Doc Send secure alternative

DocSend Alternatives – Safeguard vs Docsend competitor review

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  DocSend secure data room: Docsend security & features analysis for secure document sharing

DocSend secure data room

Docsend is a secure data room system but it suffers from all the security issues of all secure data room solutions.

If you need a secure data room solution for secure document sharing then authorized users should NOT be able to share links or login credentials (email address and passcode) with others because your documents can then also be viewed by other users (by using the same user credentials to access them).

Is DocSend secure? DocSend security issues

  1. Links to documents or data rooms (spaces) can be shared with other users.
  2. Email verification links can be shared with others.
  3. Verification cookies can be edited and used on other devices.
  4. Multiple users can login at the same time using the same login credentials.
  5. If printing is allowed then users can print to unprotected PDF files.
  6. Users can take high quality screenshots of document content using screen grabber tools.
  7. Downloaded files have NO protection applied to them.  If downloads are disabled, tools like Deck2PDF will let users download them anyway.
  8. Watermarks in downloaded files can be easily removed with PDF editing software.
  9. Tracking data is for an email address.  Since email addresses can be shared with other users you have no idea who you are actually tracking (users can use a VPN to share the same IP).
  10. The browser environment provides weak security since it can be easily compromised (i.e. security removed) by plugins, JavaScript or debugging editors.

DocSend usability

If you have a large number of users and documents the system can get quickly out of hand:

  1. You have to create unique links for each user to a document or a Space.
    For example, if you have 1 document that you want to give to 100 users, and you want to watermark that document with individual user information then you must create 100 links for it.  The same applies to PDF expiry – if you want to give each user access to the same document but with a different expiry date then you have to create 100 links.
  2. You cannot sort documents or accounts/users by their name – they are displayed in last created order.
  3. Your allowed viewers list can only have up to 200 email addresses or domains for each link.
  4. Passcodes have to be distributed separately so require additional management.

DocSend pricing

  1. With Docsend you pay for the number of users viewing your documents so costs can quickly add up.
  2. You are locked into monthly pricing.

Safeguard vs Doc Send – Secure DocSend Alternative

Locklizard is a secure alternative to DocSend and provides many security and cost advantages

  • Feature

  • Stop document sharing
  • Lock documents to devices
  • Lock users to locations
  • Prevent printing
  • Stop printing to PDF
  • Limit the number of prints
  • Allow only low quality prints
  • Stop screen grabbing
  • Document Tracking
  • Non-removable Watermarks
  • Offline use with full protection
  • PDF expiry in days or views
  • User account expiry
  • Document start date
  • Revoke documents
  • Protect documents on your computer
  • Dedicated secure Viewers
  • Document search, bookmarks, annotations
  • Yearly & Perpetual Licenses
  • Unlimited documents & users
  • On premise option
  • Ecommerce API (shopping cart integration)
  • Automate & batch protect PDF files
  • 3 Year cost for 100 users
  • Locklizard

  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • YES
  • $6,195 – unlimited users
  • DocSend

  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • YES
  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • YES
  • NO – downloadable files
  • NO – no protection
  • NO – fixed date/time only
  • NO
  • NO
  • YES
  • NO
  • NO – browser only
  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • NO
  • $17,550

DocSend competitor analysis – advantages of Safeguard PDF Security

  • Stop document sharing

    Locklizard stops document sharing by ensuring that documents forwarded to unauthorized users cannot be opened.

    To open a protected PDF file a user has to:

    1. Have the Viewer installed on their device
    2. Activated their license
    3. Been given permission to access the PDF files

    We ensure that documents cannot be shared because there is no information that users can share with others.

    • There is no login info (email, passcode, etc.) to share with others
    • Documents can only be opened on authorized devices
    • License links can only be activated once (unless the document Publisher decides otherwise)
    • Document keys are transparently and securely relayed to the authorized client device and stored in an encrypted keystore
    • If a keystore is copied to a another device it will not open
  • No uploading of unprotected documents to the cloud

    We don’t make you upload unprotected documents to a web server where they could be easily compromised.

    With Safeguard you protect PDF files on your local computer so unprotected documents always remain under your control.

    You distribute protected PDF files just like any other file – upload to a web site, add to Sharepoint, send by email, etc.  You are not tied into a system with poor document management.

  • No Login credentials for users to share

    Our installed viewers do not require users to login, so there is no login info for users to share with others.

    When a user clicks on a link to activate their license, their user account (and therefore document access) is automatically locked to their device.

    Unique device information is securely stored on a server so that it cannot be removed or altered and can be checked at any stage.

  • Secure Viewers

    Our installed secure Viewers have many advantages over insecure & slow browser environments:

    • Security controls cannot be removed using plugins, JavaScript, or browser debugging & editing
    • Provide search, bookmarks, and annotations
    • Quickly display content (unlike slow browser environments)
    • Always enforce DRM controls whether documents are viewed online or offline
    • Lock documents to individual authorized devices so they cannot be shared
  • Stop Printing to PDF

    Safeguard PDF Security automatically prevents users printing to file drivers (such as PDF file printers) so your protected documents cannot be easily turned into unprotected PDF files.

  • Screen Grabber Protection

    Our screen grabber protection prevents users using third party screen grabbing tools even from remote connections so you can prevent high quality screen grabs from being taken and shared with others.

  • Non- Removable Watermarks

    Our watermarks cannot be removed using PDF editing software.

    With Safeguard PDF Security you can have:

    • different print and view watermarks
    • watermarks, across the page, custom positioning, and transparency (opacity)
    • both text and image watermarks
    • choice of user and system variables that are replaced with user and system data when the PDF document is viewed and/or printed
  • Flexible & comprehensive expiry controls

    Expiry controls can be set at the:

    • document level
    • user account level
    • when assigning access to a document
    • when assigning access to a publication level (group of documents)

    or any combination of the above.

    You can therefore create a single protected PDF file that expires at different times for different users.

    When you assign access to a PDF document you can enter both a document start and end date.

    Documents can be set to expire:

    • after a number of views
    • after a number of prints
    • after a number of days from first use
    • on a fixed date

    For more information on expiring PDF files see PDF expiry.

  • Country locking

    Our country locking (allow or prevent your documents from being opened in specific countries) does not leave you having to figure out what country a user is located in.  Safeguard automatically picks up the user’s country location when they activate their license (and will automatically lock use to that location) so you don’t have to enter this.

    You can apply country locking at both the global and user level so you can stop all company employees from accessing documents from unauthorized countries but enable a specific user to do so if they are travelling on business.

  • Total Offline Solutions

    All of our installed Viewers operate in offline mode with full security – there are no compromises.

    Users can also use our offline zero installation USB solution (documents viewed directly from USB sticks) – no Internet connection required.

    • USB sticks can be pre-loaded with a Viewer, documents, and keystore for total offline viewing.
    • Documents are locked to the USB stick so they cannot be copied to other USB sticks or devices.
  • No manual link distribution

    When you add a user in our system, it automatically sends the user an email with their license link.

    Once users click on the license link, no further user interaction is required to view the documents you have authorized them to use.  Once the link is pressed, the license is activated and consumed – so if the link is forwarded to other users it will not activate.

    There are no useless passcodes or email validation lists to manage or distribute.

  • Cost Savings

    With Safeguard document security you have unlimited users and documents so you always know what your costs will be.  And we don’t tie you in to a yearly contract.

    • No charges per document – just a one off fee for unlimited users and documents.
    • No subscription charges for perpetual licenses – just a one-time fee and a small yearly hosting charge if you use our servers to host your Safeguard Administration System.
    • One-time fee for own server licenses.  Pay just the once and host the system on your own server in your own environment.

How does DocSend work?

Here is a quick overview of how the DocSend secure data room system works.

  1. To protect a PDF file you must first upload it to DocSend.  The PDF will then be converted to images, encrypted and stored on DocSend’s server.
  2. To share the PDF you must create a link for it.  You need to do this for each user you want to share the PDF with or create a Space and give users access to the Space.
  3. When you create a link you can add an expiry date, a watermark and either allow or prevent downloading.
  4. Links are not protected unless you apply a passcode (password) to them.  You have to distribute this separately.
  5. When you create a link to a PDF you enter the email addresses of the user(s) who you want to share that link with.  When a link to a PDF file is clicked on, this email address must be entered with the passcode to access the PDF file.
  6. You need to set up a list of Allowed Viewers otherwise anyone can enter any email address to access the document.  The Allowed Viewers list can contain up to 200 email addresses or domains for each link.
  7. You can optionally have another link sent to the email address that is entered to verify the user (Email Authentication).  The link in that email must be clicked on before the document can be opened.
  8. You have to create a unique link for each user if you want to track activity and use dynamic watermarks.
  9. If you want to give a user access to 30 documents you have to create 30 links (one for each document).  Or you can add 30 documents to a Space and give the user access to the Space – however, every document in a Space has the same controls applied to it since controls are applied to the Space link and not individual documents.
  10. If you allow downloading then that also enables printing – there are no DRM controls over the downloaded file, only watermarks.

Single document access

Each time you add a document you have to create a link to it and distribute that link to each user.

Controls are set at the link level – you can create multiple links per document each with different controls set on them.

  1. Upload document.
  2. Create links to the document – if you want different controls you have to create a link for each.  Each time you create a link you enter an Account (or create a new one) who is given access to the link in their profile.  An account is basically a user or company name.

Group document access

When you create a Space you can add documents to it.  Every user must be given a link to the space.

If you want to watermark PDF files and track use then each user must be given their own unique link.

  1. Upload document
  2. Create a space
  3. Add content to the space (your uploaded documents)
  4. Create links to the space

DRM controls

Controls that you can apply to a link are:

  • Expiry date and time
  • Allow downloading

If you want to allow printing then you must allow downloading.

If you allow downloading then this creates an unprotected PDF file – in other words it removes all protection including tracking and expiry.

If you want to set a different expiry date/time for each user for the same document then you have to create a unique link to that document for each user.


You can add watermarks to a link – this then either shows on a single document or all documents in a Space.

  • You have to create a unique link for each user if you want to use dynamic watermarks.
  • Users must authenticate their email for dynamic watermarks to work.
  • Watermarks are retained in downloadable PDF files but can be removed using a PDF Editor.

Email Verification & domain locking

You can enter an email address or domain (that means anyone from that domain is authorized to open a document – so don’t add!) that must be entered before the document will open.

Optionally, you can get the system to send an additonal link to the email address to prove you are the owner of it (or at least have access to the email account).

But what happens if you are given a generic email address by the user that is only being used for the purpose of opening DocSend documents?  The email account could actually be used by multiple users – so everyone logs into the same email account to pickup any validation links rather than the original user having to forward them.

Despite the cliams “this enhancement is key in preventing forwarded emails from being viewed by unauthorized visitors”, it does not stop users forwarding the verification link (or browser cookie) to others.

Download DocSend & convert to PDF

One of the ways to remove DocSend protection is to convert DocSend to PDF and download the files.  The converting and downloading of DocSend files to PDF format is in theory is only allowed by an administrator.  So users have to be given explicit permission to do this.

However the software application Deck2PDF enables users to convert and download Docsend decks to PDF online.  This creates an unprotected PDF file – all protection is removed including tracking and expiry.  Once a user can download DocSend files they can print, copy and share them without any restrictions.

Why Locklizard Safeguard as a secure alternative to DocSend?

Locklizard takes your document security seriously with dedicated Viewers that enforce protection and DRM controls and lock documents to authorized users devices so they cannot be shared.

Sell or share PDF files securely without insecure links and passcodes and enforce access, location, expiry, and usage controls both online and offline.  Apply non-removable watermarks, stop screen grabbing and printing to unprotected PDF files.

Our DRM technology ensures your PDF files remain safe no matter where they reside with US Gov Strength encryption, licensing, and DRM controls.  Document content is decrypted in memory and no temporary files are used.

Read our customer testimonials to see why companies choose Safeguard PDF Security (cost, security, features, product reliability, and outstanding support are just some of the reasons) to protect their PDF files.

If you are looking for DocSend alternatives or an alternative to FileCloud for secure document sharing then try our free 15 day Trial.

Customer Testimonials