Marketing itself as a safer alternative to Dropbox, Tresorit is largely successful in offering both easy file sharing and top-level security features, although limited features do detract from its overall appeal. You can read a detailed review below or sign up now.
If you’re looking for free storage you can sign up to Tresorit’s Basic account, which provides 3GB of space free of charge, with the option to earn an extra 2GB by performing some basic tasks. We completed all of these in the process of testing Tresorit over a few days, so earning the extra space isn’t hard, and can make a big difference if you want to use Tresorit for more than just a few files.
Unfortunately, you’ll only get access to a very limited range of features with this subscription, meaning that if you want to get the most from Tresorit, you’ll need to opt for a paid account.
For personal users, there’s just one paid subscription – Tresorit Premium. This costs $12.50* per month, and gives you 100GB of space that can be used across up to 5 devices. You’ll also get access to file versioning and full security features. This price is noticeably steeper than many of its competitors’, leaving it up to you whether Tresorit’s combination of convenience and security is worth the extra cost.
There are options for corporate clients at Tresorit, too. With 1TB of space on offer, their Business account is best for smaller companies, offering full features plus admin control over all employee accounts for $25* per user, per month. Larger organisations, on the other hand, may want to look at the fully-customisable Enterprise plan, which can be tailored to suit specific business needs.
If you’re interested in giving one of Tresorit’s paid plans a go, you can pay with Visa or MasterCard, in GBP, USD or EUR. You can also take Premium and Business accounts for a spin with a 14-day free trial, although unfortunately you will need to enter your card details in order to sign up. Just don’t forget to cancel if you decide not to go ahead, to avoid any unwanted charges.
* IMPORTANT NOTE: Tax is not included in the prices quoted on Tresorit’s website. You’ll be charged at your local rate, so remember to take the extra cost into account when you’re figuring out your finances.
Online Backup or Cloud Storage?
Tresorit markets itself as an alternative to major Cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Box, although it manages to also incorporate high-level security features more commonly associated with online backup providers. Ultimately, it is best suited to users looking for ease of use and convenient file sharing, but who perhaps feel uneasy about the extent to which other major Cloud storage services can access personal data.
Founded by experienced Hungarian Programmers Istvan Lam, Szilveszter Szebeni and Gyorgy Szilagyi in 2011, Tresorit is now officially based in Switzerland, and continues to be headed by Lam, who is the current CEO. The fully developed program, complete with end-to-end encryption, was launched in 2014 – perfectly timed to appeal to users becoming more security-conscious in the wake of concerns about online privacy.
Tresorit’s backup process is based around tresors – a name based on the German word ‘tresore’ which means vaults. When you want to upload data to Tresorit you simply create a new tresor, which acts much like a folder, and add the files you’re planning to store.
The contents will then be synced with the Cloud, and updated automatically if anything is edited, added or removed. You’ll have to add the files manually, but after that Tresorit will take care of the rest.
There are a few limitations on what can be added to tresors; most notably a cap on file sizes, which sits at 5GB for Premium users, and 10GB with a Business subscription. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for most personal users, unless you’re planning to store a lot of videos or other large files.
Tresorit is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile devices, as well as both Windows and Mac.
File sharing options
Tresorit’s main selling point is quick and easy file sharing without compromising on high-end security. While other backup providers have attempted to combine these two features, it typically comes at the expense of usability or speed – giving Tresorit the opportunity to fill a still-vacant niche. Do they succeed?
The simple answer is yes. You can share both files and tresors from almost anywhere in the Tresorit website or desktop client. Sharing tresors can be done by creating a public link, which can be copied and pasted to any location, or by inviting individuals with a personal link based on their email address.
By default, people given access this way will have editing permissions, allowing them to do everything except from deleting the Tresor altogether. Premium and Business customers can change this, although Free users don’t get that privilege.
When it comes to individual files, these can be shared by generating an encrypted link, which can be modified by selecting an expiry date and maximum number of downloads.
If you want to revoke access at any time, this can be done with just a click, and recipients (even those with editing permissions) don’t have to be Tresorit users themselves.
Tresorit’s file sharing system obviously works well but, unfortunately, it does come with some limitations, particularly for Premium users. Personal account holders can create a maximum of 50 share links per month, with a maximum size of 500MB. If you want to set an expiry date, it’ll have to be within 30 days, and the number of downloads from a single link must be 50 or less. Finally, only Business and Enterprise users can apply password protection to their links, a feature that’s surprising, given Tresorit’s otherwise absolute commitment to security.
Once again, Business and Enterprise users get the best deal here, with access to unlimited file versioning. Premium users get a limited version, retaining the ten most recent copies of their files, while Basic subscribers have to do without. While we’d love to see these limitations removed for personal account holders, having access even a few previous versions can still make a world of difference if you need to get hold of some information that’s been recently saved over, or if your files get corrupted.
Archiving and deleted file recovery
If you’re looking for a way to free up space on your hard drive by saving files in the Cloud, Tresorit isn’t the solution for you. This is because, as soon as files are removed from your hard drive, they are automatically deleted from your backup as well.
This is somewhat counter-intuitive, as many people use backups and Cloud storage to ensure that, if an important file is lost or removed, it can still be retrieved. The absence of any deleted file recovery therefore relegates Tresorit to use as a file sharing and synchronisation device only.
Tresorit do a good job of evidencing their commitment to data security, with a website that’s packed full of information on their privacy measures. Here’s what we learned:
Tresorit implements a Zero-knowledge policy with all of the data it handles, meaning that the company will never be able to access your files in plain text form. This is achieved by utilising end-to-end encryption, which starts before your files ever leave your computer, and bases its encryption key on a password set by you, that’s never sent to Tresorit staff or servers.
This means that, even if someone were to gain access to Tresorit servers, they would never be able to decrypt your data, because the key needed to do so is only held by you.
Although this is a great way to safeguard the privacy of your data, It’s worth noting that it does come with a risk – namely that if you lose or forget your password, access to your account is gone forever. Without this information, Tresorit can’t access your data or help anyone else to do so – but they also can’t let you back in if you get locked out.
On balance, we think that a bit of extra pressure to hang onto your password is preferable to having files that are exposed to outside access, although if you’re particularly forgetful you’ll want to make sure that you’re well prepared.
In other security news, Tresorit protects your data on your computer, in transit, at rest and during file sharing with AES-256 encryption. It also uses two-factor authentication to make sure that no-one’s accessing your account that isn’t supposed to, and offers a remote wipe service that lets you remove all of the files from your laptop, Mac or mobile if it gets stolen.
Finally, Tresorit operates under Swiss privacy laws, which are renowned for being some of the strictest in the world.
To illustrate the extent of their security, Tresorit issued a challenge to hackers in 2013, inviting them to get past their security measures and access the Tresorit servers for a reward of $10,000.
The contest still continues today, with no-one having claimed the prize despite Tresorit increasing the reward to $25,000 and issuing challenges to hackers based at Harvard and MIT.
For anyone concerned that this sounds like a rather high-risk way to make a point, Tresorit has promised that the contest is hosted on a server that is 100% separate from and empty of any user files, so there’s no risk should anyone find a way in.
Weirdly, there’s no way to access Tresorit’s customer support from the desktop client or the logged-in page of their website.
Fortunately, the help is out there (and there’s plenty of it), but you’ll have to navigate back to the bottom of the website’s front page to find them.
There’s also a “do you have any questions” dialogue box that pops up – once again on the front page only – which acts as a kind of shortcut to support where you can enter any enquiries you might have, along with an email address to receive replies.
Unfortunately, that’s about it for direct contact with the Support team – Business users get access to a phone line, but there’s no live chat on offer, to person users have to stick to emails.
So far as other resources are concerned, there’s a Support Center, with short, concise information on topics from Getting Started to managing your security settings, and a Resources page featuring comparisons with other major providers, links to external reviews and articles, and Tresorit-run surveys on data security and Cloud storage.
Finally, you’ll also find a Tresorit YouTube channel containing over 30 videos, most of which are getting started guides and tutorials on using specific features. Altogether, this makes up a fairly impressive amount of information, giving you a good chance of finding answers your questions even if it’s hard to ask someone directly.
Tresorit’s website is sleek and well designed, and it’s easy to register and download their desktop software. Once you’re set up, you can transfer and share files from both their website and the desktop client, with processes all simple and intuitive to use.
Once you get your head around substituting ‘folders’ with ‘tresors’, Tresorit is pleasant and simple to use. It’s very easy to keep files organised in tresors, and syncing and sharing files is simple too. Their website operates in much the same way and, if you get stuck, there are plenty of customer support resources to set you back on the right track.
Using the mobile app
The Tresorit mobile app is fairly extensive, letting you view and share files and tresors, as well as automatically uploading images from your phone’s camera. You can also download files for offline access, and there’s even a text editor allowing you to make changes to stored files. With a nice, simple interface that’s easy to navigate, it’s an effective way to use Tresorit on the go.
Tresorit Review Conclusion
- Excellent security
- Simple file sharing
- Easy access to files
- Appealing and simple to use
We weren’t so sure about
- Extremely limited free account
- No deleted file recovery
- Caps on file sharing
- Restricted file sizes
- High monthly price
- Sheer number of restrictions for Free and Premium users
Tresorit sets out to combine great security with easy access and file sharing, and we’re pleased to say that it’s successful, with an easy-to-use interface adding to its appeal. Unfortunately, this does come at a price, as many features are limited for Personal users, and the monthly cost isn’t exactly low either.
Some of this can be explained by the fact that Tresorit are clearly pitching mainly for the corporate market, as their Business and Enterprise plans are much more extensive, with few of the restrictions in place that make Premium access frustrating. However, the absence of any personal plan without limited features means that, unless you know exactly what you want to use your Cloud storage for, there’s a risk that you’ll find yourself repeatedly coming up against your account’s boundaries.
On the whole, Tresorit provides a good quality service that will work well if you’re only planning to store and share a relatively small quantity of files. When it comes to simplicity and security, it excels; simply leaving it up to you to decide whether these strengths are worth a few compromises.