What is the difference between collaboration and shared links?

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What is a collaborator?
 
A collaborator is an individual who has been invited into a folder. Collaboration invites are a great way to share content for long term projects. This will allow you to invite people to a folder and monitor updates over time. In order to access a folder as a collaborator, a person will need a Box account and the folder will be listed under All Files when they log in to their Box account. If you send a collaboration invitation to a person without a Box account, that person will be prompted to sign up with Box before being able to access the content. 
 
What is a shared link?
 
A shared link is a unique URL that gives the recipient to access a specific file or folder. With customizable permission levels, security settings, and a URL that’s easy to copy and paste, shared links can be used to send important content both internally and externally. Unlike collaboration, individuals accessing your content through a shared link get "read-only" access and won’t be able to make changes to your files. 
 
For a more detailed description of shared links, see What Are Shared Links?
 
 
When should I invite someone as a collaborator versus send them a shared link?
 
Collaborator: Invite an individual into a folder as a collaborator if you are actively working with them on long-term projects. Collaboration provides a two-way relationship; depending on their access level, collaborators can view, edit, upload/download documents, leverage collaboration tools (comments, tasks, etc.), and receive updates on actions taking place in the folder. 
 
Folder collaborators will need a Box account.  If you send a collaboration invitation to an individual without a Box account, that individual will be prompted to sign up with Box before being able to access the content.
 
Shared link: A shared link provides a one-way relationship, allowing the recipient to preview or download a given file or folder. With customizable permission levels, security settings, and a URL that’s easy to copy and paste, shared links can be used to send important content both internally and externally. Unlike collaboration, individuals accessing your content through a shared link get "read-only" access and won’t be able to make changes to your files. They can continue to reference that link for the most up-to-date version of the content. Think of a shared link as a secure email attachment replacement. However, if you chose to share content outside of your organization, be mindful that this content could be accessed by anyone who views the link so be sure to consider additional security settings such as an external password.



 

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