Microsoft OneDrive is the default online storage service for Office 365 and Windows 10. It offers several powerful features like unlimited device storage, easy access to files, integration with other Microsoft products, secure storage, and more. The newest features offered by this platform are online photo editing and enabling users to cast photos on a TV. It also provides various useful apps for Macs, Android, PCs, Xbox, and iOS.Moreover, Microsoft OneDrive offers an attractive mobile interface, powerful search, and real-time collaborative editing.
Microsoft OneDrive Compared to the Best Cloud Storage Services
Below you will find our golden eggs, the best cloud storage service providers among the dozens we researched. You can read about all our top choices in more detail here.
Sync is the favorite cloud storage service for most users. It is an equally useful platform for individual use and for a team needing a personal file repository. You can create an account for free that offers 5 GB of secure storage.
pCloud is the most secure cloud storage service. It is compatible with every device, so you can easily use it on a phone or computer and any browser. You can easily get pCloud for life with just one payment. For a limited time, it is offering discounts on its lifetime plans, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Icedrive is considered the most comprehensive cloud storage solution and offers the best cloud storage service for personal use. It offers a clean, minimal, and easy-to-use interface. You can try it out for free with 10 GB of storage space.
Microsoft OneDrive: The Good and the Bad
When choosing a cloud storage service for personal or business use, several factors must be carefully assessed. Therefore, let’s discuss all the strengths and weaknesses of Microsoft OneDrive as a cloud storage service.
What is Microsoft OneDrive Good at?
Microsoft OneDrive’s ability to easily sync with other devices, provide tight security, limit bandwidth, share files on demand, and provide access to data from anywhere at any time make it a versatile solution for common cloud storage needs.
Easy access: Microsoft OneDrive is an efficient cloud storage service that provides users immediate access to their data irrespective of their location and the type of device they are using. For example, if a user urgently needs to edit an MS Office document on their desktop at work, they can easily view and edit it on their phone or iPad on their way to work. It doesn’t end here, if the user plans to work on the document from their home, they can simply switch on their desktop at home and start working on the document from the office.
Microsoft allows synchronization beyond the data that users store in their OneDrive folder. It allows them to access other folders with names like Desktop, Downloads, Documents, and more as an endpoint. It increases the sync payload and might lead to a penalty on network bandwidth, but it allows users to sync data from other common locations where they usually store their files.
Files on demand: It is a space-saving feature of OneDrive. It allows users to save storage space on their desktops or other devices. It enables users to keep most of their data stored only in the OneDrive cloud and only allows specific files to be downloaded to their device of use. It is a beneficial feature for users with limited storage space on their devices. Therefore, Microsoft OneDrive enables users to easily access large amounts of data in their OneDrive account, even if they have limited disk drive space on their devices.
Strong security: Microsoft is a tech giant and has state-of-the-art data centers that ensure top-notch and tight security. Therefore, when using Microsoft OneDrive, be assured that your data is secure from data breaches and leaks. Microsoft ensures the security of your data by using strong encryption to protect all of your data during transit and at rest.
Restricted access: If you are conscious of the security of your data or are a high-security organization, you can set a limit on the devices that are allowed to synchronize files and access data. If you don’t want your employees to sync work files to their home computers or other unauthorized devices, you can place restrictions on file or data access. OneDrive also enables you to select the users that can share files and their type of sharing, like specific email domains, internal only, and more.
Bandwidth limiting: Microsoft OneDrive enables you to set a kbps limit on the bandwidth that OneDrive can use for uploads or downloads. In an organization, an administrator can apply a centralized policy to limit the upload or download rate as a percentage of available throughput.
Seamless file sharing: Sharing a file with OneDrive is a really simple, two-step process.
- First, right-click on the file you want to share
- Specify the email address you want to share the file with
File sharing through email attachments has restrictions on the size of the file that can be shared and is not as secure. However, Microsoft OneDrive offers super secure file sharing without any restrictions on the size of the file being shared.
What Microsoft OneDrive is Lacking
Microsoft OneDrive is an excellent cloud storage service in many aspects. However, it falls short in some aspects too.
Limits on synchronization: OneDrive is based on Microsoft’s SharePoint software. Therefore, it places limits on the number of items that can be synchronized. Microsoft warns users to not synchronize more than 300,000 files using OneDrive. Moreover, it also warns that the performance can dive low once the 100,000 file threshold is crossed. Another flaw of the Microsoft OneDrive is that it limits the file size to 250 GB and doesn’t allow larger files to be shared. Additionally, the number of files that can be uploaded or downloaded in a single operation is also regulated.
Your data can be decrypted by Microsoft: Microsoft OneDrive applies strong encryption to your data, but many users still question the privacy of their data. These users believe that as Microsoft performs the encryption, it also can decrypt the data.
Microsoft has strict policies regarding data protection and prevents employees from accessing user data, but as far as we know, there is no technological barrier that can prevent a data leak. Moreover, it is a multinational company and is often required by governments and has to comply to provide access to customer data, which they provide in decryption.
Therefore, it is up to an organization what type of data they choose to store in their OneDrive, and if they don’t want to risk a data leak, they can choose not to store sensitive data in their Microsoft OneDrive.
It is often mistaken as a backup: Microsoft OneDrive easily syncs data and also makes copies of the data in the cloud. Therefore, many organizations think that it can be used as a backup for the data on their devices. However, that is not the case. Even though OneDrive is an excellent cloud storage solution, it doesn’t offer the essential features and capabilities offered by a backup solution.
First, OneDrive only syncs to chosen folders on your devices. Therefore, if you store data anywhere else on your device other than the chosen folders, OneDrive would not make a copy of that, and you can end up losing your data.
Moreover, OneDrive also has its own synchronization rules. It may infrequently sync files because of its bandwidth limitations. It also fails to handle locked files, and files that are still in use are also often skipped over by OneDrive’s sync.
The backups of organizational data need to be protected against malicious user deletion or ransomware attacks. The backup of an organization’s data should be immutable, which means that an external programmer or program shouldn’t be able to alter or delete the backup data.
Therefore, as OneDrive is not equipped for data backups, it can’t provide immutability to your data. If your computer becomes infected with a virus, it will also sync with the copy of data in OneDrive and alter or delete data from the copy as well.
Similarly, if an employee wants to damage or delete organizational data from OneDrive, it is quite possible for them to easily do it. There is no technological barrier that stops such employees from accessing and altering the backup copy of the data OneDrive.
Microsoft OneDrive Options and Pricing
Microsoft OneDrive offers cloud storage solutions to users. It has established itself as the go-to cloud storage service for many over the last couple of years. However, it also provides some more specialized services that you can consider as well. Microsoft OneDrive can easily be integrated with Office 365 and other Microsoft products like Skype, Outlook, OneNote, and more.
You can carefully assess the various business and home subscription plans offered by Microsoft OneDrive. Some plans only offer OneDrive. However, other plans also provide access to other Microsoft products like SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Skype, and more. You can choose a business or home plan based on your or your organization’s needs.
The Pricing for different Microsoft OneDrive subscription plans is as follows:
Prices for Home
The Microsoft OneDrive for Home plans are pricier than the business plans. The 5GB basic plan can be accessed for free. However, the other plans are as follows:
- OneDrive Standalone 100GB costs $19.99 a year
- Microsoft 365 Personal costs $69.99 a year
- Microsoft 365 Family costs only $99.99 a year
Prices for Business
Microsoft Onedrive’s business plans are well-designed and quite affordable. The business plans offered are as follows:
- OneDrive for Business (Plan 1) costs $60 per year
- OneDrive for Business (Plan 2) costs $120 per year
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic costs $72 per year
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs $150 per year
Microsoft OneDrive in Summary
Microsoft OneDrive is a popular brand and a loved brand for cloud storage. That’s for good reason, as it offers all the essential features that you’d expect to be present in a cloud storage service. It offers some additional unique features that are not offered by other similar platforms. Plus, their pricing is quite reasonable for personal and business use.
However, it is not the only compelling cloud storage software out there. We believe Sync offers an easy-to-use interface that most users love and understand. pCloud offers unmatched security and is compatible with all types of devices. Icedrive is a comprehensive cloud storage service that provides excellent services for personal data storage and has an easy-to-use interface.
Want to dive deeper into how Microsoft OneDrive stacks up against other platforms in the market today? Head to our article where we give a detailed review of the best cloud storage services, with a strategic breakdown of over five products.