The Best Virtual Data Room Service Providers
Find a virtual data room solution
that is best tailored to your business needs.
Find a virtual data room solution
that is best tailored to your business needs.
A virtual data room, also known as a virtual deal room or electronic data room, is an online repository through which companies can securely store and distribute documents during an M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) or a due diligence process.
Most businesses that utilize virtual data rooms have ongoing projects, merging processes, or new joint venture deals that encompass a large number of transactions.
Virtual data room services allow multiple parties to store and access documents securely from any location in the world. They’re much more secure and efficient than physical data rooms.
Many virtual data room reviews fail to address the key features that users really care about, and that’s exactly what we’re aiming to tackle here. In this guide, we’ll compare virtual data rooms in terms of document security, pricing, file sharing, and more.
With so many virtual data rooms on the market, making the right choice can be challenging. We researched data room providers across different segments and put this guide together to assist you with navigating all the available options and going with the best virtual data room for your case.
There are various factors that you need to take into consideration when comparing virtual data room providers. These include:
Some virtual data room solutions are available worldwide, while others are limited to a specific region or country. For example, there are a few virtual data room providers that offer their services only in the U.S, Europe, India, or other countries or locations.
Generally speaking, there are two types of data rooms: virtual data rooms and cloud storage. A VDR is much more advanced and secure than a cloud storage solution.
A virtual data room is specifically designed to facilitate deal-making in various use cases that encompass Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) deals, Fundraising, IPO, and due diligence.
Here are some of the key differences between a virtual data room and cloud storage:
Many online data room providers specialize in very specific niches and industries to provide the best possible experience. For example, some virtual data room service providers specialize in providing services for law firms.
You should also take the size of your business into consideration. Some virtual data room vendors are best suited for small businesses, while others are targeted at medium and large businesses.
Data room service providers have different virtual data room pricing structures. Some are quote-based, while others charge a flat monthly or annual fee.
It’s also worth noting that some virtual data room providers offer a free trial that lets you get hands-on experience with the product before committing long-term.
Data safety is the primary criterion in choosing a virtual data room. Companies of all sizes and specializations choose data room services for storing and exchanging confidential information. This means that the data room security features are something that absolutely cannot be overlooked during comparison.
But many new data room users might not be familiar with the technicalities of digital safekeeping. Therefore, we’ve created a virtual data room software features checklist that helps to ensure file security.
A data room provider has to guarantee users’ data safety from both the hardware and software perspectives. The hardware side involves the quality, location, and maintenance protocols for the physical servers where the information is stored.
And the software security includes the virtual data room solutions for transferring and displaying documents to authorized users.
This feature creates additional steps required to enter the electronic data room. For example, after you put in the password, you will receive a unique code to your phone number or email address.
The virtual dataroom physical storage has to adhere to strict standards that cover things like the amount of servers’ uptime, data backups, and encryption protocols.
You can evaluate how legitimate any digital data room is by spotting the proof of the following industry-leading security certifications and compliances:
Malware attacks are one of the biggest risks associated with online confidential information storage. That’s why virtual data room vendors must facilitate constant virus and vulnerability scans. Virus scanning ensures that all the files added to the VDR data room are free of malicious programs. And the vulnerability scans check for the software’s overall exposure to potential breaches.
This is another aspect of risk prevention strategizing that has virtual data room service providers continuously evaluating and improving the system. Picture it as viewing the data room virtual space from the attacker’s point of view and establishing preventive measures accordingly.
Even the most advanced data room software faces the risks of malfunction. And it isn’t possible to prepare for everything that can go wrong. However, electronic data room providers can create a crisis action plan to quickly return the VDR service back to normal. This process builds off regular encrypted data backups and a well-structured recovery model.
Preventing unwanted visitors from accessing the files inside your secure cloud storage combines multi-factor authentication discussed above, time and location restrictions, complete control over documents disregarding their status, and more.
Some enterprise-level IT departments look for the CMK feature in a data room service, as it grants users with partial or complete control over encryption keys.
A hardware security module secures and manages keys and also encrypts and decrypts data. In the case of virtual data room solutions, such technology can be used for digital signatures or reinforced authentication.
After examining hundreds of virtual data room reviews across multiple platforms, we’ve collected the list of 10 top-rated providers on the market. Below is the evaluation of each data room solution according to the must-have security feature checklist.
At this point, you’ve made sure that the online data room providers you are considering took the necessary measures to guarantee your information’s security. Now, it’s time to explore the next layer of digital data room efficiency – convenient and secure file sharing and management.
There are three main challenges associated with file organization in online data rooms:
Below is the checklist of features that will assist you with overcoming these challenges. Just as in the case with security, we’ve divided them into “must-have” and “nice-to-have” based on how they will impact your overall virtual dataroom experience.
Protect your ownership of any given document inside the virtual data room. Applying regular or dynamic watermarks makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or leak the document without repercussions.
This feature allows filling your digital data room a lot faster. With some virtual deal room providers, you can also use it to add documents in bulk.
Ensure that the data room software can process different file types, including:
In case you are not sure which formats you will be using, consult with other data room contributors that will work on the project.
You can organize large document volumes faster by letting the data room software sort and label them automatically. Some providers also offer case-specific templates and filters to speed the process further along.
All the authorized users should be able to safely access the necessary data without requiring any add-ons or plugins. The best virtual data rooms also facilitate easy access from different devices and operating systems.
Track all the changes and edits in each document to better direct the data room virtual deal flow.
Some online data room providers collaborate with electronic-sign services to simplify the signing process for the users.
When a virtual data room provider works with large-scale clients, they will typically allow bulkier file uploads.
Virtual data room services are often used for internal collaboration, and a pre-established digital workflow can significantly expedite the process.
Work on documents without the need to download them. Just make sure that the users who can edit specific documents have sufficient access rights.
This data room service helps navigate the required procedures associated with certain documents, especially multiple-party contracts, policies, and strategies.
Automatic translation helps accommodate overseas users during an international project.
Here’s the overlook of top virtual data rooms based on their document management capabilities. Please note that we are focusing on the same virtual data room solutions throughout this guide to keep the research thorough and detailed and help you make an informed decision.
After making sure that all the documents are well protected in a secure virtual data room, it is time to address the human factor. Depending on the size and nature of the deal you are in charge of, you will need to grant data room access to different people both inside and outside of your organization.
The most important thing is to realize that not all users should be given equal rights. Even more so, based on their role in the company, some virtual data room visitors will be restricted from viewing certain documents and segments.
The users who don’t have pre-established access conditions can both intentionally and unintentionally misuse the confidential data room space. That’s why the features from the checklist below are essential to consider as you compare virtual data rooms.
Complex, multiple-step authentication helps you guarantee the identity of the person accessing your secure VDR. In some cases, it’s a unique SMS code; in others – fingerprint access using a special device.
This feature restricts users from making any changes to the document while getting familiar with it. You can also choose to prohibit screenshotting and printing to further solidify the virtual dataroom safety.
The virtual data room provider will give you an option to select pre-built permission models or configure your own. For a truly secure data room, apply the access privileges granularly by considering every user’s and user group’s specific roles.
Impersonating another user is a handy tool that allows you to double-check all the settings from the receiving-end perspective. Make sure that everyone inside the data room will have the necessary access to the documents that require their attention and restrict everyone else.
The best data rooms allow multiple layers of privilege that correspond with different company structures and deal flow. For example, the company’s CEO, CFO, and the head of HR will usually have the most authority within the digital data room, while third-party experts, such as property inspectors, the least.
Some online data rooms enable advanced digital rights management through the configuration of viewing, editing, printing, and commenting on the documents. Such an approach can be beneficial for large collaborative projects with users from different areas of expertise.
If you are using virtual data room services for pitching to investors, for instance, make sure that the VDR can be easily accessed from the outside through secure link-sharing or a restricted guest mode.
Here is the virtual data room comparison of the top 10 providers based on the features they offer for managing users.
Based on our research across all of the above categories, we’ve outlined three leaders in every segment. In addition to checking for certain features, we have also considered the user feedback from independent virtual data room review platforms.
There are several approaches you can take when comparing virtual data rooms and selecting the right one for your case.
For example, some people focus on comparing virtual data room pricing offered by different providers of virtual deal rooms. But while it is important to estimate the budget you need to allocate towards a VDR, the cost alone is not sufficient for making a well-rounded decision.
Others turn to data room reviews for advice and study feedback from various users. In this case, there are two fundamental aspects to keep in mind:
In general, attempting to compare virtual data rooms from a single angle is highly ineffective. Since virtual data room solutions carry versatile functionality and have a virtually limitless number of purposes, it makes sense to take an equally comprehensive outlook. The areas to cover are:
Begin by outlining the overall purpose of your virtual data room solution. Depending on your case, you will need different features, supporting services, and levels of the provider’s expertise. Additionally, if your company operates in the legal sector, for instance, the software you use has to follow industry-dictated standards.
Example: Law firms and financial institutions will benefit from virtual data room solutions that comply with the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA).
The size of your company is also essential in choosing the best data room. Some providers charge per user, which significantly increases the cost for medium and large businesses. The same applies to the number of potential external visitors you are expecting.
Security, ease-of-use, ability to restrict access, and straightforward document and data room activity management are the foundation of every online data room provider comparison. However, based on your preferences and expectations, you might look for certain features to elevate your virtual data room solution experience.
Consider consulting your teammates on the functionality they expect from the data room. The chances are that someone on the team has dealt with virtual data rooms in the past and will have valuable insights.
Navigating virtual data room review platforms can be a challenge. The best thing you can do here is to pay close attention to the posting date and take ultra-positive reviews with a grain of salt. Difficulties are possible with the most experienced and reputable data room solution providers, and reliable reviewers usually don’t hesitate to mention them.
Example: Large review platforms with a high visitor number are good at filtering out the not-so-genuine posting by verifying their user’s job title and location.
Pay particular attention to the reviews from medium and large businesses, especially the ones with recognizable names. It will be easier to verify the testimonial’s legitimacy and potentially even get detailed feedback from the previous user.
Virtual data room service providers charge differently. Some account for the cost of storage, others for the number of people accessing the VDR, or for the feature variety. There are also providers who offer a fixed-fee model that correlates with the company size and usually has a pre-determined set of functions and abilities.
Example: A fixed-fee data room will offer a certain amount of storage, allowed users, and features for a monthly, annual, or bi-annual charge.
When it comes to pricing models, you need to follow your company’s budget and expectations to make the decision. This way, a small firm that uses the data room solution as an internal repository will be able to work on a per-GB basis.
At the same time, an international enterprise will need a customized fixed-fee digital data room to avoid cost accumulation due to extensive usage.
Based on the above, here is a summary of focus areas and key features for the most common online data room usage cases.
Use the following cheatsheet to navigate the virtual data room comparison.
A virtual data room is an online space used to securely store sensitive data, exchange confidential documents, and utilize various collaboration tools. Due to advanced technology and continuous innovations in the field, online data rooms are becoming an inevitable element of modern deal-making.
Virtual data rooms accommodate all possible projects and transactions. The most common VDR data room use cases include M&A, due diligence, corporate data repository, portfolio management, internal collaboration, and investment banking.
A physical data room is an actual space that contains a company’s documents, while a virtual data room stores the same documents digitally using cloud technology.
Free file-sharing platforms lack security and functionality compared to virtual data room software solutions. By going with established electronic data room providers, you can ensure the safety of your data and take advantage of streamlined deal processing.
Find a provider who has experience dealing with projects similar to yours. See if they offer pre-set virtual data room templates. Once you’ve got the general outline, configure the settings that are specific to your case for the best data room experience.
The decision to digitize a corporate repository via virtual data room services will typically involve the company’s CEO and CFO. Also, in some cases, the data room software is purchased by the head of the M&A division of either the buy-side or sell-side.
No, free trial periods are only available via select data room service providers. But most providers will offer a free demo of their services delivered by someone on the sales team.
|1. iDeals||Being one of the best virtual data room providers iDeals offers its users a perfect solution for all business processes that involve documents. Try it, and you will like it.|
|2. Intralinks||If you need an experienced provider, you should consider Intralinks. Over decades this vendor learned everything about businesses. And it’s willing to help your company out.|
|3. Datasite||Merrill is a unique example of an old data room provider who nevertheless offers an agile and simple solution. You will enjoy numerous features and an easy-to-use interface.|
|4. BOX||Box was a file-sharing platform for a while. As it got more experience, it became a data room provider. Now it is one of the most convenient solutions for corporate data management.|
|5. Brainloop||This data room provider can satisfy most business needs of companies in different fields. Brainloop offers a lot of useful features and an organized workflow to ease processes.|
|6. Donnelley||This provider has seen the world without the Internet and knows how to help businesses close deals successfully. With Donnelley your documents will be available and secure.|
|7. CapLinked||Looking for a data room that won’t overwhelm you with features? Consider CapLinked. Here you will have all the basic instruments without anything over the top.|
|8. ForData||ForData offers truly versatile and easy to use virtual data room that can fit any business and any industry. Check it out and see if it fulfills your needs and requirements.|
|9. Ansarada||Looking for a solution for Mergers and Acquisitions deals? Try Ansarada since it is focused on M&A. The software offers only the necessary features you will need during such deals.|
|10. ShareVault||ShareVault offers software that will be suitable for all kinds of document-centric processes. This provider even has a convenient virtual board room among all the features.|
|11. EthosData||EthosData meets all the security requirements and standards. That’s why it is suitable for all industries, even for law firms. You’ll need only 5 minutes to set up this VDR.|
|12. Drooms||If you’re looking for a solution for processes that involve due diligence or for assets lifecycle management, Drooms might be just the right option for your requirements.|
|13. BlackBerry Workspaces||If security is your main concern, you should try Workspaces as this provider focuses on safety. It might lack some functions, but your documents will be safeguarded.|
|14. TRANSCEND VDR||Transcend is a decent virtual data room provider that offers all the necessary features and simple interface. It will back you up during your most cumbersome deals.|
|15. Citrix ShareFile||ShareFile by Citrix is suitable for businesses of all sizes. This software will help you keep your papers organized and available during deals and accelerate the processes.|
|16. OneHub||OneHub allows companies to keep and share files on the cloud server. The software is very easy to use and perfectly secure. It will help you close deals successfully much faster.|
|17. SmartRoom VDR||This provider is suitable for Mergers and Acquisitions and some other kinds of business processes. SmartRoom VDR will help you collaborate efficiently and manage files.|
|18. DataRooms.Com||This due diligence focused provider offers a simple yet elegant solution. DataRooms.Com has all the basic features you need for a successful deal and a simple, intuitive interface.|
|19. Firmex||This Canadian vendor is one of the most well-known and trusted virtual data room providers. It offers a solution for numerous business processes that involve sensitive documents.|
|20. HighQ Dataroom||This might be the best virtual data room provider for startups and small companies. HighQ is easy to get started with and set up to fit the requirements of your business.|
|21. V-Rooms||Over the years, this provider was serving high-quality data rooms to businesses in different fields. You can try V-Rooms using its free trial to see if it is the right solution for you.|
|22. SecureDocs||It is simple and easy to use a virtual data room that will take care of your corporate files. If you’re not sure whether SecureDocs fits your needs, you can use a free trial.|
|23. DocSend||DocSend is a tool that provides the ability to exchange data without fear. You can do it anywhere and anytime. That does not affect the security of your documents.|
|24. Clinked||Looking for a data room that won’t overwhelm you with features? Consider CapLinked. Here you will have all the basic instruments without anything over the top.|
|25. Digify||Digify is an award-winning data control tool for companies worldwide. The security system is backed by powerful features. Be safe at no extra cost, and keep your eyes on the ball.|
|26. DealRoom||The Dealroom provider’s mission is to deliver high-quality services. M&A; and many other transactions are simplified and expedited for all parties. Make use of solutions offered.|
|27. idgard||The uniqueness of idgard lies in sealed clouds and proven security mechanisms. Fear-free data exchange and built-in instruments for business keep staying in a position of trust.|
|28. Aversure Data Room Service||The demand for Aversure data rooms is high due to simple interface and proven protection. Work anywhere, using any device. Focus on business, Aversure will take care of the rest.|
|29. Safelink||Safelink is designed to meet typical business needs. Here managers find a good blend of features, security, and price. Automated processes save time and energy.|
|30. Document Vault||Docsvault allows users to manage and share data in a secure environment. It is not only a tool for paperwork, but also for making progress. Dedicated technical support is available.|
|31. Imprima||Imprima supports companies in complex deals by providing an AI platform. Available 24/7. Managers control the data and staff, Imprima works for success. The price is affordable.|