Most people use a cloud-based file-sharing and collaboration service. In fact, these services are the bane of most organizations because they are not, of themselves, secure. It's true that one can add other products to encrypt transfers and that is safer, but it also is less convenient, especially when one wants to share with a workgroup.

Tresorit is a powerful collaboration tool with solid security and lots of features that make it really valuable. This is not just a place in the cloud to store files. It is a secure repository with features that make it easy to use and universal in the audience it addresses. For example, one does not need a workgroup to be using Tresorit to share files with them. A file folder - called a "tresor" by the company - can be shared, as can the encrypted files in it, and it carries its properties with it. All a recipient needs is a web browser.

We found the ease-of-use component quite intriguing. When we first looked at the user interface our immediate impression was that we were looking at the UI for a social media site. The pastel colors, the layout, everything just screamed social media to us. Why do that? The answer is simple: everyone is used to social media. It is one of the overriding paradigms of our time. That means that following that paradigm will make the product that much easier to use. And so it does. Using Tresorit is almost ridiculously simple. Even so, the vendor thoughtfully provides a tutorial and then rewards users with more storage space if read through.

The core of Tresorit, of course, is encryption, and this is its first real benefit. Not just that it encrypts, of course... lot's of tools do that. Tresorit uses true end-to-end encryption. When a user creates the tresor, it encrypts and it does not encrypt - even in Tresorit's cloud - until it arrives at its destination, a destination the user determines. That is unique. Most other cloud services decrypt at the cloud server and then re-encrypt to send the shared document out or save it on the cloud server. Tresorit does not operate that way. Once it is encrypted - and that includes the client-side keys - it stays encrypted until it is opened by the user or the person with whom the file is shared.

A word about keys. Typically, the private key of a public/private key pair belongs to the cloud provider. Tresorit does not operate that way. Instead, the keys are encrypted and remain in the user's control. That way, nobody can decrypt the document, including Tresorit. Key management is an important part of secure collaboration and Tresorit has that one nailed.

Tresors are folders on the user's drive whose files have been encrypted. Creating tresors is a simple drag-and-drop process. Users simply click on the new tresor button at the bottom of the tresor menu, then drag the folder wanted to add to tresors already on the menu. That's it. Done. Users also can right-click on a folder in Windows Explorer and create a tresor.

Once a user has created the tresor, they can add permission levels. These include manager (can do anything), editor (can do anything except delete) and reader (can read but not alter). Once a user has created permissions, he or she can send the tresor to the person for whom rights were just added. Users can send a tresor to multiple people and they can have different permissions. These are for people who have Tresorit as well. But what if a recipient does not have Tresorit? For there are encrypted links.

An encrypted link requires the remote user to have only a browser. It works just about the same as if the user has Tresorit, except that right-clicking on a folder launches Create Encrypted Link. Then it sends the link to the remote user who accesses the document from their browser. Encrypted links can be revoked by the user creating them.

Versioning is automatic - an important feature for collaboration - and users can remotely wipe tresors if necessary. All of this is interesting and useful - probably the most full-featured tool of its type we've seen. However, one other capability is extremely powerful: DRM - digital rights management. This dictates what the lifecycle of a tresor will look like. For example, it dictates the usual permissions - view, edit, share and delete - but it also can determine rights to print, copy-paste, print-screen and forward. These permissions can be granted differently to owners, managers, editors and readers.

Everything is determined by policies, but like those social media platforms, Tresorit uses a simple slide switch to turn features on or off. Finally, Tresorit produces excellent logs that is calls the Activity Wall.

We really liked this one - so much so that we installed the basic version immediately and are using it. Installation - minus doing the tutorial - took less than five minutes. The installation was flawless on our Windows PC. Tresorit can be installed on other types of devices as well. If you have doubts about this one, the basic version is no-cost, so you can try it out at little or no risk. We are.

At a glance

Product Tresorit

Company Tresorit

Price $0/month (basic); $12.50/month (premium); $25/month per user (business).

What it does Secure file sharing and collaboration in the cloud.

What we liked Simplicity, security and lots of features that make this a powerful collaboration tool.

Product title
Product info
Name: Tresorit Description: Secure file sharing and collaboration in the cloud. Price: $0/month (basic); $12.50/month (premium); $25/month per user (business).

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