Best Virtual Data Room Providers Review – Check out the best virtual data room providers according to VDR global rankings. Compare prices and features of virtual data rooms and choose the data room software for your needs.
We provide insight and advice to help clients understand the VDR market trends, identify opportunities, and grow their businesses.
What is a Virtual Data Room?
A virtual data room (VDR), also known as a virtual deal room, is a secure online repository that many companies use for storing important data and sharing sensitive documentation. Usually, it is used to facilitate the due diligence process in such large-scale deals as M&A deals.
VDR software allows users to share confidential documents and critical business data over the internet in a controlled environment and interact with other users during a deal-making process in a completely secure manner from any device and location. The VDR software users can easily share sensitive data with third parties, like investors or clients, within a controlled online platform.
Compared to physical data rooms, an electronic data room eliminates the need of having physical paperwork, which reduces clutter and waste. Moreover, the digital data room offers advanced document management and security features that help to improve workflow and increase a team’s productivity — traditional data rooms can’t offer that.
Unlike physical data rooms, the online data room provides a safe collaboration platform thanks to such data room features as the Q&A and comment sections. In the deal room, users can request access to necessary documents at any time and get a quick response to instant notifications.
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Who Provides Data Room Services ?
Virtual data room service providers are certified vendors of secure cloud software and document repositories. VDR providers comply with the necessary digital standards to ensure the security of business document flow.
The number of virtual deal room services on sale is off the charts due to the growing number of customers. Developers are also trying to create VDRs that are better than the previous ones and can offer much more than basic file-sharing platforms like Google Drive.
In this regard, a potential user has to allocate time to find the top virtual data room. These are the companies that supply high technological online space for business needs.
The VDR vendors eliminate such things as:
- Dangers of leaks
- Contingencies associated with technical aspects
- Incorrect transaction flow
VDR vendors’ services are in great demand today. Clients receive an electronic platform for:
- Keeping data safe
- Secure data exchange
- Making deals smooth and straightforward
The VDR data room users range from small start-up companies to world-renowned organizations. It is easy to explain because the commitment of any business to security does not depend on the field of activity.
It is online data room providers that offer a product that satisfies both this urgent need and many others. Deal room software is usually a user-friendly platform with round-the-clock access for authorized persons.
At any time, it is possible to exchange confidential documents and contact colleagues, partners, and other multiple parties without worrying about leaks and other problems.
Virtual data room vendors comparison — top 6
Now, let’s make a virtual data room comparison among different providers that are industry leaders to help you compare virtual data rooms and choose the best data room for your company’s needs.
iDeals is a trusted virtual data room provider with about 14 years of experience.
It’s most acclaimed by its clients for its extreme user-friendliness and white labeling services. Among iDeals customers are Deloitte, American Airlines, and Toyota.
Thanks to the various document security features, the ability to customize a data room, and a superior customer support team, iDeals is chosen in many industries and suits the needs of small-, mid-, and large-sized companies
Datasite provides an excellent data room service in about 170 countries around the world.
Clients choose Datasite for the industry leading features they offer: from the first-rate data security tools to the responsive customer support.
Datasite is mainly an M&A data room, as it especially specializes in M&A deals, making the entire deal process straightforward and secure.
Datasite is the best data room software for the needs of medium and large businesses.
CapLinked is a secure electronic data room that’s mainly used for asset sales, real estate transactions, fundraising, and more. It’s also one of the best data rooms for M&A.
It’s a great VDR solution primarily for large enterprises and mid-sized organizations, but can be also used by small companies.
The set of data security and data management features the CapLinked VDR provider offers makes it an attractive solution among business professionals.
Citrix ShareFile is one of the top VDR providers for freelancers, startups, as well as small-, mid-, and large-sized businesses.
If you seek virtual data rooms for mergers and acquisitions, simple corporate development, or any other business deals, Citrix ShareFile might be a good data room solution.
Customers from more than 100 countries choose this data room virtual software because of flexible pricing, advanced security, and various data management features.
ShareVault is one of those virtual data room solutions that fit the needs of all types of businesses: from small companies to enterprises.
This cloud-based software helps to significantly streamline such processes as M&A, licensing, bankruptcy, restructuring, capital raising, and other business transactions.
ShareVault services facilitate the due diligence process as well as enhance the quality of corporate collaboration.
DealRoom is one of the leading and the best data rooms, and the majority of existing virtual data room reviews are proof of that.
DealRoom ensures a smooth M&A experience for all the parties involved. However, this VDR data room can be used for different reasons: from simple corporate data storage to confidential document sharing during business deals.
Customers choose DealRoom for its user-friendly interface and enhanced security features.
Best virtual data rooms for M&A
- iDeals Data Room
- Firmex Data Room
- Intralinks Dealspace
- Citrix Systems
- BlackBerry Workspaces
- Merrill Datasite
- DealRoom Software
- Donnelley Venue
M&A Online Data Rooms Are Basically Data Rooms Used For M&A Deals.
The sell-side uploads all the required documents about the business to the online data room so that the buy-side could review all the details before making a final decision.
Naturally, the security and confidentiality M&A VDR providers offer matters the most here, as an M&A deal presupposes sharing sensitive information with other parties.
Basically, every VDR provider is suitable for M&A transactions. So when making a data room software comparison to choose the most suitable one, consider the needs of your business.
The general requirements for an M&A VDR provider are security standards and features. The rest of the feature set depends on the size of your business and the length of the M&A deal.
Large companies require a very wide range of document management features because they work with large volumes of data. Also, the more people use VDR technology, the higher the need for the technical support of a personal manager.
While for small businesses, online training on working with VDR and a basic list of document management functions are enough.
For small business owners, the price is more important than for large corporations. Therefore, the starting price for some electronic data room providers can start from $900 per month, and this will be expensive for small businesses and quite acceptable for large businesses.
How To Choose Data Room Software
While searching for the right VDR takes a lot of time and effort, the process isn’t necessarily hard especially if you follow our VDR solutions selection guide.
Identifying your goal plays a significant role in choosing which among the Virtual Data Room solutions is best for your business. Once your intention is clear, you can move on to specific steps of selecting a competent VDR provider for your needs.
Outline your requirements
Every company and every project is unique. Based on your purpose, the company’s size, the industry specifics, and many other factors, you’ll need to navigate between pre-established VDR plans and tailored flexible virtual data room solutions. Below are two essential factors to keep in mind at this stage:
People. Begin by listing everyone who might need access to the VDR. Ask yourself:
- Are they the key decision-makers or the entire company?
- What access level will each member have?
- Are all potential VDR users tech-savvy?
Setting aside the strictly technical side of VDR selection and considering the people factor will help you make the right choice when selecting the right tool, so make sure to account for all possible users.
Data. Another aspect to contemplate is the data you’re going to store and share via VDR. Ask yourself:
- What is the volume of the data that we will store?
- What are the main file types we rely on in daily business communication?
- What confidentiality levels will the organization need?
- What downloading possibilities will allow for quick data sharing?
Planning the structure of the VDR in advance is an excellent asset to handling data safely and effectively.
With the outline of what you expect from a fitting VDR provider, you are ready to proceed to the next step: listing the distinct features you will look for across various virtual data room solutions.
Consider the necessary Features
If this is your first time dealing with VDR, you might not know what is generally available out there. At this point, it is important to comprehend the distinction between rudimentary data storage and VDR. While typical storage solutions offer different approaches to data safekeeping, such as uploading, viewing, downloading, and sometimes minor editing, virtual data rooms go beyond that scope.
Data handling enabled by VDRs can involve many dimensions of technological advancements. For instance, you can choose to limit or restrict access to particular sections of the data room, watermark sensitive documents, track downloads, disable screenshots, and more. Established VDR providers will also grant you access to an array of professional, administrative services, such as translation or document scanning, for an additional fee. This is something you’ll never spot with basic file-sharing services and a physical data room.
In the table below, we’ve listed the most common features a reliable online data room provider should offer.
Allocate the Budget
Budget allocation is a brief, yet vital step when searching for the most suitable VDR solution. Whether you are making the decision yourself or pitching the VDRs to your superiors, keep in mind that the functionality and effectiveness of the VDR will always correlate with its usage cost. But this doesn’t mean that setting up a deal room will be unreasonably expensive.
As you will learn further, the pricing policies of VDR providers are based on the service offering and the specific requirements of your company. What’s more, as long as you are dealing with a trustworthy provider, you will have a chance to learn and understand the prices before making any decisions.
Compare the Options
The number of virtual data room services on sale is off the charts. It is because the number of customers is growing. The developers are trying to create something better than the previous ones. In this regard, a potential user has to allocate time to find the most suitable tool. They differ in lots of characteristics, among them are:
- The function set
- The availability of technical support professionals
- The level of security
To choose the best option, each client must consider these and many other aspects. Some companies select by price, others by quality. But still, each of the directors should remember that teamwork and data protection depends on this acquisition. However, high cost does not always mean high-quality virtual deal services. That is why it is necessary to pay maximum attention to the next factors.
Comparing the available virtual data room solutions is the most time-consuming phase. At this point, consider using the following criteria to outline the most suitable VDR providers.
Ensuring the safety of your data is crucial when it comes to sharing documentation via VDRs. When comparing, keep an eye out for things like two-factor authentication, timed access expiration, multiple permission levels, and IP-address-based access limitations.
Take note of the provider’s compliance certificates to guarantee the perfect match with top security standards. Look for virtual data room solutions that exhibit certifications such as SOC 1 & SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS.
Each VDR offers a certain level of adaptability when it comes to operating systems and devices. The ideal solution will be equally functional across all majorly utilized platforms — be it iOS or Android, Windows, Linux, or macOS. You won’t need to install numerous plugins or write a single line of code.
Also, look at the suggested data hosting locations. The majority of vendors use public clouds and multiple international data centers, but the select ones might be able to offer physical storage and data center preferable to the user as well.
You can judge the effectiveness of any given provider by their customer support’s availability, contact channels, response time, and the ability to get a dedicated team to assist you through your VDR experience.
The preferable configuration of the support offering will feature the ability to communicate in multiple languages, have access to someone on the team 24/7, and have a choice to communicate via live chat, phone, or email.
The VDR provider you’d want to go with will give you the option to restrict accessibility by location or by role, establish multiple accessibility levels, and monitor the activity of all users within the platform.
To ensure an effective experience for all, look for the features such as bulk invitations, adjustable Excel viewing permissions, user notifications, and streamlined group setup.
When it comes to a VDR’s interface execution, the bottom line is always a clear, intuitive configuration, equally apparent to the CFO and the entry-level accountant. A VDR with a well-thought-out interface should offer extensive deployment options, a single sign-on for all projects, and a convenient scroll-through for navigation between thousands of files.
Apart from a simple and comprehensive UI, you might also want to take advantage of VDR customization. This way, your corporate branding is transmitted every step of the way and the function prioritization meets your specific needs.
Here’s another list of questions to help users with the choice of virtual dataroom. They are about how easy it is to work on the platform and how accessible it is.
- What are the operating systems that VDR can co-exist with?
- Is it available on mobile devices?
- How modern and accessible is the interface design?
- How many steps are required to invite new members or upload data?
- Are the virtual data rooms accessible all the time? Are there restrictions?
The pricing policies correspond to different guidelines across the majority of vendors. Some options rely on per-page or storage-based pricing policies, where the final cost depends on the amount of data you’ll need. Other solutions rely on the per-user model where you pay for the number of seats.
An alternative pricing model offers a flat monthly fee, which depends on the package you choose. Some offer a limited data storage capacity, while others allow for a bespoke enterprise experience with unlimited administrators and solid storage space. The final cost will depend on the task, the amount of data, the number of users, and the pricing policy you choose.
Read the Reviews
Start by going through the reviews presented at the chosen VDR provider’s website. Companies that have been around for a while usually accumulate a decent amount of credible evaluations.
But don’t stop at the internal reviews. Take the time to read third-party sites for deeper insights into VDR providers. You will want to check out the customer reviews on platforms like Trustpilot or Software Advice, as well as the employees’ view of the company on Glassdoor, for example. Taking both internal and external virtual data room reviews into consideration will give you a good idea of the VDR’s effectiveness and ethics.
Request A Complimentary Trial
Just before you make the final choice among the considered vendors, take advantage of using their services for free for at least a month. Unlike physical data rooms, most modern virtual deal rooms offer free trials. Try to steer clear from the VDR providers that don’t offer complimentary trial periods, as it might mean they don’t have a lot to offer and sustain on initial charges alone.
Having discussed some issues with a data room provider, any customer will make sure they are going for the best VDR solution. Sometimes the service ends with the software launching. In this case, users are left alone with problems and unanswered questions:
Does the offer include a free trial? It is more important than it might seem at first glance. Without a demo, this deal is like buying a pig in a poke. Having the opportunity to try a product, a buyer sees reasons for the investment, sometimes quite expensive.
Does the offer cover technical support? Ignoring this issue, the organization denies itself professional assistance in force majeure situations.
Is it possible to order additional options after installing the electronic data room? No one can foresee new needs tomorrow. Best data room providers do not exclude such a possibility, and therefore they create a flexible program.
How efficient is training for company personnel? All directors want to see that each of the colleagues gets used to the new work format quickly. Otherwise, what should be of great benefit will lead to slowdowns.
Is it possible to install preferred integrations? This is important for companies that have well-established workflows and are used to certain tools for convenience, such as Microsoft OneDrive or Slack. It can be important for them to keep those workflows with VDRs as well.
Is remote access allowed? In case the device is stolen or lost, a company would want to have full access control to the sensitive data so that they can remotely wipe it and prevent data leaks.
During the data room free trial, you should get a feel of how well your requirements match with the chosen VDR. Additionally, you can use the charge-free time to prepare for future procedures, upload and organize all the documents, and set the appropriate access limitations.
Start using the VDR
After you find the gem in the ocean of modern virtual data room solutions, go ahead and start benefiting from the software that accommodates your every need and makes the process of sensitive data management enjoyable for everyone involved.
Uses of data room software
Virtual data rooms are utilized in almost any situation where you need to give confidential access to certain information to a group of people. Most often, VDR is employed for the following tasks:
Corporate documentation analysis
- Creating a corporate document repository
- Conducting an audit before a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction
- Preparing documents for the company’s IPO
- Communication with investors and investment bankers
- Bankruptcy and restructuring procedures
- Code analysis without the risk you have when transferring it to other contractors
The very first stage of filtering through possible VDR solutions is outlining your main goal. Sensitive data handling applies to a lot of different use case scenarios, and the specifics of each particular one should correspond with the VDR’s functionality and features.
Obviously, virtual data rooms are widely used in many industries and businesses. It’s the best solution when you’re in need of a reliable repository to safely store your sensitive corporate data and manage significant deals.
Nevertheless, below are the most common data room use cases.
Mergers and acquisitions
M&A virtual data room is mostly used during the due diligence process when potential buyers review large volumes of documentation.
A data room for M&A allows for the secure sharing of your confidential information without any possible leaks.
With a virtual data room software implementation, you facilitate the due diligence process and boost the chances of closing the deal faster and more efficiently. And even if the deal fails, your corporate data stays protected and unrevealed.
VDR software is the best solution for storing huge amounts of corporate information, no matter the size of your company. It provides lifecycle management of your business documentation and allows you to take full control of that. You can store files of almost all formats: from videos to presentations and more.
Moreover, most data room vendors offer theability to get reports on how your documents are performing and what actions users take inside the online deal room — this is what traditional physical data rooms can’t offer. This lets you monitor all the processes in the company and timely improve them when there’s such a need.
Manufacturing industry is always about billion-dollar contracts and projects. Obviously, such high-stake deals need efficient management and confidentiality.
Data rooms don’t only enable the easy collaboration and distribution of sensitive documents during manufacturing deals but also provide a high level of security for all confidential documents shared.
Multiple lawyers of security data rooms ensure that all the patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks are kept from undesired views.
When managing a loan syndication process, for a borrower, it’s important to keep all the sensitive information confidential. On the other hand, a lender will want to have easy access to all the documentation to analyze a borrower’s credit history, assess the facility, and comment on the proposed terms and conditions. Secure file sharing and effective collaboration are exactly what VDR solutions offer.
During the litigation process, a high level of security is extremely important since lots of confidential documents are usually involved. Most modern VDR providers offer a range of security services aimed at protecting customers’ data, that’s why VDRs are often used for litigation processes.
Accounting presupposes working with lots of sensitive financial data. That’s why the security of that data is of the foremost importance. This is what data rooms can offer.
Via VDRs you can exchange documents without being worried that some third parties will see them.
Real estate management
The immovable property industry requires sharing lots of documentation with potential buyers.
This is why real estate agents take advantage of the secure VDR technology. You can upload all the necessary files to the virtual data room for prospective customers to review before the deal. Besides, the e-signature feature most VDR providers offer eliminates the need to arrange numerous offline meetings and speeds up real estate transactions.