Data Management

The Top 9 Managed File Transfer Solutions

Discover the best managed file transfer (MFT) solutions for business. Explore features such as encryption, workflow automation, file type support, logging, and reporting.

The Top File Transfer Solutions Include:
  • 1. Axway SecureTransport
  • 2. Box
  • 3. Citrix ShareFile
  • 4. Cleo Integration Cloud MFT
  • 5. ExaVault Cloud FTP
  • 6. Fortra GoAnywhere MFT
  • 7. IBM Aspera
  • 8. Kiteworks MFT
  • 9. SolarWinds Serv-U MFT Server

Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions enable businesses to securely share, exchange, or deliver data across their network and with other organizations. Data is transferred every time you upload or download a file to or from your network, or load a webpage. Hundreds, if not thousands, of these transactions will be happening in your company every day. It’s important that those transactions are happening as efficiently as possible to help boost productivity and keep your business running smoothly. It’s also critical for you to check that data is securely sent to—and actually received by—the right recipient. After all, anyone could intercept and read data that you’re sharing across the internet in plain text. A managed file transfer solution can help you do both of these things.   

MFT software is usually built on file transfer protocol (FTP) technology, which enables businesses to share files internally and externally. But unlike traditional FTP tools, MFT software offers additional security and management features to help protect the data you’re sharing. These may include reporting on file deliveries, audit trails, action logging, and encryption, as well as a central management console, a drag-and-drop interface, and automation of regular transfers for more streamlined file sharing. 

These added features make MFT solutions particularly well-suited to sharing high volumes of data, or sensitive data such as personal, payment, or health information that compliance frameworks require you to protect. 

In this article, we’ll explore the top managed file transfer solutions for business. We’ll look at features such as file type support, encryption and transfer protocols, automated transfer scheduling, reporting, and auditing. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.

Axway Logo

Axway is an enterprise data integration provider headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Their API management, B2B integration, and file transfer solutions help over 11,000 organizations globally to move and integrate their data across a range of technologies. Axway offers five API-powered file transfer solutions: SecureTransport, Transfer CFT, Flow Manager, Syncplicity, and Operational Intelligence. SecureTransport is their classic file transfer and data movement product.

Axway SecureTransport Features:

  • Supports multiple file transfer protocols, including FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS
  • End-to-end controls and real-time visibility of data during transfer, and encryption of data at rest and in transit
  • Alerts notify admins of technical or business-related issues
  • Comprehensive audit trails and reporting on all transfers
  • REST-API integration with existing file transfer processes and IT infrastructure, including third-party and custom-built applications
  • Integration with Axway Flow Manager for self-service capabilities, with the ability for end users to create new services and subscribe partners, as well as manage file transfers
  • On-premises, cloud, hybrid, and managed deployment options, with containerized deployment to minimize downtime during updates and upgrades

Plans And Pricing: Pricing is available from Axway upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Axway SecureTransport offers efficient, secure file sharing, which is easy to manage via a user-friendly, central admin console. The solution can be used standalone or integrated with the other tools in Axway’s MFT suite for workflow automation, predictive analytics, and activity monitoring. Axway also offers enhanced integrations that provide app-to-app data flows. We recommend Axway SecureTransport to larger enterprises looking for a fast, secure file transfer solution.

Box Logo

Headquartered in California, Box is a cloud content management and collaboration platform that enables individuals and businesses to manage how content is accessed and shared across their environment. Box’s enterprise packages all offer secure internal and external file sharing.

Box Features:

  • Enables file sharing (of all file types) directly from Box or through a link sent via email, without the recipient needing a Box account
  • Seven user permission levels, link expiration policies, and restriction policies
  • FIPS 104-2 certified, with AES 256-bit encryption at rest and in transit
  • Over 1,500 integrations with collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and Slack
  • “File Request” enables users to ask co-workers and stakeholders for data
  • Previews for over 120 file formats
  • Compatible with desktop, laptop, iOS, and Android devices
  • Centralized cloud storage with automatic syncing for version control

Plans And Pricing: Box offers four business packages. Business ($20/user/month) offers the above features, with a single file upload limit of 5GB and unlimited storage. Business Plus ($33/user/month) increases the upload limit to 15GB, adds advanced search filters, and custom data/metadata templates. Enterprise ($47/user/month) further increases the upload limit to 50 GB, is HIPAA/FedRAMP compliant, adds document watermarking, 2FA, and password policy enforcement. Enterprise Plus (custom pricing) adds an upload limit of 150 GB, along with the entire Box product suite. These prices reflect monthly billing; Box offers a 25% discount for annual billing.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Box’s file sharing functionality is highly secure and delivered via a modern, intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Besides file sharing, the Box Content Cloud offers a wide suite of content management features with unlimited storage, enabling remote teams to collaborate easily. We recommend Box as a strong MFT solution for any sized business looking for built-in collaboration tools.

Citrix logo

Citrix is a digital workspace provider, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that specializes in solutions to empower hybrid or remote work. ShareFile is Citrix’s cloud storage, file sharing, and collaboration platform, which enables businesses to store their data and share it internally and externally.

Citrix ShareFile Features:

  • Compatible with desktops, laptops, and mobile devices
  • AES 256-bit encryption of data at rest, TLS encryption of data in transit
  • Two-factor authentication, SAML integration for single sign-on, password policies enforcement
  • Customizable policies enable admins to control who can access and view data
  • Complete workflow audit trails
  • Secure document portal for file sharing, eliminating the need for email attachments
  • Automated routing, approvals, and legally binding e-signature collection to help streamline projects in line with compliance requirements
  • Remote wipe for removing data from lost or stolen devices, data expiration policies, and optional passcodes for accessing data

Plans And Pricing: ShareFile is available via three packages. Standard ($50/user/month) offers file storage, sync, and share, with a mobile app and unlimited client clusters. Advanced ($80/user/month) adds Outlook and Gmail plugins, advanced collaboration features, and advanced security. Premium ($122/user/month) adds e-signatures and custom workflows. This pricing reflects monthly billing; Citrix offers a 10% discount for annual billing.

Expert Insights’ Comments: ShareFile offers extensive in-built security functionality that makes it easier for organizations to ensure their files are reaching their intended recipients, be they internal users or external stakeholders and clients. The platform’s client authentication and e-signature support, as well as its strong encryption of data at rest and in transit, makes it suitable for any sized organization working with highly sensitive data, such as those in the legal, finance, or healthcare industries.

Cleo Logo

Headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, Cleo is a software company that specializes in B2B data communications and secure file transfer, both of which are delivered via the Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC). The Cleo Integration Cloud Managed File Transfer (CIC MFT) solution enables businesses to share data easily between internal systems and with external partners and stakeholders.

CIC MFT Features:

  • Native support for 18 protocols for file transfer (inc. STP/S, HTTP/S, Cleo Jetsonic), infrastructure (AMQP, IBM MQ, and Kafka), and security (ICAP, LDAP, and SAML)
  • FIPS 140-2, Drummond, and Odette certified
  • System and data health monitoring—with a library of pre-built reporting templates—provide end-to-end visibility into data transfer activity
  • Centralized log aggregation, incident tracking, and partner-level monitoring and alerting notify admins of any security issues or failed transfers
  • Schedule automation (including event-based scheduling) for regular transfers
  • Multi-level user access with support for single sign-on via SAML or LDAP integration
  • PGP and XM encryption handling

Plans And Pricing: The Cleo Integration Cloud is available via four packages: Express, for up to 25 connections; Essentials, for up to 40 connections; Business, for up to 100 connections; and Premium, for 1,000+ connections. Pricing is available from Cleo upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: CIC MFT enables businesses to centralize and standardize their file transfer processes across a wide range of protocols. The solution supports 12 different file transfer protocols, as well as offering a range of security and infrastructure integrations for more streamlined management. Its flexible packaging makes Cleo suitable for any sized organization, but we recommend this solution particularly for businesses that regularly need to share large volumes of data externally.

ExaVault Logo

ExaVault is a corporate file transfer provider headquartered in San Ramon, California. Their web-based Cloud FTP platform enables businesses to securely share data internally, and with clients, vendors, and third-party systems.

ExaVault Cloud FTP Features:

  • Support for FTP/FTP-s/SFTP/FTP-SSL protocols
  • User- and group-level activity notifications alert admins when a file is moved, copied or deleted
  • Central web-based console for file sharing with custom branding
  • Comprehensive activity logging and audit logs
  • Granular permissions configuration, including user permissions (e.g., limit sharing, read only), global permissions (e.g., IP restrictions, require 2FA), and share permissions (e.g., password protection, delivery receipts)
  • Ability to enforce multi-factor authentication for all users logging into the web app

Plans And Pricing: ExaVault is available via three plans, for which pricing is available upon request. Starter offers 1 TB usage and a daily API request limit of 50,000. Power offers 5 TB usage, a daily API request limit of 250,000, and adds scheduled sync, webhooks, custom SMTP, 2FA for users, custom SSL certificates, GPG/PGP encryption, while/backlisting, the option to add passwords to share links, SSO via IAM integration, advanced permissions, image watermarks, and custom notifications. Premier offers 10 TB usage, a daily API request limit of 2,000,000, and adds SSO via custom integration, full 24/7 support, HIPAA/HITECH BAAs, and audit assistance.

Expert Insights’ Comments: ExaVault Cloud FTP is a highly intuitive file sharing platform that makes it easy to set up two-way file transfer between internal users and clients. We recommend ExaVault for SMBs that need to share data with external clients and customers. The platform’s core offering includes granular permissions for file sharing and access, and comprehensive audit logs. For users that need advanced security and compliance features, we recommend choosing the Power or Premier package.

Fortra

Headquartered in Minnesota, Fortra (formerly HelpSystems) is a cybersecurity provider that offers a comprehensive range of products across data security, workload and infrastructure automation, identity and access management, and compliance. GoAnywhere MFT is Fortra’s file transfer service, which enables businesses to move data securely and in line with compliance requirements.

Fortra GoAnywhere MFT Features:

  • Workflow and automation features minimize the need for custom scripts and unsecure file transfer processes
  • Automatic failover for disaster recovery
  • Supports server-to-server, user-to-system, and person-to-person file transfers
  • Addresses security controls for GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FISMA, NIST, CDR, PIPEDA, CCPA, and PDPA compliance
  • Full audit trails and reporting on user events and file activity
  • FIPS-certified encryption, IP black/whitelisting, AES 256-bit encryption for disk files, and password/SSH key/SSL certificate authentication for SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS connections
  • User- and group-level permissions, with granular admin permissions
  • Active session viewing with the ability to terminate user sessions
  • On-prem, cloud, and hybrid deployment

Plans And Pricing: GoAnywhere MFT is available via eight packages. The Starter Bundle, Core Server Bundle, and Collaboration Bundle offer core MFT functionality for smaller organizations. The Premium and Enterprise packages offer a more extensive feature set with added collaboration and automation features, for larger organizations with broader MFT requirements. The PeSIT Express, PeSIT Premium, and EDI Enterprise packages offer specialized features for organizations using the PeSIT protocol. Pricing is available from Fortra upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: GoAnywhere MFT is a comprehensive file transfer service that’s accessible to organizations of all sizes, thanks to its flexible packaging options. Its built-in security features and granular permissions, monitoring, and audit functionality make GoAnywhere MFT particularly well-suited to businesses that regularly transfer sensitive data, and need to prove compliance with strict federal and industry data protection standards.

IBM logo

IBM Security is a leading cybersecurity provider, headquartered in New York, that offers a broad range of solutions to help organizations improve, manage, and secure their IT infrastructure, analytics, and software development processes. Aspera is IBM’s file transfer and streaming software, which enables businesses to transfer large volumes of data at scale.

IBM Aspera Features:

  • Built around IBM’s own secure file transfer protocol, Aspera FASP (Fast, Adaptive, and Secure Protocol)
  • Eliminates bottlenecks and utilizes all available bandwidth to maximize transfer speed and minimize latency
  • Supports the transfer of any size data to, from, and between globally dispersed on-prem data centers and public or private clouds
  • In-built backup and replication of big data repositories
  • Streaming features enable error-free transport of big data and live video, such as medical images
  • Workflow automation enables quicker processing of video and big data files, API integrations and a library of 200+ plugins such as transcoding, ad insertion, and virus scanning
  • On-prem and cloud deployment options

Plans And Pricing: Aspera pricing is available from IBM upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Aspera is a robust managed file transfer tool that enables businesses to share large volumes of data across large distances, at speed. We recommend IBM Aspera as a strong solution for mid-size to larger enterprises with geographically dispersed offices, that need to be able to share (or live stream) large files and video media with as little latency as possible.

Kiteworks Logo

Kiteworks, formerly Accellion, is a file transfer and email data communication provider headquartered in San Mateo, California. Their flagship MFT solution enables businesses to securely share large amounts of data in line with industry compliance requirements. The solution also increases productivity through a streamlined file sharing processes.

Kiteworks MFT Features:

  • Graphical management dashboard enables admins to manage, monitor, and recover file transfers for data entering and leaving the organization
  • Reporting on all actions carried out on files, with alerting on suspicious file modifications
  • Visual workflow builder with a library of 2,000+ connectors and functions makes it easy for admins to create workflows without any code
  • Automatic file scanning with antivirus and data loss prevention to prevent data leaks, and all system components are enclosed in a virtual appliance for added security
  • Granular security policy controls help meet compliance requirements for HIPAA and PCI-DSS
  • AES 256-bit encryption of data at rest (on the Kiteworks server) and in transit
  • Integrations with Microsoft 365 and Outlook enable businesses to build secure file transfer into their existing collaboration suites
  • Hosted/managed, cloud, and on-prem deployment options
  • ISO 27001 certified, and FIPS 140-2 Level 1 and FedRAMP validated

Plans And Pricing: Pricing is available from Kiteworks upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Kiteworks enables admins to streamline their file sharing activities by setting up workflows with no coding experience necessary, and easily scheduling transfers. As well as helping streamline file shares, Kiteworks offers a great deal of in-built security functionality, with comprehensive audit trails, granular security policies, and strong encryption. Because of this, we recommend Kiteworks to businesses that need to regularly share large amounts of sensitive data, such as those in the healthcare and finance industries.

Solarwinds logo

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, SolarWinds is a leading IT software provider that specializes in IT service management, cybersecurity, and network observation solutions. Serv-U is SolarWinds’ file transfer solution, which comprises two FTP server options: File Transfer Server and Managed File Transfer Server.

SolarWinds Serv-U MFT Server Features:

  • Supports FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and HTTP/S protocols for transfers over IPv4 and IPv6 networks
  • Intuitive, peer-to-peer file sharing via the end-user web console and mobile app, which feature a drag-and-drop interface
  • FIPS 140-2 validated encryption
  • Logs all activities performed on files, with a record of the user that performed each action
  • Centralized, browser-based admin console from which admins can manage automation, track file server configuration, monitor user sessions in real-time, and access activity logs
  • LDAP integration for user authentication and single sign-on
  • User, group, server, and domain level permissions for file transfers
  • On-premises software deployment, with a web-based management portal
  • In-built security features include concurrent session limits, request reverse DNS, and anti-hammering to prevent brute force attacks

Plans And Pricing: Pricing for Serv-U MFT Server starts at $3,192 per server, with support for unlimited concurrent sessions.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Serv-U MFT Server is a comprehensive, intuitive file transfer tool that’s easy for both end users and admins to use. As well as offering a user-friendly interface, the platform offers a wealth of in-built security tools with granular policy configuration in addition to its support for multiple file transfer protocols over IPv4 and IPv6 networks. This makes it a suitable solution for organizations looking for a MFT platform that will enable them to prove compliance with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FISMA, or SOX.

The Top Managed File Transfer Solutions