OneDrive Overview

Transforming SkyDrive into OneDrive, Microsoft has definitely created some ripples among its competitors. Marketed as the ‘one place for everything,’ this version is way better than its predecessor, which was limited to Windows only. OneDrive is cross platform, rich in features and is trying everything to run past its competitors.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Alternatives for OneDrive

Starts from
$ 1.99 per month
Dropbox Review
  • Free 2GB storage (expandable)
  • Good file syncing
  • Great 3rd-party integrations
  • Easy to use
  • Good device support
  • Works on all major operating systems
  • Paid storage is relatively expensive
  • Can’t share files with non-members
  • Many consumer complaints
  • Terrible rating with BBB
  • Customer service needs improvement
  • Concerns about security
  • Minor privacy policy concerns (tracking)
  • Based in the U.S.
  • “Hostile to privacy“
www.dropbox.com
Starts from
$ 1.99 per month
Google Drive Review
  • Great sharing and document collaboration capabilities
  • Very easy to use
  • Generous 15GB free plan
  • Syncing only bare bones
  • No selective folder sync
  • No local encryption
www.google.com
Starts from
$ 1.99 per month
Amazon Cloud Drive Review
  • Good photo storage solution
  • Affordable unlimited cloud drive
  • No syncing options
  • Media file playback very limited
  • No automatic backup features
  • No collaboration features
www.amazon.com

Price & Plans

PlanFree50GB1TB5TBOneDrive BusinessOneDrive Business AdvancedOneDrive Business All-In-One
Price Plan
Freemonthly
$ 1 99monthly
$ 23 88yearly
$ 6 99monthly
$ 69 99yearly
$ 9 99monthly
$ 99 99yearly
$ 60 00yearly
$ 120 00yearly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 150 00yearly
Storage 5 50 1000 5000 1000 Unlimited 1000
Details

Comes with Office 365 Personal.

Comes with Office 365 Home.

Microsoft phone & email support .

Unlimited OneDrive storage.

Comes with full Office 365 suite.

Does it Really Feel Like ‘One’ Drive ?

83% – Good

Well, no. As I mentioned before, the Windows version has absolutely no app interface. The iOS version does give a great option to sync an entire camera roll but I would have been happier if it had an option to sync all files and folders.

The iOS version is definitely very Apple-like with the white background and options at the bottom and the Android version is well… very Android-like and optimized for Lollipop. Basically, you get what you expect, nothing more, nothing less. And to be honest, I really like it.

The Android version is definitely more liberating than the iOS one. If you have an internal storage or SD card in a phone, you can access each and every folder through OneDrive and upload whichever file you want. There is a special gift for the Windows users from OneDrive – if you have a OneDrive account linked to your Microsoft account, you have an option to backup all your desktop settings.

That means the next time you login to someone’s laptop with your login credentials, you will see your own desktop with all the files you chose to upload to the OneDrive server. It is seriously like having a home wherever you go.

A home with huge windows in it.

Features

89% – Very Good

One of the major features of OneDrive is that it works on a variety of platforms, and that shoots out iCloud in a single go. First, because iCloud only works with Apple products and second, because I don’t really trust iCloud after ‘the hack.’ While Dropbox is cross platform too and you can actually integrate a lot of other apps with it, OneDrive has Microsoft Office and that is a pretty important ace in  the hole to have.

By the way, OneDrive works with:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android

And has a web app. I know what you are thinking – No Linux? Microsoft continues to ignore it. Here is an interesting fact about OneDrive – it actually does not have a specific app on Windows and only exists as a background app. If you go over to save a file, there’s an option to move that file over to the OneDrive folder or the main hard drive. But this feature is only for Windows 10 as of now; for all the other platforms, you need to explicitly download the app.

cloud storage solutions for your business

Another feature that I loved seems a bit too inspired by Google Drive. If you have Office 365, you can share files with other collaborators and work with team members on the same file in real time. Now, Microsoft might have peeked a bit into Google for this but I like OneDrive better because of one simple reason – they have a better editor (or as I like to call it – the mighty Microsoft Office). Editing in Google docs just doesn’t feel right to me.

But again, Google docs is free and Office 365 will cost you.

The Amazing Web App

90% – Excellent

The web interface for OneDrive seems pretty straightforward and clean. In fact, its interface is actually cleaner than Windows 10 and I have no idea how Microsoft pulled that off.

On the web app, you can:

  1. Sort files
  2. View them as thumbnails or lists
  3. Utilize the search option

I honestly like their web app way better than any other interface of OneDrive. Fun fact – there is also a Microsoft messenger embedded on the side.

If only someone used a Microsoft messenger today, this would have been just perfect!

I also liked the fact that I can upload an entire folder instead of separate files, which would take a hell lot of time, and add unnecessary frustration.

Backup Limits

79% – Good

To start with, you need a Microsoft / Outlook / Xbox Live account to access OneDrive, which you would probably already have if you are a Windows user. According to the current plans, OneDrive gives you a space of up to 15GB to store your data with $1.99 for an extra 100GB and $6.99 for 1TB of space.

And if you have an Office 365 subscription, you automatically get 1TB of space free. However, the entire system and tiers will change, come 2016. Read this for more information on the upcoming (and frankly speaking, unpopular) changes soon coming to OneDrive.

Download & Upload Timing

50% – Poor

I tried uploading and downloading the same 5GB folder on OneDrive from Windows 10, and I finally know what a mental breakdown looks like. Uploads in OneDrive are gruesomely slow and no, I am not exaggerating.

Before continuing, I would like to mention my internet speed is pretty disappointing and a little insulting as well. The download speed is 7-8 Mbps and the upload speed is 0.7 Mbps. 

I have my reasons, please don’t judge.

It took me 64 hours to upload the folder. While I was all ready to blame my Internet speed for this, I decided to give it another chance. I uploaded the same folder to Dropbox and the results were shocking. With the same speed, I was able to upload the exact same 5GB folder in 15 hours!

The download time weaved the same story. While OneDrive still took 24 hours to download the file, Dropbox only took 2 hours.

Syncing & Sharing

89% – Very Good

I definitely love the fact that I can sync all my work folders on it and access them anywhere I go. There is an option to either sync selected files or entire lot of folders.

Sharing of files is pretty straight and simple. When you tap on the file, you get an option called ‘Share.’ Through that, you can either get a link to the file or explicitly email people you want to share the file with. There is also an option to share the file in view only or edit mode.

Is it Really Secure?

60% – Fair

Let’s all be honest and accept that while cloud technology is amazing, we are all a little scared about its security side. If a cloud app is not secure, no matter how great its interface is, it’s just not worth using.

Also, something you may already know – Microsoft has a complete open door policy with NSA and they try to be as ‘helpful’ as they can with the governments.

NSA

While all the files are protected by your OneDrive account’s password, there is no denying the Windows platform has been more prone to hackers in almost every facet of its existence. But at the same time, there haven’t been many reports about OneDrive hacking in public. Though you should know files are only encrypted when they are being transferred.

When your files are at rest in:

  1. Phones 
  2. Laptops
  3. Tablets

They are not encrypted and definitely vulnerable. I may not be a hacker of any kind but this definitely sounds scary to me. I am going to leave you with that thought without stating a snide comment.

What's Missing?

Scrutinizing the entire interface about four times, I actually found a good amount of limitations in OneDrive (Sorry, Windows lovers). First, you can only upload 20,000 files in your OneDrive account. It doesn’t matter what the size of the file is. Even if you are uploading files of 1KB each, you would not be able to upload the 20,001th file on your account.

That’s just how it is. We don’t know why this is, but apparently, Microsoft agrees it’s a bug and has done nothing to fix it. While testing the iPhone app, it crashed on me and has still not worked. I am able to login, I can see all the files in the list but as soon as I tap on a file to view it, it just says:

‘The file can’t be displayed. Make sure that you are connected to a WiFi or a mobile network.’

But my WiFi is working smoothly on other apps. If it was an issue with my network, I wouldn’t have been able to login in the first place. I tried uninstalling the app and installing it again, but that didn’t work either so now, I have just stopped trying.

There are also a list of file extensions that are apparently not allowed on OneDrive, which was definitely shocking because I had thought that since this was Windows supported, it would allow all file formats.

Sigh.

Here is a list of files not allowed on OneDrive. Also, you cannot have multiple files with the same name. It doesn’t really bother me that much, but if I feel like naming two files exactly the same someday, I should at least have that option.

The Verdict

While the interface is smooth, it is definitely not Dropbox smooth. Though it does have more native apps than its competitors, it’s really of no use if they don’t work well. (Microsoft, fix the iPhone app!) I would call OneDrive a great effort by Microsoft– but that is it.

With the upload and download time almost 500% more than Dropbox, there is no reason for me to waste days uploading folders on it. To sum it up, I would just like to say that I have been a Windows users from Windows 98 to Windows 10 and I would still prefer Dropbox over OneDrive any day.

Features

OneDrive Features
www.onedrive.com
Free Storage15 GB
Free Trial
System
  • windows
  • mac
PriceStarts from $ 1.99 per month
Mobile Access
Mobile Apps
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
  • WindowsPhone
Syncronisation
Free External HD Backup
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Backup Scheduling
Bare Metal Backup
Exclude File Extensions for Backup
Network Drives
Bandwidth throttling
Web Access
HIPAA Compliant
File Size LimitUnlimited GB
Included Machines1
File Sharing
Multiple Accounts
Share Photo Albums
Music Streaming
Folder Collaboration
Outlook Backup
Local Encryption
Server Side Encryption256-bit
Keeps deleted files356
File Versioning30

OneDrive Review

Cloud storage from Microsoft.

Good for Office 365 and Windows OS users. Comes with too many limitations.
Starts from
$ 1.99 per month
Visit OneDrive

24 thoughts on “OneDrive”

  1. Since I prefer working on my Windows XP desktop rather than my Windows 7 laptop, I never had the chance to try Skydrive before (the PC app is not supported in Windows XP). I thought to myself it was useless trying only one part of the service.
    Today, I have a totally different view of this service after trying both the online account and the PC app. It rocks.

  2. OneDrive works great for me. The only problem I had came from the fact that I got on board when it was still called Skydrive. Microsoft makes or made you create an account as well with their hotmail software. So I had all these names and accounts floating around.
    Once I established the name (Onedrive, not Skydrive!) and figured out that I can use my trusted gmail account (and ditch the hotmail account), I was all set.
    I now have 31 free GB of storage on OneDrive, thanks to referrals and the whooping 15GB awarded by sharing your camera roll. Sweet!

  3. Remark. One Drive is a work-everywhere-on-the-go application. Don’t confuse it with auto-cloud storage. If you want to clear your HDD from space consuming files like photos and back ’em up in the cloud, One Drive is not for you because:
    1. Files you select for upload, are first copied to a different place on your HDD. And they stay there, thus doubling the actual storage space on your computer! So 10 gigs for upload turns to 10+10=20 gigs on your hard drive.
    2. It’s a drag and drop application no background back-up utility.

    My advice: buy yourself a personal cloud like Western Digital My Cloud. Full access on the go AND back-up utility.

  4. I have recently had a very disappointing and frustrating experience trying to transition to OneDrive. The online Microsoft support was almost useless. They only answer one question at a time and it takes at least 24 hours for each. I gave up after 2 weeks of emails going back and forth. In the meantime OneDrive had caused many of my photo (and possibly document) files to be corrupted. And had “trashed” 1500+ of my files without me knowing it. (I was able to restore them when I found them in the recycle bin.) There is no way to pause the document syncing with OneDrive – which is especially problematic when you need to upload many existing files. And there is no good way to know on your local machine which files have actually been synced to the cloud or not.
    Even though it is a bit more costly, I have not had any of these issues in the 3 years I have been using Dropbox.

  5. I have used Onedrive for 2 years, it has always been a bit flaky but it was free for 15gb and I figured I would pay when I exceeded that.

    UNTIL TODAY, Microsoft has reneged on what it promised, it just reduced by 66% the capacity I am allowed.

    It now holds a gun to my head saying I have to pay or get my data off within a year or it will be deleted.

    No problem, I will get the data off and upload to MEGA.NZ where I get 50gb free. I will also use another free service as a backup.

    There is some awful office 365 offer that they can stick where the sun does not shine.

    I WILL NEVER TRUST MICROSOFT AGAIN and in my day job I have proposed and had accepted the move of 2000 clients from msoffice to OpenOffice. Payback is a beatch!

    The was such a stupid stunt by Microsoft, my phone would have filled that 15gb in time, now we are done, how could I EVER trust Microsoft again?

    I would vote less than one star but this page seems to set a minimum of 2.

  6. I have stored all my files photos included on one drive. In spite of the guarantee of security. I was scammed with a virus andALL files were rendered I accessable and Microsoft has done nothing to help. Do not trust it at all .

  7. Just my two cents but, from an unbiased viewpoint, I’ve tried most of the cloud syncing heavy weights (OneDrive, Google, Dropbox, Sugarsync, etc) and – whilst I switched between a few for a good while – I eventually settled on OneDrive.

    The reasons I feel OneDrive is the best of the aforementioned bunch are given below:
    – Good reliability with syncing. In it’s early days, I felt the syncing in OneDrive was troublesome with lags/duplicates but I’ve noticed much better performance as time has gone on and I’m glad I stuck with it as I haven’t had any problems for the past year.
    – Relatively cheap
    – Lots of storage space. I was lucky as an earlier adopter I managed to amass 30Gb free cloud storage.
    – Useful integration, particularly if you’re a Windows 10 user.
    – Reliable “version history” to restore documents to previous versions.
    – Microsoft Office intergration.

    However, OneDrive isn’t perfect by any means (I’m unbiased, remember!). Microsoft has shrunk the free storage for new users and the syncing isn’t perfect as it can be slow at times (although it’s much better than earlier versions and is now very good in my oh-so-humble opinion).

    So, all-in-all, I’d definitely recommend OneDrive for personal use. If you are thinking about signing up, please feel free to go via this link which will give you (and myself) an extra 500Mb free storage:

    https://onedrive.live.com?invref=44e6160f0c3d8b35&invscr=90

    Thanks for reading! 🙂

  8. Did Microsoft really need to go backwards and wind back my 15gb to 5gb? No. Does it leave a bad taste in my mouth.
    Yes

  9. Just had to abandon OneDrive as its syncing is too unreliable. The concept of it is really good, but when I looked back through some of my online files I discovered it hadn’t been syncing for the last 6 weeks, although by all appearances it seemed to be. No matter what I tried – even uninstalling it completely and reinstalling it – I couldn’t make it work again. I started reading some forums and discovered that many people have been having the same problem.
    It means having to give up Office 365 but as far as I can see that’s no great loss. I was having issues with Excel & Word anyway.
    I’ve now decided that Google Drive is the one for me. Very simple to set up, I’ve never had an issue with it, and I can just switch to using Google Docs.

  10. I cannot emphasis enough how Onedrive has quickly become a loathsome cloud storage. I was introduced to this feature in 2014 when I purchased my 360 account and was told I had unlimited storage, which became a life saver when my desktop, a 32GB system, was damaged a year ago. Now that I have been able to replace my system with an equally efficient laptop, 1TB system, I can not access my art work, videos, report…etc. And I found all my work in the recycle bin! They won’t let my download anything and I can’t restore the files because they limited my storage to 5GB!!!! As a designer and artist I will never trust Microsoft ever again with cloud based storage or business needs because their greed gets in the way. Luckily I have copies of most files and also have video and photo files automatically upload to google. I have disabled Onedrive automatic interaction with my system and will have it completely uninstalled by the end of the week.

  11. I had all sorts of problems with Onedrive, which Microsoft online help could not answer. It mysteriously lost some of my files (fortunately I had them backed up on an external device). I still don’t understand it. I only want to store data offline as insurance, which is easy using an external device. How can automating it be so much more complicated? Why can’t Microsoft make products which are user friendly?

  12. I’m relieved I’m not only one having problems with OneDrive. It promises a lot, but doesn’t deliver. I had hoped it would sort my situation easily — one computer in apartment in Europe and one here in Australia, and I would be able to find all the same stuff on both….in my dreams!!! Each device presents a different set of file, and some of the docs are just not there, or ‘read only’ when I do track them down. Will just lug the external HD/backup backwards and forwards as before.
    Support I think has tried…but I just don’t understand most of what they say….lost in translation.

  13. OneDrive is not reliable. I lost 2 days of excel changes and thought my file would update to one drive after I closed but did not get an alert to save changes before exiting. I tried auto save to Onedrive but still would loose changes when closing excel. I now save to my IPad instead of Onedrive and have no problems with changes and updates saved.

  14. I have been having all sorts of problems with Onedrive, which Microsoft online help could not shed any light on why it was happening. It mysteriously lost some of my files and some pages from a workbook on excel. I started using OneDrive as a way to back-up my data, but as it turned out I would have been better off leaving it on my hard drive. I trusted Microsoft with some of my billable hours and they were lost, ugh! I agree with a previous poster, “Why can’t Microsoft make products which are user friendly?” And when they have a good product leave it alone and don’t change it! I get so frustrated, we finally figure software out and how to fix it and work with it and here comes another up-date, then we start all over again!

  15. I expected OneDrive to work like another drive folder on my device. Instead managing and moving files is difficult if not impossible, files mysteriously disappear and reappear, it’s a fussy, unreliable, unstable waste of space.

  16. Onedrive is ruining my new computer experience. I have disabled it more than once. everytime it comes back and it locks me out of my pictures folder that I ACTUALLY WANT on my computer. JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK. Microsoft, I thought you were better than this, I GUESS NOT. next computer will be a MAC, GUARANTEED

  17. Onedrive is absolutely useless and complete junk. How can anyone even begin to say they have the ability to sync files. They change the modified date to the date a file is uploaded. What good is that!!!. You can not tell when you last modified a file, only when you last uploaded it to Onedrive. This is a complete waste of a service. I’m rethinking the whole Microsoft Office product line because of this. It has definitely reduced my confidence in Microsoft back to close to zero and reaffirms my belief that the biggest negative effect on the modern day computer has been Microsoft, next only to Apple. If it wasn’t for these two organization we would be leaps and bounds more technologically advanced.

  18. Looking over the more recent comments for OneDrive (2017) I am happy to say I am not experiencing the issues a lot of users/former users are complaining about (knock wood) – I have the 1tb Office Online subscription (it is honestly worth the 10 bucks a month for me – I use Office a LOT on a LOT of devices from Mac to Android to Windows) – and with 3 Windows laptops (running 7 & 10) a Yosemite mac, several Android phones and tablets – for the most part the accessing, up & downloading of files/folders works very well. Office creations opened and edited across these platforms have (so far) survived with no damage or unwanted alteration. In fact, my only real issue is that on a couple of devices, the sync seems to have a significant time-lag (sometimes several hours) between actual drop and accessibility from another device, but only with those 2, leading me to wonder if it is a device issue as opposed to a OneDrive issue. My dl/ul times are SMOKING compared to the ones mentioned in this article as well.
    I do agree that it really sucks that MS decided NOT to grandfather-in the users who already had accounts at 15gb when they rolled back the allotted free space to 5gb – it would have been a nice “thank you” to let them keep that 10gb for hanging in with them as OneDrive evolved.
    Online “cloud” storage is a little spooky, no matter who you get it from, if your stuff is “out there” somewhere, there is always a risk factor that someone else can find a way in – data loss is also a real morsel to chew, what if the internet went down for days, or even longer- and your stuff was in some “cloud” (any “cloud”) and out of your reach? Yikes, right? So I do keep a physical external backup of my stuff.
    All in all, though – I think OneDrive is pretty darn good, and the integration of device platforms, Office access from all those platforms, reliability (at least from my setup) works well. I’m content.

  19. This is the most HORRIBLE cloud drive or all! Only syncs 70% of files because of various “problems” the no other cloud drive I’ve ever used has ever had. Stupid things like there being a space in the beginning of the title have to be changed – which is a major issue when uploading large folders full of files. Also, the Mac App is half broken. It’s easier to just open the folder in Finder because when u do it through the menu bar it only takes you to the parent folder- adding unnecessary steps! I could go on but I’m so done with this app.

  20. Would be great if it worked. Unfortunately, I uploaded all my files assuming I’d be able to access them while on a business trip & wasn’t able to. At all. No one I asked knew how to use it either, and one even said they’d tried & could never get it to work. So, not real thrilled with this. Also not seeing where to leave a star rating on here…..

  21. I do not like the one drive. I have tried to cancel and go back to using my excel and word that was downloaded to my Mac. Its horrible I can not get rid of it… I have not used it since 2016 and its still causing me problems with my reg word and excel.

  22. This is unbelievable . Do not buy this product… it is horrible. You can not get rid of it once you have signed up for it without losing all of your excel and word programs. I had bought the word program and had it downloaded to my Mac prior to purchasing the one drive.. The one drive will not let me work in excel unless I renew my subscription. I have tried to get rid of it since I purchased it. This was in the middle of 2016. I have emailed them numerous times and never get any response. I really need help with this….

  23. We were given 5GB “free space” on OneDrive. I didn’t ask for it, it just appeared and began syncing our information. When it ran out of space, we received constant notices that we need to pay for more space. Apparently at some point the “free space” moved up to 15GB and now it is going back down to 5 GB! So we are getting emails that tell us that our information will be frozen unless we pay them! I don’t see a lot of difference between this scam and computer hijackers who demand you pay them in order to get your computer back.

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OneDrive Review

Cloud storage from Microsoft.

Good for Office 365 and Windows OS users. Comes with too many limitations.
Starts from
$ 1.99 per month
Visit OneDrive
Starts from
$ 1.99 per month
Visit OneDrive
  • Free 5GB of storage
  • Amazing web app
  • Great Windows 10 integration
  • Great cross platform availability
  • Slow upload & download speeds
  • 10GB per file limit
  • No local encryption
  • 20,000 file count limit
  • Open door NSA policy
  • Buggy iOS app
www.onedrive.com