It used to be that important company data was stored in physical folders and locked rooms. That would have been fine, but it was not enough to keep your data from being stolen. Since the advent of the Internet, all confidential information, data about employees, clients, and extensive databases are stored on special servers. There are many ways to store and share data online: shared platforms like Google Drive, and virtual data rooms, so what’s the difference?
Google Drive vs. VDRs – a fundamental difference
Let’s say you need to exchange study documents, a photo, or a presentation with a friend – you don’t need a military-grade confidentiality solution for that; shared servers for data exchange such as Google Drive will do the job just fine. However, if you need to perform due diligence, fundraising, and deal with important financial or legal documents, these solutions will be highly unreliable for such purposes. On the other hand, virtual Data Rooms are professional business solutions that provide a high level of security, flexible access, and data management tools. Below we break down the features of these two solutions and define their differences.
Google Drive is not designed for strict security features, as its users usually do not need them. This space is designed to simplify the exchange of non-confidential data, so users only need minimal security features. Virtual data rooms have a strong bank-grade security structure. They allow strictly confidential documents to be stored in their space and provide security certificates and other advanced security features. For example, VDRs are much more secure than Google Drive. They have built-in data encryption, dual authentication, watermarks, and explicit permissions, while Google Drive may only be suitable for sharing minor documents.
Collaboration and sharing functions
The principle of Virtual Data Room and Google Drive in terms of sharing and collaboration works almost identically. You can create a shared file with a link or with direct sharing. You can also regulate the permissions of other users: allow full control or only read or comment approval. But again, the main difference between the two is the level of security; VDR has more flexible permission settings that can prohibit partial document visibility, printing, copying, and even screenshotting.
Google Drive provides its products for creating spreadsheets, presentations, and documents, which are pretty user-friendly and high-quality, while Virtual Data Room integrates with Microsoft’s Office products. Both solutions allow you to edit documents in the same space where they are stored.
What features do VDR have that Google Drive doesn’t?
The functionality of the data room is much broader, if only because you are a paid customer and not a free user. VDR customers appreciate the speed of transactions, the security features, and the tools to simplify complex transactions like mergers and acquisitions.
- Business Transaction Efficiency
VDR improves company competitiveness by allowing you to move quickly between data and projects. VDR provides single sign-on, fast data uploads, and automation of routine processes.
- Massive Storage
The free version of Google Drive is limited to 15 GB of storage, but VDR provides unlimited storage, or you can decide how many gigabytes you need.
- Easy to use and interface
A simple and intuitive interface is a must for any quality data room because if the display is cluttered, it will affect your productivity. Google Drive is an easier space to use, but that’s just because it has fewer features and almost all Internet users are familiar with it.