Pros / Hightail has unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Cons / The phone support isn't available 24/7.

 Verdict / Hightail is your best option for an online file sharing service because it provides the easiest way to share files and collaborate online without limiting how much you can share.

Formerly known as YouSendIt, Hightail is an online file sharing service built around an exceptional platform for sharing large files and collaborating online. Hightail's digital workspaces provide the best environment for online collaboration, and the third-party app integration makes it a versatile file sharing service. To make file sharing and online collaboration easy, you can drag and drop files into your workspace and share as many files as you need, because there's no limit to the storage or bandwidth. For these reasons, Hightail earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for best online file sharing service.

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Share & Access Features

Hightail's best feature is the unlimited storage and bandwidth. If your organization does any business online, you share and receive files often with colleagues and clients. With unlimited storage, you can upload as many files as you need to without additional fees. In addition, unlimited bandwidth means you can share files as much as you need, which means that you don't have to stress over whether you have enough bandwidth left to send an important file to a client.

Another feature that makes Hightail one of the best online file sharing services is the intuitive digital workspace, which is called simply Spaces. Within Spaces, you can create projects and work with clients or colleagues who lives thousands of miles away. You simply invite guests to your Space and it becomes a place for collaboration. You can leave messages and comments within Space for easy communication between everyone concerning what was edited and why. You can even pinpoint the exact spot within the file that your comment stems from by highlighting that area, providing context for your comment. For example, if you're editing a photo in Spaces, you can highlight the area of the photo that you edited so that the other users know exactly where to look.

If you want to share large files with people who don't have a Hightail account, you can create share links or use the Microsoft Outlook plugin, which allows you to attach large files to your Outlook email. Creating a share link is the easiest way to share very large files because it creates a URL, allowing your recipient to download the file using any web browser. Without the Microsoft Outlook plugin, you'd only be able to attach files 20MB and smaller in an email.

Another feature that makes Hightail one of the easiest file sharing websites is the ability to sign documents electronically. With the e-signature feature, you can send contracts, lease agreements and other necessary documents to your recipients. It allows you to read, sign and send the document on one screen. Without the e-signature feature, you'd have to print out the document, sign it, scan it back into your computer, attach it to an email and send it, or use snail mail.

Hightail has apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, giving you access to edit and share all of the files uploaded to your account. You can also integrate your account with third-party apps for greater versatility. For example, you can integrate Hightail with an app for Salesforce, making it easier to share large files with other sales associates.

Security

For secure file sharing, Hightail uses end-to-end file encryption. When a file is in transit, Hightail protects it with 128-bit SSL encryption. When the file is idle on the servers, it's secured with AES 256-bit encryption. By using end-to-end encryption, a hacker can't view the content of your files at any point during the file's online life cycle. In addition, Hightail backs the servers with firewalls and virus scanners, protecting against internal and external threats.

Another security feature is the ability to password-protect the files you share. This option allows you to assign a password to share links, requiring the recipient to enter the password in order to download the file. Since the recipient never gets the password from Hightail, you have to communicate the password to the recipient. This ensures that only the recipient has the ability to download a file from a URL link.

One of the most important security features is the remote wipe option. This allows you to delete files from any computer connected to your account. Remote wipe is important for two situations – former employees and stolen computers. If an employee leaves your company, the remote wipe allows you to delete all the company files from the ex-employee's computer. Likewise, if someone steals your synced laptop or mobile phone, you can wipe all the files from the device from your online portal. This is critical for protecting sensitive financial records and proprietary information.

File Tracking Controls

Hightail allows you to maintain comprehensive file tracking with an extensive audit log and control features. These file-tracking features allow you to keep an eye on who has viewed, edited, downloaded and shared your files. This includes receiving confirmation for downloaded or emailed files, requiring identity verification, and setting file expirations so that recipients can only download a file for a limited time.

Once you invite people to the share folders and digital workspaces, you have the ability to set permissions. These folder permissions allow you to assign roles to users within a group project, customizing who can view, who can edit and who can share files within the folder. Folder permissions are necessary when the collaborative project features many people with differing roles within a project. For example, you might invite your quality control manager to a group folder simply to approve changes. You only want this person to approve changes, so you can assign the quality control manager with a view-only role within the group.

Help & Support

In case you have any questions or concerns, Hightail has extensive customer support that includes FAQs, training videos, tutorials and a user forum for sharing ideas and issues. These are excellent resources for learning how to use all of the Hightail features effectively.

For immediate help, Hightail has live chat and phone support. However, the downside to the customer support is the lack of 24/7 availability. Instead, the standard support is limited to the business hours. If you encounter a problem with your account in the evening and you need immediate help because a client needs a file, you'll have to upgrade to the Platinum or Gold support plans, which include 24/7 support and a designated customer support manager.

Summary

Hightail is the best file sharing service we reviewed because it combines an intuitive interface with unlimited sharing, storage and file size. The Spaces area of your account is the best place for online collaboration with colleagues and clients. In addition, the security and tracking features ensure that you have full control over your files.

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Specifications and Benchmarks

Help & Support

Ticket & Email Support
Live Chat
24/7 Phone Support
User Forums
Tutorials
FAQs

Security

SSL Encrypted Transfer
256-Bit AES Encrypted Storage
Remote Wipe
Firewall Protection
Password Protect Files
Virus Scanning

File Tracking Controls

File Versions
Unlimited
Audit Log
Folder Permissions
User Usage & Storage Settings
File Locking
Recipient Identity Verification
File Access Expiration

Subscription Plans

Business Plan Max Storage
Unlimited
Business Plan Subscription Cost
Quote
Business Plan Minimum Users
2
Personal Plan Max Storage
Unlimited
Personal Plan Subscription Cost
$15

Share & Access Features

Bandwidth Limits
Unlimited
Maximum File Size
Unlimited
Digital Workspace
Public Share Links
Device Sync
iOS App
Android App
Third-Party App Integration
Microsoft Outlook Plugin
e-Signature
Custom Branding