A Comprehensive Virtual Data Room Comparison Guide | iDeals VDR

Simplify your choice with our VDR ultimate selection guide

Compare our product against the top 10 industry-leading data rooms to find your ideal solution for optimized data management

Check the table for providers’ key features

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Categories
iDeals
Datasite
Firmex
Intralinks
SecureDocs
Ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley
ShareFile
Box
Key Highlights
Average rating
4.83
4.62
4.58
4.18
4.57
4.53
4.52
4.6
4.65
4.38
4.3
In-app/24/7 support
Detailed audit trail
Advanced Q&A
Auto-notifications for new activity
N/A
Granular access control
8 levels
5 levels
6 levels
4 levels
4 levels
4 levels
6 levels
5 levels
5 levels
7 levels
3 levels
Built-in redaction
21 file format support with Search and Redact function and easy navigation between the documents
Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, text, email and image files are converted to PDFs upon redaction.
6 file format support
30-second chat response time
5-min case resolution in average
Customizable branding
Customer care
ideals
datasite merrill
firmex
intralinks
securedocs
ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley logo
ShareFile
Box logo
Preparation / trial period
30 days + unlimited preparation time for Enterprise deals
14 days
14 days
14 days
14 days + unlimited prep area for advisories
7 days
14 days
30 days
14 days
Support languages
13 languages
14 languages
4 languages
8 languages
English only
8 languages
English only
6 languages
9 languages
3 languages
6 languages
24/7/365 availability
In-app live chat support 24/7
30-minute email response time
25-second phone support time
30-second chat response time
average 5-min case resolution
Live trainings with an expert
caring onboarding journey for each client
Dedicated project team / manager
Help center with guides and FAQs
Number of free flash drives
2 included in all plans
1-2
1-2
1
4
N/A
Flash drive preparation time
1-2 business days on average
N/A
2-3
business days
2-3
business days
N/A
N/A
N/A
Ease of use
ideals
datasite merrill
firmex
intralinks
securedocs
ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley logo
ShareFile
Box logo
Easy and quick setup
average 15-min setup
N/A
Bulk actions
Multilingual interface
15 languages
15 languages
2 languages
8 languages
only English
11 languages
only English
7 languages
10 languages
10 languages
6 languages
Sync with desktop app
Android and iOS apps
Remote purge and wipe
Full-text search with OCR
OCR is available for redaction, allowing users to easily search and redact necessary matches in files.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Advanced search with filters
Document labels
Multi-project management
Data security
ideals
datasite merrill
firmex
intralinks
securedocs
ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley logo
ShareFile
Box logo
View as other users
Built-in redaction
Two-factor authentication
User access expiration
N/A
Granular access control
8 levels
5 levels
6 levels
4 levels
4 levels
4 levels
6 levels
5 levels
5 levels
7 leves
3 levels
IP address-based access restriction
Customizable dynamic watermarks
Single sign-on (SSO)
Data hosting locations
9 regions
3 regions
3 regions
4 regions
3 locations
12 locations
1 location
2 locations
N/A
3 regions
9 regions
Private cloud deployment
N/A
N/A
N/A
Customer-managed encryption keys
N/A
Certifications
ISO 27001
SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3
ISO 27001
ISO 27701 ISO 27017 ISO 20000 SOC 2 Type II
SOC 2 Type II
ISO 27701
ISO 27017, ISO 27001, ISO/IEC 20000, ISO 9001, SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3
SOC 2 Type II
ISO 27001
ISO 27001
ISO 27001
SOC 2 Type I
ISO 27001
SOC 2 Type II
ISO 27001
SOC 2 Type II
ISO 27001
SOC 2 Type II
Compliance
GDPR HIPAA
EU/US privacy shield EU-US DPF
GDPR Fed RAMP Privacy Shield, EU-US DPF
GDPR HIPAA
GDPR HIPAA
EU-US Privacy Shield, EU-US DPF
GDPR HIPAA
EU-US DPF
GDPR
GDPR HIPAA
GDPR
GDPR HIPAA
EU-US DPF
GDPR, HIPAA
GDPR EU-US DPF
GxP Validation HIPAA ITAR ISMAP FedRAMP StateRAMP
Flash drive security level
Top-level
Strong
Strong
Medium
N/A
Strong
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Data management
ideals
datasite merrill
firmex
intralinks
securedocs
ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley logo
ShareFile
Box logo
Built-in Excel viewer with formulas
Automatic index numbering
Screenshot prevention with Fence View
File merging
Multi-format support
Annotations for documents/folders
Reporting
ideals
datasite merrill
firmex
intralinks
securedocs
ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley logo
ShareFile
Box logo
Detailed audit trail
Subscription to automatic reports
Granular reports
Reports exporting to Excel
N/A
Q&A management
ideals
datasite merrill
firmex
intralinks
securedocs
ansarada
Digify
AdminControl
Donnelley logo
ShareFile
Box logo
Customizable workflow and Q&A roles
Import questions
Bulk actions
Auto-assignment of questions to experts
FAQ
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Question limits
N/A

All information used for the comparison was sourced exclusively from public domains.
Average ratings sourced from G2, Capterra, and FinancesOnline.

Data room providers comparison

30-day free full functionality trial
iDeals

iDeals virtual data room is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform, providing users with mobile and desktop apps, a multilingual interface, and several advanced tools for document and user management.

Moreover, iDeals VDR is independently certified for numerous controls that cover processes, applications, infrastructure, and people, providing customers with peace of mind regarding the security of their data.

Factors in favor

Multi-project management to organize multiple data rooms under one subscription

Custom branding for reinforcing brand recognition and creating a professional image

Sync between the platform and desktop version to automatically update document changes in both locations

Easy setup that allows users to launch projects quickly

Advanced workflow in Q&A with automatic question assignment to the appropriate expert for prompt and accurate response

15 languages of the interface, 13 languages of support, 6 languages of Help Center providing added accessibility for all users around the world

Factors in favor

Exceptional customer service available 24/7 via chat, phone or email for fast case resolution

Premier transaction that assists with document organization, NDAs, signatures, and Q&A coordination

Free data room freeze for up to 6 months in case the project is put on hold

Personal account manager for training and assistance

Factors in favor

Redaction tool with advanced search functionality to quickly hide sensitive information while saving time and reducing manual mistakes

Audit logs to track user activity and monitor actions taken within the data room

Dynamic watermarks to provide an additional layer of protection for secure file sharing

Granular 8-level permissions to control what users can do with documents and restrict actions, like viewing formulas, printing or downloading

Tailor-made reports subscription to automatically receive aggregated reports and info about Q&A activity or data storage usage

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14-day free trial
Datasite

Merrill Datasite has been a player in the VDR market since 1968, making it one of the oldest providers in the industry. Among the platform’s most useful features are project, folder, or document-level permissions, AI redaction, search in 16 languages, and a customized dashboard. Despite these advantages, however, some users have reported difficulty in navigating the Datasite virtual data room.

Factors in favor

Multilingual interface for easy and intuitive navigation

Mobile apps to access documents on the go

Factors to keep in mind

No desktop sync, resulting in extra manual work and potential errors

No formula viewing in watermarked Excel files, which limits users working with financial data

No annotations, which complicates document collaboration and feedback sharing

No centralized corporate account, which complicates the management of several simultaneous projects

Factors in favor

Support via phone, email, or live chat

Factors to keep in mind

No quick resolution guarantee

The support availability may be limited in some cases

Factors in favor

5 levels of access control

Two-factor authentication

Factors to keep in mind

No phone screenshot prevention with a screen blocking

No IP restrictions, making it more difficult to control who has access to data

14-day free trial
Firmex

Firmex VDR offers a satisfactory set of basic tools for supporting business transactions, but its clients claim they could benefit from additional advanced features like search with filters, file merging, fence view, and detailed audit trails.

While the Firmex data room is flexible for long-term clients, it doesn’t offer cost-effective pricing plans for smaller businesses that seek short-term contracts.

Factors in favor

Auto-notifications for new activity

Customizable reports for analytics tailored to specific needs

Two-page mode for viewing PDFs

Factors to keep in mind

No Android app, which reduces VDR accessibility for Android users

No desktop app sync, which limits offline access and requires manual file updating

No ability to view Excel documents with formulas, limiting the ability to analyze financial data

No search filters, which makes file search frustrating and time-consuming

Complicated setup process

Factors in favor

Free demo

Factors to keep in mind

No live chat for immediate assistance

No dedicated project team or manager, resulting in lack of guidance and support

Factors in favor

6 levels of granular access control

Built-in redaction for increased security

Factors to keep in mind

No fence view for preventing screenshots

No IP and time-based restrictions for stronger access control

No user access expiration, which poses security risks

14-day free trial
SecureDocs

Customers praise SecureDocs virtual data room for unlimited users, documents, and storage. However, the online data room provider offers only five admin roles for all plans and charges extra for an additional five.

There’s also no option of adding just one administrator. This makes the SecureDocs data room not cost-effective for big and complex business transactions, especially if a company runs multiple projects simultaneously.

Factors in favor

E-signature integration

Ability to see what files were read or unread

Reports with analytics

Factors to keep in mind

Document access is difficult to set, which reduces control and productivity

Interface available only in English, limiting accessibility for non-English speakers

No data room hibernation, which leads to higher data room costs

Factors in favor

24/7/365 availability (except holidays)

Dedicated project manager

Factors to keep in mind

Only English-speaking support, leading to misunderstandings and reduced satisfaction

No chat support, which delays response time

Poorly organized Help center, which slows down workflow when urgent assistance is required

Factors in favor

View as other users feature to enhance security

Watermarks to prevent unauthorized distribution of documents

Factors to keep in mind

No redaction, which exposes sensitive corporate data to unauthorized users

No option to download encrypted files from a VDR, which decreases security and flexibility

No fence view to prevent screenshots

14-day free trial
Ansarada

Ansarada VDR is a data management solution that offers various data storage plans, making it suitable for both small deals and large-scale projects.

While some users appreciate the platform’s advanced features for document security, others report having difficulties with navigation. Some also complain the Ansarada data room lacks customization options.

Factors in favor

Ability to view previous file versions

Easy subscription management and a quick billing process

Factors to keep in mind

Excel files are displayed as PDFs, limiting the ability to work with data effectively

No ability to apply labels to files and folders, which makes the search time-consuming

No document annotations, making collaboration inefficient

Size limitations on file uploads, with a maximum of 1.5 GB per file and 500 GB for bulk uploads

Supported file types are limited, making users convert files to a supported format

Factors in favor

Unlimited preparation period for Advisors

Factors to keep in mind

Users are divided by buy and sell side, which isn’t convenient for use cases other than M&A

No chat support, which delays response time

Factors in favor

AI redaction to redact sensitive information automatically

Ability to set up a session timeout

Factors to keep in mind

No fence view to prevent screenshots and unsolicited viewing

Very slow redaction, which increases security risks and decreases productivity

No corporate account to manage multiple data rooms

7-day free trial
Digify

Many customers find the Digify data room intuitive and easy to navigate. They also praise the provider’s analytics feature, which gives them peace of mind and control over sensitive information.

However, some users have reported experiencing errors and glitches when uploading documents, causing them delays and inconveniences.

Factors in favor

Fast setup

Intuitive interface for improved user experience

Factors to keep in mind

Only up to 5 admin users, which is inconvenient for complex projects

No search by file type or label, resulting in more time spent on manual browsing of documents

Only English interface, causing inconveniences for non-English speakers

Limited customization features

Factors in favor

4 pricing plans for different budget limits

A storage offer of 100 GB per user

Factors to keep in mind

Above-average wait times for phone support

Limited feature set for subscribers of the basic plans

Chat support response time is 30–60 minutes, too long for urgent issues

No USB delivery, whether free of charge or for a fee

Factors in favor

6 levels of access control

Two-factor authentication

Factors to keep in mind

No SOC 1,2,3 compliance, which puts a data room at a higher risk of data breaches

No redaction, which exposes sensitive information to unauthorized parties

No SSO for basic plans to access multiple projects with a single set of credentials

14-day free trial
AdminControl

Some businesses and boards use AdminControl for critical content management and distribution, praising the provider’s useful features for secure messaging, task assigning, and advanced analytics.

However, many administrative users have raised concerns about the platform’s usability, complaining that many tools are not intuitive.

Customers also mention that the platform lacks advanced functionality for search, document labeling, and branding.

Factors in favor

Ready-made due diligence data room generation

Task Manager feature to assign and monitor the document upload and review processes

Reporting with several usage metrics

Factors to keep in mind

No ability to download folders in bulk

Limited branding functionality, which creates inconsistencies for businesses that rely on their brand identity

No document preview of non-PDF files

No search by filters and labels, which makes finding specific documents time-consuming and inefficient

Factors in favor

Unlimited number of users and admins

Factors to keep in mind

No ability to order flash drives, resulting in data inaccessibility or even loss

No live chat support, resulting in delayed response time

Factors in favor

Secure messaging within the data room

Compliance with major European data security standards

Factors to keep in mind

No permissions on user level, resulting in reduced control over sensitive information

Small, not customizable watermarks that can’t be applied for non-PDF files

No secure download or integrated IRM, which increases the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access

No free trial
Donnelley

The Donnelley data room was founded as a subsidiary of Donnelley Financial Solutions, a leading global risk and compliance solutions company.

Due to several advanced security and document management features, Donnelley VDR has earned a reputation as an efficient file-sharing solution for complex corporate transactions.

On the downside, the platform is known for being more expensive compared to other VDR providers in the market.

Factors in favor

Auto-indexing for easy document organization

Two-page view mode for PDF for easier review

Tree document structure for better navigation

Factors to keep in mind

No ability to view Office file formats, including Excel with formulas, which limits users working with non-PDF documents

No ability to customize workflows and assign tasks

No customization features, which limits users in tailoring the VDR to their specific needs

No ability to include the same user in different groups

Factors in favor

Multi-language support through phone or email

Factors to keep in mind

No product onboarding, making it difficult to understand how to use the platform and benefit from it

No live chat support, resulting in a slower issue resolution

Factors in favor

Multi-factor authentication

Virus scan for additional security layer

Recovery codes in case of password loss

Factors to keep in mind

No auto logout, which potentially allows unauthorized access

No permissions on user level, limiting the ability to grant access to individual users

No ability to share files with external parties using a secure link

No fence view for preventing screenshots

No NDA/ToU feature, which makes the VDR contents vulnerable to disclosure and legal issues

7-day free trial
ShareFile

One of the reasons why businesses choose the Citrix data room is transparent online pricing with generous storage for smaller projects and lower-cost options to satisfy basic needs.

However, some users report that the Citrix virtual data room isn’t as customizable and flexible as some of its competitors. There are also occasional malfunctions that take too long to be resolved by the support team.

Factors in favor

Mobile app for iOS and Android

Desktop app for Windows and Mac

API integrations with Google, eFile Cabinet, Readdle, etc.

Factors to keep in mind

No sync between the desktop app and the cloud storage, leading to errors or version control issues

No advanced roles and workflows for managing questions and answers

No advanced search, making it challenging to find specific files

Factors in favor

Library with free training resources

Transparent pricing

A 10% discount if paid annually

Factors to keep in mind

Limited support services with no 24/7 availability

No dedicated project manager, resulting in lack of guidance

No live chat option, leading to delayed response

Factors in favor

AES 256-bit encryption at rest and in transit

SOC 1/SOC 2/ISO 27001 compliance

HIPAA compliance upon request

Factors to keep in mind

No granular access permissions, making it challenging to limit access to specific documents or folders

No redaction, which may potentially lead to leaks, security incidents, and non-compliance

No View As, making security control more challenging

No free trial
Box

The Box data room offers unlimited users and storage, making it a good option for projects with large amounts of data or multiple contributors. The platform also offers mobile and desktop access, providing users with the flexibility to work from any location.

But what users don’t like is that some packages don’t include essential security features, such as HIPAA/FedRAMP compliance, watermarking, and two-factor authentication. These limitations compromise data security and make the Box virtual data room less appealing in comparison with its competitors.

Factors in favor

Available on desktop, mobile devices and in the cloud

Multi-format support

Multilingual user interface

Factors to keep in mind

No advanced reporting, which limits access to analytics on user activity

No Built-in Excel viewer with formulas, which complicates the work with financial data

Slow loading time, leading to delays and frustration

No advanced customization functionality, which prevents businesses from maintaining a consistent brand identity

Factors in favor

Multilingual support

5 package options

Factors to keep in mind

Support is available only during local business hours

No live chat to get immediate assistance

No flash drive delivery, making customers looking for other options for securely transporting and storing data

Factors in favor

Multi-factor authentication

Watermarking

AES 256-bit encryption

Factors to keep in mind

No remote purge and wipe, increasing the risk of sensitive information exposure

No fence view for screenshot prevention

No redaction, which may lead to data leaks

No HIPAA compliance on basic packages, making users upgrade to more expensive options

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Data room comparison guide:
how to choose the best VDR

Virtual data rooms are a critical component of many businesses. The market offers a wide spectrum of solutions, but it is crucial to note that not all virtual data rooms are created equal. In fact, the features and capabilities of different providers vary significantly, making it essential to evaluate the available options carefully.

In this article, you will find a comparison table of the best virtual data room vendors suitable for specific use cases and a series of recommendations and considerations on how to compare features to select the most suitable software.

Best data room providers for specific business needs

Due diligence, M&A, and fundraising are the best examples of transactions where virtual data room software is today essential to meet specific business needs. In the following sections, we will briefly analyze which virtual data room providers offer the most suitable solutions for each case.

Due diligence

Performing due diligence is a crucial step in any high-level business transaction. This process involves reviewing large volumes of confidential data, which can be a time-consuming task. A virtual data room is an indispensable tool that helps you complete this process efficiently.

By providing a secure environment for the process of file sharing, tracking and distribution, a virtual data room can streamline the due diligence process and help ensure that all parties involved have access to the information they need.

To simplify and speed up the due diligence process, virtual deal rooms offer a range of features, including:

  • Bulk upload
  • OCR search
  • Fence view
  • Detailed audit trails
  • Remote purge and wipe
  • Time-based access expiration
  • Built-in redaction
  • Built-in Excel viewer with formulas
  • Document labels

Best virtual data rooms for M&A

The following virtual data room solutions are considered the best for M&A transactions, guaranteeing the necessary secure file storage capabilities and the most satisfactory VDR experience:

iDeals — widely recognized as the leading VDR provider for due diligence, with exceptional customer care and robust security features

Intralinks — one of the first providers to offer a secure virtual data room for due diligence, according to all expertise

Firmex — a comprehensive solution with reporting features and customizable permissions to support due diligence

Ansarada — specialized in M&A due diligence, dividing users into the buy- and sell-side categories, great user oriental features

Donnelley — over 40 years of experience in document management and due diligence support, have such a good feedback

Fundraising

A virtual data room solution is also a valuable tool for companies looking to raise funds more efficiently, securely, and transparently. Firstly, they provide a centralized location for investors to access confidential documents such as financial statements, pitch decks, and business plans.

Secondly, they offer collaboration tools like comments, annotations, and in-built Q&A that improve communication and reduce the need for in-person meetings. This saves time and resources and facilitates decision-making, ultimately resulting in more successful fundraising.

Best virtual data rooms for fundraising

The five providers below are trusted by companies worldwide and considered the best data room for startups and businesses seeking financing:

iDeals — known for customizable workflows and advanced analytics tools that help M&A participants make data-driven decisions

Ansarada — AI-powered tools that make the M&A process more efficient and secure, allowing teams to close deals faster

Datasite — recognized for ML-enabled capabilities helpful during M&A transactions

Firmex — offers a set of tools for efficient workflow management, making it a good choice for M&A

SecureDocs — a user-friendly solution with sophisticated document security measures necessary for M&A

M&A

Since 2000, there have been about ****800,000 transactions announced worldwide with a value of over $57 trillion. The intensification of the M&A market increases the demand for reliable and efficient technology to facilitate these transactions. This is where the best data room software comes in — providing businesses with a secure and efficient way to close deals from anywhere in the world.

One of the most valuable aspects of the data room market is the wide range of providers that offer granular reporting capabilities. This allows M&A participants to gain deeper insights into the deal by tracking which files are the most viewed and which users are the most active.

Best virtual data rooms for due diligence

The online data room providers below have extensive experience in the industry, serve clients all over the world, and facilitate thousands of transactions each year. That’s why they’re globally considered to be the best data rooms for due diligence:

iDeals — a highly customizable platform with advanced reporting and analytics capabilities, extremely valuable during the fundraising process

Citrix — known for content collaboration solutions that help startups and investors collaborate effectively

Box — an easy-to-use platform with features like version control and audit trails, helpful during fundraising

AdminControl — an intuitive platform with secure messaging to communicate with investors

Digify— offers analytics and statistics that help fundraising teams track and analyze investor activity

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