Ask any creative and they’ll tell you the importance of a powerful cloud storage platform that can offer seamless syncing across multiple devices. OneDrive, the default online storage and syncing service for Windows 10 and Office 365, is a popular option among those looking for the best cloud storage service.
In this OneDrive review, we explore the essential aspects of Microsoft’s cloud storage solution to see how it fares for those studying or working in the creative industries.
OneDrive review: plans and pricing
OneDrive’s free-to-use account offers 5GB of storage. For more storage, the Standalone plan ($1.99/month) comes with 100GB of storage. Creatives who require access to Office 365 apps like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word can consider the Microsoft 365 Personal plan (1TB storage, $5.99/month) and Microsoft 365 Family plan (6TB storage, $7.99/month).
For business users, OneDrive offers the OneDrive for Business Plan 1 ($5/user/month) and OneDrive for Business Plan 2 ($10/user/month). Plan 1 gets you 1TB of storage/user and Plan 2 offers unlimited individual storage with advanced security capabilities and features like file-auditing and sensitive labels.
These two plans exclude Office 365 apps like SharePoint and Exchange. If you want these, opt for Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($5/user/month) or Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12.50/user/month). While both plans offer 1TB/user, the latter grants you access to more Office apps and services like Microsoft Planner.
Those looking at price-per-terabyte, however, will find OneDrive’s competitor, Google Drive, appealing. A free account gets you 15GB of storage and at $12/user/month, a Business Standard plan offers 2TB/user and access to productivity and collaboration tools like Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, and more.
If storage is all you need, then IDrive is an economical option to consider. It costs only $79.50/year for 10TB of storage - but you can get your first year for just $3.98.
OneDrive review: features
OneDrive boasts many appealing features, some of which we’ll break down in this next section.
Advanced file- and folder-syncing
OneDrive automatically uploads the files found on your devices to the cloud. If you access your OneDrive account from multiple devices, changes you make to a file or folder will be synced across all of them. You’ll also be granted control over how often device data is synced and where your data is stored.
Additionally, OneDrive has a space-saving Files On-Demand feature that allows users to select which files are online-only. Selected files will be relegated to the cloud and accessible without having to download them to your device.
Integration with Microsoft 365 apps
Creatives who work collaboratively with others will love that OneDrive sits perfectly within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem so you’ll be able to collaboratively edit and share files in real-time on applications like Word and Excel. OneDrive’s integration with Microsoft Teams and Skype also makes communication easy.
Additionally, with Microsoft 365, an extended library of creative content like royalty-free templates, stock images, icons, and fonts will be available for use at no additional charge.
Personal Vault is a feature that protects your working files from prying eyes. Any file, photo, or video can be placed into the digital vault. To access these files, you’ll have to use two-factor authentication (enter your password plus verify your identity through a fingerprint, facial recognition, PIN, or code sent via email or SMS).
OneDrive Review: interface
For Windows desktop users, OneDrive is fully integrated into the operating system. Mac users will have to download the OneDrive app separately. On both operating systems, OneDrive’s interface is uncluttered and intuitive. While you won’t be greeted with the most sophisticated interface, all the essentials, like Files, Recent Docs, Shared, and Groups, are accessible from the main dashboard, and moving files around is a breeze. OneDrive also has a mobile application that’s equally easy to use.
OneDrive review: security
OneDrive doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption—a data encryption method in which only you have access to the encryption key. Instead, OneDrive offers AES 256-bit encryption for files in transit and at rest. While AES 256-bit encryption is secure, it still means that OneDrive holds a copy of your encryption key and can access your data if instructed by authorities. Anyone who manages to hack OneDrive’s systems will also get hold of your data.
OneDrive review: support
Business users from the UK, US, and Australia enjoy 24/7 online chat support. Customer support is also contactable through email. In our test, we managed to get a response to our email query within an hour, which is pretty impressive.
For self-help options, Microsoft’s website has a Help & Learning section with how-to articles and guides. You’ll also find a community forum where you can post and answer questions.
Is OneDrive right for you?
If you depend heavily on Microsoft’s suite of products, OneDrive will be great for you to access, collaborate on, back up, and share Office files with others in real-time. But if you want to get the most data storage for your money or are particular about advanced security features and using the sleekest interface, OneDrive wouldn’t be your best bet. That said, the average creative who prioritizes storage, features, integration, and overall ease of use will be more than happy with the service.