FAQ

General Questions

Email is the most ubiquitous method of communication on the Internet – maybe even on the planet. But email was not designed with any privacy or security in mind.

  • Email isn't secure because it was never meant to be at the centre of our digital lives
  • Email was developed when the internet was a much smaller and safer place in the previous century
  • Email can be compromised in multiple places: On your device, on the networks, on the servers and on your recipient's devices
  • Rifling through email is one of the most common things malware does
  • Email often passes via servers located in many different parts of the world

FileBus overcomes this vulnerability by only using email as a means of notification.

You will likely benefit from FileBus under any of the following scenarios:

  • You or your business regularly sends or receives files to and from external parties
  • You send and receive files via email attachments
  • You have difficulty transferring or distributing files through firewalls and email scanners
  • You are worried about the security of the files that you send or receive
  • You work with extremely sensitive data
  • You have trouble uploading and transferring large files (e.g. GBs in size)
  • You do not have an elegant solution for sending or receiving files across organisational boundaries, to and from your customers or business partners
  • You do not want to install any additional software to send and receive files, it should all work in your standard internet browser without requiring any plugins
  • You want to keep an audit trail of files that are sent or received
  • You want to ensure that sensitive files are not transferred outside of specific geolocations for safe harbour and privacy reasons
  • You are worried about accidentally sharing the wrong files or the wrong folders with the wrong parties
  • You are worried that one external party might get access to the files of another external party
  • You have systems that produce files or reports that need to be sent to external parties and you do not have a convenient way to deliver those securely

Simply put, a file bundle is a collection of one or more files. A file bundle is always committed as a single transaction.

Our research has shown that organisations often transfer multiple files as part of a transaction. Our file bundle concept makes it a natural process to transfer multiple files as a single transaction. However, file bundles work equally well for single files too.

We think that file bundles provide a more natural way of viewing files that are transferred in and out of your organisation. Each account may contain multiple workspaces and each workspace may contain multiple file bundles and each file bundle may contain multiple files.

Workspaces are containers that hold multiple file bundles. An account may contain multiple workspaces and security permissions are configured at workspace level. Workspaces may be configured to only allow file downloads to certain white listed IP addresses for example.

Each workspace may be created in the geolocation of your choice (selected from our available list of geolocations) and we even support on premises geolocations for organisations that require it. Please contact us for more information.

Workspaces may be configured to be private per user or shared amongst multiple users.

There may be restrictions determined by your account plan, but in general you can have any number of workspaces, file bundles and files.

Users are users with FileBus logins that are registered under your FileBus organisation account. They are typically people within your organisation that will manage files, send file bundles to external parties or send file bundle requests to external parties so that they may upload the requested files to you. Users will always be the originator of any file bundle.

Originators are always users. If you send a file bundle to someone then you are the 'originator' of that file bundle. If you request a file bundle from someone then you are also the 'originator' of that requested file bundle. If you simply store a new file bundle into a workspace then you are also the 'originator' of that stored file bundle.

Recipients are typically people outside of your organisation that do not have FileBus logins under your organisation account. If they require authentication to download file bundles sent to them, or upload file bundles that have been requested from them, they can make use of 3rd party social logins like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft or get an SMS code sent to their phone or you may simply set up a temporary password on the bundle action and communicate that to them via a phone call.

Note that in some cases a recipient can also be a FileBus registered user and that user can then use their FileBus login as authentication before uploading or downloading files to/from the originator.

Yes, using your browser, log into your FileBus account (using multi-factor authentication if enabled) after which you will automatically be transferred to the Files page from where you can perform all file operations:

  • Select 'Create a new Bundle' from the grid toolbar button above the grid to the left
  • You will be transferred to the 'Create a New File Bundle' page
  • Select the workspace where the files should be stored
  • Optionally specify bundle tags to identify the file bundle and allow you to search on it later
  • Drag and drop (or tap the 'Upload a File' button) to upload the files that you wish to store
  • Click submit to complete and store the new file bundle

If you now go back to the Files page and look at the bundle grid and select the appropriate workspace, you should see the newly created bundle at the top of the grid (bundles are by default listed with the new bundles at the top, although you can sort by any column).

Selecting the bundle in the grid will allow you to expand the grid row to see the files and download them at a later stage if required. You can additionally also send this bundle to one or more recipients.

Yes, you can currently upload files up to 5GB in size depending on your selected plan. The system has been optimised to ease the uploading and download of large files. Uploads can be resumed should your network connection fail momentarily. If you need to transfer even larger files, please contact us.

Every time you create, send or request a file bundle, you create an action on that file bundle. Sending the same file bundle multiple times to multiple recipients, will result in multiple 'send' actions on that bundle.

Creating a bundle today and sending it to one or more recipients tomorrow will, for example, result in a 'create' action on the bundle today and a 'send' action on the bundle tomorrow.

Selecting a bundle on the bundle grid (on the Files page), will display the list of actions in the bundle preview pane below the bundle grid. Each of the actions can be expanded to display for information about that action, for example the date and time and status of the action and the list of recipients for send and request type actions.

The system has been optimised to ease the uploading and download of large files. Uploads can be resumed should your network connection fail momentarily. If you need to transfer even larger files, please contact us.

Currently, the following browsers are supported:

Browser FileBus User Recipients
IE 8 - -
IE 9 - Yes (for downloads only, not uploads)
IE 10 Yes Yes
IE 11 Yes Yes
Edge Yes Yes
Chrome Yes Yes
Firefox Yes Yes
Opera 15+ Yes Yes
Safari 6+ Yes Yes

For security reasons, FileBus does not integrate directly with your local folders. Managing shared files via your local folder structure poses risks of accidentally sharing sensitive files with people that should not have access to those files.

FileBus uses geolocation based cloud storage (or on premises storage under the custom plan) to ensure that when you share files with recipients, those recipients only have access to the files that you have explicitly shared with them.

The FileBus geolocation storage also provides a layer of abstraction between your local folders and recipients, thereby increasing security and minimising accidental access mistakes.

FileBus may only be used to transfer and store files and content that are deemed legal and do not violate the law in any way.

As an account holder, you are responsible to ensure that all content under your account meets the FileBus Terms of Use. Your account will be terminated immediately should you breach our Terms of Use. All interactions with FileBus are audited and recorded, including your IP address, and as an account holder you are required to have an SMS capable phone for identification verification purposes.

Examples of content NOT allowed under any circumstances:

  • Content that involves child exploitation in any way
  • Content that is unlawfully pornographic or indecent or contain extreme acts of violence
  • Content that advocate bigotry or hatred against any person or group of people based on their race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual preference, disability, or impairment
  • Content promoting or used in unsolicited communications, promotions or advertisements, or spam
  • Content that violates the law in any way, including storing, publishing or sharing material that's fraudulent, defamatory, or misleading
  • Content that violate the privacy or infringe the rights of others
  • Content that violate the copyright, intellectual property rights or privacy of any person or entity
  • Software viruses or other harmful or deleterious computer code, files or programs such as Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots, or spyware, etc

FileBus will report usage of the service in any way that involves unlawful content to the relevant law enforcement agencies.

FileBus is best suited to businesses and individuals that want to manage secure file transfers with specific nominated recipients, where the recipients need to be authenticated in one of a number of ways, and is probably not the best solution under the following types of scenarios:

  • You want a public download or upload link where anyone can anonymously download or upload files
  • You want to store or transfer files or content that are deemed to violate the law in any way (note that the system audit trails every action including IP addresses, etc. and you require a valid SMS capable mobile phone to validate your identity as an account holder and you must agree to abide by the FileBus Terms of Use – violation of the Terms of Use will result in your account being suspended. We play nicely, so we ask that you please do the same.
Recipients

Recipients are typically people outside of your organisation that do not have FileBus logins under your organisation account. In other words, they are usually unfederated from your organisation's point of view.

When you send a file bundle to a recipient or request a file bundle from a recipient, you specify how that recipient should be authenticated. This would include one of the following methods:

  • Login - the recipient is required to log in using either a FileBus login or a 3rd party social login like Google, Microsoft, Facebook or Twitter
  • SMS - the recipient requests an access code to be sent to their mobile phone
  • Password - you enter a password that must be supplied by the recipient (it is up to you how you communicate this password to the recipient, e.g. via a phone call)
  • None - no authentication is required and the recipient only has to enter their email address (you would only use this for files that are not sensitive)

Note that your plan and workspace configuration may control which of the above authentication methods are available to you.

When sending a file bundle to recipients, multiple recipients are supported and the number is only limited by your selected plan.

When sending a file request, only a single recipient per request is currently supported.

When sending a file bundle to recipients, you can optionally type a message to those recipients. The message will be included in the email that is sent out to the recipients. Once a recipient completes the download, a message may be entered at the point where the recipient confirms that the files have been successfully downloaded. You will receive that message in the email notification and will also be able to see it under that specific Bundle Action under the Files Grid.

Using your browser, log into your FileBus account (using multi-factor authentication if enabled) after which you will automatically be transferred to the Files page from where you can perform all file operations:

Sending an existing file bundle via your browser:

  • Select the existing bundle in the grid and click the [Send] link in the right-most column
  • You will be transferred to the 'Send an Existing File Bundle' page where you can see the contents of the bundle and specify details for the new Send action
  • Optionally specify an expiry date before which the files have to be downloaded
  • Optionally specify an outgoing message to the recipients
  • Select the 'Authentication Type' for recipients (note that your workspace may force restrictions on the available authentication options and once you add a recipient this cannot be changed)
  • Add one or more recipients, specifying the email address, first and last name, organisation name and whether SMS authentication should be used
  • Click submit to send the file bundle to the added recipients

Sending a new file bundle via your browser:

  • Select 'Create and Send a new Bundle' from the grid toolbar button above the grid to the left
  • You will be transferred to the 'Send a New File Bundle' page
  • Select the workspace where the files should be uploaded to and from where the recipients can download it
  • Optionally specify file tags to identify the file bundle and allow you to search on
  • Optionally specify an expiry date before which the files have to be downloaded
  • Optionally specify an outgoing message to the recipients
  • Select the 'Authentication Type' for recipients (note that your workspace may force restrictions on the available authentication options and once you add a recipient this cannot be changed)
  • Drag and drop (or tap the 'Upload a File' button) to upload the files that you wish to transfer
  • Add one or more recipients, specifying the email address, first and last name, organisation name and whether SMS authentication should be used
  • Click submit to send the file bundle to the added recipients

At this point the recipients will receive an email containing details of the file bundle as well as a secure link to click on to download the files. Depending on the recipient authentication method selected above, the recipient may have to log in using a FileBus login, or a 3rd party service like Google, Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft or receive an SMS access code on their phone or specify a temporary password that you would have set up and communicated to them. If no authentication was selected then the recipient only has to enter their email address to ensure that they were indeed the intended recipient.

Once the recipients have successfully downloaded all the files in the bundle, they can optionally type a return message to the sender and complete the process by tapping the 'I have downloaded all the files' button. The sender will receive an email confirmation that the recipient has completed the download.

Using your browser, log into your FileBus account (using multi-factor authentication if enabled) after which you will automatically be transferred to the Files page from where you can perform all file operations:

  • Select 'Request a new Bundle' from the grid toolbar button above the grid to the left
  • You will be transferred to the 'Request a New File Bundle' page
  • Select the workspace where the files should be uploaded to by the recipient
  • Optionally specify bundle tags to identify the file bundle and allow you to search on it later
  • Optionally specify an expiry date before which the files have to be uploaded
  • Optionally specify an outgoing message to the recipient
  • Depending on the workspace settings, you may be able to specify that authentication is not required by the recipient
  • Fill out the recipient email address, first and last name, organisation name and whether SMS authentication should be used
  • Click submit to send the request to the recipient

At this point the recipients will receive an email containing details of the request as well as a secure link to click on to upload the files. Depending on the recipient authentication method selected above, the recipient may have to log in using a FileBus login, or a 3rd party service like Google, Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft or receive an SMS access code on their phone. If no authentication was selected then the recipient only has to enter their email address to ensure that they were indeed the intended recipient of the request.

Once the recipients have successfully uploaded all the files in the bundle, they can optionally type a return message to the sender of the request and complete the process by tapping the 'I have completed all file uploads for this Request' button. The sender will receive an email confirmation that the recipient has completed the upload.

The recipient download and upload pages provide a facility for recipients to enter an option message to you as well as confirming that they have completed the download or upload. Once a recipient has completed this, you will receive a notification email from FileBus to inform you that the recipient has completed it.

You can also view the file bundle send or request (bundle action) status at any time by selecting the file bundle on the bundle grid (on the Files page) and expanding the appropriate bundle action below the grid and viewing the recipient status.

Yes, you can specify an optional expiry date by which the recipient has to download or upload the files. Note that your administrator has the option to specify rules around whether an expiry date is required and the maximum duration of the expiry date at a workspace level.

Account Registration
Account registration at FileBus is required if you will be sending file bundles to recipients, requesting file bundles from recipients or storing file bundles for later usage. You do not need an account if another FileBus user sends a file bundle to you or requests you to upload a file bundle to them. If you are an individual or organisation that often transfers files to and from other parties then you will benefit from having a FileBus account.

No. You can register for one of the trial accounts initially and once you are comfortable that FileBus meets your needs, you can upgrade your account to a paid account using PayPal.

Note that we do not store any information about your credit card on our system. Payment processing is outsourced to PayPal and your credit card details are directly entered into PayPal (if required). FileBus does not have access to that information at all.

Note that we currently only support PayPal online payments. If you'd prefer doing a bank transfer payment instead, please contact us.

As an additional layer of security, we require you to have a mobile phone number with SMS capability to validate your account. During the account activation process you will receive an authorisation code that needs to be entered to complete your account setup.

Yes, we offer trails on a number of selected plans. Towards the end of your trial period you will receive reminder emails regarding purchasing your account. If you are the account administrator of your organisation account you can purchase or upgrade your plan at any stage by going to your "My Account" page.

There may be restrictions determined by your account plan, but in general you can have any number of users set up under your account organisation. Users are people in your organisation that need to log into FileBus to send, request and manage file bundles or administer your account. Recipients of file bundles or requests do not need to be registered within FileBus since they can use 3rd party or SMS code based authentication to download or upload file bundles.

We currently support account registrations from the following countries (you will require an SMS capable phone in your country that can receive an authorisation code). If you want to use FileBus and are located in a country that is not supported at present, please contact us and we will see what we can do:

  • American Samoa
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cook Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • (South) Korea
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norfolk Island
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Virgin Islands (US)
Data Centres

We exclusively utilise Microsoft Azure data centres for all our cloud hosting and storage.

We have a central server in West US (California) for hosting our main database records, with support for file bundle (content) storage in additional geolocations like Australia Southeast and Western Europe geolocations. When you choose to store your file bundle in a specific geolocation, the entire file bundle will only be stored in that selected geolocation. The central database will contain an encrypted record entry of the file bundle and the geolocation where the file bundle is stored, but will not contain the actual file contents.

We plan on adding more in future, so please watch this space. If you have an immediate requirement for a geolocation not already supported, please contact us. If Azure cloud hosting is not supported in a region where you want a geolocation, we can investigate options with other Microsoft approved hosting providers. In such cases we will clearly mark those geolocations as not being Azure hosted to ensure transparency for our end users.

We also offer on premises storage locations under our 'Custom Plan' where you can host the storage location on your own infrastructure as a private geolocation. Please contact us for more information.

Yes, we offer on premises storage geolocations under our 'Custom Plan' where you can host the storage geolocation on your own infrastructure.

Each on premises storage location is installed and configured separately and is federated under our overall Azure cloud based infrastructure. When setting up workspaces, you can select your local on premises geolocation to host the workspace in the same way as you can select any of our cloud based geolocations.

On premises geolocations are licensed separately. Please contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Our team have significant experience in building software in the banking, insurance and health sectors and have worked in some of those sectors themselves, in both senior management and technical roles, so we have a deep understanding of information security and have applied those same robust enterprise level practises in building and managing FileBus.

We chose to build the FileBus solution on top of Microsoft Azure to ensure the highest possible security for your data.

Azure has more certification than any other cloud provider (see What is Azure?):

  • DIACAP, DICA, FedRAMP, FIPS 140-2, FISMA, IRAP(CCSL), IRS 1075, ITAR
  • Sect 508 VPATs, Spain ENS, UK G-Cloud
  • FISC, PCI-DSS, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3
  • FERPA
  • CJIS
  • FDA CFR Title 21 Part 11, GxP

All data is stored encrypted at rest and transferred over SSL. In addition we also support multiple geolocations to ensure that your data is never transferred outside of your chosen geolocation to meet "safe harbour" and privacy restrictions if required.

We also offer on premises storage geolocation for those organisations requiring it. Please contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Each workspace under your account is created in a specific geolocation that you choose. Once the workspace has been created the geolocation cannot be changed.

When you upload file bundles into a workspace, the files are uploaded directly from your computer (via your browser) to the selected workspace geolocation under SSL encryption. That is, the files do not pass through a central hub at all, they are transferred directly.

When you download file bundles from a workspace, the files are downloaded directly from the workspace geolocation to your computer (via your browser) under SSL encryption. That is, the files do not pass through a central hub at all, they are transferred directly to your computer.

The central database (located in West US) will contain an encrypted record entry of the file bundle and the geolocation where the file bundle is stored. It will not contain the actual file contents (unless you selected the central West US geolocation for the workspace that your file bundle is stored in).

Depending on your plan, you may be able to restrict download of file bundles to one or more specific IP addresses. This is more suitable in scenarios where you have a dedicated number of IP addresses where you allow files to be downloaded to for a specific workspace (for example where you want to restrict file downloads to only your own offices).

You may not be able to prevent recipients from downloading files outside of your designated geolocations, unless you specify one or more specific IP address restrictions (see point about VPN usage below). Future versions of FileBus may provide additional tools to restrict file downloads by geolocation.

Note however that if you utilise VPNs or similar then the files may indeed temporarily be saved on those VPN servers that may be located in a different geolocation. Therefore, if geolocation restrictions are important to you, please make sure you understand the implications of VPN software when either you or your recipients use it.

We also offer on premises storage geolocation for those organisations requiring it. In such installations that on premises storage geolocation is federated under our overall cloud solution to ensure total security. Please contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Permissions

FileBus provides comprehensive user-defined security roles and permissions to control authorisation to all functions within the system. Security roles are set up at organisation level and at workspace level. You can create any number of organisational roles and workspace roles, but a user can only be allocated to one organisational role and one workspace role per workspace.

Organisational roles are typically granted to users that require administration permission (e.g. maintain account, create workspaces, create users, create security roles, etc) whereas roles at workspace level are used to control access to workspaces.

User access to existing file bundles and the ability create new file bundles are controlled at a workspace level. In other words, you grant access to users within your organisation to specific workspaces, by allocating roles to them in regards to the workspaces that they need access to.

Workspace flags, configured per workspace, override role permission. For example, even though a security role might allow for file downloads in a specific workspace, if the 'allow file download' flag on that workspace is not set, a user with that security role will still not be able to download files from that workspace. This allows an administrator to easily turn off a specific permission for a workspace globally.

When sending a file bundle to a recipient, you are in fact delegating authorisation to that recipient to download the file bundle, always subject to the permission flags on that workspace, and also subject to the authorisation that you stipulate (e.g. FileBus login, 3rd party social login, SMS access token or no authentication).

When you register a new account, you are by default the 'administrator' of that account and have the following default security roles linked to your account:

  • Default: Account Admin - you can manage all aspects of an account (including setting up other users)
  • Default: Workspace User - you have all permissions in workspaces linked to this role

During account registration the system will also create a Default workspace for you and allocate the 'Default: Workspace User' role for that workspace to you.


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