Buying vs. Renting eDiscovery Software For Your Small Law Firm

25 November 2018 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm

It’s better to rent your eDiscovery software. It’s much less work, your data is safer, and you can pay as little as $10 a month.

Which is better: To buy your eDiscover software or to rent it?

The monthly subscription fees to rent software may seem like a waste to you. Especially when it’s usually $20+ every month. But is it really better to buy?

What are the pros and cons of buying software?

Pros Cons
You own the software. So you have complete control. When renting, you’re at the mercy of your service provider. What if their servers go down? It costs a LOT to set up. You’ll need a whole eDiscovery ‘system.’ Which means upgrading your servers (or buy new ones), buying multiple copies of the eDiscovery software (for different computers), and additional applications that the software will need to use,
You pay only once – to buy the software. When renting software, you have to keep paying up every month. You’ll need a dedicated IT team to help you maintain this eDiscovery system. And systems engineers to set things up.
  You’ll often need training to use the software.
  You’ll need added security to keep your data safe. Which means backup servers. And protection against theft and natural disasters like fires and floods.


A medium-size law firm (75 eDiscovery reviewers on staff) would pay about $700,000 over a 3-year period. Small law firms like yours would pay less, but it would still be a lot more than you’d be comfortable with.

So, how does ‘renting’ work?

Renting became possible with the birth of the Cloud. Software giants like Amazon and Google started to lease storage and computing power to businesses all over the world. And their thousands of interconnected servers formed a ‘Cloud.’ The Cloud has been around for a while, now. In fact, if you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or any Apple product, then you’re already in the Cloud.

And Cloud-computing led to SaaS (Software as a Service)

Here, instead of downloading and installing eDiscovery software, you simply access it over the internet. The software runs in the Cloud and is looked after by your eDiscovery provider. All you have to do is pay the monthly subscription fee.

What are the advantages of ‘renting’ software? (i.e., using SaaS)

Most small law firms find that it makes much more sense to rent. Here’s why:

  1. You won’t need a large lumpsum, upfront investment for hardware and software. You’ll only need to pay a small monthly subscription fee (more about that in a bit).
  2. You won’t need an IT team since you won’t need to install any hardware, and your **eDiscovery provider maintains the software.
  3. You’ll never lose your data, since it’s backed up on multiple Cloud servers. So, even if a few go down, it won’t affect you. Plus, your data is protected with bank-grade security. So it’s safe from hackers, theft and natural disasters.
  4. You can access files from anywhere. All you’ll need is a laptop and an internet connection. Perfect for when you’re on-the-go. Or stuck at an airport waiting for a delayed flight.
  5. It’s easy to collaborate. Multiple users can use the software, so it’s easy for teams to work together and share productions.

    What it comes down to is this: Will you end up spending too much on ‘rent’?

There are more reasons to rent than buy. So, how do you find software with an affordable monthly subscription fee?

The trick is to find the right eDiscovery pricing scheme.

The two most common kinds of Cloud-eDiscovery pricing are:

  1. ‘Fixed volume’ pricing: Storage space is divided into chunks (or ‘plans’)—e.g., 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, etc. And their prices have been set in advance. So, you choose a plan you want and pay a fixed monthly subscription fee.
  2. ‘Per-GB’ (or, ‘pay as you go’) pricing: There aren’t any ‘plans.’ You pay a set rate for each GB of storage space you use.

Per-GB pricing may seem like the smarter bet. But there are problems.

It’s easy to manipulate the per-GB rate, your monthly bill is unpredictable, and it takes time to set up. Learn more about the problems of per-GB pricing here.

The solution? Fixed-volume pricing but with a per-GB rate as reference.

The cool thing about per-GB rates is that it’s easy to compare the prices different eDiscovery providers are offering. And the cool thing about fixed-volume pricing (with set case plans – e.g., 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB) is that it’s simple and predictable. So, why not combine the two? Well, the best eDiscovery providers do just this. Check out an example of simple, fixed-volume pricing, with a per-GB rate as reference.

And the best fixed-volume plans are prorated.

So, you’re not wasting money. Say you use an 8 GB plan for only half the month. And then you downgrade to a 5 GB plan. With prorating, you’d be charged for half a month on the 8 GB plan and half a month on the 5 GB plan.

So, what’s the best software to ‘rent’?

Try GoldFynch. It’s a next-generation eDiscovery application designed specifically for small law firms like yours.

Pay as little as $10 a month, with GoldFynch.

It’s just $10 a month for a basic case. That’s $25 less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.

And the price is all-inclusive.

It covers free file processing and deduplication, OCR, production, and tech support. Plus, no extra charges for multiple users. GoldFynch is cool for other reasons too!

  • You don’t have to install anything. It runs off the internet, and you use it through your web browser. So you can start working immediately. No sales calls or emails. And no credit card.
  • It’s easy to use. It’s highly intuitive, and you’ll learn how to use it in minutes.
  • It’s got all the features you need. Store as many files as you want, find them quickly with GoldFynch’s powerful search engine, and tag/redact/produce them with just a few clicks.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?

How else can you keep eDiscovery costs down? Check out these articles.