Egnyte HybridCloud review

Egnyte HybridCloud isn't just another Dropbox-clone as David Ludlow finds out in our review of the cloud-based online storage and sharing service.

Shared folders stored on Egnyte can also be accessed via FTP.

Shared folders stored on Egnyte can also be accessed via FTP.

As well as saving private files for offline access, each user can choose which Shared folders they have access to that they'd like to cache for offline access. This is useful, as a user may only want offline access to their own files and the Shared folder containing a current project's files, rather than everything that's been shared with them.

Standard Users are really designed for use with your business partners and are limited to access specific Shared folders via the web interface or FTP access. It's a great way of securely sharing data with clients without having to go through the hassle of setting up and maintaining your own secure servers.

What really makes Egnyte so different is the number of ways you can work with cloud storage. One of the most interesting is via a file server that synchronises to the cloud. This lets users in an office work from a Netgear ReadyNAS appliance (Office Cloud, $38 a month) or dedicated file server (Enterprise Cloud, also $38 a month) and still have their files safely backed up to the cloud, where they can access them through a web browser or mobile device.

The ReadyNAS-based Office Cloud option is really neat for small or branch offices, but it's the Enterprise Server that's particularly clever. This comes as a VMWare virtual machine that you simply download and run. It works with pretty much every version of VMWare including the free Player application. A simple set-up guide helps you get it configured, but the only things you're likely to have to take care of initially are setting up an IP address and adding a second virtual hard disk for file storage.