Virtual Data Room Blog

A Virtual Data Room or Box - Which Should Your Use?

03-Jul-2019 09:15:00 / by Harsh Batra

EthosData dataroom vs Box


If you’re about to start work on an M&A, IPO or fundraising deal, you’re also about to come across virtual data rooms (VDRs). Lucky you.

A VDR allows multiple parties to share and collaborate on a deal’s critical information through a secure and encrypted web connection. Anywhere in the world. 

Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘why should I pay for a VDR when platforms like Box or Dropbox let me do similar, but for free?’

To answer that, here are five instances when using a VDR beat using Box:


You’re sharing highly sensitive information and need 100% security

VDRs were built for enterprises to store and share confidential information about a transaction. Box is a cloud content management and file sharing service for businesses but with weaker security than a VDR.

The result is that security is paramount to data room providers. 

VDRs have international third-party security certificates and data centers that are physically secured by biometric access and monitored 24/7. In comparison, there has been a number of occasions where Box’s security is breached.

Furthermore, VDRs allow you to revoke access to a document even after a user has opened that same document. You can also keep all files (regardless of their format) protected with passwords, personalised watermarks, and customisable NDAs. With Box, you can only password protect your links.


You need to set different permission settings for different users, and control who can do what with individual files and folders

Through a VDR, as an administrator you can quickly assign different roles and responsibilities to multiple parties. You can easily set different document access and permission levels for users, and control who can see, edit, copy, print or forward a deal’s documents. 

On Box, you can control who can edit or view a document but that’s it. That’s why VDRs are much more secure on global transactions when multiple parties are involved.


You need a service that helps get you set up and manages your users and files

Data room providers will assign clients with a dedicated DataRoom Specialist. That specialist is there to handle all user, permission and document management - from uploading content to preparing activity reports. 

The best virtual data rooms will have this service available to clients 24/7, on weekends and during nights so that if a user has a problem accessing a file or working on a document, it’s an issue that’s dealt with within 5 minutes, not over 24 hours through an online help desk. 

To be honest - you’re on your own when it comes to platforms such as Box.


You want to track who has done what with files and create audits of activity

Box allows you to see user activity and statistics.

VDRs show you this and a lot more.

You can run audits to track when users have viewed files or what they did in the document. This allows you to understand bidder interest and ensures you’re covered in the event of legal action.


You want a platform that streamlines communications between parties

Beyond sharing important files, VDRs come with a range of additional features that speed up workflow and make users more efficient.

The first of these is a Q&A tool where users can post questions and comments about a specific document to the administrator of the data room. The administrator can then reply to more than one question at a time and create hyperlinks to other documents in a reply. This keeps all communication recorded, encrypted and in one place.  

A second feature is customisable email alerts. These notify users to document changes, comments, and new uploads as soon as they happen. In comparison, Box notifications will only alert users when activity they have directly been involved in occurs, for example when someone replies to their comments. On a fast-paced and complex deal, this can mean that crucial information and activity is either missed or overlooked. 


All clear?

Box is a great platform when it comes to sharing information within small teams with fewer complications and non-confidential documents. 

However, when it comes to sharing private due diligence documents (such as finances or patents) with multiple teams and companies across the globe, you need greater levels of security and control. Levels you can only get through virtual data rooms.


Want to learn more about how EthosData's VDRs work? Click here to arrange a free demo of our service. 


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Topics: virtual data room comparison