Find the Best Virtual Data Room for Your Deals

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Top Data Room Providers Review for October 2022
5.0
Business size
  • small
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
yes
Platform
IOS
Android
Windows
Mac OS
Linux
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
Business size
  • small
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
yes
Platform
IOS
Android
Windows
Mac OS
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
4.8
Business size
  • small
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
yes
Platform
IOS
Android
Windows
Mac OS
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Online chat
Business size
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
no
Platform
IOS
Android
Windows
Linux
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
Business size
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
yes
Platform
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
Business size
  • small
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
yes
Platform
IOS
Android
Windows
Mac OS
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
4.4
Business size
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
no
Platform
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
4.4
Business size
  • small
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
yes
Platform
Windows
Mac OS
Linux
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat
Business size
  • small
  • middle
  • big
Free Trial
no
Platform
Support
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Phone Support
  • Online chat

How to set up a data room

Now that you have the data room provider situation sorted out and know what virtual data rooms provide, it’s time to learn how to set up a data room. Below are nine simple steps and tips for the seamless software launch with no efforts:

Step 1: Define your purpose

An effective experience commonly starts with thorough planning. Establish the purpose of the virtual data room from the perspective of your industry specifics and the project you run. Pay extra attention to the different stages of your task, solutions they need, and the parties who will require access to the data room platform.

Pro tip: ask your data room provider to share its experience in working on a similar project before. After all, this way you can understand whether particular platforms are suitable for your agile company. Utilizing a template can be a great asset to a successful VDR setup.

Step 2: Engage in data room training

Once you know who will be accessing the data room you are building, ensure they get trained on how to use the VDR software. Consider different levels of experience with technology and take advantage of the data room’s support team that should always be on hand. The best data room providers can facilitate training, simplifying the software integration. Still, support should be equally good regardless of your location, project, company size, and the number of professionals involved.

Pro tip: a conference call is one of the best solutions to educate all users.

Step 3: Prepare the documents

Depending on what you are planning to use the data room for, you will be dealing with a specific range of documentation. Note how many documents you need to gather and upload and choose the most suitable formats. By the way, some virtual data room services support videos, images, and other media files, which can determine the choice of businesses for real estate management. In case you are dealing with physical paperwork, put extra effort into labeling the actual documents and their scans for easy access.

Pro tip: create or download a data room checklist to simplify document preparation. A typical list might feature the following:

  • A database of all current employees with titles and salaries
  • Partnership agreements
  • All legal disputes information
  • Previous meetings’ minutes
  • Past and current intern, contractor, and consultant contracts
  • Intellectual property rights

Step 4: Outline the VDR’s internal structure

The next step on how to set up a data room is mapping out the sections and folders within it. Come up with the most logical and easy-to-comprehend organizational model for your case. Color-code and compartmentalize as much as possible. Some virtual data room providers may help you with it.

Pro tip: Picture a physical storage facility to plan the data room software outline in the most straightforward way.

Step 5: Upload the files

Fill the pre-designed folder structure with the required documents and files. Pay special attention to naming and indexing the items.

Pro tip: the best data room features for effortless and fast file upload are Drag&Drop and Bulk Uploading

Step 6: Establish appropriate access permissions

Granting and restricting access are the key elements on how to set up an electronic data room in the most secure way. Make sure that you establish a permission system that is both convenient and safe. Use VDR tools like IP restriction and time limits to further enhance the data security for documents transmitted.

Pro tip: implement a level-bbuild and implement a level-based access hierarchy to easily manage and control permissions for roles and entire corporate groups.

Step 7: Sign the NDAs

Protect sensitive information within your data room platform by requesting all participants to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Same as with the access permission, you can connect the non-disclosure rules to separate confidential documents and full sections of the data room.

Pro tip: use dynamic NDAs for the corporate documents that will constantly update. This way, the viewers will sign the agreement each time they access a newer version.

Step 8: Double-check the settings

Taking a step back and evaluating the whole picture is a crucial stage on how to set up a secure data room. Make sure all settings match your project’s specifics and business requirements by checking the access permissions for each member, browser and device compatibility, and established security protocols to avoid any kind of risk.

Pro tip: use the View As option to ensure you’ve set up the data room in tuse the View As option to ensure you’ve set up each user role in your data room in the most optimal way for everyone.

Step 9: Invite other users and begin managing the project

Finally, share the invitations with all the users and start using the data room you created. Provided you followed all the suggestions, this technology implementation process should be simple.

Pro tip: ensure you have an appropriate amount of administrators for your company’s size and the particular project.

How to choose the best data room provider

Choosing the best data room service providers is the most challenging part of setting up a virtual data room. To help customers navigate through the current offer of the best data rooms, we listed down the scope of their typical features.

Standard virtual data room providers features

These are the features found in almost all online data room providers on the market.

archieving feature of data rooms
Archiving

Every online data room provider will allow you to quickly access all past records. This comes in handy for referencing previous corporate deals, accessing historical data, and optimizing governance.

activity tracking feature of data rooms
Activity tracking

Virtual data rooms offer activity reports that will tell you who accessed each file, when the file was accessed, and for how long the file was accessed, helping you to oversee and closely monitor both activity and contents security online. Managers can see reports in a convenient viewer, share with colleagues, and print them.

watermarking feature of data rooms
Watermarking

Adding watermarks to documents is an excellent VDR vendors’ approach to limiting unwanted duplication and sensitive data sharing. Dynamic watermarking, making it impossible to distribute the file without appropriate crediting.

permission cusromization feature of data rooms
Permission customization

Clear and intuitive access hierarchy setup is another universal feature virtual data room providers offer their corporate customers. Admins can establish permissions for standalone documents and entire segments of the data room platform.

branding feature of virtual data rooms
Branding

The common business solution of the top VDR providers for customizing an electronic data room would be adding a logo and brand colors.

analytica and reporting feature of data rooms
Analytics and reporting

Interactive analytics, dynamic infographics, and up-to-date reporting are key to keeping your eye on the deal’s progress speed and privacy right on the platform online.

Best data room software features

Keep these in mind when trying to figure out how to choose the best data room provider for corporate needs of your organization.

  • API integration. Re-arranging the interface to your company’s specific needs and preferences is an option featured on some of the best virtual data rooms.
  • Bulk uploads and downloads. Adding and retracting documents in bulk can save large amounts of time and make your VDR experience a lot more effective.
  • Interactive tools.  Features such as polls, live chats, and Q&A can organize, significantly streamline, and improve any data room process and the ways teams communicate.
  • Specialized interfaces. Interface templates for specific projects.

5 key aspects of virtual data room selection

Once have conducted a detailed research on the best virtual data rooms for your needs during complex deals, the next step is evaluating VDR functions through the following criteria::

1. Security

  • Look for: a “fence-view” feature to avoid unwanted glances, multiple-step verification, IP-restricted user access, page-by-page audit log,, ISO27001, SOC2, and HIPAA compliances.
  • Ask: Where are the data centers located? Is there an option for physical storage among data room services?

2. Convenience

  • Look for: versatile deployment solutions, Drag&Drop file upload, intuitive interface, and broad file format support.
  • Ask: How long will it take to set up the virtual data rooms? Does the online data room provider operate via plug-ins? What is the rate of the VDR’s uptime?

3. Support

  • Look for: 24/7/365 availability, free access to VDR knowledge base, multiple languages, single-point-of-contact resolution, and minimal response time.
  • Ask: Who will train my team to use the data room and how will they be trained? Who will manage the throughout its existence?

4. Customization

  • Look for: brand logo and colors incorporation, interface adjustment, and project templates.
  • Ask: To what extent can I customize a virtual data room and what are the solutions for this? Is it possible to integrate data from a different VDR provider?

5. Pricing.

  • Look for: transparent and comprehensive service pricing plans, the payment methods, fixed rates, and the ability to create a custom package.
  • Ask: Are the fees linked to the number of guest viewers or the amount of data customers store? Can I upgrade and downgrade the initial plan I chose?

About virtual data room pricing

Data room vendors take different approaches to virtual data room pricing: the amount of storage needed, number of online workspaces, administrators or users, document management and collaboration tools, level of document security, customization functions, onboarding, online customer support availability, and other kinds of additional options.

The price depends on the VDR provider and can be:

  • usage-based – when a client pays for the volume of documentation used
  • per-user – when a client pays a price for every user
  • tiered – when a client pays for a set of features collected in a package
  • flat – when a client pays a fixed price per month and gets a full list of features
  • per-feature – when a client pays a price for specific features it uses

The most popular virtual data room pricing models used by providers are tiered, per-user, and per-feature. Each of these pricing models has its pros and cons, therefore, when choosing among VDR providers pay attention to its focus when developing a product (usually this can be gleaned from the provider’s marketing materials). Also pay attention to the features, solutions, and value that the product provides to its users (think of 64 GB of memory or virtual data room unlimited storage vs. a thousand songs in your pocket).

No matter what pricing model you choose, most data room services provide a free trial or demo that allows you to test or see the software first before paying to use it or to use virtual data room cost comparison tools to make the right choice. 

Some virtual data room services offer a free trial for a month, allowing the customer to experience the full functionality suite, support experts availability, safety, and other customer benefits. As a result, clients can make selecting virtual data rooms more reasonable and thoughtful.

Typically, another way to see the virtual deal rooms operation is a demo. However, it is not possible to test the VDR software usability with a demo, as you can only see the functionalities in action, but not check them. Therefore, if you need knowledge and expertise before buying, then it is better to choose data room providers offering a free trial with a maximum duration. This way your decision will be based on valid reasons.

It is important to note that virtual data room vendors, which have earned trust of hundreds of large companies around the world, offer business enterprises a demo and free trial. It means they feel confident with the high-level quality of the software and want to convince clients of this.

So, the availability of a trial and demo can be another important criterion for companies that compare virtual data rooms to pick the best one.

Virtual data room comparison methodology example

On our site, you can find independent reviews of virtual data room service providers to help you choose the vendor that fits your business needs.

We analyzed all VDR providers and selected those that meet several crucial criteria. When we were compiling the ratings, which are regularly updated, we took into account not only the number of features that are presented in a particular product but also the experience gathered from interviews with actual users. We also considered virtual data room reviews and comments from our website and from third-party resources.

We use a five-point scale for the comparison of virtual data room providers for each category. Also, we indicate the difference between the scoring rating of different providers so that the strengths and weaknesses of all online data rooms are clear.

We regularly analyze information on the internet to provide you with the latest data on virtual data room comparison and help you find the best data room service answering the most important questions.

Also, we have prepared pages with a comparison of different characteristics of data rooms: we carefully analyzed the offer of each of the VDR providers, their functions, combined all the points, and got the final rating, which potential VDR customers can read at the comparison pages.

For comparison, we take into account several factors such as files and folders management, sensitive data protection and digital rights management, document repositories and infrastructure security, accessibility and ease of use, platform customization, support and services. This is how a comprehensive listing of the best software data room providers for large corporations, medium, and small businesses is created.

Best virtual data room providers

Not all customers are ready to allocate money from their budget for data to be stored but some companies need to use reliable cost-effective solutions and secure cloud storage for keeping corporate data and confidentiality safe. For those businesses, we’ve created our website.

1. iDeals
5.0
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2. ShareFile
4.9
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3. Box
4.8
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4. Intralinks
4.6
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5. Brainloop
4.6
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6. DealRoom
4.6
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7. Datasite
4.4
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8. V-Rooms
4.4
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9. Venue
4.1
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10. Ansarada
4.0
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11. Smartroom
3.9
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12. Firmex
3.8
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13. Digify
3.8
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14. Onehub
3.7
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15. Clinked
3.7
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16. Caplinked
3.5
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17. ShareVault
3.4
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18. Docsend
3.3
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19. Securedocs
3.3
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20. EthosData
3.2
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21. FirmRoom
3.0
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FAQ

How do I create a virtual data room?

To create a virtual data room, you should:

  • Find a provider that is trusted. Review sites and recommendations from client companies will help you make the right choice.
  • Create groups and invite users. Administrators can manage the platform by deleting or organizing groups.
  • Allow or restrict viewing, downloading, original downloading, and editing of documents.
  • Uploading files and folders to workspaces. The bulk upload and drag-and-drop tools simplify this process.

How does a virtual data room work?

A virtual data room works as a repository and tool for paperwork. The developers took the needs of today’s business as a basis.

Built-in security mechanisms ensure the safety of every file and user. Companies exchange data without the risk of hacking and breaches. Functions available to administrators enable workflow management and analytics.

For employees, VDRs work to complete tasks faster. It is possible through the use of automated processes.

What is in a data room?

Important data are stored in virtual workspaces. Since providers guarantee protection, companies have no fear in storing sensitive documents. Files and folders may contain:

  • contracts,
  • invoices,
  • tax receipts,
  • securities

These files are organized and easy to find within the data room. The online platform also supports all formats so you can upload video, audio, presentations, and others. Some developers place templates in data rooms to make it easier and faster to create documents.

Users and guests should review the built-in non-disclosure agreement. By agreeing to its terms, the platform visitors take responsibility for their actions.

 

What is a data room in M&A?

A data room in M&A is the repository of documents essential for merger and acquisition transactions, which involves the preparation and study of a large volume of documents. In this case, virtual workspaces contribute to the deal-making without delays. Both parties get:

  • space for cooperation,
  • safe information exchange,
  • source of sensible solutions.

The tool can make a partnership between buyer and seller possible even from a distance without risking security. To do this, the provider implements encryption, electronic signature, watermarks. This method is cheaper than using physical storage. No travel resources are required to review the data.

What is a data room for investors?

Data room for investors allows parties to study a large number of documents needed to make decisions before finalizing an investment transaction. In this way, they assess the risks and potential opportunities from the investments made. As a rule, the parties agree on a list of data that will become the subject of a detailed examination.

Virtual data rooms are a convenient format for investors. Regardless of the time of day, their location, devices, access to information is open on the platform.

What is a secure data room?

A secure data room is a private virtual workspace that is safe. It is where companies can store sensitive information. To ensure security, potential users first make sure protection features are available. For example, these are encryption, access control, compliance with international standards, and others. Quality providers apply virus scanning. This program prevents breaches and leaks.

High-quality portals are all about:

  • secure transactions,
  • data exchange,
  • safe collaboration with partners.

When buying a VDR, clients must pursue not only security but also high performance. That is why the platform should be easy to use.

How much does a virtual data room cost?

The cost of a virtual data room differs. Cost may vary depending on the contract length, feature set, availability of technical support, among other factors.

Pricing is one issue to consider before finally deciding to purchase a VDR. Sometimes organizations have to pay extra to invite more users or get gigabytes.

Most service companies offer a free trial. Users can check if this tool is appropriate for meeting their challenges.

Often the cost is changed because of the customer’s requirements. In that case, the developers customize it. Pricing also includes tariff.

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