the entire company. Members of the group can have either “admin” or “member” permissions.
If you don’t want to invite someone as a user but need that person to have access to your content, you can make them an external collaborator, which has access to Box features you have available.
Round Four Thoughts
Although Egnyte has decent user and group management capabilities, Box has more options that give you a greater degree of customization. Thanks to that, Box wins this round.
Both Box and Egnyte are among our best EFSS providers, and it’s no wonder that the battle was quite close in the sync, share and security rounds. In the end, Egnyte has four wins, while Box has one. That makes Egnyte Connect our overall winner.
However, it was a close call, and depending on your use case, Box might be a better choice. Box also won in the user management category, so it’s a better option if you need fine-grained control over your users. On the other hand, Egnyte has lower prices that are better suited for small businesses.
What do you think about this comparison? Which side do you lean toward? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.