Top Virtual Data Rooms in Canada

  • Discover the best data room providers in Canada.
  • Compare virtual data rooms by function and benefit.
  • Choose the best data room software for your deals.

Best Virtual Data Room Providers

iDeals Virtual Data Room
4.81/5.0

iDeals is an industry-leading virtual data room software with numerous data security features and the most intuitive interface in the market. iDeals Solutions was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in London, Great Britain. Over 700,000 customers from 120,000 companies have already chosen iDeals to facilitate their financial transactions. The top company’s use cases are investment banking, real estate management, fundraising, board communications, mergers and acquisitions, and more.

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Storage:

Unlimited

Users:

Unlimited

Merrill Datasite
4.6/5.0

Datasite data room is an M&A software solution by Merrill Corporation, a company founded in 1968 and headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. Datasite offers sufficient functionality for supporting large-scale transactions in due diligence, collaboration, and post-transactional integrations. The company currently operates in 170 countries, offering practical solutions to large businesses in finance, legal, PE, and other sectors. Datasite virtual data room is widely recognized as a suitable solution for enterprise-scale confidential data management and executive-level decision making.

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Storage:

50 GB

Users:

Unlimited

Firmex Data Room
4.3/5.0

Firmex is a Canada-based virtual data room provider that was founded in 2006. It serves about 140,000 organizations from more than 100 countries around the world. Firmex is the best solution for investment banking, legal or real estate firms, governmental organizations, and more. There’s a 2-week free trial and a demo version for all the potential clients to test the Firmex VDR software before buying a subscription.

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Storage:

Limited

Users:

Limited

Onehub Data Room
4.2/5.0

The company, established in 2007, puts emphasis on design and features such as document previews which help users work more efficiently and effectively. The OneHub virtual data room solution focuses on the basic values that a provider should offer, such as complete control over the security of your files within online file storage and safe file sharing. Those are two fundamentals that OneHub's well-informed crew ensures remain constant.

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Storage:

Unlimited

Users:

Unlimited

Citrix Sharefile Data Room
4.1/5.0

Citrix ShareFile data room offers functional solutions for streamlining complex processes such as M&A due diligence, IPO, and restructuring. ShareFile was founded in 2005 in Raleigh, NC, and acquired by Citrix Systems in 2013, delivering an improved software solution under the Citrix Sharefile brand. Sharefile virtual data room developers continue to base in Raleigh, NC, while also leveraging Citrix’s expansive presence in over 100 counties. Citrix ShareFile data room is flexible enough to support small, medium, and large projects and offers the most value to finance, healthcare, accounting, and legal sectors.

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Storage:

5GB

Users:

Unlimited

Venue Data Room by DFIN
4.1/5.0

Venue data room is one of its most popular products. It offers benefits such as from innovative auto-redaction processes powered by artificial intelligence, strategic optimization, information security, and transparency. Venue’s customers are private equity companies, investment funds, government agencies, and startups. Services are provided worldwide, but the majority of users come from the US. Headquartered in Chicago, Donnelley has offices in 30 locations across 12 countries.

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Storage:

Not provided

Users:

Not provided

Ansarada Data Room
4.0/5.0

The Ansarada virtual data room was founded in Australia in 2005 by four specialists involved in an M&A deal. Today, Ansarada solutions help with asset, tender, and portfolio management, as well as deals, transactions, risks, compliance monitoring, and more. Ansarada offers deal management solutions, among which its virtual data room is the most important. The global offices of Ansarada are located in Chicago, Johannesburg, London, Sydney, and Amsterdam.

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Storage:

-

Users:

Limited

DocSend Data Room
3.9/5.0

A DocSend virtual data room is a state-of-the-art document sharing and analytics solution launched in 2013. It is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, United States. With DocSend, companies have super-like powers to track the activity of their partners, investors, or customers to ensure reliable data protection. As a result, organizations in venture capital, investment management, technology sales, and non-profits drive most of the demand for this product. These enterprises need to keep abreast of collaboration with stakeholders and find it easy to do so with a DocSend data room.

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Storage:

10 GB/user

Users:

Unlimited

Box Software
3.8/5.0

Box software is a virtual data room solution founded in the United States in 2005. It has 14 offices worldwide, including Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, and Australia. Over 100,000 companies use the Box platform for easy document management, storage, and sharing, as well as for automated workflows like reporting, analytics, or compliance tracking. There’s a 14-day free trial and flexible packaging suitable for businesses and individuals.

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Storage:

5 GB

Users:

20

Intralinks Dealspace
3.5/5.0

Intralinks is a leading virtual data room provider founded in America in 1996. It offers solutions that enable businesses to manage deals more quickly and collaborate securely across organizational, corporate, and geographical boundaries. 4 million users from the life sciences, tech, legal, and energy industries trust the company with their sensitive data. All newcomers can schedule a demo to see how it all works in the Intralinks VDR.

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Storage:

Unlimited

Users:

Unlimited

iDeals Virtual Data Room
4.81/5.0

Free Trial:

30 days

Founded:

2008

Storage:

Unlimited

Users:

Unlimited

iDeals is an industry-leading virtual data room software with numerous data security features and the most intuitive interface in the market. iDeals Solutions was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in London, Great Britain. Over 700,000 customers from 120,000 companies have already chosen iDeals to facilitate their financial transactions. The top company’s use cases are investment banking, real estate management, fundraising, board communications, mergers and acquisitions, and more.

Merrill Datasite
4.6/5.0
datasite

Free Trial:

14 days

Founded:

1967

Storage:

50 GB

Users:

Unlimited

Datasite data room is an M&A software solution by Merrill Corporation, a company founded in 1968 and headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. Datasite offers sufficient functionality for supporting large-scale transactions in due diligence, collaboration, and post-transactional integrations. The company currently operates in 170 countries, offering practical solutions to large businesses in finance, legal, PE, and other sectors. Datasite virtual data room is widely recognized as a suitable solution for enterprise-scale confidential data management and executive-level decision making.

Firmex Data Room
4.3/5.0
Firmex

Free Trial:

No

Founded:

2006

Storage:

Limited

Users:

Limited

Firmex is a Canada-based virtual data room provider that was founded in 2006. It serves about 140,000 organizations from more than 100 countries around the world. Firmex is the best solution for investment banking, legal or real estate firms, governmental organizations, and more. There’s a 2-week free trial and a demo version for all the potential clients to test the Firmex VDR software before buying a subscription.

Onehub Data Room
4.2/5.0

Free Trial:

14 days

Founded:

2007

Storage:

Unlimited

Users:

Unlimited

The company, established in 2007, puts emphasis on design and features such as document previews which help users work more efficiently and effectively. The OneHub virtual data room solution focuses on the basic values that a provider should offer, such as complete control over the security of your files within online file storage and safe file sharing. Those are two fundamentals that OneHub's well-informed crew ensures remain constant.

Citrix Sharefile Data Room
4.1/5.0

Free Trial:

7 days

Founded:

2005

Storage:

5GB

Users:

Unlimited

Citrix ShareFile data room offers functional solutions for streamlining complex processes such as M&A due diligence, IPO, and restructuring. ShareFile was founded in 2005 in Raleigh, NC, and acquired by Citrix Systems in 2013, delivering an improved software solution under the Citrix Sharefile brand. Sharefile virtual data room developers continue to base in Raleigh, NC, while also leveraging Citrix’s expansive presence in over 100 counties. Citrix ShareFile data room is flexible enough to support small, medium, and large projects and offers the most value to finance, healthcare, accounting, and legal sectors.

Venue Data Room by DFIN
4.1/5.0

Free Trial:

No

Founded:

1983

Storage:

Not provided

Users:

Not provided

Venue data room is one of its most popular products. It offers benefits such as from innovative auto-redaction processes powered by artificial intelligence, strategic optimization, information security, and transparency. Venue’s customers are private equity companies, investment funds, government agencies, and startups. Services are provided worldwide, but the majority of users come from the US. Headquartered in Chicago, Donnelley has offices in 30 locations across 12 countries.

Ansarada Data Room
4.0/5.0
anasarada_logo

Free Trial:

14 days

Founded:

2005

Storage:

-

Users:

Limited

The Ansarada virtual data room was founded in Australia in 2005 by four specialists involved in an M&A deal. Today, Ansarada solutions help with asset, tender, and portfolio management, as well as deals, transactions, risks, compliance monitoring, and more. Ansarada offers deal management solutions, among which its virtual data room is the most important. The global offices of Ansarada are located in Chicago, Johannesburg, London, Sydney, and Amsterdam.

DocSend Data Room
3.9/5.0

Free Trial:

14 days

Founded:

2013

Storage:

10 GB/user

Users:

Unlimited

A DocSend virtual data room is a state-of-the-art document sharing and analytics solution launched in 2013. It is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, United States. With DocSend, companies have super-like powers to track the activity of their partners, investors, or customers to ensure reliable data protection. As a result, organizations in venture capital, investment management, technology sales, and non-profits drive most of the demand for this product. These enterprises need to keep abreast of collaboration with stakeholders and find it easy to do so with a DocSend data room.

Box Software
3.8/5.0

Free Trial:

3 days

Founded:

2005

Storage:

5 GB

Users:

20

Box software is a virtual data room solution founded in the United States in 2005. It has 14 offices worldwide, including Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, and Australia. Over 100,000 companies use the Box platform for easy document management, storage, and sharing, as well as for automated workflows like reporting, analytics, or compliance tracking. There’s a 14-day free trial and flexible packaging suitable for businesses and individuals.

Intralinks Dealspace
3.5/5.0

Free Trial:

30 days

Founded:

1996

Storage:

Unlimited

Users:

Unlimited

Intralinks is a leading virtual data room provider founded in America in 1996. It offers solutions that enable businesses to manage deals more quickly and collaborate securely across organizational, corporate, and geographical boundaries. 4 million users from the life sciences, tech, legal, and energy industries trust the company with their sensitive data. All newcomers can schedule a demo to see how it all works in the Intralinks VDR.

A virtual data room is a highly secure way to store, organize, and share information online. VDRs offer bank-grade protection for storing and exchanging sensitive data and information between employees and external partners of a company. 

The general profile of a VDR can look similar, but not all are created equal. Secure virtual data rooms have different features, including various price ranges, support, ease of use, and the like. This makes it quite challenging for users to choose the right service provider.

How to choose the best data room provider?

The traits of Virtual Data Room Services prove that these platforms are indispensable for a business of any segment of operation and size. However, not every repository is equally beneficial for every customer.

Virtual data room providers available in Canada are all different from each other. A short Virtual Data Room review might create a feeling that they do not differ and that you can blindly entrust your project to the first company you encounter. Never ever do it! If you want to be sure that your documents are not in danger and that your deal will run smoothly you have to choose one of the top online data room providers in Canada.

Here are important things to note when choosing the best data room provider.

1. Define your needs and capabilities

Before you go out searching for the next best virtual data room, identify what the secure data room will be used for and how it will improve your brand or company. There are some important questions to ask before you can choose the best data room for your industry:

  • What is your budget? 
  • What kind of files will be stored in the data room? 
  • How much storage will you need?
  • Will the use of VDR improve your workstream? 
  • Will other team members or the entire company be using the data room? 
  • What other purposes will the VDR serve aside from storing and sharing data?

2. Identify your desired features

Once you’ve defined your needs and capabilities, you have an idea of your desired features. They will determine whether you need a virtual data room that only saves and shares data, or one that has other project management features. Some special features you might need in a data room include security, document management features, Q&A feature, customer support, permission settings, or audit logs. 

3. Consider your budget 

Pricing models for VDRs vary based on specific factors such as storage capacity, number of users, available features, and number of documents. You should consider your budget, as this will help narrow your search. 

4. Compare virtual data rooms 

After you analyzed the capacities of the providers and read every virtual data room review you wanted, you can move to the next stage. Now your duty is to analyze every data room from the viewpoint of its equipment.

Compare different best data rooms to know which one meets your needs and criteria. There are comparison charts you can use for this search, such as Capterra comparison feature, Trustradius comparison chart, and a virtual data room comparison table. 

5. Read the reviews

Reading online reviews by other users is one way to learn about the functionality of a data room service, however, some review sites may be fake or include phony user reviews. You can narrow your search by reading reviews about virtual data room software and secure virtual data room companies and providers by searching for the company directly online. 

6. Select VDR providers, check their sites and talk to support

Once all the above steps have been taken carefully, you can then select the service provider that best suits your needs. Check their site to see if they are user-friendly or offer free materials that can serve as templates. You should also speak to a representative to ask about some other features or any other questions you may have about the provider. 

7. Test software using the free trial

Do not decide on a virtual data room if you haven’t tested it out. Most good virtual data room providers offer free trials to test their software. As you go through the trial, you should pay attention to the user interface and ease of use. You should also ask your team members about their experiences with the software, and then you can finally select the suitable VDR for your company. 

Choosing a virtual data room: things to consider

Virtual data room reviews are the basis to start the selection of virtual data room software. And while looking through any virtual data room review one must consider the following aspects:

  • The experience of the vendor (the duration of operation, deals executed, well-known customers);
  • The main focus (merger and acquisition deals, legal firms, life science organizations, fundraising, investment banking, etc.). Usually, providers do not have a single line or type of clients but certain rooms are more convenient for the execution of certain deals;
  • The scale of operation: certain rooms do not suit the execution of small projects while other rooms fail to assist throughout large-scale cross-national deals;
  • Safety guarantees such as tools and certificates: the level of protection should be recognized institutionally;
  • Instruments offered;
  • Convenience (languages offered, a mobile application, compatibility of platforms and the chance to utilize Android and iOS devices simultaneously);
  • Availability of instant qualified assistance;
  • Virtual data room pricing scheme.

VDR provider experience

Virtual data rooms have only become popular in the last five (5) years, and there are a number of startups using them. Some of these companies may not have the best security and other necessary features needed. You should look out for data room providers that are trusted by companies and have a track record of working with reputable companies. 

Data room software rating 

You should compare different virtual data room user reviews and ratings. The ratings alone may not do justice to what you need, but you can get other users’ experience by reading through reviews. You can also compare the rating score based on Capterra, G2, and other software review platforms. 

Certification compliance

The best virtual data room software you’re considering should comply with cloud software security certifications. The most widely accepted certification is ISO 27081. A VDR that is compliant with ISO means that it follows the guidelines to protect personal data in clouds. 

Industry expertise

If your industry is such that it requires additional VDR software requirements, then you must be sure that the provider you’re considering is experienced in your industry. This is essential so that you don’t choose a VDR provider that isn’t familiar with your industry-specific standards and common practices.

Security

This is one of the major considerations to check out when choosing a VDR provider. When choosing a secure data room, you should look out for security compliance. This is what will give you the peace of mind that your data is safe online. 

Support

This is one of the factors that differentiate VDRs from each other. You want to be sure that the provider you’re using can offer you adequate support when you’re in the middle of a transaction, for instance. You don’t want to find out that the provider’s support you’re using is not up to standard. 

Pricing structure

VDR pricing differs between the three tiers of providers. Legacy providers price per page; generic file-sharing services are quite affordable, while professional-grade support is targeted towards basic users. Before selecting a provider, you should research their pricing structure and choose one that aligns with your needs and budget. 

Compare 5 best virtual data room providers

 iDeals virtual data room

4.81/5.0

iDeals is a provider of highly-equipped virtual data rooms for small, medium, and large businesses across various sectors. The provider combines extensive expertise with continuous innovations to deliver a platform for sharing sensitive data with maximum security, collaborating on multi-staged projects, and building sustainable strategies.

iDeals was established in 2008 as a data room solution with an industry-leading security approach and rich feature sets. Now, it is a top virtual data room for due diligence, M&A cycles, real estate portfolio management, life sciences, and board communications. 

The feature set supplied by iDeals covers all areas of basic data room activities, including streamlined document management, customization, activity reporting, and more. Additionally, the provider offers data room services such as platform setup, document organization, and deal processing advisory.

iDeals secure data rooms employ a network of strategically located data processing facilities that undergo constant audits according to ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA, and GDPR standards. Users can ensure their document safety with features like two-factor authentication, multiple layers of user permissions, SSO, and 256-bit SSL encryption.

The users of iDeals data rooms can access the file sharing and collaboration space through a browser without requiring plug-ins or additional hardware. The iOS and Android device users can also download applications to contribute to the workflow on the go.

iDeals online data room support team is available 24/7/265 via phone, email, and chat. The representatives speak over 11 languages and assist users with a single point of contact. 

iDeals pros 

  • Versatile data security features including activity tracking, dynamic watermarking, and remote file retrieval
  • Flat monthly fee pricing model with a 30-day free trial
  • Customizable, intuitive interface available in 14 languages

iDeals cons

  • Large volume file upload might sometimes take longer than expected

Firmex 

Firmex is a Canadian provider of data room services and software that are designed to simplify complex procedures. The platform offers an extensive selection of tools for managing confidential information, granting remote file access to external contributors, and leveraging data analytics for timely decision-making.

Firmex was founded in 2006 as a technology that would make traditional data rooms obsolete. The company has since catered to small and medium companies, primarily in the biotech, investment banking, pharma, and mining sectors.

Firmex data rooms are equipped to perform all times of corporate transactions, including intellectual property protection, day-to-day collaboration, and file management within secure cloud storage. The tools that users will particularly benefit from include full-text search, expedited setup, and automatic indexing. 

Virtual data rooms by Firmex are audited and certified according to ISO 27001, HIPAA, and SOC 2 security standards. And the features that further assist users with protecting confidential data are granular permissions, multi-factor authentication, and access expirations. 

Firmex data room is available via internet browser access, as well as through mobile applications for iOS and Android devices. 

The Firmex team offers multilingual support via email and phone on a 24/7/265 basis.

Firmex pros

  • Several levels of user permissions allow for role-specific access management
  • Detailed activity and file tracking
  • Flexible data room pricing

Firmex cons

  • Lack of advanced online data room instruments compared to competitors
  • Occasional system crashes
  • Extended waiting periods for support responses

OneHub

OneHub is a virtual data room solutions provider widely recognized for flexible and secure collaboration workspaces. OneHub data rooms are a fitting solution for small and medium companies that require digital space for storing confidential data and communicating during various transactions.

OneHub was founded in 2007 as a data storage solution. The platform’s features can find applications in a variety of scenarios. But the sectors that will find OneHub deal room the most beneficial are finance, energy, education, and entertainment. 

Users can easily manage their files inside OneHub data rooms with instruments for bulk uploads, document previews, and simultaneous contributions.

OneHub online data room provider undergoes security audits according to ISO 27001, SSAE 16, PCI DSS 1, and FISMA standards. OneHub users can ensure their data’s protection with tools like multi-layered access privileges, activity reporting, and automatic watermarking. 

OneHub VDR is a SaaS solution that offers access through a secure Internet browser connection. The provider also developed applications for iOS and Android mobile devices. 

OneHub’s support team is available 24/7/365 through phone, email, and a ticket-filing system.

Onehub pros

  • Sufficient virtual data room solutions for low-budget businesses
  • High-standard document security with granular access settings and activity reports
  • Intuitive interface

Onehub cons

  • Administrators might have challenges with tools that control access for external users
  • Initial setup requires extensive technical support

Datasite 

Merrill Datasite is an established provider of virtual data rooms for M&A cycles with an extensive legacy. Datasite online data room offers all the necessary instruments for a multi-stage deal management process. Datasite data rooms are used for marketing deals, performing due diligence, and facilitating post-merger integration.

Merrill Corporation, the parent company of Datasite, was established in 1968 as a financial printing business. Now, Datasite is recognized as one of the best virtual data room providers for large and enterprise-level companies in the legal, corporate development, investment banking, and private equity sectors. 

Datasite delivers all the necessary tools to store confidential corporate data, organize documentation with features like drag and drop file upload, and facilitate secure data exchange. Datasite users also benefit from AI redaction, detailed engagement analytics, and automated workflow organization.

Datasite’s security facilities that allow users to share confidential documents with confidence are certified according to ISO 27001 and SOC 2 standards. The provider’s data protection features include granular permissions, dynamic watermarking, and multiple-factor authentication.

Datasite data rooms are available through plugin-free browser access. Additionally, iOS and Android device users can download mobile applications to attend to their duties on the go.

Merrill Datasite support team speaks multiple languages and is available 24/7/365 via phone, email, and chat.

Datasite pros

  • Easy document management with bulk uploads and automated categorization
  • Detailed insights into all data room activity
  • Complete feature set for full-circle M&A cycles

Datasite cons

  • Outdated, non-intuitive interface, compared to competitor virtual data room solutions
  • A complex virtual data room pricing model that sometimes results in budget exceedings
  • No free trial options for testing the data room hands-on

Ansarada

Ansarada is an Australia-based provider of data room services for individual entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Ansarada offers an equipped collaboration platform that allows users to share sensitive data, exchange confidential documents, and communicate with each other during M&A, IPO, fundraising, and other complex transactions. 

Founded in 2005, Ansarada has been supplying well-structured data rooms to companies worldwide. The industries that benefit the most from Ansarada’s electronic data room toolset are real estate, mining, financial advisory, healthcare, and gas and oil.

Ansarada supplies all the basic tools offered by virtual data room vendors in the same segment. On top of that, the provider enhances the user experience with the incorporation of AI mechanisms, layered permissioning, and adjustable functionality. 

Ansarada’s cloud storage software is audited and certified according to ISO 27001 and GDPR standards. In addition, the provider offers security features like detailed audit trails, IP restrictions, human-error resistance, and granular access permissions. 

Ansarada is a SaaS platform available through Internet browsers on computers and mobile devices. At the moment, the provider does not offer tailored applications for smartphones. 

Ansarada’s support team is accessible 24/7/365 via phone, email, and chat. Please note that this provider’s offer varies based on the package a user subscribes for.

Ansarada pros

  • Simplified content population with features that allow to drag and drop multiple files, redact data, and integrate with external cloud file storage platforms
  • AI-automated workflows for fast and easy collaboration with multiple parties
  • Configurable user management with an option to restrict access based on location, role, and device

Ansarada cons

  • Difficult to set up compared to other virtual data room solutions
  • Poor adaptability with mobile devices restricts on-the-go contribution for busy executives
  • Escalated virtual data room cost for the full-feature package

Finalize your virtual data room comparison

The comparison of the products helps you understand which traits you really need to have to satisfy your needs. Having the impression of what you can get for a certain sum of money will help you realize which characteristics are important for you and which you won’t use. Thus, before making your final decision you must decide on your list of demands for the virtual data room software. Otherwise, you might end up using the Web-based assistant not skilled enough to deal with your demands or you may find yourself paying more money for useless tools.

As soon as you are done with the assessment of repositories you have only a single step left – to choose your final platform. So, you must compare the costs of the depositories. The virtual data room pricing depends on the developer you team up with, equipment, project size, etc. Therefore, it is mandatory to look critically through all these criteria and make a conscious decision on whether the backing you get is worth the money you are willing to pay.

What security standards should a trusted data room meet?

The best way you can be certain and have peace of mind about the secure data room provider you’re going with is by their security certification. 

  • ISO 9001 / ISO 27001. This is the leading international information security standard. Having this certification is solid proof that the virtual data room provider can be trusted.
  • AICPA — SOC 2. It is an auditing procedure by the American Institute of CPAs that makes sure that data service providers keep users’ data confidential. To get SOC 2 certification, different standards have to be followed, some of which are user access control, encryption, breach detection, firewall protection, two-factor verification, disaster recovery, among others. A data room that has SOC 2 certification shows you that they meet the standard level of security and can be trusted.
  • GDPR. Known as General Data Protection Regulation, it provides a set of rules on security that data providers must adhere to, and failure to adhere to it may incur penalties. Any VDR who has this certification is known to store users’ data with the utmost privacy.
  • HIPAA/ITAR compliant. This ensures that virtual data related to defense and military technologies is restricted only to US citizens. A VDR failing to adhere to these standards is subject to fines from the US government.
  • AICPA — SOC 1. It is an audit of the internal controls that a data room provider has put in place to protect users’ data. A user can request this certification from a virtual data room company they want to engage with, as this gives them a basis of trust.
  • Privacy shield compliance. It is an EU-US privacy shield that states that private data of the EU shall not be transferred. A virtual data room solution that is compliant with this can be trusted since they have to apply to the US Department of Commerce. 

The fundamental trait to take into account is data security. Usually, the online data rooms form a shield for the files to ensure a safe exchange of documents with partners. Being produced primarily for merger and acquisition deals and due diligence data room programs are packed with tools that facilitate these operations. Each VDR data room must be characterized by a comprehensible file system, intuitive search algorithms, the right to alter copies inside the repository. If you have a need to run several projects at the same time you have to find out if the repository lets you sort the users and create clusters with unequal access status. While running a transaction, you might find it useful and informative to follow the activity of the individuals involved. Hence, audit reports that can show every single action inside the depository may prove to be useful.

What functionality should a data room have?

No two data rooms are alike. All solutions differ in terms of the benefits and features they offer. That said, let’s take a closer look at the essential functionality each virtual data room provider should offer.

  • Robust access security / gradual access control / granular permission settings. This allows you to control who has access to documents by restricting them. You can restrict user levels based on roles at the company.
  • Integral document security. This allows data room software providers to add images or logos to private documents. This is to prevent the document from being saved or used outside of the data room.
  • Infrastructure security and availability. This is a way of protecting the data with encryption, disaster recovery, and a real-time backup system, such that anytime a document is opened, it will be encrypted before being stored in the data room if accessed over a secured network.
  • Document management. This is a process used to capture, track, and store documents such as word files, PDFs, and digital content images. It provides full-text search, drag & drop file uploads, and audit trails.
  • Technical support. Virtual data room services should provide tech support and assistance to help users. This can either be accessed online at the website, over the phone, by email or through a 24/7 live chat.
  • Deployment. This refers to the software applications and operating systems that an online dataroom is compatible with — Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
  • Q&A. These are frequently asked questions that other users have had about the virtual data room with appropriate answers. It can also include a live discussion where you have an opportunity to ask questions. You can also have access to threads and valuable educational tools.
  • Ease of use/ intuitive interface. This is a measure of how user-friendly the VDR interface is. The more user-friendly a data room is, the easier it is to share and store data. It should have a mobile user interface, no plugins, and Java and scroll-through viewer, which saves time when going through multiple documents at a time.
  • Customization. Some VDRs allow you to customize how you want your virtual data room to look to distinguish your company’s brand. You can have a branded interface and also customize your language settings which allow users worldwide to communicate in their native language with no restrictions.
  • Support of multiple file formats. This allows you to use your VDR for any file format. You should check if the virtual data room solution you’re interested in supports different format files. 

Preparing a data room for use

Now that you’ve decided which virtual data room solution is best for your due diligence, there are certain steps to prepare yourself for using the VDR.

  1. Decide on a VDR supplier and a service plan. The payment plan for the best virtual data rooms comes in different packages. Once you divide what supplier works for you, you’ll need to choose your payment plan based on the size of the project and the features of the VDR.
  2. Consider interface branding. Like your website, your virtual data room needs to reflect your brand image and identity. Once the data room agreement is signed, the next phase is to begin to customize the data room and populate it with relevant links to your brand.
  3. Structure a data room. It’s important to structure the data room efficiently to make it easy for external collaborators to find important files. The structuring process allows you to arrange files alphabetically or according to the existing industry protocol. This way, important documents won’t get lost in the stream of other files.
  4. Upload files to the virtual data room. Your data room solution begins to serve its purpose after you’ve uploaded important files and documents in the right folders and subfolders. With these, you’re able to test the functionality of the system before inviting external users to the room.
  5. Adjust controls and limitations. Data rooms contain confidential documents, and VDRs allow them to protect them effectively using the right controls. Once you upload the files, set controls on each document depending on how accessible you need them to be to the due diligence team. You should also determine what features you’re restricting for each file — if the team will be able to print, download, or make changes to any of the documents.
  6. Train personnel to use the VDR. Some team members may not have experience using a VDR, you’ll want to train them to prevent a breach or loss of data. It’s important to train staff before inviting an external due diligence team.
  7. Start using. Once all of these steps are done, you can now proceed to the most important aspect — using it for due diligence.

Online data room benefits

Digital data rooms are here to stay and have outpaced physical data rooms for many reasons. There’s a significant level of ease that virtual deal rooms bring over the physical deal rooms. These include:

  • Security. The idea of data rooms came about when companies realized that they needed a secure way to store and share important and confidential data. A virtual data room improves on that by enhancing security through encrypted data, cloud storage, watermarking, and user authentication. It also determines how data is accessed and used.
  • Ease of access and use of data. VDRs are equipped to help maintain a seamless data management process. The ability to access data rooms from anywhere reduces the wait time to complete due diligence. Also, the ease of upload, search, and structuring of data, makes it quicker and easier to achieve.
  • Analytic capabilities and workflow integration. Digital data rooms make it easier to achieve more in less time. Data analysis can be done on the go, as some VDRs provide analytic tools or seamless integration with workflow tools, so you don’t have to leave the data room to generate important data analysis. Also, it’s easier to track how users in a due diligence data room interact with the data, allowing the owner to make valid decisions.
  • Lower cost for due diligence. VDRs provide a cheaper alternative to physical data rooms, both in the cost of setup and usage. A VDR also eliminates the need for major expenses such as travel and lodging.