Further to my post the other day on the state of the online backup and storage market, I needed to find a shared file-server solution for a small team so I thought I’d take a peek at some of the current top contenders in the market. I decided to check out and register for Egnyte, Box.net, and GetDropBox.com.

I wanted something that was cross-platform, super simple to use, inexpensive to use long-term for a 5 person team, and ideally that would give direct drive mapping to the desktop of a Mac or a PC so you could simply connect to it like a file-server, and I also wanted something that could scale up to a decent size (most file servers have a 500GB drive on them now at the very least).

I decided to check out Egnyte, Box.net, and GetDropBox.com and here are the results:


Egnyte Box.net
GetDropbox.com
Target customer
Enterprise, SMB
SMB, SOHO, Small team, Personal
Small team, Personal
Mac & PC
Yes
Yes
Yes
Web UI
Yes
Yes
Yes
Desktop access
Yes
Yes, Webdav in Business edition
Yes, all files in the folder are synced to the desktop. **So if you fill it with files, all the connected hard drives have to have dupes of those files on them. This is a shared/synced folder, not a “remote file server” like the other options.
Pricing
$15/power user $180/yr unless they all needed Webdav access in which case that is 5 x $15/user/mo or $900/yr!
which gives you the right to share to 20 standard users. That means that a team of 5 people would be charged
$20/mo so a team of 5 with one account holder would cost $240/yr.
$10/mo for 50GB
$20/mo for 100GB

So a team of 5 people using the 100GB account would cost $240/yr
Storage Capacity
UNLIMITED
15GB* that seems low!

Max size per file

1GB

Best fit
Replacing an Exchange File server with a cloud based version
SMBs and small business customers
Small teams
Loves Unlimited file storage and webdav access is awesome. Simple focused service. Super easy to use.
Biggest issue
Their Webdav pricing is completely out of touch with reality. Also, the desktop application and web UI kept trying to get me to backup my hard drive into their storage folder – something I didn’t want – and it was really hard to avoid. The biggest annoyance is that they want their “business rep” to call you by phone to let you try their business service for 15 days. Seems like a good way to drive up their cost of sales. They should drop that. Having said that, they were very nice people to talk to!
Not really business grade. It’s a sync solution so all files end up synced to all connected drives. So if you upload 100GB of PPT “to the cloud”, you and your colleagues will also have a copy of that on your hard drive.

Are there others?

Stay away from JungleDisk. Their site is awful and they make you register with Amazon Payment service in order to use them and the user experience is just a total nightmare. Then for billing issues, you have to visit both sites. They really needed to integrate the payment system better.

Nomadesk is a new entrant in the field but they’re PC only so I never looked at them but they are going to reach out to me once they get their Mac stuff in place.