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How To Use Online Reviews to Help Make Savvy Software Purchasing Decisions

Avoid Common Review Scams

 

When you are looking to purchase new FTP Server Software for your company, reading unbiased, real reviews from people who have actually used the product is one of the most important aspects of your preliminary research. This sounds simple — type in Best SFTP Server or SFTP Server Reviews and you get a long list of search results to get you started. Yet, you unfortunately can’t always trust that the FTP Server reviews that you are reading are truly unbiased and written by actual users. Here are some simple ways to ensure that you aren’t being misled.

Understand the Difference Between the Types of Review Sites

There are two different types of user reviews that you’ll find on the Internet: editorial reviews and user reviews. Editorial reviews are typically the opinion of one writer. These may be articles about one or several products or may look more like the “Top 10” articles that often dominate the first page of search results. Validated user reviews are written by actual users of a product, and can be found on sites like Capterra, G2Crowd, and Spiceworks.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial reviews can be a good resource when looking for opinions on a product, but they can also be deceptive and self-serving. “Top 10” lists give you a roundup of products available and the pros and cons of each, but you should do some vetting before you rely on these sites to guide your decision-making process. When visiting a product ranking site, consider the following:

What criteria did they use for their ranking? Legitimate software review sites that rank products will typically describe their criteria in the article. Consider it a red flag if no evaluation methodology is described.

Did they test each product? There are some well-known technology sites, such as ZDnet, that actually have labs and testers who assign their ratings based on performance in the lab. The article should describe this activity. If it doesn’t, assume the rankings are not based on actual testing.

If you cannot find these answers quickly, you may have stumbled upon a vendor self-promotion list. Also, look for published reader comments — both positive and negative. If you try to submit comments and they are never published (particularly if you comment about adding a missing product to the list), it’s a glaring indicator that the site is not legitimate.  

Validated User Review Sites

It’s easy to punch “top 10 FTP Server reviews” into your search engine and click through the list, but unless you are viewing at least some legitimate review sites, you may be missing out on the most useful content. Sites like Capterra, G2Crowd, and Spiceworks are great examples of legitimate sites. They all require that users validate with LinkedIn profiles or business email addresses, so that the reviews are genuine and the risk of spamming with fake reviews is significantly reduced. Oftentimes, a validation team will also go over the review before it is published to the site to ensure that the content is meaningful and that the writer is providing valuable, real-world feedback.

Get the Full Picture

Ensure that you are getting comprehensive product information by visiting multiple review sites — both editorial lists and user reviews. Look for consistency between the sites — is the product getting similar reviews everywhere? Don’t let one or two bad reviews in a sea of great ones influence your decision. However, if you see the product getting negative reviews on all sites except for one or two, this could be an indication that the vendor paid for positive reviews or has some sort of relationship with the review sites.

Finding honest online reviews of FTP Server software is simple if you know what to be wary of. Just remember that an editorial review — especially one that ranks products — should be cross checked with user reviews. If there is a lack of user reviews, it may indicate that the editorial review is written or sponsored by the vendor of the top product.

Other Obvious Red Flags

Be mindful of other red flags when reading “10 Best FTP Server” lists, such as:

  • Ads on the site. Are they all promoting the same company or product? If you notice that the ads correspond with a product at the top of the “best” list, it is highly likely that the vendor of that product built the site for self-promotion.
  • Other categories. If you look at categories of products other than the type you are researching, notice if products by the same company appear as number one in each category.
  • Pop-ups. Do pop-ups appear offering promotions or free trials of one specific product, but not others?

Find validated FTP Server reviews from these resources:

Capterra

G2Crowd

Spiceworks

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