Review: Acronis Access Advanced Can Be Your Digital File Cabinet

With Access Advanced, even the smallest IT shop can deliver file sharing and collaboration — securely.

File-sharing applications such as Box Enterprise, Dropbox Business and Citrix ShareFile generally let users store files in the cloud, keep them up to date and share them. But for many businesses, there’s a need to keep some or all files in the company data center — yet users still need the most current files, often when they’re working far from the office.

Acronis Access Advanced is easy to set up and use for file syncing and sharing. Plus, it can store data either in a data center or the cloud.

The product consists of two parts: a server that resides inside a company’s firewall; and the client, which can run on a mix of mobile and desktop platforms. The client can access the server via a web browser, a VPN or a reverse proxy server that doesn’t require a firewall rule. Data can be encrypted both while in transit and when at rest on the storage system or the client.

Simple Set Up Lets Small Businesses Share Files Sooner

Setting up the server is straightforward. For the purposes of this test, the server was installed on a Windows 2012 R2 Standard Server.

Run the Access Advanced configuration utility to configure ports and certificates, then the setup wizard to configure the server. Use a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol or Active Directory server for authentication. The systems administrator should be familiar with web services, firewall rules, Simple Message Transfer Protocol setup and file structure for all shared files.

For clients outside of the firewall to connect, use a gateway server. It can be in the firewalled DMZ or inside the firewall, but the host name needs to be resolved by the Domain Name System.

A file repository also must be set up (locally or in the cloud).

Once the server is configured, simply install the Acronis client and enter the information on the gateway server to configure user systems. Individual clients can configure what data to store in Access Advanced, how it is synced with other versions and how it is shared.

A boon to small business, Access Advanced makes it possible for even a one-person IT shop to ensure that employees on the move can collaborate and share files easily and securely.

Secure File Collaboration Anywhere

Adding users and their remote devices to Acronis Access Advanced lets them keep files synced between their devices so that the latest version is available wherever they roam, and also lets them share appropriate files with other users.

Users can be invited to join the system via email, and a system administrator can set policies through Active Directory to define levels of security, control which apps can be used to open files, and set security profiles for users’ remote devices.

These policies are powerful tools that allow a business’s IT team to define how different groups will be treated with regard to encryption and security rules. For instance, Access Advanced can ensure that remote devices have required apps installed (such as anti-virus) and that sensitive files can’t be copied or moved to other devices.

In addition to a variety of supported clients — such as iOS, Android and Windows — Access Advanced also provides a web client, enabling users to log in through a web server or browser to access files, make changes and save their files.

That’s a bonus for the IT team because it means a company’s users can then access files and collaborate from virtually anywhere. Security settings help ensure that users logging in from public computers don’t inadvertently give access to other users on those computers, and that files cannot be intercepted in transit.

The Acronis Acces Advanced 7.5

Mobile: Android, iOS 6 or later, Windows

Minimum OS: Android 2.2, iOS 4.3, Mac OS X 10.6, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Professional SP3, Windows 8

RAM: 8GB

Browsers: Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari

Network: Access to Domain Name Controller for Active Directory

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Aug 29 2017