Review: Box beats Dropbox -- and all the rest -- for business

Box trumps Dropbox, Egnyte, Citrix ShareFile, EMC Syncplicity, and OwnCloud with rich mix of file sync, file sharing, user management, deep reporting, and enterprise integration

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EMC Syncplicity
While most of the competition seems to focus on sharing with users outside the company, Syncplicity focuses just as much on file sharing within an organization. From the outside it looks and behaves like Box and Dropbox, but it has a few features not seen elsewhere that may make it exceptionally appealing to certain corporations.

Syncplicity has roughly four tiers: the free, personal-use-only version (2GB, two devices); the personal edition ($15 per month, 50GB, five devices); and the Business and Enterprise editions, which have no hard limits on the number of users, devices, file sizes, file versions, or storage amounts. That said, the Business edition starts at $45 per month for three users, while the enterprise edition requires a custom quote.

If your exposure to Syncplicity starts with the desktop app, much of its behavior is in line with the other services discussed here, but there are handy additions. For one, the Syncplicity client isn't limited to a single folder and its subfolders -- any folder can be synced back to Syncplicity's services. Combined with the unlimited-storage tier, this freedom turns Syncplicity into a backup system of sorts (though I'd still want to stick with a full-disk imaging solution for making any OS-level backups).

When you have the Syncplicity client installed, you can right-click on any folder or file and share it with other users in your organization. Individual items within a folder, such as subfolders or individual files, can also be selectively excluded from sharing, a feature I haven't seen elsewhere. However, anyone with whom you share files must have or create a Syncplicity account; you can't share files anonymously.

The first business-class features you're likely to encounter are the security and behavioral policies. These let you control such details as whether links to shared files must be password protected, which Active Directory domains allow Syncplicity syncing, how complex passwords have to be, and where activity reports get exported. Note that some policies are called out with a warning icon that indicates when a certain version of the user client is required. Rich reports allow you to audit all sorts of activity including per-user behaviors, such as storage consumption. And you can save the results into a file folder on your account.

Syncplicity's most striking enterprise-level feaure is EMC storage integration. If you have one of a number of supported EMC storage systems -- EMC Isilon Scale-Out NAS, EMC Atmos Object Storage, or EMC VNX/VNXe -- you can elect to sync users' Syncplicity accounts only to your own on-premises storage. Files thus stored are never uploaded to Syncplicity's own data centers. This is a great boon for companies that want absolute control over their own data.

EMC Syncplicity
Any folder on your local file system can be backed up to Syncplicity's cloud, which can even be stored in an approved EMC-branded storage solution on your own premises.
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