Review: Egntye - Delivers Desktop to Smartphones

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Notebooks are gaining ground on desktops, since more people prefer a portable that they can take to work or a coffee shop, yet smartphones are replacing notebooks, because wouldn't you rather have something you could fit in your pocket?

The problem is that smartphones can't store the same volume of data. That's an opportunity for clever solutions like Egnyte, which offer a desktop experience on your favorite portable.

Egntye is a fantastically simple virtual file server targeted at small business owners. Setting it up takes only a few minutes, and we were impressed with the depth of the features.

Start by surfing to Egnyte.com, where you can sign up for a free 15-day trial.

The service allows for three different types of users: the administrator, power users, and standard users. The administrator has total control over the account. A power user is an employee who can upload and access files from the account.

You need to sign up for at least one power user, and you pay $15 per month for each one. Next are standard users, who are probably people outside your company who need to access certain files for limited times. There's no limit on the number of standard users you can have.

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If you sign up for one or two power users, you're limited to 20GB of online storage. Sign up for three or more power users and the storage is unlimited. That's a pretty nice offer, considering that the service offers online backup.

Create an account and you'll get a simple URL to access your files, such as mycompany.egnyte.com. You can upload a graphic to customize the look of your page. You can also create private or shared folders, then populate them with files.

Egnyte offers different uploading tools depending on whether you're loading small or large (over 10MB) files. In our testing, uploading took seconds and was perfectly simple. Once you've got your data online, you can access it whenever and wherever you like.

While we first heard about Egnyte as a new service for the iPhone, that's not exactly true. You can access your stored files on any connected device with a Web browser, and that goes for any type of smartphone.

The phone access page has been designed for the iPhone, though, and its touch interface, so you'll get a better experience on an iPhone. Access is quick and the browser connection can display several file types, such as Office documents, PDFs, and JPEGs. You can easily enlarge files using the iPhone's multi-tap support, but you can't edit them.

You can also e-mail stored documents directly from the Egnyte virtual file server, whether on a computer or phone. On the desktop interface, simply put a check mark next to the file you want to send and click the link on the right-hand side to send it. We love the send options, which let you send either an attachment or a link, and (if sending a link) specify when the link should expire. You can also request notification, so that you know when the link was clicked.

The Egnyte developers wrapped all these features with a simple and attractive interface that makes it easy to accomplish any file-related tasks. If you need to access all your files on the go and you're tired of lugging a laptop, Egnyte just might be the perfect solution.

TAGS:

applications, virtual desktop, remote access, Egntye

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