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What are the Best Secure File Transfer Solutions? [A Comparison Guide]
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on August 30th, 2017

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What are the Best Secure File Transfer Solutions? [A Comparison Guide]

File Sharing Best Practices

If you are struggling to determine the best secure file transfer solution for your business, you’re not alone. Because there are many options on the market, it can be difficult to discern between your choices.

Which solution has the best features? What's the best value for my investment? What option will integrate with our current operations? These are common questions file sharing solution buyers ask.

To identify the best secure file transfer solutions and determine the option aligns with your needs, learn more about five popular file sharing solution – Brick FTP, SmartFile, Share File, DropBox, and FTP Today. With a comprehensive view of your options, you’re equipped to choose the best secure file transfer solution.

Compare the Top 7 File Sharing Software Solutions!

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While each of these solutions performs the primary function of providing a file sharing channel, there are certain features your solution must have. In this comparison guide, you’ll evaluate solutions based on three of the key features you need: security, compatibility, and control.

Before beginning the comparison, let’s better understand each of these areas.

  • Security. You want to protect your users and data against unauthorized access. With the ever-present threat of hackers and security breaches, your file sharing solution needs an adequate level of security, designed to keep threats at bay. Security also extends to regulatory compliance requirements. You want to make sure you meet the compliance demands of your industry.
  • Compatibility. Since many companies are still dependent on legacy systems, compatibility with these systems is a common concern. You also want a file sharing solution that’s compatible with other solutions you use each day, such as FTP or SFTP. Working seamlessly between multiple solutions is essential for maintaining productivity. Compatibility with these legacy protocols is also important to automation.
  • Control. It’s imperative that your administrators can control which users have access to which files through your FTP solution, both for security and usability purposes. The solution you choose should have the ability to set permissions granting and limiting access to specific users at a highly granular level.

With these key feature categories, evaluate your options and select the best secure file transfer solution for your needs. Explore this comparison guide to learn more.

Brick FTP

However, while Brick FTP may meet some of your security needs, it does have a few gaping holes that impact companies transferring highly sensitive data. For example, you’re not able to restrict site access by country or custom SSL cipher strength such as FIPS 140-2, two features that could be extremely necessary if you’re concerned with data security.

  • Compatibility. Where Brick FTP misses the mark on security, it makes up for in compatibility. It’s compatible with nearly all standard FTP protocols, including FTP, FTPeS, FTPS, SFTP, and SFTP with key authentication. It also offers web browser access, an essential usability feature for your employees.

The only compatibility shortcoming worth noting is that this solution does not provide a cross-platform file name case in-sensitivity option. This means you could have some discrepancies when switching between platforms such as Windows and Linux.

  • Control. If you want to grant or limit permissions for users to upload but not delete files, Brick FTP will give you some challenges because there is no separate setting to restrict deletion.


  • Security. SmartFile does allow you to enable and disable protocols. And, it provides at-rest encryption, securing your stored files. Unfortunately, these are the extent of the security measures it provides.
  • Compatibility. Similar to Brick FTP, SmartFile is compatible with all standard FTP protocols, like FTP, FTPeS, FTPS, SFTP, and SFTP with key authentication. SmartFile also provides web browser access for usability regardless of where your employees are working from. However, it does not offer cross-platform file name case in-sensitivity.
  • Control. In contrast to Brick FTP, SmartFile does not fall short on permissions. You’re able to apply file upload, download, delete, and list directory permissions for maximized control over your file access.  

Share File

  • Security. While Share File does protect data that’s at rest or stored on a server, that’s the only advanced security measure it provides. You’re not able to restrict access by country or related to user-level IP addresses or protocols. This baseline security might be sufficient for personal use, but not enterprise-level data security.
  • Compatibility. The only compatibility benefit that Share File offers is web browser access for your users. Otherwise, it is not wholly compatible with standard FTP protocols – FTP, FTPeS, FTPS, SFTP, and SFTP with key authentication. In fact, FTPeS and SFTP are not provided at all. And, unencrypted FTP cannot be turned off. If secure protocols are essential to your operations, you should look at other file sharing solutions beyond Share File for the best option.
  • Control. While Share File does enable file download permissions, it doesn’t have the complete permissions control that SmartFile or other options have.


  • Security. Beyond protecting your stored files with at-rest encryption, DropBox does not provide the high-level data security that the best secure file transfer solutions provide.
  • Compatibility. Similarly to Share File, the only compatibility feature DropBox offers is web browser access. Aside from that, you have no compatibility with standard FTP protocols (FTP, FTPeS, FTPS, SFTP, and SFTP with key authentication). So, other than web browser, every user has to install their proprietary sync/share app.
  • Control. Again, DropBox, like Share File, does enable you to place limitations on who can download files off your file sharing solution. Beyond that, it fails to provide the level of control most system administrators need over their solution. Their “Dropbox for Business” solutions may address this better, but at a significant cost per user, per month.

FTP Today

  • Security. If you’re looking for the best secure file transfer solution for your company, FTP Today is likely the ideal solution for you. It meets all the high-level data security needs companies face, making particularly beneficial for companies managing sensitive data like health records, customer payment information or when dealing in military contracts.

With FTP Today, you can enable and disable protocols, restrict access based on country, apply user-level IP address and protocol restrictions, and protect your at-rest data. IN addition, FTP Today’s proprietary intrusion detection and prevention firewalls automatically blacklist offenders.

  • Compatibility. FTP Today meets all the compatibility requirements you probably have – and then some. This solution is engages all standard file transfer protocols, including FTP, FTPeS, FTPS, SFTP, and SFTP with key authentication. FTP and FTPeS can also be enabled or disabled independently, even though they occur on the same TCP/IP port. Additionally, it provides seamless web browser access and cross-platform case in-sensitivity for Windows.

If connecting to essential software and protocols is necessary for your business, FTP Today is the best secure file transfer solution for your needs. Because it’s compatible with existing and legacy systems, you’re able to seamlessly integrate this file sharing system into your current operations and automated workflows.

  • Control. In addition to SmartFile, FTP Today is the only other solution that provides granular control system administrators need to manage a secure, usable file sharing solution. With FTP Today, you’re able to set file upload, download, delete and list directory permissions separately. This gives your administrators full control over who is accessing your files and what they’re able to do with them.

Use this criterion to identify the best secure file transfer solutions for your needs. Data security is a major concern for all businesses, since the threat of a data breach is constantly looming. You want a file sharing solution that offers increased security and control, while still being compatible with your existing and legacy systems.

Discover an even more in-depth comparison of these five options and more when you download this free comparison guide.

Compare the Top 7 File Sharing Software Solutions!

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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