Is OneDrive the Best Cloud Based Storage?

Ayoob Mahdi

If you have Windows 10 installed on your PC, then you should know what OneDrive is. OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, was introduced by Microsoft in response to Apple’s iCloud. OneDrive comes as a built-in app on Windows 8, Windows 10 and as a free app on MacOS, iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS.

When you are setting up a new Windows 10, you will be asked to provide or create a Microsoft account. They can be set up as Hotmail, Live, MSN, Skype, Outlook and OneDrive. Your Microsoft Account comes with free 5GB of cloud based storage and up to a 1TB with an Office 365 subscription, where the more you pay the more storage you get. If you are a student at SMCC, you will get up to 1TB with your SMCC account. Microsoft allows users to sync contacts, photos, audio files, calendars and other personal settings between devices.

Google, Apple, Dropbox and many other companies offer free storage and sometimes more storage, so why OneDrive? OneDrive takes the lead in some areas with a few unique features. Sharing, editing and setting permissions are what makes OneDrive different. On Windows and MacOS a user can share a folder with others and have the same folder on more than one computer at the same time. To get the Add feature in your OneDrive to do that, login to your OneDrive account, create a new folder, select the folder you created and go to Share on the top bar. You will have a little window where you can get a link and manage permissions, such as Can Edit and View Only. This feature is fast and secure.

Other cloud based storages offer the share option, but not the Sync on multiple devices. OneDrive also has a file size limit of 10GB, whereas Google Drive only has 5GB. OneDrive gives users full access to free, lightweight versions of Microsoft Office apps. The OneDrive Office suite offers an online document collaboration system, which saves on email storage and prevents you from having to reconcile multiple versions of the same document.

Microsoft offers the OneDrive for business too. It comes in two plans and three others with Office 365 for Business. They all include data encryption, admin control and Sharepoint. These services work together in a very efficient way. Access and Sharepoint are an affordable solution for small businesses. OneDrive for Business complies with HIPAA and FERPA regulations and have the Active Directory integration to easily manage user credentials and permissions. Microsoft gives IT-level web support and 24/7 customer support for critical issues.

All of the best cloud storage providers enable you to upload and share documents, but there are certain areas where some companies stand out more than others. You should use OneDrive if you’re looking for a specific type of online storage system and you are one of Windows’ devoted users.

Ayoob Mahdi is a member of the Information Technology Senior Seminar course and is planning on a career in IT Project Management. An online version of the article can be found at


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