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Document Sharing and Storage

Northwestern provides a variety of file sharing solutions for effective collaboration among members of the University community as well as with external colleagues. The table below offers a comparison of the file sharing options available through Northwestern IT. 

To request a consultation for your particular file sharing needs, contact the IT Support Center or your school or department technical support representative. Need a hint? See our recommendations

Available To

Available Options

Box

Google Drive

Research Data Storage

SharePoint/
Teams

OneDrive/
Teams

 

Distinguishing Features

Files that may need to be shared with collaborators inside or outside of the University

Collaborating with students and other G Suite users (such as @u, @nlaw, @alum, etc.) using Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drive

Long-term or short-term storage of large (over 15 GB each) research files

Store and share internal, legally or contractually restricted information

Store and share internal, legally or contractually restricted information

 

Available To

Students

Faculty

Staff

Affiliates 
(by request)

Students

Students

Faculty

Staff

Affiliates 
(by request)

Students

Faculty

Staff

Affiliates 
(by request)

Students

Faculty

Staff

Affiliates 

Access

Browser

App

Desktop folder

Browser

App

Network share

Browser

App

Browser

App

Quota

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited; 
1 TB minimum

25 TB

Unlimited

Individual File Size Limit

15 GB

5 TB

Unlimited

10 GB

10 GB

Cost

No cost

No cost

$137/TB/year

No cost

No Cost

External Collaborators?

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

HIPAA, FERPA, NIH/NSF Safe?

Yes**

No

Yes*

Yes

Yes

*When requesting Research Data Storage share, note in the form that the data is regulated.

**Only when using SAFER: Storing Sensitive Data in Box with SAFER

Recommendations

The section below offers file sharing scenarios and the recommended option that best fits the scenario described. 

General File Sharing

I have files that may need to be shared with collaborators inside or outside of the University (individual file size less than 15 GB).


Box

I have files I want to use in collaboration with G Suite Apps. (Students only)

Google Drive

I am a student and want to store my old files online. 

Google Drive

Box

OneDrive

I am a faculty or staff member and I want to store my old files online. 

Box

Sensitive Data (Legally/Contractually Restricted)

I have large individual files (over 15 GB).

Research Data Storage

I have files that are protected by HIPAA, FERPA, or another data privacy act (individual file size less than 15 GB). 

Box + SAFER

Research Data Storage

OneDrive/Teams

I have large files that are protected by HIPAA, FERPA, or another data privacy act (file size over 15 GB). 

Research Data Storage 

Usage Guidelines

Last Updated: 15 July 2019

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