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The Ultimate Guide to Data Room Providers: What You Need to Know Before Choosing the Right Solution

Imagine buying a solution for online communication and later realizing that it doesn’t have a video calling feature. While that doesn’t happen frequently, it is essential to have specific criteria when choosing any online solution.

While virtual data rooms are safe and streamline the data management process, the specific functionalities, ease of use, and layers of security differ from one provider to another.

What follows next is a detailed guide on choosing the right data room provider. We’ll go through some essential choice criteria, which include security, market expertise, customer reviews, pricing options, ease of use, and more.

Data room software security

While you might want to use a virtual data room for communication or project management, it is the data room security that must have pushed you to go for this solution.

Virtual data rooms are considered safe havens for sensitive business data. However, it would be unwise if you could not get at least the mandatory security features in your online data room software. Therefore, pay attention to the following elements.

Cybersecurity certifications

How to decide whether a virtual data room is secure or not? The first thing you can do is to check whether the electronic data room is ISO certified or not. ISO is a globally recognized body which proves that a cloud solution or a virtual data room complies with the necessary data protection standards.

Additionally, you should make sure the vendor complies with SOC and GDPR. Some less popular but similarly important standards for specific industries are HIPAA for healthcare and FINRA for finances. Look out for these if you belong to any of these industries.

Additionally, you should consider the data room’s compliance with local regulations, if there are any.

Security features

Apart from security certifications, make sure that the data room has the following security features:

  • Two-step verification for protection against unauthorized entrants or hacking attempts
  • Document access control to set access level according to your needs
  • 256-bit data encryption to share and store data in encrypted form
  • Digital watermarks for copyright protection
  • View-only mode for restricted viewing

Other useful features include fence-view mode, templates for NDAs and their customization, IP access control, remote device purging, and many more.

Industry experience

It is important to consider virtual data room providers with relevant industry experience.

For example, some data rooms are more effective for financial services, while others are famous for the legal industry. Similarly, many vendors specialize in due diligence virtual data rooms. To learn more about these, head over to: https://dataroom-providers.org/due-diligence-virtual-data-room/.

Similarly, many VDRs like Box are mostly suited for small-sized businesses. However, there are also data rooms like iDeals, Firmex, or Merrill, which are considered allrounders, e.g. similarly suitable for many different industries and business types.

Customer reviews

If you want to know whether a vendor is reliable or not, read the reviews from the customers who used their services. Online customer reviews should be a mandatory section of your data room comparison, and here is why:

  • Customer reviews help you determine the overall reputation of a service provider.
  • You can identify the positives and negatives mentioned by customers.

It is better to search for detailed reviews. For example, some customers talk about very specific issues in their feedback rather than giving general information; such reviews are essentially helpful.

Do your research by finding the vendor on the internet and see what features it offers, what its customers like and dislike the most, and what industry it serves best. Always consult reliable sources like Capterra, G2, TrustRadius, GetApp, and others for proven and objective information. This will help you to compare virtual data rooms effectively.


It is sad to see that a few vendors create deceptive pricing plans and charge different types of fees, which large businesses barely notice. Small businesses cannot afford hidden charges, and it is critical to choose the right pricing scheme as well.

A business that intends to use a virtual data room for a regular or long-term period should prefer a flat monthly fee model. Similarly, the per-page pricing model is beneficial for small-sized and one-time projects. Also, be sure about the company’s policy if you want to add additional users or consume more storage space.

Ease of use

An electronic data room is designed to make things easier and faster. This is why the level of ease differs from vendor to vendor, but the features belownare super useful:

  • Full-text search
  • Smart search
  • Drag-n-drop
  • Bulk uploads
  • Q&A modules
  • Document viewer and editor
  • Meeting management tools
  • Real-time reporting
  • Auto-indexing
  • Re-indexing
  • Redaction

Bonus: Best virtual data rooms to go for in 2023

To make your research easier, here are some of the best data rooms that have the highest levels of security, the best reputation on the market, the ideal price-vs-quality ratio, good UX and UI, and positive customer reviews:

  1. iDeals data rooms
  2. Intralinks
  3. Merrill Datasite
  4. Firmex
  5. DealRoom