Courses
Cloudwards Video Courses New

Cloudwards.net may earn a small commission from some purchases made through our site. However, any earnings do not affect how we review services. Learn more about our editorial integrity and research process.

OneDrive vs Dropbox

OneDrive vs Dropbox: 2024 Cloud Storage Space, Pricing & Features Comparison

OneDrive and Dropbox are two of the better-known and more popular cloud storage solutions vying for your business. Despite many similarities, there are a few key differences in a OneDrive vs Dropbox comparison that can help you determine which one to choose.

Jason StagnittoValentina BravoIgor Kurtz

Written by Jason Stagnitto (Writer)

Reviewed by Valentina Bravo (Editor)

Facts checked by Igor Kurtz (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-04-30T09:21:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

4.05
4.15
  • Complete Office 365 integration
  • Perfect for document collaboration
  • A large variety of features
  • Office 365 & Google Workspace integration
  • Smart storage usage with “Smart Sync”
  • Block-level transfer
$1.67 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)
$9.99 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)
Key Takeaways: OneDrive vs Dropbox
  • The main difference between Dropbox and OneDrive is storage capacity. OneDrive offers more free storage, at 5GB. However, Dropbox has more storage space with its paid plans.
  • If you are invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, OneDrive is the better choice for your cloud storage needs. 
  • Dropbox is a better choice for a wider variety of users, as it has more third-party integrations, including core Microsoft 365 apps and productivity apps from Google Workspace.

Facts & Expert Analysis: Dropbox & OneDrive Cloud Storage

  • No private encryption: One feature you won’t find with either Dropbox or OneDrive is zero-knowledge encryption. This means that, technically, employees from either company can access your account. However, Dropbox did purchase Boxcryptor and will eventually introduce private encryption to its business plan customers. 
  • Photo overload: Late in 2023, OneDrive floated the idea of changing how it counts photos against an account’s storage capacity. For example, if you have one photo in three different areas, it would count that photo three times against your storage capacity. This did not go over well with OneDrive customers and was never implemented.
  • Dropbox and AI: Dropbox has embraced AI technology with the recent beta release of Dropbox Dash, an AI-powered search and organization tool. Future investment and growth in AI are at least partially responsible for the CEO laying off more than 500 Dropbox employees in 2023.1
Best Option
2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month
(save 16%) (All Plans)

Dropbox and OneDrive are popular options and are among the best cloud storage providers around. Both have similar features, making choosing one over the other difficult. In this article, we compare OneDrive vs Dropbox to see how the two services stack up.

Using either service will give you access to Microsoft 365 apps, with OneDrive offering deeper integration. However, Dropbox has more third-party integrations, making it appeal to a wider audience. Read on to see the similarities and differences between the two cloud storage providers.

  • 04/30/2024 Facts checked

    This article was rewritten to include current features and pricing.

Cloudwards Editor’s Choice: Dropbox Is the Winner

Dropbox offers more features and flexibility with its tools than OneDrive, so we think it is a better overall option and recommend it for a wider range of consumers. With OneDrive, you can access the Microsoft 365 suite of apps. However, even with a free Dropbox account, you have Word, PowerPoint and Excel integrations. Dropbox may be pricier, but you get more storage.

Editor’s Choice
2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month
(save 16%) (All Plans)

Which Is Better: OneDrive vs Dropbox?

Dropbox and OneDrive have many similarities, and both appeal to a similar type of user. However, there are enough differences that, depending on what you need out of a cloud storage provider, one will be a better choice than the other. 

At the risk of stating the obvious, OneDrive is great for those already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. It offers a seamless integration and works well with Microsoft 365. For creatives and artists, Dropbox is the better choice, as it has more features and tools geared toward video, images and music. Check out the list below to see which one is best for you. 

Cloud Storage Courses

Check out our cloud storage courses and grab a limited-time offer.
Registration available now!

Enroll Now

Who Is OneDrive For?

  • Microsoft users: OneDrive is the easy answer for those already integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Those looking for a free plan: If you are just looking for free storage, OneDrive has a 5GB plan that is free for everyone.
  • For family and friends looking to share: OneDrive is an excellent option for those who want to use cloud storage for personal purposes, such as sharing with family or freeing up space on their devices.

Who Is Dropbox For?

  • Creatives and artists: Dropbox has many tools and features, such as Dropbox Replay, that support artists and creative types.
  • For those who use third-party apps: Dropbox supports many third-party apps and includes connections to productivity apps from Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
  • Best for those new to cloud storage: Dropbox’s web UI is easy to use and navigate. It also has a robust mobile app that enhances the user experience. 

Dropbox vs OneDrive: Comparison at a Glance

100GB – 6TB$1.67 / month(All Plans)2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month(All Plans)
ReviewReview
Sync
Sync Folder
Block-Level Sync
Selective Sync
Bandwidth management
Sync Any Folder
File Sharing
File Link Sharing
Link Passwords
Link Expiry Dates
Folder Sharing
Folder Permissions
Link Download Limits
Upload Links
Productivity
File Previews
Edit Files
In-App Collaboration
Office Online
Google Docs
Notes App
Media Playback
Mobile Apps
Deleted File Retention
Versioning
WebDAV
Security
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption ProtocolAES 256-bitAES 256-bit
Zero Knowledge
Two-Factor Authentication
Server LocationUSUS
Support
24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase
Misc
Free Plan
OneDrive Key Features
  • Microsoft 365: Microsoft apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint are integrated into OneDrive accounts.
  • Downloadable apps: You can download apps for your desktop or mobile device with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android support. 
  • Backup support: OneDrive has added support for backing up your folders and files. This service is available through the desktop app and is subject to your overall storage capacity.
  • Admin console: Specific to business plans, the admin console lets you manage team members and includes many settings and security features. 
Dropbox Key Features
  • Sync features: Dropbox has excellent sync features, including block-level sync and selective sync.
  • Third-party apps: Dropbox has connections to Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace apps, and other apps like Slack and Zoom.
  • Dropbox backup: Dropbox has a dedicated backup tool.
  • Native apps: Dropbox-built apps such as Dropbox Paper, a web-based word processor, are included with your account. 

Dropbox vs OneDrive Pricing

Pricing is one area where Dropbox and OneDrive differ. For affordable cloud storage, OneDrive is the clear winner. However, as you can see in our cloud storage pricing comparison, Dropbox offers more storage space per plan than OneDrive. Both providers offer free plans, with OneDrive offering 5GB and Dropbox offering 2GB for free. Neither cloud storage option offers unlimited storage.

OneDrive Storage Plans

OneDrive has three paid storage plans focused on personal or home use. The family plan is the most expensive, costing $99.99 per year for 6TB of shared storage capacity for up to six people. The Microsoft 365 Personal plan costs $69.99 and has 1TB of cloud storage.

OneDrive has three plans for businesses. OneDrive for business costs $5 per month and provides 1TB of storage per user; it is essentially only cloud storage. Microsoft 365 Business Basic costs $6 per user per month and offers 1TB of space per user. 

Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs $12.50 per user per month. It does not increase the storage capacity but adds more features, like the desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Microsoft 365 Free (5GB)
  • For one person
  • 5GB
Microsoft 365 Personal (1TB)
  • Comes with Office 365 Personal
  • 1TB
More plans
Microsoft 365 Family (6TB)
  • Comes with Office 365 Home
  • 6TB
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1)
  • Price per user
  • 1TB
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • 1TB
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Price per user
  • 1TB
Dropbox Pricing Plans

Dropbox has several plans that cover a wider range of customer types. Personal users can get the Plus plan, which includes price id=”8763-1-1-gb”] of storage space. It costs $9.99 per month when billed annually; otherwise, it is $11.99 per month.

Individuals also have two professional plans to choose from, with little difference between the two except for price. The Professional plan costs per month on an annual cycle and has of storage. The Essentials plan costs $16.58 per month annually and also has 3TB of space. Essentials comes with extra features, like unlimited signature requests and better PDF editing.

Businesses and teams have four plan options: Standard, Advanced, Business or Business Plus. For business plans with shared storage, the capacity increases with respect to the number of licenses. For example, if you add a fourth license to the Business plan, you’ll get an additional 3TB of shared storage added to the original .

Here’s a quick table highlighting some of the features of each plan:

StandardBusinessBusiness PlusAdvanced
Cost$15 per month (one-year plan)$15 per month (one-year plan)$30 per month (one-month plan)$30 per month (one-month plan)
Users3+3+3+3+
Storage Space5TB15TB
Signature Requests3 per monthUnlimitedUnlimited3 per month
Version History180 days180 days365 days365 days
File Size LimitUpto 50GBUpto 100GBUpto 250GBUpto 100GB

OneDrive vs Dropbox: Similarities

OneDrive and Dropbox have a lot in common, so we will keep this section short and to the point. Both services implement many of the common elements found in cloud storage, like sync and file sharing, in nearly identical ways.

Sync

OneDrive and Dropbox both have excellent sync features. Each supports block-level sync and selective sync. Block-level sync and differential sync only update the parts of a file that you change, which increases the overall sync speed. Selective sync lets you choose the folders to update on your account. 

dropbox desktop app
You can take advantage of Dropbox’s sync features through the desktop app.
Sharing

You can easily share folders and files with Dropbox and OneDrive by selecting the content you want to share and clicking on the “share” icon. You can share directly using an email address or create a link that you can copy/paste and share. Additionally, with paid accounts, you gain access to password protection and shared link expiration features.

onedrive file sharing
You can easily share folders or files with Microsoft OneDrive using email addresses or by creating a link.
Security

OneDrive and Dropbox use AES 256-bit encryption and TLS/SSL encryption protocols to protect data at rest on remote servers and when you transfer content from your devices. AES 256-bit encryption protects against brute-force attacks that try to access your account. TLS/SSL protects against man-in-the-middle attacks that try to intercept your data.

Apps

You can download and install apps for desktop and mobile devices for both OneDrive and Dropbox. Supported OSs include Mac and Windows, and you can download mobile apps for iOS and Android. The desktop app comes with a sync folder, letting you work with your data on your computer. The mobile apps offer support to sync your images.

Speed
1st attempt:2nd attempt:Average:
Upload0:08:100:07:510:08:00
Download0:07:450:07:400:07:42
1st attempt:2nd attempt:Average:
Upload00:07:1000:07:270:07:19
Download00:07:1700:07:210:07:19

Both OneDrive and Dropbox have fast upload and download speeds. In our independent speed tests, OneDrive averaged 7 minutes, 19 seconds for both uploads and downloads. Dropbox had very similar speeds, averaging 7 minutes, 18 seconds for uploads and 7 minutes, 22 seconds for downloads.

This puts both services near the top of the list of the fastest cloud storage providers, a position they’ve held for the three years we’ve been conducting our standardized tests.

Dropbox vs OneDrive: Differences

The few differences between Dropbox and OneDrive could be what makes or breaks your decision. Some of the biggest differences are found in the business plans, but there are a few small differences on the personal plans as well. Let’s take a look.

Read moreDropbox Has a Better User Experience, but OneDrive Will Be More Familiar to Windows Users

When compared side-by-side, it’s easy to see that Dropbox has more visual appeal than Microsoft OneDrive. Beyond aesthetics, Dropbox and OneDrive have a similar layout, with a left-hand sidebar for account navigation and a divided main screen to display your files and the items the service thinks you want to see. 

dropbox-business-account
Dropbox’s web UI has a clean look and a logical
layout with an easy-to-learn workflow.

It’s easy to see that Dropbox doesn’t feel shackled by the Microsoft layout and color scheme. However, since OneDrive is entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem, it offers a seamless user experience for PC users, as your folders and files mirror File Explorer’s look and functionality.

Navigation is where Dropbox separates itself from OneDrive. Both have a settings option, and each has a mini-menu that expands to show additional apps and tools. Dropbox’s settings menu has a logical flow, and it’s easy to find what you are looking for. It has more options within the settings than OneDrive, including security-based settings.

You’ll always feel like you’re in control of managing and setting up your Dropbox account the way you want it to be. The same can’t be said for OneDrive.

OneDrive’s Admin Console Has More Settings and Functionality Than Dropbox

Any business plan you purchase with OneDrive or Dropbox includes access to an admin console. The admin console is a singular hub where business users can go to manage all aspects of a business account. An admin console includes data for analytics, settings to manage users and security features to protect data and accounts, to name just a few.

dropbox business admin console
Dropbox has a simplified yet effective admin console, giving
business users plenty of agency over their accounts.

Similar to the previous section, Dropbox’s admin console does a good job of explaining what each tab does and how to use the new tools and features. It’s inherently intuitive and makes managing user accounts and altering settings a simplified experience. 

Where OneDrive excels is in the sheer number of settings and options available. When you purchase a business account, you get a subscription to Microsoft 365, which is more than just cloud storage. Like everything else, the admin console is baked into the larger Microsoft ecosystem, so it offers far more than just cloud storage management.

onedrive business admin console
OneDrive has a robust admin console that lets administrators manage
much more than just cloud storage accounts.

OneDrive’s admin console provides more features and functionality than Drobpox’s. Microsoft adds in items like Defender, a robust security and protection app, and Microsoft Purview, which is mainly for data governance. If anything, OneDrive’s admin console can feel overwhelming at first.

Dropbox Has More Overall Features Than OneDrive

We briefly touched on this above, but with a Dropbox account you get access to more features and tools than with OneDrive. This is true even when accounting for OneDrive’s integration into the larger Microsoft 365 platform. 

With a paid OneDrive account, you can access many different Microsoft apps beyond just the most widely used ones. These include Microsoft Access for business plans and Editor for personal plans. However, Microsoft integration is the main reason why Dropbox edges past OneDrive. 

dropbox app center
Dropbox has many external integrations, giving its users plenty of
flexibility with the available tools, such as Zoom and Slack.

However, Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the core productivity apps, and with a Dropbox account, you can use the web versions of these apps at no additional cost. Additionally, Dropbox supports Google Workspace apps like Docs, Sheets and Slides. For obvious reasons, OneDrive does not include support for Google productivity apps.

Dropbox adds more value to your account by including its homegrown apps for you to use. We highlighted Dropbox Paper earlier in this article, which is a great app that supports real-time collaboration. Additional apps include Dropbox DocSend, which provides a secure way to send and receive digitally signed documents, and Capture, which lets you create screen recordings.

Dropbox Is Better for Collaboration, Especially for Creatives

Dropbox has a broader appeal to a bigger audience — particularly those who consider themselves creatives. Dropbox makes productivity and collaboration easy for all types of users, as you can collaborate in real time with many of Dropbox’s apps or third-party connections. OneDrive also supports collaboration, but only with Microsoft apps.

A good example for how creatives can make the most of Dropbox is Dropbox Replay. This is a collaborative video review tool designed to foster quick and easy communications, which is especially useful for review and approval processes.

Dropbox music player
Dropbox has an excellent music player that lets users clip, edit and share with others. This is one example of the tools Dropbox offers for creatives.

A new tool called Dropbox Dash is designed as a centralized content manager with an advanced search feature that can locate your content, launch meetings, and organize work and email items in stacks. 

As we indicated before, if Microsoft is your chosen productivity suite, OneDrive is the clear choice. However, outside of Microsoft apps, collaborating with OneDrive is a less robust experience than it is with Dropbox.

Third-party integrations are another area where Dropbox appeals to a wider audience. You can include popular apps such as Zoom and Slack. It even supports connectivity with Microsoft Teams to include content from your Dropbox account.

Our Detailed Comparison Methodology

As you can see from our Dropbox review and our OneDrive review, we’ve spent plenty of time with each service. However, when we compare services, we don’t just rely on our past experience.

Taking the information in these reviews, we revisit each service, focusing on areas where they are similar and digging into where they differ. We use real-world testing and research to arrive at our conclusions and present them in a way that helps you make an informed decision.

The Verdict: Why We Think Dropbox Wins Overall

Dropbox is the better choice overall, as it has more appeal to a larger potential audience. Though OneDrive is a great option for Microsoft productivity suite users, Dropbox also supports the core Microsoft apps. This means you can sign up for a Dropbox account and still use Microsoft for your productivity needs.

Which one do you prefer? Have you used either OneDrive or Dropbox? Do you have a different cloud storage solution that serves the same function as OneDrive or Dropbox? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading our article. 

If You Want to Consider Other Services, Check Out…

The lack of private encryption with either service makes it hard for privacy-minded consumers to choose either OneDrive or Dropbox. Fortunately, Sync.com comes with private encryption, even for free accounts, and has plenty of features — including integration with Microsoft 365 apps. Learn more in our Sync.com review.

pCloud is another Dropbox alternative for cloud storage that has a great mix of features and includes the potential for added private encryption. The main catch is that pCloud encryption is a paid add-on when you purchase a plan, with the exception of business plans. We cover pricing and more in our pCloud review.

We would be remiss not to mention Google Drive. Like OneDrive and Microsoft apps, it integrates seamlessly with Google Workspace. Given the popularity of Google Drive’s cloud storage service, we compared Google Drive vs Dropbox vs OneDrive.

  1. 1
    • :
    • :
    • :
    • :
    1TB – Unlimited GB$6 / month(All Plans)
  2. 2
    • :
    • :
    • :
    • :
    500GB – 10TB$4.17 / month(save 24%)(All Plans)
  3. 3
    • :
    • :
    • :
    • :
    100GB – 30TB$1.67 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)
  4. 4
    • :
    • :
    • :
    • :
    100GB – 3TB$2.99 / month(save 40%)(All Plans) 14-days money-back guarantee
  5. 5
    • :
    • :
    • :
    • :
    2TB – 100TB$9.06 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)

FAQ: Dropbox vs OneDrive

  • Dropbox is the better option for those who need a wide selection of third-party integrations, which includes Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. OneDrive is best for those entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem.

  • No, Microsoft does not own Dropbox, but it does own OneDrive. OneDrive is Microsoft’s equivalent to Dropbox and offers many of the same features and functionality as Dropbox. However, they are competitors in the cloud storage industry.

  • OneDrive is an affordable option. The most expensive individual plan costs $69.99 per year, with 1TB of storage.

  • Generally, no. You can connect your Dropbox account to your Outlook account, which lets you send email attachments with your Dropbox content. Though Dropbox has integrations with Microsoft apps, it won’t let you save documents created in Dropbox to OneDrive.

Sources:

  1. Dropbox to lay off 500 employees, or about 16% of its workforce – CNBC
↑ Top