Top virtual data room providers

Virtual data room technology is an inevitable element of any business transaction. Companies of all sizes use data rooms as corporate repository spaces, communication platforms, and tools for strategic decisions. 

A well-selected electronic data room offers unprecedented levels of security, functionality, and versatility. Deal makers now have unlimited options to leverage sophisticated tools and pre-designed workflows and process any transaction faster.

As a result, the escalated convenience and availability of virtual data rooms made the physical data room concept nearly obsolete across all industries. 

What is a virtual data room?

A virtual data room is an online platform that combines cloud storage with various instruments for high-stake transactions. A digital data room can be particularly beneficial for the processes that involve large documentation volumes, as it operates as a remote corporate repository.

An online virtual data room can also serve as a collaboration platform for day-to-day operations, board management, and all projects that require simultaneous contributions from several parties. Some of the most common examples of virtual data room applications are M&A, corporate due diligence, portfolio management, and capital raising.

When considering a virtual data room for your business, evaluating the top suppliers’ pros, cons and reviews is crucial to make a well-informed decision that best suits your business objectives and needs.

1. iDeals


iDeals Virtual Data Room is a secure virtual data room solution used by more than 4,000 companies worldwide, including many Fortune 1,000 companies since 2008. The best virtual data room solutions from iDeals are based on a continuous innovation approach, including constant R&D efforts, powerful cloud infrastructure, and instantly available customer services. With iDeals’ advanced document sharing technology and shatterproof security, dealmakers worldwide can fully comply with due diligence requirements.


Support Options: Email/phone/live chat          Availability: Online           Free trial: Yes

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Multi-platform
  • Multilingual
  • Easy file uploading in any format
  • Solid data integrity/protection toolset
  • Easy user management
  • High data transfer speed
  • Customizable look & feeling
  • Downloading encrypted files needs installation
  • File types cannot be converted

2. Intralinks


Intralinks is a global technology provider of secure content management and collaboration solutions. Founded in 1996, Intralinks data room enables the exchange, control, and management of information between organizations through their virtual data rooms and deal space solutions, suitable for data sharing inside and outside of the corporate firewall. The company’s key product, Intralinks VIA, supports strategic collaboration solutions for a range of industries, including financial services, life sciences, technology, and manufacturing.


Support Options: Email/phone        Availability: Online/desktop          Free trial: Yes

  • 30 days of free trial
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Ease to manage Q&A and users
  • Easy to navigate
  • High level of data security
  • Works swiftly with big volumes of information
  • High price
  • Only cloud deployment

3. SmartRoom


SmartRoom provides virtual data room services for numerous business areas, such as capital markets, legal solutions, and corporate exchange. Secure document hosting and sharing among partners, convenient management of sensitive data and intellectual property, confidential discussion of the data directly within the platform – all these key features attract deal-makers (investment bankers, private equity managers, etc.) and make them look for the most protected, efficient, functional and convenient data room available.


Support Options: Email/live chat          Availability: Online           Free trial: No

  • 24/7 customer support
  • A lot of additional features provided
  • Easy to use
  • Some users are dissatisfied with the quality of support
  • Only cloud deployment
  • No free trial

4. Box


Box Virtual Data Room is a secure content management and collaboration platform founded in 2005. Recently, Box introduced a virtual data room service with advanced protection features and a convenient file storage system to upload contracts, financial statements, and other due diligence files. Multiple layers of protection keep business-critical information safe and secure while helping teams and enterprises across industries easily share, manage, and collaborate on their most important information from anywhere, on any device.


Support Options: Email/phone      Availability: Online           Free trial: Yes

  • 14 days of free trial
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Custom branding
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Integrates with more than 1400 apps
  • Provided only in English
  • Mac/Linux are not supported

5. Citrix


ShareFile online data room provider is a cloud-based data room appropriate for the deals executed by various professionals such as financial advisors, brokers, government contractors, biotech and bio-licensing companies, real estate firms, investment banking, private equity firms, etc. ShareFile virtual data room is equipped with a multi-level security system: the data is encrypted, the documents contain dynamic watermarks that prevent unauthorized dissemination, and access is allowed only based on two-step verification.


Support Options: Email/phone/live chat          Availability: Online           Free trial: Yes

  • 30 days of free trial
  • 24/7 customer support with live chat and online training
  • Office 365 integration
  • Instructions are clear and concise
  • A lot of different formats supported
  • Simple tools to make it easy to send big files up to 100 GB
  • Not as intuitive to use as other similar products
  • Screen sharing is not possible
  • The mobile application isn’t convenient enough
  • The interface is available in English language only

6. Dealroom


This Chicago-based data room provider offers secure data room solutions for M&A, due diligence, project management, and other kinds of complex business transactions. Dealroom provides a wide range of security features, as well as integrations with Microsoft Office, Slack, and Google Apps. Also, their Agile framework may be effective for corporations working with massive amounts of data.


Support Options: Email/phone/ticketing       Availability: Online        Free trial: Yes

  • Free Trial available
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Integration with a variety of platforms
  • High price
  • Slow support response

7. Brainloop


Brainloop Secure Dataroom is an advanced virtual data room with complete security architecture, global 24/7 availability via a web browser, and its own tablet apps. Brainloop data room ensures secure collaboration in a transparently secure online workspace while delivering end-to-end protection for confidential documents. Enterprises worldwide use Brainloop for boardroom communications, research and development processes, legal work, and any other area where you need to share confidential documents.


Support Options: Email/phone/online portal       Availability: Online         Free trial: Yes

  • Free Trial available
  • 24/7 customer support
  • High level of data security
  • Personalized watermarks are generated automatically
  • Q&A module with graphical reports
  • Multi-platform
  • The number of supported languages is very limited
  • Product is slow to change
  • More focus on Germany than in other markets

8. Ansarada Virtual Data Room


Ansarada’s virtual data room solutions have proved to be helpful in a wide selection of deals and issues, from M&A due diligence to board communications. While offering quite standard document management functionality, their use of AI and a custom Deal workflow is a feature that makes Ansarada a great provider, along with collaboration and time-management tools.


Support Options: Phone/live chat          Availability: Online           Free trial: Yes

  • Strong audit capabilities
  • Broad spectrum of security options
  • Online help pages
  • Q&A tool
  • Automatic indexing
  • Not intuitive
  • Expensive

9. Datasite


DataSite is a powerful data room solution that streamlines the due diligence in M&As, disposals, IPO, or any transaction requiring due diligence process. These features from DataSite enable customers to complete faster, smarter, and better transactions. DataSite’s data room dramatically reduces transaction times and deal expenses through the presentation of documents in the data room.


Support Options: Email/phone/live chat          Availability: Online           Free trial: Yes

  • 14 days of free trial
  • Can be integrated with the different software
  • Support for MS Office files, PDF, and some graphic formats
  • No training options, no online help center
  • No Android and iOS application
  • Only cloud deployment

10. Venue by DFin


Donnelley Financial Solutions is a great workspace disregarding the type of the deal, project, or industry requiring a virtual data room service. Data rooms by Donnelley Financial Solutions are equally suitable for due diligence processes, fundraising, intellectual property management, communication with investors, for developing and managing document repositories.


Support Options: Email/live chat          Availability: Online           Free trial: No

  • Demo provided
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Intuitive calendar-view report tracking
  • Multilingual
  • Integrates Google Search
  • Free trial not provided
  • No mobile app
  • Only cloud deployment
Full list of providers

Virtual data room comparison: how to choose a virtual data room

Deciding on the best virtual data room can be challenging, especially if you’re a newbie to the industry and have never dealt with virtual data rooms before. 

There are many VDR providers on the market and each of them comes with certain advantages and disadvantages. 
How to select the best data room for your needs, then? Naturally, you should choose depending on your business needs. 

First, determine what goals you have and what results you want to achieve. 

Second, compare virtual data rooms on the web considering such criteria as expertise, pricing model, security measures, storage capacity, etc. 

What to pay attention to during the data room comparison? 

Opting for the data room comparison table we made above might significantly save time on the investigation. There, you already have the top 10 vendors that are industry leaders. Just rely on the rating, review, and comments of each provider and decide which one is the best for you.

Still, there’s an option of making a virtual data room comparison on your own. 

What to keep in mind if you choose this alternative? For a bigger picture, we recommend paying attention to these criteria when reviewing virtual data rooms:

  • Reputation of the provider
  • User-friendliness
  • Access security
  • Document security features
  • Document management features
  • Possibility of reports and analytics
  • Unique features that make a vendor stand out
  • Quality of customer service
  • Pricing

Now, let’s discuss each of the points in more detail and, for illustration, compare three of the best data rooms — iDeals, Citrix, and Datasite.

The data room comparison: what to keep in mind

Considering the detailed comparison of iDeals, Citrix, and Datasite above, you see that each vendor has its advantages and disadvantages.

When choosing a virtual data room among all providers, primarily focus on your business needs and pay attention to the factors we’ve relied on when comparing those three providers.

According to our research, data rooms have plenty to offer to small, medium, and large businesses across many sectors. However, based on the recent intake, there are several industries that rely on virtual data room software the most.

Below are the primary virtual data room use cases in popularity order. 

M&A and due diligence

Mergers and acquisitions are crucial to the growth and development of anyone from small companies to large corporations. Additionally, many industries, such as tech startups, solely rely on being acquired as their goal exit strategy or a significant milestone. 

The biggest challenge of any M&A transaction is thorough due diligence. Deal participants have to go over immense amounts of documents within relatively tight timeframes.

Virtual data rooms help create agile and equipped environments for accessing the necessary files within seconds, which allows for making key decisions sooner. Boutique firms and enterprises alike benefit from the universal accessibility and automated solutions offered by modern data room solutions.

Funds and private equity

High-profile funds and private equity firms typically deal with a lot of confidential data. This calls for intensified security and internal transparency. Virtual data rooms deliver numerous tools for any process from capital raising to investment advisory by securing user data and granting access to various analytics. 


Lawyers and legal firms must comply with strict regulations to ensure the legitimacy of their practice. And at the same time, there are many sensitive documents and private information pieces to take care of. 

This means that the legal sector is one of the first ones to benefit from virtual data room industry-leading features such as encryption, access controls, and remote retrieval. 

Investment banking

As financial institutions that primarily operate on an advisory basis, investment banks require software solutions that combine simple communications with high-stake data storage. Investor bankers use data rooms to gather information, perform due diligence, present targets to potential buyers, and assist with post-transactional integration. 

In addition to advanced security, data rooms also allow investment banks to keep their operations organized by improving employee accountability and streamlining reporting.

Biotech and pharma industry

Healthcare is another sector that deals with escalated amounts of confidential data, such as patient info, research results, and more. A failure to secure such data can result in competitor espionage or even a full-scale lawsuit. 

Apart from helping their users protect sensitive files, data rooms help to navigate complex, time-consuming procedures such as licensing. By storing all the necessary documentation in one centralized space, companies can obtain the needed licenses much faster. 

What other industries use virtual data rooms?

A substantial portion of the feedback we got in our data room industry research indicated that there are several more sectors that are using virtual data rooms more than before. Below are three of the most outstanding examples. 

Real estate

Real estate companies turn to virtual data rooms for managing portfolios, communicating with potential investors, and monitoring long-term projects. Data room tools allow firms to take an informed approach to real estate transactions and simplify document management. 

And the repository capacities create an easy-to-navigate record of all past developmental and financial transactions, making document location much smoother during high-stake deals. 

Startup investments

Investors use virtual data rooms as a strategizing platform where they compare opportunities, request the required documents, and perform due diligence. Successful deals can then be transferred to the portfolio section of the data room. 

At the same time, startups can apply virtual data room solutions to market their company, organize corporate development, and prepare for acquisitions, mergers, or other major transitions. 


When filing for the initial public offering, organizations must gather an extensive number of documents to file. Many of such files are highly confidential and require an extra level of security. Plus, the IPO process often calls for a third-party consultancy, which makes data room collaborative features imperative.

1. iDeals
2. Intralinks
3. SmartRoom
4. BOX
5. Citrix
6. Dealroom
7. Brainloop
8. Ansarada
9. Datasite
10. Venue

12 reasons why companies choose virtual data rooms


Unmatched levels of confidential documents’ security


Straightforward document organization and distribution


Centralized workspace with transparent workflows and enhanced accountability


Cost-effectiveness compared to traditional data rooms


Functional solutions for remote collaboration and decision-making


Expedited deal processing, from due diligence to integration


Investing in a data room secures the company’s image as reliable and forward-looking


Versatile accessibility of data and people


Unlimited opportunities for all project types


Data rooms typically don’t require additional hardware or plug-ins


Options to leverage from provider’s expertise and advisory


Improved communication with built-in chats, Q&A, video calling, etc.

What are the most important security features in virtual data rooms?

Data security is the main concern of all modern businesses. The requirement for constantly updating, ironclad protection prompts companies to trust their confidential data in virtual data rooms. Advanced data room software ensures that users’ files won’t be compromised on several levels. 

Security certifications 

Reputable data room providers ensure their product adheres to industry-specific security standards. The best way to indicate whether a provider takes security seriously is to look for certifications such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, and SOC 2.

Access security

The next level of data protection is controlling who can access it and how they are authorized to interact with it. Secure file sharing inside virtual data rooms is ensured through the assignment of specific privileges based on every user’s role.  

This category of security measures helps to protect sensitive data, monitor all interactions, and prevent internal leak threats. 

Document security

Aside from making sure that confidential data can only be accessed by certain users, administrators can assign additional layers of protection. Some examples of document security include view-only permissions, NDA pop-ups, and detailed activity trails. 

Communications security

On top of the file protection, virtual data rooms enable safe information exchange by creating a secure environment for all types of communications. For instance, users can choose to form groups and discuss certain matters in private, while all their interactions are encrypted.

A trusted data room is a secure platform that allows users to store and manage their sensitive documents with confidence. The most important aspect is to select a provider that delivers the required security feature set and compliance level.

What features and functions do virtual data rooms offer? 

Virtual data rooms offer their users an unlimited scope of capabilities. However, there are several key features that bring the most value, as described below.

Document management features

Virtual data rooms allow users to effortlessly access documents from any device or location. Digital space eliminates the need to store physical copies, reducing the costs and effort of keeping a traditional archive. Additional functions that elevate users’ document managing experience include:

  • Automatic index numbering
  • Instant view
  • High-volume data hosting
  • Simplified folders creation and systematization
  • Watermarking

User management

A well-designed data room will have several access levels which determine what types of data every user can retrieve and what actions they can take. Other features that assist with managing users are:

  • Bulk invitations
  • Group and individual settings
  • Role-specific digital rights management
  • Multi-factor authentication at every login 

Ease of use

Virtual data room users come from all sorts of technical backgrounds, which means that the software has to be straightforward enough for everyone to use it effectively. Two principal aspects of advanced usability are an intuitive interface and versatile deployment, which includes compatibility with all operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Other features that elevate user experience include:

  • Multiple integrated supported languages
  • Advanced search
  • Customization
  • Single sign-on for multiple projects
  • High level of VDR’s uptime

Reporting function

Activity tracking and reporting allow to examine the exact number of users that interacted with specific documents, evaluate their engagement, and redirect the workflow if necessary. The following report features support dealmakers the most:

  • Detailed audit logs
  • Infographic visualization of data room activity
  • Dynamic watermarking
  • Access notifications

Communication features

Virtual data rooms enable several levels of effective remote communication. With the right technology, users can discuss business via chats, calls, emails, and more. Typical features that improve data room communication are:

  • Collaboration tools such as task manager with actionable items
  • Integrated Q&A
  • Seamless adaptations of third-party emailing and scheduling tools

Customer support

An effective customer support team is crucial to a successful data room experience. The best way to evaluate the support quality is by requesting a free demo or enrolling in a trial period and looking for features such as:

  • 24/7/365 availability via live chat, phone, or email
  • The ability to speak multiple languages
  • Single POC resolution technical support

The combination of all the above instruments will create a solid foundation for a productive virtual data room experience.

How to set up a virtual data room in 3 quick steps

Once the suitable provider is selected, the only thing left to do is set up the virtual data room for the upcoming transaction. This can be done in three steps.

Create groups and invite the users

Listing all potential users and breaking them into groups by either their role in the company or contribution to the project will significantly speed up the invitation process.

Set permissions

When assigning permissions, it is important to combine security and convenience. This means setting access conditions based on every user’s responsibilities in the project.

Add documents and files

The final stage is populating the virtual data room with content. Creating a folder structure first and then transferring documents in bulk is the easiest way to do this.


A virtual data room provider is a company that offers unique business software. The platform aims to secure file sharing, facilitate the deal management process, and improve teamwork through beneficial collaboration tools. Thus, it is popular not only with corporations but also with small and medium businesses, taking a comprehensive approach to data protection and offering dozens of easy-to-use features.
The cost of setting up online data rooms varies and depends on the provider's reputation, features, security level, customer needs, usage period, and other factors. Usually, vendors have several tariff plans, differing in the number of users, workspaces, and storage size. Therefore, the more correctly clients evaluate their needs when purchasing software, the more cost-effective the investment is for the team. Ultimately, online data room functionality and security justify the cost compared to traditional storage.
Dropbox is a commonly used file-sharing service, but it is not a virtual data room. The critical difference is that Dropbox is more suited to personal use, while virtual data rooms provide sophisticated mechanisms that can protect organizations' sensitive corporate data. So, although directors choose Dropbox to share files during transactions, they cannot be sure of their security as opposed to data room software users relying on the tool during M&A, due diligence, fundraising, and other complex transactions.
The electronic data room functionality is so powerful that it can meet the needs of any industry for any business transaction. So, typically teams use the software for M&A lifecycle management, an initial public offering, fundraising, strategic partnerships, intellectual property management, audits, board communications, corporate development, secure document sharing, and other deals. In addition, the data room services are the best format for fast file-sharing, business communication, and in-depth data analysis in cooperation with investors or other partners.