As with any business decision, when you’re considering a VDR, you need to balance virtual data room pricing with the benefits your organization will receive. Unfortunately, a growing number of companies are charging far too much for the limited features they offer, while other companies are charging extremely low fees without providing the security and accessibility you would otherwise take for granted.

Comparing Costs Between VDRs and Cloud Storage Solutions

Before we dive into comparing offerings from VDR companies, let’s talk about the low-priced elephant in the room: Cloud storage solutions. While they do include some security measures, cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive simply aren’t designed for the security needs and multiple groups of permissions that a VDR is used for. 

To use an analog analogy, cloud storage is much like renting a self-serve storage locker, where you can put important items like your old photos, garden tools and papers. Using a VDR, on the other hand, is more like renting a bank vault, where you might store your financial records and the deed to your house. 

Furthermore, a cloud storage solution allows you to track who comes in and out of your virtual data room, when they access it and what they download from it. If someone downloads a file from your dropbox, you can only trust that they use the document as you had intended. If you’re using a VDR with dynamic watermarking, the file is automatically tagged when they download it and you can revoke permission to open it after it has been downloaded. 

VDRs: Legacy Providers and Low-Cost Startups

Unfortunately, there are no governmental standards to specify which kind of storage solution can be labeled a “virtual data room” and which cannot. Anyone with a server accessible over the internet could conceivably create a VDR solution and charge clients whatever price they want, regardless of how reliable, efficient or secure it may actually be. 

Consequently, the VDR market has attracted several long-established companies to “rent out” their storage to clients at a wide range of fees, using software that simply wasn’t designed for the high security and accessibility requirements a proper VDR should offer. 

The VDR market has also attracted a host of startup companies with bootstrap budgets to create and market “VDR solutions” that are little more than cloud storage spaces re-rented to their customers. Instead of investing in security and accessibility, they invest in Google Ads and create several “review” websites that appear to be created by a third party, but where they instead give high marks to their own services while giving low marks to their competition. 

Typical VDR Cost Structures

Every service provider can charge its clients in a variety of different ways. 

  • Cost per page: This can be attractive if you have a small project, with prices ranging anywhere from $0.30 to $1.00 per page. However, as you begin to rely on the service for an increasing number of documents, the monthly cost can quickly escalate, where you’re paying much more for the service than if you had chosen another provider.
  • Cost per user: In addition to a cost per page, you may be charged for the number of users accessing your data room. Each admin, for example, may require a user license, and you may be limited to the number of invites you can send out based on your pricing tier. 
  • Storage size: This is one of the most common price points in a VDR, since storing each gigabyte (GB) of data costs the provider money. Normally, this is sold in different tiers, based on how much storage you anticipate needing. Be certain to choose a tier with an ample amount of room, and find out what the overage cost may be before you agree to a plan.
  • Flat monthly fees: An ideal plan wraps a set number of users and storage requirements into a plan with a set monthly fee so your budget remains consistent from month to month. Plans can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per month, depending on your needs and the margins of the provider. 

Caplinked’s pricing starts at $299 per month for the Team Plan. This gives you 5GB of protected data, 10 administrator accounts, unlimited guests, as well as the dynamic watermarking and digital rights management that you should expect from a state-of-the-art virtual data room. To get an in-depth look at  its ease of use and the security measures in place, sign up for a free account

The Caplinked Price Match Guarantee

Caplinked has recently launched a price-match initiative that will beat any price offered by legacy software providers, including  SS&C Intralinks, Donnelley Financial Solutions, and Datasite. If you are currently using such a service, or if you have been given a quote from a provider, let Caplinked know what the cost is. Caplinked’s price should already be lower, but if it isn’t, just let your sales rep know and she will reduce the price. You can contact Caplinked at any time at 1 (888) 799-6849 to discuss plans and pricing. 

David Weedmark is a published author and e-commerce consultant. He is an experienced JavaScript developer and a former network security consultant.