Virtual Data Room providers in 2021

Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Choosing the Best Virtual Data Room Providers

Choosing the Best Virtual Data Room Providers

The modern virtual data room market can be tricky to navigate. However, it gets much easier when you know exactly what to look for. Let’s explore how to compare virtual data rooms, read VDR reviews, and find the best provider for your case.

Top 5 virtual data room providers

Five VDR providers in the current market that offer the best data rooms.

1. iDeals
Established: 2008
Headquarters: London, UK
iDeals offers a versatile, feature-rich platform for small, medium, large, and enterprise-level companies. With a primary focus on digital due diligence, M&A, and real estate management, the company also specializes in board communication, life science cycles, and more.
2. Intralinks
Established: 1996
Headquarters: New York, New York, USA
Intralinks focuses on facilitating ultra-secure M&A transactions for large and enterprise-level organizations. The users benefit from a range of AI-driven tools and functional support across all stages of deal processing.
3. Datasite
Established: 1986
Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Datasite is a SaaS solution for large-scale M&A that emerged from the legacy of a financial printing business. The provider’s reputation and experienced focus typically attract the companies in legal, corporate development, and private equity segments
4. Brainloop
Established: 2000
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Brainloop delivers secure and practical solutions for medium and large businesses. The company takes pride in an intuitive and fast-to-set-up interface designed to streamline M&A due diligence.
5. Caplinked
Established: 2008
Headquarters: Cambridge, UK
Caplinked is a white-label client portal provider for small and medium-sized financial companies. The users take advantage of highly flexible customization and a choice between cloud-based and on-premise data storage.

What defines the best virtual data room?

The best data rooms facilitate fast, organized, and convenient transactions. Modern VDR software comes with versatile feature sets and practical solutions for any industry. Plus, digital deal-making is much more cost-effective than its physical counterpart.

Now, the biggest challenge for the new data room users is to pick the right software for their needs and ensure that all confidential data will be secure. There are three key factors to consider:

  • Compliance and certifications. Data safety is the number one requirement for the best virtual data room. However, it can be difficult for inexperienced users to judge the security protocols and technology. The best strategy is to rely on regulation and standardization institutions such as ISO or GDPR.

    You can evaluate the provider’s data confidentiality policies by checking for the following certificates and compliances:
    • ISO/IEC 27001
    • SOC 1, 2
    • GDPR
    • HIPAA
    • FISMA
  • Interface and features. The best data rooms are both highly functional and simple. You shouldn’t need extensive technical knowledge to navigate the platform successfully. At the same time, the tool you go with has to be sophisticated enough to deliver fast and effective performance.

    One of the ways to test the software is to request a demo or sign up for a free trial. This way, you will get a feel for working with the virtual data room without digging into the budget. However, this might not work out if you are on a tight schedule.

    In this case, see if the provider mentions:
    • Document management convenience with features like drag-and-drop upload, bulk uploading and downloading, automated indexing, full-text search, and wide format support.
    • Enhanced document-level security with a shielded view option, dynamic watermarking, and user-based access permissions.
    • Interactive Q&A for M&A transactions and board management.
    • Secure access is guaranteed by IP restrictions, two-factor authentication, and detailed user activity reporting.
    • User convenience is achieved via web-based (SaaS) access, practical adaptations for all devices and operating systems, multilingual interface, and single sign-on for multiple projects.
  • The provider’s expertise and support. The best virtual data room is the one that meets your company’s needs and expectations. One of the ways to achieve such compatibility is by looking for providers that specialize in your field.

    As long as the VDR provider understands the mechanics of your industry, they will be able to provide the most effective tools and services.

    A competent and available support team is another excellent asset. Check if you have the option to request quick assistance 24/7/365. An extra bonus would be the support agent who speaks your language and solves any inquiry without transferring the call. 

How to compare virtual data rooms

Once you’ve shortlisted a few providers that caught your attention, it is time to create a virtual data room comparison framework for choosing the best one for your case. At this point, the most important thing is to focus on your company’s unique needs and abilities. 

Use the following criteria to define what to look for to compare virtual data rooms:

  • Industry. As mentioned earlier, the provider with expertise in your field will offer more value than a generic data storage platform. You should be able to find the VDR’s specialization, client portfolio, and case studies on the provider’s website.
  • Company’s size. Compare virtual data rooms by considering how many people will need access to the platform and how many will administer it. This will define your best-suited feature model and guide you through user training.
  • Project’s volume. Evaluate the number of files you will store and exchange in the data room. Some providers offer unlimited storage. Others charge per GB. Make sure you go with the solution that suits your situation.
  • Price. While cost shouldn’t be your main concern during the virtual data room comparison, it is still crucial to meet your budget — VDR providers vary in how they calculate pricing. Explore the cost formation in detail and watch out for any potential hidden or extra charges.
  • Toolset. Think of the instruments you will need for the project and see if the providers you are comparing can deliver. Additionally, check if the software can be integrated with external tools such as Zoom or Gmail.

Gather virtual data room reviews

The final stage of picking the right VDR is reading virtual data room reviews. The challenge here is filtering the reviews by legitimacy and relevance. Treat entirely complimentary, 5-star reviews with a dash of doubt. Real users typically talk about both the advantages and flaws.

  • Tip: Choose review sites that guarantee authenticity by LinkedIn verification or traceable user names. 

And to ensure relevance, only consider virtual data room reviews from the last two years. Software developers usually progress quickly, and the really good ones always consider user feedback, which means older reviews may no longer be relevant.

Virtual data rooms with a free trial period

In case you aren’t entirely convinced by a tailored virtual data room comparison or reading the user reviews, consider doing a trial run with one or two providers. The best option, in this case, is to find a platform that offers a free test period.

Here are the top 10 virtual data rooms you can try for free:

  1. iDeals: 30 days
  2. Datasite: 14 days
  3. SecureDocs: 14 days
  4. Caplinked: 14 days
  5. Ansarada: 14 days
  6. Box: 14 days
  7. DealRoom: 14 days
  8. ShareFile: 7 days
  9. BrainLoop: 7 days
  10. BlackBerry Workspaces: 7 days

Choose the best data room for your business

A thorough virtual data room comparison can be both time and effort-consuming. But, on the other hand, an informed, careful search always brings the most rewarding results.

Focus on defining your company’s VDR needs and compare the providers based on the value they offer. Use the tips from above and gather authentic virtual data room reviews along the way to make this process more effective. And make sure to take advantage of the free trial periods whenever possible to select the most optimal tool for your case confidently.