Selecting a virtual data room provider

Choosing a virtual data room provider can be time consuming and confusing. There are dozens of companies to evaluate—and their diverse approaches can make features, pricing and options almost impossible to compare.

But careful review is critical. The market is being flooded with VDR newcomers—and all providers are definitely not all the same. Make your decision on more than price alone. Start with technology and performance; look carefully at service and support; then evaluate the value you’ll receive for the price you pay.

As you work through the process, here are some ideas and questions we think it’s smart to keep in mind.


  • Can they demonstrate that the speed and functionality you see in their company-run demo is the real-world performance you’ll actually experience?
  • Can you verify their solution by uploading and working with your own documents before you buy?

Free trial

  • Can you try a fully functional version of their product before you buy it?
  • Can you see how your fully branded data room is going to look, feel and function?

Enterprise document security

  • Can they prevent users from taking screenshots of your documents?
  • Can they tell you the specific pages users have viewed or printed inside your documents?
  • Can they tell you how long users have spent viewing documents and individual pages?
  • Do they offer secure document viewing options that don’t require end users to install software?
  • Do they provide integrated optical character recognition—OCR—to automatically make scanned documents fully searchable?

Pricing and customization

  • Are they transparent about pricing?
  • Are there hidden fees, restrictions on users, page-level pricing?
  • Can you customize your room based on your needs for functionality, capacity and duration?
  • How easy is it to upgrade or downgrade your room if project scope changes?

Setup speed and convenience

  • How quickly can your data room be up and running?
  • Will they set up your room for you—adding users, uploading documents, indexing?
  • How complex and time consuming is their sales process?
  • Is there software to purchase, download or integrate?

Account manager

  • Will you have a dedicated account manager?
  • How will they ensure that the account manager understands your project and processes?
  • Can you talk to the account manager before you buy?

Customer support

  • Do they provide fast access to customer support 24/7/365?
  • What kind of training do they provide—phone, online chat, indexed help content, video tutorials?
  • Will they train multiple members of your team?
  • Do they charge extra for support and training?

Data security

  • Are their data centers SOC 2 Type II certified?
  • What are their plans for data redundancy, backup and recovery?
  • How do they help you comply with the privacy rules that apply to your industry or transaction?
  • Are documents fully encrypted at rest and in transit?

Experience and references

  • Have they worked with companies in your industry?
  • Have they worked with projects of your type, size and scope?
  • Will they provide references you can contact?