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In-House vs. SaaS FTP Software: How Do They Compare?
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on September 13th, 2017

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In-House vs. SaaS FTP Software: How Do They Compare?


In-house or an SaaS solution? This is a question many companies are face. Building your own FTP solution sounds seems like it might have some advantages, like having ultimate control over your file sharing process. But, ultimate control comes with significant responsibility.

Relying on an in-house solution for your file sharing process incurs high FTP software costs. And, high costs aren’t the only draw back. Hosting your own system requires you to pour vast amounts of time into implementation and management, and puts your data security at risk.

Find out how choosing an SaaS solution cuts down on your FTP software costs, puts time back into your schedule, and makes it easy to keep your data secure.

Want to compare the top 7 file sharing software solutions?

Download this comparison guide to see which solution is best for your business.

View the Comparison Guide


For every business, the goal is to minimize expenses and maximize profits. Your business is probably working toward that goal, too. The price of building any in-house software solution can be substantial, which is why so many companies choose SaaS solutions over building their own.

The FTP software costs incurred by building your own in-house file sharing solution go beyond licensing the actual software. Additional costs associated with in-house solutions include:

  • Software: Licensing the software needed to run your in-house FTP solution is pretty expensive, ranging from $3,000-$6,000. That’s a large upfront cost for your business. In contrast, when you choose an FTP SaaS solution, the upfront FTP software costs are virtually nonexistent. You only pay a nominal monthly fee, which can be easily rolled into your other operating expenses.

In some cases, you can get the first month of your hosted FTP solution at a discount or for free, increasing your FTP software cost savings even further.

  • Hardware: Hosting your own file sharing software will probably mean you have to invest in a new server to support your solution. Instead of making an additional capital expenditure before your solution is up and running, you could select a hosted SaaS solution that requires no hardware. All the hardware needed to support your file sharing activities is located at the FTP hosts’ headquarters.
  • Hiring Staff: Could your IT team take on the management of a whole new system? For many companies, the answer is no. So, if you’re taking the in-house file sharing solution route, you’ll likely have to hire a new employee to maintain the solution. This means that on top of all your upfront fees, you now have to add the cost of a whole new position.

    With an SaaS solution, you don’t have any added hiring costs. Your file sharing solution is expertly managed by the host company, and they provide all the manpower needed to keep your solution running efficiently.
  • Maintenance: Rarely is a new software solution installed with no need for future maintenance. Ongoing maintenance and updates for in-house software are about 25% of your initial licensing fee, ranging from $750 - $1500 per year.

    With an SaaS solution, maintenance is included in the FTP software costs. The FTP provider performs all regular updates and maintenance on the solution. If and when an issue arises, you can simply call the provider and they’ll address the problem.


Beyond the straightforward FTP software costs of an in-house solution, you also have to expend a lot of time on both implementation and maintenance. But, with an SaaS file sharing solution, all you have to manage is your users.


Initial setup for an in-house solution can be labor-intensive for your IT team. You have to implement your licensed software, acquire servers to support your operations, and get the team members up to speed on the new file sharing solution.

All of that initial setup time is eliminated when you choose a hosted SaaS solution. In theory, you could choose a solution and start using it the next day. You simply pay for a package that’s meets your team’s needs, and the solution is ready to use immediately. And, training your team is easier, too. Many FTP vendors are happy to provide training sessions or free demos for your team to make the transition to a new solution easier.

Ongoing Maintenance

Once your in-house solution is implemented, the work doesn’t stop there. Ongoing maintenance sucks time from your IT resources that could be better used in other projects in your organization.

For example, if a breach occurs within your in-house file sharing solution, your IT team has to drop whatever they’re doing to patch the software. What if you have multiple breaches in a month or quarter? Your team’s time is too valuable to waste.

Downtime is another area of concern. If there’s an issue with you in-house software solution, it had to be fixed right away, or productivity will screech to a halt. Unless you hire more staff members (or make time for the IT team you’ve already got to address issues), you’ll have to wait for a software expert to come to your location and fix your in-house solution. Downtime means lost productivity, and lost productivity means lost profits.


Security is a major issue for companies that work with sensitive data. Whether you’re handling medical records or client payment information, it’s imperative that your file sharing solution protects this data. With a hosted SaaS file sharing solution, you’re ensuring tighter security on data that’s essential to your operations.

Your FTP vendor has a team of experts managing their file sharing solution. These experts, who are at your disposal, are able to rapidly detect and patch system vulnerabilities, before hackers have a chance to access your data. With an in-house solution, you would incur high costs to have experts on your team that only focused on your system’s data security.

Every day, hackers try new methods to break through firewalls and breach file sharing systems. So you need security measures that are constantly evolving to keep up with new threats. Your FTP vendor will also provide regular system updates, so you can have confidence that the system protecting your data is a step ahead of the hackers.

When you manage your own in-house FTP software, you’ll pour money, time, and energy into it,  just to ensure the solution performs its primary functions each day. Not only do you want to avoid excessive FTP software costs, you want to avoid the burden this would place on your team.

Put hours back into your schedule and dollars back into your bank account. Choose an SaaS FTP solution for an easier, worry-free file sharing process.

Learn more about the features and benefits you should look for in an FTP solution. Download this free comparison guide now.

Want to compare the top 7 file sharing software solutions?

Download this comparison guide to see which solution is best for your business.

View the Comparison Guide

About Martin Horan

Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.

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