If you want to find out how to get more out of your virtual collaboration space, then check out our Hightail review article. Throughout this review, we are going to talk about the difference between file sharing clouds and storage clouds, and how you can increase your work productivity by using the appropriate file-sharing tool.
Hightail Review – Cloud Storage vs. File Sharing
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a major difference between Hightails and other cloud storage providers like Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. While most cloud services stress the importance of extra storage and monthly bandwidth allocation, hightail goes rogue, by saying that collaboration must be the core value of each and every cloud provider.
Dropbox is widely considered a powerful collaboration tool, but it is not one of the best out there. Using Dropbox, you can share a fair amount of data over the web, which can be accessed basically by everyone who receives an invitation.
Although Dropbox has its share of collaboration tools, like the little widget that magically appears in the right corner of your documents or the innumerable popups you are likely to receive, it lacks a certain luster.
Using Dropbox as your collaboration tool may be hard at times since you can’t actually see in real-time all the changes made to a file or a document. Furthermore, another aspect that makes Dropbox basically useless as a collaboration tool is its saving issue.
If you try to open a document when someone makes changes to it, you might end up with conflicted copies or lose the document altogether.
So, what we’re trying to say is that most cloud storage services like Dropbox and even Google Drive, are more attuned to storage and backup solutions, rather than collaborations features.
Working with Hightail
There are many advantages in using Hightail. Let’s start with the most obvious ones. Unlike other cloud storage services which limit their bandwidth and storage allocation according to the purchased plans, Hightail offers unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth for all users.
This basically means that you’ll be able to share your heart out, without having to worry about exceeding your monthly or yearly plan. The first thing that hit us during our Hightail review is how simple it is to set up and to deploy this cloud-based based tool.
We did encounter a couple of problems when downloading the desktop client for Windows, but, luckily, the customer support section contained more than enough info in order to solve this technical issues.
From what we can tell, the customer support page has step-by-step guides, video tutorials, tech chat section and, of course, the customer support phone number.
In just a matter of minutes, the whole thing was set up and ready to go. After setting up the account, we’ve tried to tinker a bit with Hightail’s sharing and collaboration tools. So, instead of setting up sharing groups, we’ve discovered that Hightail actually has a virtual workspace functions called Spaces.
Within this virtual sharing environment, we could perform any team-based activity from swapping notes, making annotations to shared documents and even sending messages. Spaces also allows users to share and work around with multimedia files.
This came in quite handy when handling a complex task, like editing a specific portion of the photos. For instance, if you want someone to crop a picture or to resize it, simply highlight the area, and place a bubble comment in that area.
Sharing with non-Hightail users is also one of Hightail’s strongest feature. In order to share files and folders to your collaborators who don’t use Hightail, simply attach your files in an e-mail, by using the Outlook mail plugin. By using the plugin, you can send out large files in a jiffy, without having to worry about compression.
Alternatively, you can send the files per se, but keep in mind that there’s a 20 MB attachment limit for users who don’t have the Outlook plugin installed.
Another feature that makes Hightail a great choice when it comes to file sharing and collaboration tools is the e-signature function. With this feature installed, you can easily read, edit, and sign an important document from your computer’s screen, without having to print them, sign them, scan them and then send them via fax or email.
Hightail also has great cross-platforming features. Currently, the app works great with Android, iOS and Windows Phone. And since Hightails works side-by-side with third-party app developers, there are always ways to improve the mobile version of Hightail.
From what we can tell, there’s no difference in functionality in upload/download speed, syncing, sharing, and security between the mobile version and the Windows platform. Speaking of security, we’ve actually done a little digging around and discovered that Hightail has really done its homework in this matter.
In order to prevent malicious attacks, Hightail employs an end-to-end file encryption protocol for all files residing on the cloud. When files are being transmitted through the hub, they are encrypted with a 128-bit SSL encryption key. On top of that, when your files are not in transit, they are secured with a 256-bit AES encryption key.
In our Hightail review, we have identified some other features that make Hightail a good choice when it comes to file sharing environment:
- Improved file audit features;
- Remote wipe available;
- Setting access permission;
- Setting expiration date for download links;
- Confirmation for downloading files;
- Helpful customer services.
- Highly versatile file-sharing environment;
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth feature;
- Attractive price;
- Easy to use and to deploy;
- Virtual workspace;
- OS integration;
- Supports e-signature;
- Enhanced security;
- Password encryption for download links;
- Easy to invite people to join your group;
- Improved file audit tools;
- Great cross-platform features.
- Limited technical support;
- Doesn’t have customer and corporate plans;
- Online video streaming is not supported.
To summarize our Hightail review, we should state that this one of the most comprehensible and easy to use cloud-based solutions we’ve ever tested. We did not know what to expect from the service since all the reviews out there pointed out that Hightail is something in between Dropbox and Team Viewer.
With unlimited yearly storage allotment and bandwidth allocation, the user can share anything anytime and from any platform. Better suited for business than for homes, this tool will definitely change the way you feel about work.