The ultimate guide to choosing file hosting solutions for businesses
Explore the most important features to look for in a hosted file solution
The right hosted file solution can help your team easily collaborate, create and share documents, and keep data and sensitive information secure.
Whether your business is looking to change its current file hosting solution or doesn’t have one at all, it’s important to know what to look for in a hosted file solution so you and your team can stay productive and efficient.
Continue reading to learn how to choose the right hosted file solution for your business.
#1: Security features
Optimal cyber security features are one of the most important aspects to look for when choosing a hosted file solution for your business.
It’s important to look for a solution that offers:
- Multi-factor authentication: Password hacks are one of the easiest ways that cyber criminals can access your networks. Multi-factor authentication requires a secret code in addition to a password to access a device or network.
- Encryption: Encryption turns data and files into code that only authorized parties can decipher. By encrypting your data, hackers will not be able to understand the information even if they are able to access it.
- Access control: In order to limit the number of people that have access to sensitive information, a hosted file solution should have a feature to limit access for certain user accounts.
It’s important that your business chooses a file hosting solution that is easy to use, so your team does not have to spend too much time learning the new interface.
A user-friendly solution is also important when the platform comes out with updates. Updates can often be difficult to get used to, and it may take your team some time to adjust. However, with an easy to use platform, adjusting to updates and changes will be simple.
Many hosted file solutions, such as Microsoft 365, also have video tutorials and 24/7 support to help your team whenever they need.
#3: Extensive storage options
When looking for a hosted file solution, you need to consider not only your current storage needs, but how those needs may change and grow in the future.
That’s why it’s important to look for a scalable solution that can grow alongside your business by easily expanding or reducing storage capacity.
A scalable option is especially important for growing businesses because your storage needs may change quickly, and it’s crucial to choose a solution that supports that to avoid switching platforms later.
#4: Syncing and sharing capabilities
If your business relies on collaborative efforts from multiple team members, it’s important to find a file hosting solution that allows for this.
It can be frustrating for team members to be locked out of a document or needing to wait for only one user to view and edit a document at a time. Your business should look for a platform that allows multiple employees to view and edit the same document at the same time.
This feature is especially important for businesses with hybrid or remote employees, as it will allow them to edit and collaborate in real-time with other employees.
It is also important that your business’s hosted file solution comes with easy sharing capabilities. Your employees should easily be able to share documents among other team members and externally with clients.
What are the most popular hosted file solutions?
If your business is looking for a file hosting solution, you’ll likely come across two popular options: Amazon Web Services and Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
As the world’s most broadly adopted cloud platform, Amazon Web Services serves millions of customers, including startups, large enterprises, and government agencies.
Pros of Amazon Web Services:
- AWS servers can be useful for businesses in a number of industries. There are strict server requirements necessary for HIPAA compliance, and some specialist programs, such as PC Law, cannot be hosted through a website—so they need a server.
- Your team can remotely connect to the AWS server from anywhere in the world—giving them access to their files and any specialist software they may require.
- By using Remote Desktop, your system can easily be made mobile for employees working remotely.
- You’ll have everything you need in one place: Microsoft Office, Outlook for email, software, files, etc.
Cons of Amazon Web Services:
- There’s a steep upfront cost: it’s almost $125 per user for licensing through Microsoft to set up the server.
- It’s difficult to access through a phone or mobile device, and generally not recommended due to the small screen resolution on your mobile devices.
- A hosted server is also not as efficient for remote work, as you need to remotely access a computer and then use that computer for file access.
- Hosting prices increase as more storage is used, or if the server size (RAM and CPU) needs to be increased.
Many businesses are now turning to Microsoft 365 for their file hosting solution due to its user-friendly aspects.
Pros of Microsoft 365
- Its user-friendly features are intuitive for your team.
- It’s easy to access files from anywhere, at any time, making it the best choice for hybrid or remote teams.
- Files can be accessed through the cloud or downloaded directly to your computer for fast and easy access.
- With Office 365, email is always accessible directly from your desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.
- You can expect to pay the same flat rate, all the time. If your team should need upgraded storage space, it is easy to purchase more.
Cons of Microsoft 365
- Microsoft 365 often comes out with many updates, meaning your team will need to regularly get used to interface changes.
- Some business owners prefer to pay a one time fee for their hosted file solution, but Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based solution.
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