The Best Virtual Data Room Providers

Find a virtual data room solution
that is best tailored to your business needs.

Last update: November, 2022

4.9
Capterra G2
5.0
iDeals is the number one Virtual Data Room (VDR) solution for confidential data storage and sharing. With high-level security at the core, iDeals offers over 100 exclusive features for file management and enterprise collaboration at a flexible price.
Ease of Use
9.4/10
Ease of Setup
9.5/10
Ease of Admin
9.2/10
Quality of Support
9.4/10
4.7
Capterra G2
4.6
Intralinks is a financial technology provider that offers a VDR with intuitive user interface (UI), one-click mobile access, and round-the-clock user support. The newest version of Intralinks' data room is 50% faster and even more flexible than before.
4.6
Capterra G2
4.5
Datasite is a top-tier SaaS provider that works across the M&A industry. The company’s core products include virtual data room solutions for deal marketing, deal preparation, due diligence, and buy-side offering.
4.5
Capterra G2
4.5
This provider began its journey as a simple data-sharing platform. Today it’s one of the best virtual data room software. Try its friendly interface and numerous useful features.
4.4
Capterra G2
4.5
Brainloop is an all-in-one platform that offers industry-leading collaboration solutions for board communication, confidential transactions, and file sync and share. Brainloop’s flagship solution is BoardSuite – a superior board portal for teams.
4.4
Capterra G2
4.4
Being one of the oldest financial corporations, Donnelley has huge experience in data management. That’s why its VDR software is agile, simple, and very efficient.
4.3
Capterra G2
4.4
CapLinked is a top-notch VDR and file management software that provides full-cycle solutions for M&As and due diligence. One of the platform’s strongest benefits is its user-centric interface, allowing for the quick start and easy document management.
4.2
Capterra G2
4.4
FORDATA is the premier virtual data room solutions provider in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Baltic region. Electronic banking-level security is the fundamental characteristic of FORDATA, along with round-the-clock customer service and flexible user access management system.
4.1
Capterra G2
4.5
Ansarada is an AI-powered VDR company with complete lifecycle solutions for financial deals, portfolio management, board communication, etc. Smooth design, unparalleled security and AI automation are Ansarada’s trademarks.
4.0
Capterra G2
4.4
ShareVault is a cloud-based storage and file sharing platform with comprehensive security and control features such as a remote shredder (ability to revoke user’s access even after the file was downloaded) and activity tracking tools.

Find the best virtual data room provider for your business: Checklist included

With so many virtual data rooms on the market, making the right choice can be challenging. We researched data room providers across different segments and put this guide together to assist you with navigating all the available options and going with the best virtual data room for your case.

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Data room industry overview

Virtual data room solutions came in to replace the traditional approach not so long ago. Over the past two decades, virtual deal rooms started as secure cloud storage platforms and grew into irreplaceable tools for ensuring corporate document security and streamlining due diligence.

Each data room provider initially brought something unique to the table. Some focused on delivering tools for simplified deal-making to medium and large businesses. Others elevated the ways sensitive data was handled and enabled faster decision-making.

As digitization grew across all sectors, so did the data room provider market. Data room services became synonymous with confidential data processing for small, medium, and large businesses in virtually every sector.

However, with the offer growing at such rates, many users got confused about which tool to use for the most optimal outcome. The answer to this starts with defining the utmost requirements of your project.

This way, virtual data room solutions with sophisticated document organization features will be most beneficial during due diligence, while absolute inviolability is a must-have for financial institutions and law firms.

In the next section, we will take a closer look at the three top priorities of data room software selection:

  • Security
  • Document organziation
  • User access management

How to choose the most secure data room

Data safety is the primary criterion in choosing a virtual data room. Companies of all sizes and specializations choose data room services for storing and exchanging confidential information. This means that the data room security features are something that absolutely cannot be overlooked during comparison.

But many new data room users might not be familiar with the technicalities of digital safekeeping. Therefore, we’ve created a virtual data room software features checklist that helps to ensure file security.

Must-have online data room security features
Features
All-around security

A data room provider has to guarantee users’ data safety from both the hardware and software perspectives. The hardware side involves the quality, location, and maintenance protocols for the physical servers where the information is stored.

And the software security includes the virtual data room solutions for transferring and displaying documents to authorized users.

Multi-factor authentication

This feature creates additional steps required to enter the electronic data room. For example, after you put in the password, you will receive a unique code to your phone number or email address.

Protected infrastructure

The virtual dataroom physical storage has to adhere to strict standards that cover things like the amount of servers’ uptime, data backups, and encryption protocols.

You can evaluate how legitimate any digital data room is by spotting the proof of the following industry-leading security certifications and compliances:

  • ISO/IEC 27001
    • SOC 1, 2, 3
    • GDPR
    • HIPAA
    • FISMA
  • PCI DSS Level 1
Virus scan

Malware attacks are one of the biggest risks associated with online confidential information storage. That’s why virtual data room vendors must facilitate constant virus and vulnerability scans. Virus scanning ensures that all the files added to the VDR data room are free of malicious programs. And the vulnerability scans check for the software’s overall exposure to potential breaches.

Operational security

This is another aspect of risk prevention strategizing that has virtual data room service providers continuously evaluating and improving the system. Picture it as viewing the data room virtual space from the attacker’s point of view and establishing preventive measures accordingly.

Problem resolution and disaster recovery

Even the most advanced data room software faces the risks of malfunction. And it isn’t possible to prepare for everything that can go wrong. However, electronic data room providers can create a crisis action plan to quickly return the VDR service back to normal. This process builds off regular encrypted data backups and a well-structured recovery model.

Unauthorized access protection

Preventing unwanted visitors from accessing the files inside your secure cloud storage combines multi-factor authentication discussed above, time and location restrictions, complete control over documents disregarding their status, and more.

Nice-to-have data room security features
Features
Customer managed keys

Some enterprise-level IT departments look for the CMK feature in a data room service, as it grants users with partial or complete control over encryption keys.

HSM for key management

A hardware security module secures and manages keys and also encrypts and decrypts data. In the case of virtual data room solutions, such technology can be used for digital signatures or reinforced authentication.

Compare security features of top 10 virtual data room providers

After examining hundreds of virtual data room reviews across multiple platforms, we’ve collected the list of 10 top-rated providers on the market. Below is the evaluation of each data room solution according to the must-have security feature checklist.

All-round security
Multi-Factor Authentication
Protected Infrastructure
Virus scan
Operational Security
Problem resolution protocol, disaster recovery plan
Protection from unauthorized access
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

How to choose the data room for enhanced document management

At this point, you’ve made sure that the online data room providers you are considering took the necessary measures to guarantee your information’s security. Now, it’s time to explore the next layer of digital data room efficiency – convenient and secure file sharing and management.

There are three main challenges associated with file organization in online data rooms:

  1. The number of documents. Depending on the project, you might be dealing with immense amounts of data. Your  VDR provider has to make the file upload and sorting process as fast and simple as possible.
  2. File size and type. Apart from being able to handle large loads of data, the data rooms need to process a variety of documents, including images, heavy videos, and audios.
  3. Document protection. The best data room providers can help you monitor sensitive data files, even after they’ve been viewed or downloaded. In some cases, there are also options to moderate the way your guests view each particular file.

Below is the checklist of features that will assist you with overcoming these challenges. Just as in the case with security, we’ve divided them into “must-have” and “nice-to-have” based on how they will impact your overall virtual dataroom experience.

Must-have online data room document organization features
Features
Dynamic watermarking

Protect your ownership of any given document inside the virtual data room. Applying regular or dynamic watermarks makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or leak the document without repercussions.

Drag-n-drop file upload

This feature allows filling your digital data room a lot faster. With some virtual deal room providers, you can also use it to add documents in bulk.

Broad format support

Ensure that the data room software can process different file types, including:

  • PDF
    • DOC
    • PPT
    • XLS
    • JPEG
    • TIFF
    • MP4
  • MOV

In case you are not sure which formats you will be using, consult with other data room contributors that will work on the project.

Auto-indexing

You can organize large document volumes faster by letting the data room software sort and label them automatically. Some providers also offer case-specific templates and filters to speed the process further along.

No-plugin IRM

All the authorized users should be able to safely access the necessary data without requiring any add-ons or plugins. The best virtual data rooms also facilitate easy access from different devices and operating systems.

Nice-to-have data room features for managing documents
Features
Version control

Track all the changes and edits in each document to better direct the data room virtual deal flow.

E-signature

Some online data room providers collaborate with electronic-sign services to simplify the signing process for the users.

High maximum upload size

When a virtual data room provider works with large-scale clients, they will typically allow bulkier file uploads.

Workflows

Virtual data room services are often used for internal collaboration, and a pre-established digital workflow can significantly expedite the process.

Online editing

Work on documents without the need to download them. Just make sure that the users who can edit specific documents have sufficient access rights.

Document approval

This data room service helps navigate the required procedures associated with certain documents, especially multiple-party contracts, policies, and strategies.

Multiple languages

Automatic translation helps accommodate overseas users during an international project.

Compare document management features of top 10 virtual data rooms

Here’s the overlook of top virtual data rooms based on their document management capabilities. Please note that we are focusing on the same virtual data room solutions throughout this guide to keep the research thorough and detailed and help you make an informed decision.

Watermarks
Drag-n-drop upload
Broad format support
Auto-indexing
No-plugin IRM
N/A
N/A
N/A

How to choose the data room for improved user management

After making sure that all the documents are well protected in a secure virtual data room, it is time to address the human factor. Depending on the size and nature of the deal you are in charge of, you will need to grant data room access to different people both inside and outside of your organization.

The most important thing is to realize that not all users should be given equal rights. Even more so, based on their role in the company, some virtual data room visitors will be restricted from viewing certain documents and segments.

The users who don’t have pre-established access conditions can both intentionally and unintentionally misuse the confidential data room space. That’s why the features from the checklist below are essential to consider as you compare virtual data rooms.

Must-have data room user management features
Features
Two-factor authentication

Complex, multiple-step authentication helps you guarantee the identity of the person accessing your secure VDR. In some cases, it’s a unique SMS code; in others – fingerprint access using a special device.

View-only

This feature restricts users from making any changes to the document while getting familiar with it. You can also choose to prohibit screenshotting and printing to further solidify the virtual dataroom safety.

Permission set

The virtual data room provider will give you an option to select pre-built permission models or configure your own. For a truly secure data room, apply the access privileges granularly by considering every user’s and user group’s specific roles.

View as another user

Impersonating another user is a handy tool that allows you to double-check all the settings from the receiving-end perspective. Make sure that everyone inside the data room will have the necessary access to the documents that require their attention and restrict everyone else.

Role system

The best data rooms allow multiple layers of privilege that correspond with different company structures and deal flow. For example, the company’s CEO, CFO, and the head of HR will usually have the most authority within the digital data room, while third-party experts, such as property inspectors, the least.

Nice-to-have data room features for managing users
Features
Advanced user permissions

Some online data rooms enable advanced digital rights management through the configuration of viewing, editing, printing, and commenting on the documents. Such an approach can be beneficial for large collaborative projects with users from different areas of expertise.

Sharing with external parties

If you are using virtual data room services for pitching to investors, for instance, make sure that the VDR can be easily accessed from the outside through secure link-sharing or a restricted guest mode.

Compare user activity management and permissions features of top 10 virtual data room providers

Here is the virtual data room comparison of the top 10 providers based on the features they offer for managing users.

Authentication
View-only
Permission settings
View as another user
Role system
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Top 3 virtual data room providers

Based on our research across all of the above categories, we’ve outlined three leaders in every segment. In addition to checking for certain features, we have also considered the user feedback from independent virtual data room review platforms.

So, how to choose the best data room?

There are several approaches you can take when comparing virtual data rooms and selecting the right one for your case. 

For example, some people focus on comparing virtual data room pricing offered by different providers of virtual deal rooms. But while it is important to estimate the budget you need to allocate towards a VDR, the cost alone is not sufficient for making a well-rounded decision.

Others turn to data room reviews for advice and study feedback from various users. In this case, there are two fundamental aspects to keep in mind: 

  1. Not every data room review is directly applicable to your case
  2. All reviews only stay relevant for a short period since software providers tend to improve very fast.

In general, attempting to compare virtual data rooms from a single angle is highly ineffective. Since virtual data room solutions carry versatile functionality and have a virtually limitless number of purposes, it makes sense to take an equally comprehensive outlook. The areas to cover are:

  • The specifics of your industry and project
  • Particular features you will require in the process
  • Verified virtual data room reviews
  • Virtual data room pricing models and additional costs of different providers

The specifics of your industry and project

Begin by outlining the overall purpose of your virtual data room solution. Depending on your case, you will need different features, supporting services, and levels of the provider’s expertise. Additionally, if your company operates in the legal sector, for instance, the software you use has to follow industry-dictated standards.

Example: Law firms and financial institutions will benefit from virtual data room solutions that comply with the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA).

The size of your company is also essential in choosing the best data room. Some providers charge per user, which significantly increases the cost for medium and large businesses. The same applies to the number of potential external visitors you are expecting.

Particular features you will require in the process

Security, ease-of-use, ability to restrict access, and straightforward document and data room activity management are the foundation of every online data room provider comparison. However, based on your preferences and expectations, you might look for certain features to elevate your virtual data room solution experience.

Example: Detailed tool customization is a critical brand-building aspect. Find a provider that will enable you to broadcast your company’s colors, fonts, and general style via the software.

Consider consulting your teammates on the functionality they expect from the data room. The chances are that someone on the team has dealt with virtual data rooms in the past and will have valuable insights.

Verified virtual data room reviews

Navigating virtual data room review platforms can be a challenge. The best thing you can do here is to pay close attention to the posting date and take ultra-positive reviews with a grain of salt. Difficulties are possible with the most experienced and reputable data room solution providers, and reliable reviewers usually don’t hesitate to mention them.

Example: Large review platforms with a high visitor number are good at filtering out the not-so-genuine posting by verifying their user’s job title and location.

Pay particular attention to the reviews from medium and large businesses, especially the ones with recognizable names. It will be easier to verify the testimonial’s legitimacy and potentially even get detailed feedback from the previous user.

Price models and final costs

Virtual data room service providers charge differently. Some account for the cost of storage, others for the number of people accessing the VDR, or for the feature variety. There are also providers who offer a fixed-fee model that correlates with the company size and usually has a pre-determined set of functions and abilities.

Example: A fixed-fee data room will offer a certain amount of storage, allowed users, and features for a monthly, annual, or bi-annual charge.

When it comes to pricing models, you need to follow your company’s budget and expectations to make the decision. This way, a small firm that uses the data room solution as an internal repository will be able to work on a per-GB basis.

At the same time, an international enterprise will need a customized fixed-fee digital data room to avoid cost accumulation due to extensive usage. 

Choose the best data room for your case

Based on the above, here is a summary of focus areas and key features for the most common online data room usage cases.

A virtual data room for due diligence A virtual data room for due diligence
Main focus: Convenience
Crucial features: Streamlined document management, flexible access permissions, no-plugin viewing, and smartphone applications.
The due diligence involves experts from various areas deep-diving into every aspect of the company’s operation. The main job of the virtual data room is to make the process as fast and as smooth as possible to help the parties reach the decision sooner.
A data room for M&A A data room for M&A
Main focus: Confidentiality
Crucial features: Dynamic watermarking, detailed access control, remote wipe, data encryption, virus scanning.
A data leak can destroy an M&A deal. That’s why virtual data room providers have to offer a multi-angle approach to safekeeping every confidential document and taking extra steps to authenticate users who access the VDR service.
A virtual data room for startups A virtual data room for startups
Main focus: Budget
Crucial features: Flexible fee-formation, activity reporting, heatmap, improved organization and presentation, user-friendly interface, responsive technical support.
Startups have to be extremely conscious about tool costs during the early stages. The trick is to find a comfortable balance between affordability and functionality. Additionally, the best data room for startups will allow its administrators to approach multiple interested parties simultaneously without necessarily letting them know about each other.
A data room for investors Main focus: A data room for investors
Main focus: Organization
Crucial features: Dashboards, auto-filtering, full-text search, intuitive document sharing, multi-platform accessibility, multiple languages.
Whether the digital data room serves as a portfolio managing instrument, a due diligence space, or as a platform for exploring new opportunities, the investors will benefit from straightforward and comprehensive file management. A bonus feature would be an option to create separate data rooms for various fields and access them via a single sign-on.
A virtual data room for investment banking A virtual data room for investment banking
Main focus: Versatility
Crucial features: Transparent file tracking, advanced sensitive documents management, user-friendly interface, proactive customer service, simultaneous viewing of multiple files.
Investment banking plays a crucial role in the corporate development of medium and large businesses. The investment bankers take care in almost every stage of deal-making, from the initial proposal to due diligence and closing. Therefore, the best virtual data rooms, in this case, are the ones that enable resourceful file sharing and variable collaboration tools.

How to choose the best data room cheatsheet

Use the following cheatsheet to navigate the virtual data room comparison

To-do
Look for
To-do & Look for
Outline your needs and expectations
  • Virtual data room providers with experience in similar projects
  • Mentions of free document checklists and templates
  • Sufficient training

 

List the must-have and nice-to-have features
  • Complete descriptions of all the features included in the VDR service
  • A 24/7/365 customer support team to answer your questions

 

Estimate your budget
  • Multiple pricing models
  • Length-of-use discounts

 

Read the reviews
  • The reviews that were published within the last 6 months
  • Both pros and cons
  • The reviewer’s job title and responsibilities

 

Ask for a free demo
  • Representative’s professionalism and product knowledge
  • Clear demonstration of data security mechanisms
  • Showcase of an effective, user-friendly interface

 

Request a free trial
  • At least 14 days of free access
  • No-hidden-fees promise
  • An option to test the data room software without obligations


FAQ

1. What is a virtual data room?

A virtual data room is an online space used to securely store sensitive data, exchange confidential documents, and utilize various collaboration tools. Due to advanced technology and continuous innovations in the field, online data rooms are becoming an inevitable element of modern deal-making.

2. How to set up a virtual data room?
  1. Find a virtual data room provider who will accommodate your needs
  2. Find or create the best virtual data room structure using folders and sections
  3. Gather the necessary documents and upload them into the outline
  4. Set user permissions for groups and individuals
  5. Double-check everything
  6. Invite the rest of the users
  7. Continuously maintain your digital data room
3. What is a virtual data room used for?

Virtual data rooms accommodate all possible projects and transactions. The most common VDR data room use cases include M&A, due diligence, corporate data repository, portfolio management, internal collaboration, and investment banking. 

4. What is the difference between traditional data rooms and virtual data rooms?

A physical data room is an actual space that contains a company’s documents, while a virtual data room stores the same documents digitally using cloud technology.

5. Virtual file-sharing services vs. VDR?

Free file-sharing platforms lack security and functionality compared to virtual data room software solutions. By going with established electronic data room providers, you can ensure the safety of your data and take advantage of streamlined deal processing.

6. How to create a virtual data room?

Find a provider who has experience dealing with projects similar to yours. See if they offer pre-set virtual data room templates. Once you’ve got the general outline, configure the settings that are specific to your case for the best data room experience.

7. Who at a corporation buys virtual data room software?

The decision to digitize a corporate repository via virtual data room services will typically involve the company’s CEO and CFO. Also, in some cases, the data room software is purchased by the head of the M&A division of either the buy-side or sell-side.

8. Does every data room provider offer a free trial?

No, free trial periods are only available via select data room service providers. But most providers will offer a free demo of their services delivered by someone on the sales team.

ProvidersDescription
1. iDealsBeing one of the best virtual data room providers iDeals offers its users a perfect solution for all business processes that involve documents. Try it, and you will like it.
2. IntralinksIf you need an experienced provider, you should consider Intralinks. Over decades this vendor learned everything about businesses. And it’s willing to help your company out.
3. DatasiteMerrill is a unique example of an old data room provider who nevertheless offers an agile and simple solution. You will enjoy numerous features and an easy-to-use interface.
4. BlackBerry WorkspacesIf security is your main concern, you should try Workspaces as this provider focuses on safety. It might lack some functions, but your documents will be safeguarded.
5. BrainloopThis data room provider can satisfy most business needs of companies in different fields. Brainloop offers a lot of useful features and an organized workflow to ease processes.
6. OneHubOneHub allows companies to keep and share files on the cloud server. The software is very easy to use and perfectly secure. It will help you close deals successfully much faster.
7. CapLinkedLooking for a data room that won’t overwhelm you with features? Consider CapLinked. Here you will have all the basic instruments without anything over the top.
8. ForDataForData offers truly versatile and easy to use virtual data room that can fit any business and any industry. Check it out and see if it fulfills your needs and requirements.
9. AnsaradaLooking for a solution for Mergers and Acquisitions deals? Try Ansarada since it is focused on M&A. The software offers only the necessary features you will need during such deals.
10. ShareVaultShareVault offers software that will be suitable for all kinds of document-centric processes. This provider even has a convenient virtual board room among all the features.
11. EthosDataEthosData meets all the security requirements and standards. That’s why it is suitable for all industries, even for law firms. You’ll need only 5 minutes to set up this VDR.
12. DroomsIf you’re looking for a solution for processes that involve due diligence or for assets lifecycle management, Drooms might be just the right option for your requirements.
13. BOXBox was a file-sharing platform for a while. As it got more experience, it became a data room provider. Now it is one of the most convenient solutions for corporate data management.
14. TRANSCEND VDRTranscend is a decent virtual data room provider that offers all the necessary features and simple interface. It will back you up during your most cumbersome deals.
15. Citrix ShareFileShareFile by Citrix is suitable for businesses of all sizes. This software will help you keep your papers organized and available during deals and accelerate the processes.
16. DonnelleyThis provider has seen the world without the Internet and knows how to help businesses close deals successfully. With Donnelley your documents will be available and secure.
17. SmartRoom VDRThis provider is suitable for Mergers and Acquisitions and some other kinds of business processes. SmartRoom VDR will help you collaborate efficiently and manage files.
18. DataRooms.ComThis due diligence focused provider offers a simple yet elegant solution. DataRooms.Com has all the basic features you need for a successful deal and a simple, intuitive interface.
19. FirmexThis Canadian vendor is one of the most well-known and trusted virtual data room providers. It offers a solution for numerous business processes that involve sensitive documents.
20. HighQ DataroomThis might be the best virtual data room provider for startups and small companies. HighQ is easy to get started with and set up to fit the requirements of your business.
21. V-RoomsOver the years, this provider was serving high-quality data rooms to businesses in different fields. You can try V-Rooms using its free trial to see if it is the right solution for you.
22. SecureDocsIt is simple and easy to use a virtual data room that will take care of your corporate files. If you’re not sure whether SecureDocs fits your needs, you can use a free trial.
23. DocSendDocSend is a tool that provides the ability to exchange data without fear. You can do it anywhere and anytime. That does not affect the security of your documents.
24. ClinkedLooking for a data room that won’t overwhelm you with features? Consider CapLinked. Here you will have all the basic instruments without anything over the top.
25. DigifyDigify is an award-winning data control tool for companies worldwide. The security system is backed by powerful features. Be safe at no extra cost, and keep your eyes on the ball.
26. DealRoomThe Dealroom provider’s mission is to deliver high-quality services. M&A; and many other transactions are simplified and expedited for all parties. Make use of solutions offered.
27. idgardThe uniqueness of idgard lies in sealed clouds and proven security mechanisms. Fear-free data exchange and built-in instruments for business keep staying in a position of trust.
28. Aversure Data Room ServiceThe demand for Aversure data rooms is high due to simple interface and proven protection. Work anywhere, using any device. Focus on business, Aversure will take care of the rest.
29. SafelinkSafelink is designed to meet typical business needs. Here managers find a good blend of features, security, and price. Automated processes save time and energy.
30. Document VaultDocsvault allows users to manage and share data in a secure environment. It is not only a tool for paperwork, but also for making progress. Dedicated technical support is available.
31. ImprimaImprima supports companies in complex deals by providing an AI platform. Available 24/7. Managers control the data and staff, Imprima works for success. The price is affordable.