Decent alternative to Dropbox. Good for Office 365 users. This is NOT a backup solution.
Last Updated: 21 Jun'16
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Sort files
- View them as thumbnails or lists
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Free Storage||15 GB|
|Price||Starts from $ 1.99 per month|
|Free External HD Backup|
|Bare Metal Backup|
|Exclude File Extensions for Backup|
|File Size Limit||Unlimited GB|
|Share Photo Albums|
|Server Side Encryption||256-bit|
|Keeps deleted files||356|