ShareFile integrates cloud file share with desktop folders

New tool allows users to transfer files from Windows and Mac OS desktops to the cloud

ShareFile has launched Sync, a tool that allows users to continuously synchronize files from specified desktop folders, in an effort to make its cloud-based file transfer service easier to use, the company said on Tuesday.

ShareFile is pitching its service -- which bears the same name as the company -- as a faster and more secure alternative to FTP for small and medium-size businesses.

A ShareFile user's customers can access files on a company-branded Web portal, one of the business-friendly features that helps set the service apart from the likes of Dropbox, according to Steve Chiles, chief marketing officer at ShareFile. Users can also allow their customers to log in to the service and upload files from their own website. ShareFile comes with reporting features that allow users to see who has uploaded and downloaded files, and when they were transferred.

The addition of Sync will help automate the process of uploading files, instead of having to do a lot of the upload work manually. The feature allows for both one-way and two-way synchronization of files, Chiles said. Now the user just has to drag and drop the file they want to synchronize into a designated folder. A folder can also be configured to send content to many recipients.

The associated Sync application is available for Windows and Mac OS.

ShareFile offers four standard price plans: Basic, Professional, Enterprise, and Enterprise Gold. They differ in the number of allowed employee accounts, monthly data transfer volume, storage volume and functionality that is included. For example, the Professional plan costs $US59.95 per month and includes 10 employee accounts, 10GB of transferred data and 10GB of storage. They all include unlimited accounts for clients and partners.

ShareFile Sync will be included in the Professional and Enterprise price plans. Basic Plan customers can add the Power Tools bundle, which also includes an Outlook plug-in, a desktop widget and drive mapping within Windows, to their plan for an additional $10 per month.

Later this month, ShareFile will also launch Enterprise Sync, a server-based version with centralized management. It will be added to both Enterprise pricing plans at no extra cost.

The company has also started work to better integrate ShareFile on smartphones and tablets. Last week, the company launched a website that has been optimized for access from these devices. The company is also working on native applications for Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system, which will arrive before the end of the first quarter, Chiles said.

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