Choosing the best cloud storage solution for you or your business can be difficult with the vast amount of options available. There are options out there catering to every need, whether it’s better security, collaboration, or something else. This Hightail review will take a look at one of these solutions so you can assess whether it’s right for you or your business.
Hightail – General Info
Hightail is, first and foremost, a business option. It can be used by individuals (and self-employed people with certain needs), but let there be no mistake that business users will get the most out of this solution and personal users will probably find better options elsewhere.
Hightail’s focus is on collaboration, whether it be with people inside your company or clients far away. Their features are all centered around getting people access to your files and letting them edit or give feedback. That’s their whole sales pitch, and it’s a good one for businesses.
Plans & Pricing
Hightail offers individual and business plans, as well as a free plan to try it out. The free plan won’t get you far though, and you’ll have to upgrade. If you’re looking on the business end, you’ll need to call them to receive a quote, as pricing details for those plans are not available on the website. This is likely due to customization options on these plans.
|Free||Free||2 GB||250 MB file size limit, 1 GB monthly bandwidth, max 100 file downloads, upgrades can be bought individually|
|Pro||$15.99/mo/device||Unlimited||2 GB file size limit, e-signature, Microsoft Office integration|
Hightail In-Depth Review
In this portion of our Hightail review, we’ll go through the features of this solution one-by-one, analyzing and comparing them to the competition, so that you can better make an informed decision about this product. We’ll be looking at the backup features, file restoration, security, and other features before wrapping everything up in a pros and cons list.
Backup with Hightail is pretty easy. Everything can be done through the web app if you don’t want to sync anything. In there, it’s just a simple drag and drop interface. It’s really easy to use and looks professional.
To take advantage of syncing and other advanced features, you’ll need two separate desktop applications. One of them enables syncing and management, and the other controls the sending of files. The apps create a sync folder on your local disk, similar to Dropbox or Google Drive. If you don’t need offline access to your files, accessing through the web is almost always easier.
Restorations are also done through the app or web interface. The web interface again is usually easier. Files can be downloaded at will with a couple of clicks, assuming that you have access permissions to do so.
Of course, files can also be “restored” locally by using the Hightail desktop application, which will download them all to a sync folder on your drive.
Files are always fully accessible via mobile devices with the Hightail app or on the go via the web interface as long as you have your user credentials.
Hightail’s security is nothing to really write home about, but it meets the industry standards and exceeds some more lax applications out there. For transit, data is encrypted end-to-end with 128-bit AES encryption.
When sitting on their servers, files have a stronger 256-bit AES encryption. Hightail also uses firewalls and virus scanners to scan for threats.
At this point, there is no option for zero-knowledge encryption, which is a little troubling with business data, but given the collaborative features, it would’ve probably been nearly impossible to implement.
There is also a remote wipe feature to destroy files on any device connected to the account. This is useful for ex-employees or for lost or stolen devices.
Hightail’s main selling point is collaboration. Every part of the interface is designed for this. People can comment on files and pictures. You can set up workspaces, allowing members of a team or project to work with each other and comment on different files within that space.
It also allows file sharing with non-users via password-protected links. Files can be signed and sent back with ease using their e-signature feature. This feature is part of all the premium plans and can save you a lot of money on something like DocuSign.
These features are really nice. But notably missing is assigning deadlines to files and progress tracking that you’d find in a project management suite like Zoho Projects. It’s too bad but not a big deal. It just feels they could’ve capitalized on this more than they did.
Hightail – Pros & Cons
All of the points covered in this Hightail review will now be summarized into a bullet list for easy and quick reference.
- They provide decent collaboration tools in the web interface.
- e-signature feature is nice for certain documents.
- File sharing and access to non-users are nice.
- Some useful project management tools are missing.
- They are missing full Office integration.
Hightail Alternative Options
If your business needs collaboration and uses Google Docs (or is willing to), you’d be daft not to use Google Drive. Google Drive has better pricing, and since the products are all part of one suite by the same company, there is insane collaboration. The collaboration is much more developed than what was discussed in this Hightail review.
Much like Google Drive above, if your business uses Microsoft Office, take a look at OneDrive. With full Office and Office Online capabilities, there is no doubt that the collaborative experience is better here.
Dropbox has come a long way, and their business plans are evidence of this. Now offering Office Online collaborative features for business users, if you use Microsoft Office in your office, this is another great option for you.
Based on what was discussed in this Hightail review, overall this is a decent product. They tried to combine project management and cloud storage, which seems like a great idea on paper. Unfortunately, they fall a little short by missing out on some of the features needed by project management software and by providing a low cost per GB of online storage. Ultimately, this is a solid and professional product and is worthy of a shot. But for those that don’t need a lot of advanced features, there are better options out there.