BEAR DataShare


BEAR Datashare

BEAR Datashare

BEAR DataShare is a file synchronisation and sharing service provided by IT Services. Based on PowerFolder - the service allows you to securely save and sync your files with your colleagues and partners anywhere in the world, from any device. 

What's included?

  • 25GB storage capacity (for each eligible user)
  • Web portal :
  • Secure UK servers - hosted on campus in our Datastores
  • Share and send files of any size easily via any device or web browser
  • Autosync your folders
  • Recover documents without the need to call IT Services
  • Self-administer your collaborators and the access they have to your data
  • NEW : No file size limits (currently tested to 8GB, if using the client and Web portal) 
  • Password protect access 
  • Limit the number of times a file can be accessed
  • Give expiry dates to your data

Who can use the service? 

BEAR Datashare is primarily available to University Research Staff and Postgraduate Research Students. The service is also available to external partners, but they will share the requesting registered user’s space allocation. 

What platforms are supported?

BEAR DataShare Client Software is available for the following systems: 

  • Windows ( 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 / 2003 / 2003 R2 / 2008 / 2008 R2 / 2012 / 2012 R2 ) - Download from 'My Applications'
  • Linux ( Debian, Redhat ) - Download from
  • Mac OS (10.8 and higher ) -Download from

Web Browsers - minimum spec

  • Internet Explorer ( v11 ) - Please use Chrome / Firefox or Safari
  • Google Chrome ( version 50 )
  • Mozilla Firefox ( version 45 )
  • Safari ( OS X version 10.9 )

Is there a cost?

No. The service is provided free of charge. 

Why is UK hosting important?

The security of your data is important. IT Services works hard to maintain and secure our multisite datastores.  Many existing cloud services that are in use lack basic security features and store the data in varying foreign jurisdictions; potentially exposing the data to significant risk.

New Features and Roadmap

For new features and a road map of BEAR DataShare - click here 

Your data and the Data Protection Act

Research data that collects any kind of personal information is subject to the Data Protection Act, which states that personal data must not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (the European Union member states plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), unless the country or territory to which the data are to be transferred provides an adequate level of protection for personal data.

Whilst we understand that many cloud services do operate under the Safe Habour scheme, we are not generally notified if an external service has lapsed it's compliance.  To be sure that your data is compliant, you should use BEAR Datashare.

Find out about Research Data and the Data Protection Act from JISC

Are there any regulations for the service?

Users must adhere to the IT policies and procedures for the University of Birmingham 

How to use BEAR DataShare

All research staff and postgraduate research students now have their own BEAR DataShare account automatically created for them (since September 2018). To access the service login to with your University username and associated password. See our user and installation guides below in the Documentation section for help on getting started. We also have weekly drop-in sessions where we can answer questions on using BEAR DataShare. 

If you are unable to login then please go to the IT Service Desk portal at, click on the 'Make a Request' icon and from the section 'Advanced Research Computing Service' choose 'Request a BEAR Datashare'.

Mailing Lists

There are times when the service will be down due to essential maintenance. To enable us to keep you informed of service downtime, when you register you will be added to the beardatashare-announce mailing list.

Canvas Course - How to use BEAR DataShare

We now have a Canvas course which takes you through how to use BEAR DataShare via the new web version (released September 2019) and the Client. University of Birmingham staff and students can self-enroll on the course here

Documentation (PDF documents)

Contact us

If you have any other questions about the service, we recommend you view the BEAR Datashare Frequently Asked Question list to see if your question has already been answered -  if you do not find the information you require then please don't hesitate to contact us via the IT Service Desk.

Details of how to log the calls can be found in the Installation document.

Last modified : 27 September 2019


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