FilesAnywhere Review

FilesAnywhere is a solid EFSS provider that doesn't quite offer what its competitors do. While it gets its sharing and syncing right, its pricing could be a little kinder and its interface could be cleared up. Read our full FilesAnywhere review for the details.

By Branko VlajinWriter
— Last Updated: 21 Nov'18
2018-11-21T09:02:12+00:00
Table of ContentsRating
Pricing
75%
Good
User Experience
60%
Fair
User Management
87%
Very Good
Folder and File Sharing
95%
Excellent
Sync
80%
Good
Productivity Tools
70%
Decent
Security
83%
Good
Support
77%
Good
User Reviews & Comments

Good
Starts from $ 037 per month
Free plan available
Best EFSS

FilesAnywhere is a U.S.-based cloud storage service that started to operate in 1999, which makes it ancient in IT terms. The company focuses on large businesses, and like the other enterprise cloud storage services, FilesAnywhere can help you improve the collaboration of your employees and make work easier. Stick with us as we detail its capabilities in this FilesAnywhere review.

FilesAnywhere has capable sync and sharing abilities, strong security features and excellent user management. However, we found its pairing of old and new interfaces to be odd because the new interface can’t do everything the old one can. 

There aren’t many productivity tools you can use, so if that’s your main use for FilesAnywhere, you should consider our recommendation in the “productivity tools” section, below. The subscription plans have good value, but those who need more storage space will find other services more suitable. There’s also no chat or 24/7 support. 

This all makes FilesAnywhere a mixed bag, and one that can’t make our list of the best EFSS services. However, there’s more to FilesAnywhere, and if these lacks haven’t turned you off, stay with us as we explore this cloud storage service in more detail in the categories below.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Pros:

  • Great for sharing
  • Strong security
  • Capable sync
  • Excellent user management
  • File backup
  • Virtual folders

Cons:

  • Could offer more space
  • No chat or 24/7 support
  • Poor user experience
  • No large library of app integrations

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Pricing

75% - Good

We like FilesAnywhere’s prices, but the storage size leaves a bit to be desired. The plans don’t offer much storage, but that might be enough for some businesses. However, other services offer much more for a slightly higher price.

Business Starter
  • Users: 2-5 Storage: 100GB Price per user
1-year plan $ 0.37/ month
$4.49 billed every year
Professional
  • Storage: 2TB Users: 4-100 Price per user
1-year plan $ 8.99/ month
$107.88 billed every year
Save 10 %
On Premise
  • Contact FilesAnywhere

FilesAnywhere offers three plans: Business Starter, Professional, and On Premise. Business Starter requires that you have two to five users, and it’s $4.49 per user when billed annually or $4.99 per user if billed monthly.

It offers 100GB of storage, which you can increase up to 1TB. It also offers unlimited file sizes and all the standard EFSS features, including file versioning, API access, plug-ins and mobile apps. 

Business Starter is a decent plan if you have few users whom you don’t need to manage, if you don’t need a lot of storage space and if you have no need for security features, such as SSL and at-rest encryption. Business Starter doesn’t include FilesAnywhere’s desktop app, either.

Locking those staple features behind a more expensive plan is something almost no other service does. For a bit more, you can subscribe to OneDrive’s Plan One, which gets you 1TB per user for $60 per user per year, and it starts with a single user. You can read more about it in our OneDrive for Business review.

FilesAnywhere Professional

The Professional plan provides 2TB of storage, which you can increase to 5TB. The plan also requires you to have a minimum of four users and a maximum of 100. It’s $8.99 per month per user when billed annually or $9.99 per month per user if you opt to pay monthly. 

On top of providing the market-standard security features, Professional also adds the option to manage groups, assign roles, sync files using a desktop app, search full texts and more. 

This plan has more of the features that fit with the market standard, but it still starts with only 2TB of storage for what could be 100 users. If you need more than 5TB of storage, you’ll need to speak to your account representative to get a quote.

If you want that much storage but the price doesn’t suit you, Egnyte Connect’s Office plan provides 5TB for five to 25 users. It’s $8 per user per month when billed annually. You can learn more about it in our Egnyte Connect review.

Customizing FilesAnywhere

The final plan, On Premise, is customizable. FileAnywhere accepts yearly and multi-year payments, which presumably give bigger discounts. It provides unlimited storage and can support unlimited users, custom development and an on-premise cloud solution, which corresponds to what we call hybrid cloud.

Hybrid cloud enables you to keep the data separated between your on-site services and FilesAnywhere’s servers, which helps you achieve faster speeds. Having data on-site means you can tweak the security features and implement other protection measures. You will have to contact FilesAnywhere to get a price estimate for this plan, though. 

The list of features that the plans have is extensive, and we can’t cover all of them, so we invite you to check them out here.

User Experience

60% - Fair

Overall, FilesAnywhere does a decent job in the user experience department, but it can’t really compare to other solutions. The desktop client isn’t available for all plans, and the two web interfaces need more work because one is clunky and the other doesn’t have access to all of the features.

FilesAnywhere lets you access your cloud storage using desktop, web or mobile clients. The desktop clients are available for Windows and Mac, but not Linux. If you’re a Linux user, we recommend Dropbox Business. You can read more about it in our Dropbox Business review.

CloudSync, FileAnywhere’s desktop client, is available for Windows, but syncing files on a Mac is part of the “backup for mac” client. For this review, we used CloudSync for Windows. If you use a Mac, your user experience might be somewhat different.

Unlike with other services, the Windows sync client isn’t available with all of the plans; you can use it only with the Professional or Enterprise plans.

Similarly, the desktop client uses the standard model of sync — a sync folder and a system tray icon — but the icon doesn’t show your recent files and other useful information in a neat pop-up window like some other EFSS services do.

FilesAnywhere Sync Status

This system tray icon opens a window that shows your sync status and lets you access the settings. It’s clear and easy to use, but the sync status window, which lets you turn off sync, could be combined with the settings window to make it simpler. That said, we like how the sync folder enriches the files with icon badges that show their sync status.

The web client is a different beast. Depending on whether you log in as an admin or a standard user, you get access to the admin client or the user client. If you log in as a user, you can use the advanced interface or the new, streamlined interface, which provides fewer options.

The admin console feels modern and attractive. The buttons at the top let you access users, groups, divisions, reports, security settings and site configuration. Plus, you can quickly create users, groups and divisions using the buttons in the left sidebar. The right sidebar provides your account info, summary and a list of announcements.

The downsides are that the admin console is a bit slow and some of the operations need more steps than necessary. For example, when adding groups for users, you need to type the name of the group, click the search button, select it from a new view, click “save” and then add a group in the “add user” page.

The default interface for standard users looks old and unattractive, but it is functional and has many options. The top menu has tabs that you can use to navigate the client and a search bar that looks for files as you type. The search is powerful because it provides many options that you can tweak and even lets you search for text in your files.

FilesAnywhere Views

The default view of the client is “my documents,” which shows your files in a tree view, but “list,” “icon,” “bar” and “graph” views are also available. You can perform actions by right-clicking a file or folder from the view. To select multiple objects, though, you have to reload the entire view. This view also lets you upload content via drag-and-drop or through a window.

You can tweak your account from the upper-right corner or access the FilesAnywhere “light” interface.

The “light” interface is streamlined, uses plenty of negative space, has a decent color scheme, provides in-line action buttons and has the ability to select multiple files without reloading the view. However, its search feature couldn’t locate a newly uploaded file, and the used storage bar doesn’t show how much you’re currently using if you don’t manually refresh it.

In addition, performing actions on individual files and folders opens a new window near the bottom of the page. The window is clunky, and part of it is obscured by white space.

Although the web clients are usable, it would go a long way if FilesAnywhere updated its appearance and made them less clunky.

FilesAnywhere has a mobile client, but we couldn’t log in to it using our credentials, which means it’s unusable at the moment.

User Management

87% - Very Good

FileAnywhere has capable user management features which include generating reports, setting one of several permissions for users and creating groups and divisions of users. As the admin you can also clone and impersonate users, which are good options if you want to check what their up to.

You can manage users by using the admin console, which lets you create users, groups and divisions. Divisions let you separate users to prevent unauthorized sharing of data, as well as improve searching through users and their classification. 

Groups let you specify a collection of permissions and a lists of users that correspond to them. That makes it easier to assign a set of permissions to new users or to revoke that set from existing users by removing them from the group.

To do that, though, first you need to create some users. To add users, click the “add user” button and specify the necessary information. Besides the standard user info, you can specify a user’s division, manager, storage space, folder sharing permissions, group affiliation and notes about the user.

In addition, you can tweak the user’s interface, enable or disable specific third-party plugins, disable the desktop client and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). We’ll talk more about 2FA in the security section.

FilesAnywhere Permissions

When you create users, you define which shared folders they can access and with what permissions. FilesAnywhere lets you set one of six permission levels: 

  • Master access: can add, modify and delete shared data, and also share it with other users
  • Full access: can modify and delete shared data
  • Create and update: can modify or add data, but can’t delete
  • Read only: can’t modify or delete
  • Preview only: can only preview
  • Upload only: can only upload

By default, these permissions are set to never expire. However, you can specify them to do so after 24 hours or a year. 

Instead of specifying folder permissions for a user, though, you can create a group with folder permissions and assign a user to it. Plus, you can enable 2FA for the whole group and assign the group to a division. 

When creating a division, you can specify its name, code, sharing permissions and the maximum number of users that are allocated space. In addition, you can provide office contact information for the person that manages that division and define the division administrators. Combining all these features enables you to fine-tune what your users can do.

On top of this, there are options to clone a user and to impersonate them. This list of options isn’t exhaustive, but there isn’t an option to add users in bulk, such as from a CSV file. The only thing you can do to speed up adding users is to hit a button that enables you to immediately add another user after the first.

There’s also no option to add users as external collaborators, which would save you a license slot but still allow you to work with people outside of your organization.

If you want to get a general overview of the various aspects of your account, you can generate one of 20 available reports, including “folder content,” “account summary,” “user data” and “file upload” reports. You can also get a brief summary and account info from the admin dashboard.

Folder and File Sharing

95% - Excellent

FilesAnywhere has powerful sharing options, which include generating sharing links, picture links, folder sharing, virtual folder sharing. There’s also a page that details your shares so you don’t have to manually check which content you’ve shared with others. You can also generate a report detailing your shares and share data using the desktop client.

You can share files and folders using either the web or the desktop client. The web client lets you share files by right-clicking an object and selecting “share,” or by creating a share from the “share” view.

If you want to share a file, you need to generate a link. You can protect the link with a password, set it to expire after a certain period, enable or disable download, specify a download limit and get notified when the link is accessed or used for download. Plus, you can create a custom page to go with your link. You can copy and paste the link or send it via email.

Sharing Photos

There’s a special “picture link” you can create if you want to share photos from your account. In addition, you can request others to send you files, upload a file and share it in one go, send files directly to users and even fax files (for those of you who are nostalgic about the ‘90s).

If you want to share files from various folders, you can do that using virtual folders. First, you’ll need to create a virtual folder from the “tools” menu of the web client. Next, you can add subfolders and link to files in any way you wish. Once you’re finished, you can share the folder as a link, as a group share or send it as a picture link.

You can share folders, too. To do it, you need to select a user or a group you want to share with and assign a level of permission.

You can also share files and folders as links using the desktop client. After you generate a link, you can send it, email it via Microsoft Outlook or copy and paste it.

FilesAnywhere supplies pages that show your various shared links and let you generate a report that details shared folders. 

Sync

80% - Good

FilesAnywhere uses the classic model of sync to transfer your files to the cloud and your connected devices, but doesn’t achieve the best upload speeds. That said, it provides the selective sync feature and uploads after the first benefit from the block-level sync algorithm.

FilesAnywhere uses a sync folder to mirror your files to the cloud and vice versa. You can choose where you want to put your sync folder, which isn’t something that most EFSS services offer. If you need to save space, FilesAnywhere provides a selective sync option, which lets you choose what files you want to sync to your desktop.

You can also resync files and folders, if the sync folders starts giving you issues. That didn’t happen when we synced our 1GB zipped test folder, though. The upload finished in 41 minutes and 55 seconds, which is 10 minutes slower than we expected. It’s not a bad result, but it’s not great either.

That said, FilesAnywhere uses block-level sync to speed up the transfer of already uploaded files. It does that by transferring only the parts of the files that have changed, rather than the entire file. That puts it in the rare company of services that use block-level sync.

We would like to see an option to install a network drive, though, which would enable you to access files from the cloud without downloading them. 

Productivity Tools

70% - Decent

FilesAnywhere provides a backup client, which isn’t common among EFSS services. What’s common among EFSS services is integrating with many third-party apps, but FilesAnywhere doesn’t do that. However, it lets you preview your files and create custom forms using the web client.

FilesAnywhere doesn’t have a library of third-party apps like other EFSS services, which is logical, considering it doesn’t offer many app integrations. You can edit files using Office Online, but it requires a valid Office 365 subscription. However, you can use the Google Office suit and Zoho to edit documents for free.

In addition, you can use Adobe Sign, Aviary Photo Editor and Autodesk Freewheel. If you use WordPress, FilesAnywhere has a plugin that lets you create a new blog post entry with files from the cloud. You can also backup your tweets using an add-on.

FilesAnywhere also has account tools that can help you increase your productivity. These include previewing your files in various groups and converting images and documents to PDF.

If you need to quickly access specific files, you can use virtual folders to create folders that contain frequently used files.

In a similar fashion, you can automate your business processes by creating a workflow. Workflows enable you to automate repetitive tasks and the sharing of information between employees, which saves you time.

For those who need to get feedback from users, the “eforms” feature will be valuable. Eforms let you create a custom form, share it and view forms reports.

FilesAnywhere also enables you to backup your files, which is a rare feature among EFSS services. It provides a wealth of options, including creating backup profiles and using a scheduler for backup. You can backup your files using FTP, SFTP and WebDAV protocols. If you’re not familiar with them, read our separate what is FTP and what is WebDAV guides.

However, it’s not easy or straightforward to use, and if you want such a backup service, our best business backup list will give you some ideas.

FilesAnywhere has a decent set of tools, but if you require more, check out Box. For more information about its productivity suite of apps, consult our Box review

Security

83% - Good

FilesAnywhere provdies sufficient cloud security features, but there’s no option to enable private encryption or remotely wipe files from your devices. That said, strong encryption is available, as well as, features that protect your login credentials. On top of that, FileAnywhere’s data centers don’t skimp on security measures and comply with all the necessary protocols.

FilesAnywhere protects your files in transit using 2048-bit SSL/SHA-2 encryption. Once your files reach a FilesAnywhere server, they are secured using AES 256-bit encryption. If you use the CoolBackup feature, it will also locally encrypt your files using AES 256-bit. 

FilesAnywhere doesn’t provide private encryption, which would make it so that only you could read your files. Still, that’s the trend with EFSS services.

However, FilesAnywhere restricts access to your files to only a select number of technicians. The technicians are not permitted to access users’ documents unless required by law. Plus, they are bound by confidentiality agreements to respect your privacy.

Besides encrypting files, you need to secure your credentials by making sure your users don’t create weak passwords, but instead strong ones. You can do that by defining the minimum password strength and length from the admin console.

In addition, you can restrict whether passwords can be reused, set a limit of logins per day, restrict logging in from specific IP addresses and define the minimum and maximum age of the password. You can also instruct FilesAnywhere to automatically log users out to protect your account from any third-party tampering.

Plus, you can turn on 2FA, which requires users to enter an additional code when logging in from an unfamiliar device. Subscribers to the Professional and On Premise plans also get access to single sign-on, which lets you sign in to multiple systems with the same credentials.

Data Center Security

Once your files land in FileAnywhere’s data center, a wealth of features will protect them. First off, the data center is SOC-2 verified and McAfee Secure tested. The data center facility also provides fire suppression, power redundancy, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. 

In addition, there’s 24/7 surveillance and a dedicated infrastructure team that works on site to ensure any incidents or upgrades are performed as quickly as possible. However, if a failure happens, FilesAnywhere relies on N+2 redundancy to prevent single-point failures from affecting the rest of the data center. 

FilesAnywhere also uses automatic backup, daily snapshots of user accounts and data restore to make sure you don’t lose your information. On top of that, redundant backbone connections enable you to enjoy the highest levels of connectivity, regardless of any possible network issues. 

The data center also complies with ISO 27001, HIPAA, SSAE16, FINRA and others protocols. Overall, these features make for strong data center security.

However, there’s no way to remotely wipe the data from your computers; you can do it only for mobile devices. Still, it’s useful if any of your employees lose their phone or someone steals it.

Support

77% - Good

If you don’t know how to do something using FilesAnywhere or if you encounter a problem, the fastest solution is to open the support center. You can do that using the menus in the top-right corner of the admin and user consoles.

The center is divided into categories to make it easier to browse for the answer you need, but you can also use the search bar to find it faster. There aren’t many articles, and what’s available is terse, so it’s a good bet you’re going to contact support for help.

You can contact the support team via email or telephone during the working hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. Enterprise users enjoy 24/7 support in case of emergencies. We sent several emails, and a couple received prompt responses. There’s no chat support, though, and its addition would be useful for users who prefer to type.

Also, there are no community forums, which would enable you to get a possible solution from multiple users.

The Verdict

If you can look past its drawbacks, FilesAnywhere is a capable service. It has strong security, reliable sync, great sharing options, a decent set of productivity tools and excellent user management options.

However, those who want the most bang for their buck should look elsewhere. That goes for user experience, too. Round-the-clock support isn’t available, and a large library of integrations is also missing.

What do you think about FilesAnywhere? Is it a good candidate for your business? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

FilesAnywhere Review

A bit too pricey, but otherwise solid provider.

FilesAnywhere is a solid EFSS provider that doesn't quite offer what its better predecessors do. While it gets its sharing and syncing right, its pricing could be a little kinder and its interface could be cleared up. Read our full FilesAnywhere review for the details.
Starts from$ 037per month
Visit FilesAnywhere
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