Virtual Data Room Pricing Guide 2023
Virtual data rooms (VDRs) have become an essential tool for business. While most data rooms offer similar functionality, their pricing models greatly differ.
With today’s cloud storage costing as low as $0.002 per page, charging between $0.40 and $0.85 per page without offering much beyond regular storage simply does not work anymore.
As VDR technology evolves, so must their pricing models. In this article, we will explore the different pricing options available for virtual data rooms, the factors influencing the final cost, and 25 proven practices for selecting a cost-effective data room for your business.
Top 11 factors that influence data room pricing
First and foremost, virtual data room pricing depends on the specific pricing structure of a given vendor.
While some data room providers offer a flat rate model including unlimited users and generous storage capacity, other vendors offer a per-page pricing model or other pricing plans based on storage, users, projects, functionality, customer support, and other factors, including the following:
|1.||Number of pages||More suited for smaller-sized businesses requiring less storage, this pricing structure typically charges by page. Fees commonly range from $0.40 to $0.85.|
|2.||Number of user licenses||Data room providers may offer different packages based on the number of users. Typically, there is a fixed number of user licenses and guests, with extra charges for additional users. Under the user-based pricing model, the typical cost varies from $15 to $25 per user. A guest may cost less than a regular user or be free.|
|3.||Number of administrators||In user-based pricing plans, data room providers commonly charge depending on user types. Each administrative user may cost anywhere between $100-250, as they are in charge of the proper virtual data room setup and forthcoming usage.|
|4.||Data storage capacity||The pricing for data rooms is often determined by the amount of document storage utilized by the client. Different providers may charge varying rates per gigabyte, with some charging as much as $75 or more per GB.|
|5.||Number of projects or data rooms||Some virtual data room providers allow managing multiple deals simultaneously at no extra charge. However, many vendors charge by the deal. In that case, the price for each project is a flat monthly fee calculated individually.|
|6.||Flat rate pricing||Considered one of the most transparent pricing models, a flat monthly fee seems ideal. Depending on the intended usage duration — 3, 6, 9, 12 months, or more — virtual data rooms may offer generous discounts to encourage long-term cooperation.|
|7.||Functionality||Providers usually don’t charge based on features. However, some companies include only basic functionality in their pricing plans, while charging extra for advanced features like AI-based redaction or automatic index numbering.|
|8.||Security||Virtual data rooms provide sensitive data protection by default. However, some providers charge extra for advanced security features like dynamic watermarking or secure link sharing. Such providers commonly restrict the use of these features during free trials as well.|
|9.||Third-party integrations||If integrations are not included in the pricing plan of a virtual data room solution, they may cost extra. However, most data rooms offer Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Dropbox, Zoom, Slack, and other popular integrations for free.|
|10.||Customer support||While customer support is a necessity, it is commonly included in any virtual data room pricing plan. However, the quality of support may differ depending on the selected pricing model. Multilingual support available 24/7 via live chat or being assigned a dedicated project manager is commonly included in more expensive pricing models.|
|11.||Billing flexibility||Some virtual data rooms offer custom pricing plans tailored to their client’s needs. As such, instead of per-page pricing, they may charge per project if the project is big and requires lots of storage. Similarly, depending on the intended usage duration, providers may offer an annual discount. Most data rooms are willing and happy to customize their pricing plans to meet individual client’s needs.|
Data room providers’ pricing comparison
Though virtual data rooms price their services differently, the most common approaches to pricing are based on the number of users and the volume of storage required.
Below we indicate the virtual data room cost range per each provider.
|Provider||Pricing plans||Storage range||Number of users||Pricing range|
|10 GB → 1 TB||5 admins → unlimited admins and users||n/a|
|From 5 GB → Unlimited||Unlimited||From $1000 per room|
|Ansarada||Custom||From 250 MB → Unlimited||n/a||$240–$1999 per month|
Virtual data room
|From 5 GB → Unlimited||5 employee users + unlimited guests||$50–$338 per month|
|100 GB → 5 TB||100 → 1000 members||$64–$995 per month|
Why does virtual data room pricing vary so much?
It might seem logical that the more advanced a virtual data room is, the higher its cost. However, this is not always the case.
Some vendors offer less versatile virtual data room software with fewer features, yet their pricing structure is much more expensive. Thus, the price of the virtual data room is not necessarily an indication of its quality.
If a virtual data room provider has been around for a long time and is well-known, its prices are likely to be higher. For instance, Datasite and Intralinks, despite offering rather basic virtual data rooms, have higher-priced software than the solutions offered by DealRoom and iDeals.
By sticking with such virtual data room providers, you may end up paying more for the name than for the service. However, in some cases, paying more for a reputable name that has been around for decades may be worth the money.
Top 4 most common VDR pricing structures
As it was already mentioned, the virtual data room costs vary among vendors. Let’s take a closer look at the most common data room pricing structures.
1. Number of pages
Many providers use the per-page pricing model, typically charging between $0.40 and $0.85 per page. This model can be suitable for small projects with a set number of documents, but for larger projects, it may lead to high invoices and overage fees.
✅Most providers charge a fixed price per page.
✅This pricing structure is best for small or medium-sized companies with minimal paperwork.
❌Adding more pages or files will incur additional charges, making this pricing option more expensive for companies with large projects or many files.
2. Number of users
Some VDRs offer a fixed number of user licenses and charge extra for each additional user. The number of users provided and the overage fee varies greatly among vendors, with an average price per user between $15–$25 and a charge of $100 to $250 per administrative user.
✅Providers typically charge a specific price for a particular number of user licenses.
✅This pricing method is perfect for small companies with large document volumes.
❌This pricing approach is much more expensive for larger companies with numerous team members who collaborate with numerous external parties.
❌Extra charges will be incurred if the number of VDR users is surpassed.
3. Storage capacity
Some VDR providers charge based on the number of gigabytes (GB). Other providers may offer a certain number of GBs or a range but charge overages. Overage charges can be as high as $75 per GB, which may be a suitable pricing option for projects with relatively small text file sizes.
✅This pricing method is best for small, medium, and large companies that do not have large files to store.
❌This virtual data room pricing method can be expensive for companies exchanging large audio or video files.
4. Flat monthly fee
Some VDR providers charge a flat fee, typically ranging from $400 to $1000 a month. These plans usually offer an unlimited number of pages and users and allow for a specific amount of data.
Such pricing options can help teams save money and avoid large overage fees when working on unpredictable projects in terms of size, scope, and duration.
✅The main advantage of this pricing model is its predictable cost.
✅This pricing method is also suitable for any company size and any type of project.
❌Some companies may find the price ranges expensive.
How to select the most beneficial data room pricing approach?
Selecting a data room with appropriate pricing for your team can not only boost profits from successful deals but also curtail expenses.
As mentioned before, data room pricing structures vary greatly among providers. However, the most popular ones are page-based and flat-rate pricing models.
Page-based vs. fixed plan comparison
|Short-term project duration||Long-term project duration|
|A limited number of users||Unlimited number of users and guests|
|Minimum volume of storage capacity||Unlimited storage capacity|
|Basic functionality||Unlimited functionality|
What’s the best virtual data room pricing model?
As shown above, opting for a traditional per-page pricing structure in a virtual data room could lead to exorbitant costs, whereas a flat-rate pricing model may be more cost-effective.
However, overly expensive virtual data rooms with per-page models should soon become a thing of the past. The best pricing structure is a flat fee. This allows deal teams to focus less on data, user, and time overages, and more on what’s best for their deal.
How to save money when buying a VDR?
Several options allow you to save on the cost of a virtual data room, including:
- Free demo
- Free trial
- Deal preparation
- Money-back guarantee
- Long-term commitment
Many virtual data room providers offer free demos that allow you to see the software’s interface and all its features. You can usually schedule a demo on the vendor’s website if they offer this service. A free demo can help you understand whether you’d like to sign up for a free trial, and whether the software meets your needs in terms of functionality and user interface.
A few vendors allow their customers to test their virtual data rooms before committing to a subscription. Free trial periods typically range from 7 to 30 days. With some providers, you can book a trial using a query form on their websites, while other data rooms require contacting a sales expert directly.
Also, some data rooms extend the trial period on request, which gives you more time for deal preparation before committing to a contract.
Signing up for a free trial is the best option since you can try out all the software’s features. On the downside, some functions of the data room may be limited.
Once the trial ends and the purchase of the software is complete, vendors can offer a certain time to compile documents and prepare for the deal. Some virtual data rooms have unlimited deal preparation, while others limit the process to 30-60 days.
With this option, you will have to pay to use the virtual data room, but you can get your money back if you are dissatisfied with the software. While it’s better than nothing, be aware that some virtual data rooms may make it difficult to obtain a refund. Some providers may try to persuade you to stay, while others may take a long time to process your refund.
While this is the last recommendation on the list, this is probably the most efficient way to save on the cost of virtual data room software. When signing up for a long-term annual subscription, you can save up to 20-30% compared to paying monthly. This way, vendors encourage long-term collaboration with their clients.
This option is especially convenient for companies that run multiple data rooms.
Checklist for choosing a cost-effective virtual data room
- Define your virtual data room needs
- Evaluate the necessary document management features
- Consider the essential security features
- Speak to the customer service
- Consider a provider with flexible data room pricing options
1. Define your virtual data room needs
To properly evaluate your expectations from a virtual data room solution, ask yourself the following:
- What is the required storage capacity? While you may have the exact number of GBs you need, it is always safer to go for a data room offering flexible storage.
- What are the types of files that will be stored? It is important for a data room provider to support multiple document formats. This saves you from not having to convert them before uploading them to the data room.
- What are the minimum and maximum project budgets? Consider your monthly, quarterly, and annual resource limitations.
- What is the expected deal duration? Decide if there is a need for a long-term and, thus, more cost-savvy subscription.
- How many users will be added to the data room? Additionally, consider who will serve as administrators and owners of the data room and how many guest users you will need.
2. Evaluate the necessary document management features
Virtual data rooms stand out from other cloud storage or sharing platforms due to their pragmatic document management features. When selecting a virtual data room, it’s essential to consider the following:
- How easy is it to share documents within the data room securely? VDR providers offer the ability to share confidential information securely with individual users and groups. For secure document sharing, there are features like screenshot blocking, remote wipe, and redaction.
- Is it possible to edit documents inside the data room? If providers offer integrations with Google Drive and Microsoft Office, as well as support of multiple document formats, it is likely they will offer the capability to edit documents inside the data room.
- How many granular levels of user permissions are in the data room? Virtual data room solutions offer permission-based user roles granting access, downloading, uploading, printing, editing, and copying rights.
- How user-friendly is the interface for organizing and locating information? For easy data room organization, providers should offer drag-and-drop functionality, bulk upload, and auto-indexing. For effective search, data rooms feature full-text and partial search, preferably with OCR technology, document tags, and advanced filters.
- How can you safely share confidential information with others? For protected file sharing, many virtual data rooms offer live document links, which allow viewing and co-editing files inside the data room securely.
3. Consider the essential security features
A virtual data room plays a crucial role in secure file storage. Before selecting a data room, ask the provider about the features ensuring sensitive data protection:
- Does the provider offer secure user authentication? This point is crucial and many VDR providers ensure it via two-factor authentication or single sign-on (SSO). IP-based restrictions and time-based access expirations are also essential for secure logging in.
- Does the provider offer protected document access? Document security is ensured via granular access control levels. For better traceability of access, dynamic watermarking is a must.
- Does the provider offer full control over user activity? Complete logs of user actions make data room usage more secure and transparent and, thus, they are a must.
- What document security features does the provider offer? The most important are redaction, screenshot blocking, remote wipe and shred, and dynamic watermarking.
- What security certifications and compliances does a virtual data room obtain? The crucial ones include ISO 27001 or 27081, SOC 1/2/3, and GDPR.
4. Speak with customer service
While this point is often missed, its importance is crucial. Professional customer support should be able to help anytime and be included in the base package. To evaluate the quality of support, ask the provider:
- Do you offer 24/7 support via chat, phone, or email? If live support via chat or phone is missing, this might be a red flag.
- Is your support in-house or outsourced? This is essential for a provider to have its own in-house team of technical experts, which should speak multiple languages.
- What is your average response time to customer inquiries or issues? The faster, the better, but the maximum response time should not exceed 30 minutes.
- Can you walk me through how to use certain features of the platform? Experienced VDR providers readily conduct live demos and even offer onsite training sessions.
- What is your track record for resolving customer issues? The higher, the better. VDR providers should also have customer reviews or testimonials that demonstrate their commitment to customer support.
5. Consider a provider with flexible data room pricing options
Although the exact virtual data room costs may vary on a provider-by-provider basis, these costs can quickly add up and become burdensome.
When evaluating different virtual data room providers, it’s essential to inquire about their pricing structure:
- Is the virtual data room you’re interested in ready to adjust its pricing structure to your needs? The best solution should offer the flexibility of switching between different pricing plans — per-user vs. storage-based plan, annual vs. monthly subscription, etc.
- Does a virtual data room include all the features you require without imposing unnecessary add-ons? All the necessary features should be readily available without extra charges.
- Is the cost-to-quality ratio good enough in the base pricing plan of a virtual data room? It is always better to compare the value of basic pricing plans, as they are the most limited.
- Are there any hidden costs in this data room pricing? These may include expenses for advanced features, data room setup, extended preparation period, archives, and hibernation.
- Is the data room pricing scalable? How easy is it to migrate to a more advanced pricing model or create more data room projects when your business needs evolve?
Virtual data room pricing depends on the particular pricing approach of each vendor.
The most popular pricing plans charge per page, per user, per GB, or a flat fee. Each of these plans has a set of pros and cons for particular businesses; however, flat pricing is considered the most transparent.
For discounted pricing on a deal room solution, consider committing to a long-term subscription. It allows savings of up to 20-30% per deal.
To choose a financially reasonable data room provider, you should take into account your needs, as well as security, document management, customer support, and pricing options for each vendor.