OneDrive vs Dropbox vs Google Drive vs the rest
A comparison of the best cloud storage providers on the market
Table of Contents
Cloud storage is becoming the standard way in which we work with data. There are lots of benefits to use a cloud-based storage provider over traditional alternatives such as local storage or, if you are a business, a client-server setup.
What are the advantages of cloud storage?
The advantages of using a cloud storage provider can be broken down into several main categories:
- Functionality – Having your data stored in the cloud is typically far more functional than having it stored locally. For example, if you are away on holiday and you need to access your data, that’s easily done with it being stored in the cloud. Equally, if you want to share a file or folder with someone, its typically easy with cloud storage whereas its difficult with locally stored data (You would have to send them a copy, then you have versioning to worry about and you cannot collaborate effectively when each person has their own independent copy of a file).
- Data Retention – With cloud-based storage your data is typically backed up to multiple different locations, it often has retention history and generally speaking it will also be housed on a very robust infrastructure with high-availability and no single points of failure. This makes your data integrity very safe. In other words, you don’t have to worry too much about backing up your data (Unless of course its extremely important data, or business data, in which case it would still be wise to have an external backup system in place. However, the key point here is that most of the data backup and retention strategies are taken care of by the storage provider, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about your laptop failing and all of your data being lost.
- Data Security – despite popular believe, storing data in the cloud does offer many security advantages. If you think about it, your devices are always connected to the internet so they are essentially part of “the cloud” anyway and they are susceptible to hackers. With a cloud storage provider, there are enterprise-grade security systems in place such as encryption at rest, multi-factor authentication policies and intrusion detection systems. All of these measures make data stored in the cloud (relatively) safe and secure.
Advantages of storing your data in the cloud
Storing your data in the cloud has many advantages over traditional local storage alternatives.
What are the different use-cases for cloud storage?
There are many different scenarios where cloud storage could be beneficial and in each different scenario there are different priorities and therefor different considerations to make before choosing a particular provider.
Some of the scenarios where cloud storage might be used include
- Storing your personal data in the cloud so that it is safe and backed up (independently of the primary device on which you are accessing the data).
- Storing company data so that it can be access and used by your company employees.
- Storing data as a freelancer and sharing it with your clients.
Depending on which one of these categories you fall into, there will be different considerations to make when choosing a cloud storage provider.
Some of these considerations include
- How much cloud storage space do you need?
- What features are you looking for from your cloud storage provider?
- How important is the data?
- What devices will you be accessing the data from?
- What other applications are you using in conjunction with your data?
- How many files do you plan on uploading to cloud storage?
There are other considerations of course and typically each scenario will be slightly unique and as such might suite one cloud storage provider over another.
In this article we will be doing an in-depth review on the usability, features, advantages and disadvantages of the top cloud storage providers along with details on what scenarios each provider is more suited to.
By the time you have finished reading this article you should have a clear understanding of what each cloud storage provider has to offer as well as an idea of which provider would be most suited to your use-case.
Cloud storage providers
|wdt_ID||Provider||Edition||Cost per year (USD)||Storage space||Maximum individual file size||Office apps integration||Admin interface||Retention period||Version history||Support||Maximum storage||Rating|
|1||Microsoft OneDrive||Personal||69.99||1TB||250GB||Integrates with office 365 suite||Yes (with business plan)||30 days||25 versions||Yes||2TB||9/10|
|2||Google Drive||Premium||95.54||2TB||5TB||Integrates with Google Workspace||Yes (With business plan)||25 days||200 versions||Yes||30TB||7/10|
|3||Dropbox||Individual Plus||119.98||2TB||2TB||Integrates with office 365 suite and Google Workspace||Yes (With business plan)||30 days||30 days||Yes||3TB||8/10|
|4||Seafile||Community Edition||Free||Unlimited||Unlimited||Integrates with onlyoffice and Microsoft Office Online Server||Yes||Unlimited||Unlimited||Only with paid plans||Unlimited||8/10|
|5||Box||Personal Pro||115.56||100GB||5GB||Integrates with office 365 suite||Yes||7 days||10 versions||Only with business plans||Unlimited||7/10|
|6||Livedrive||Pro Suite||191.24||5TB||5TB||No||Yes||30 days||30 versions||Yes||Unlimited||7/10|
|7||iCloud||iCloud +||119.88||2TB||50GB||No||No||30 days||Unknown||Yes||4TB||7/10|
|Provider||Edition||Cost per year (USD)||Storage space||Maximum individual file size||Office apps integration||Admin interface||Retention period||Version history||Support||Maximum storage||Rating|
Microsoft OneDrive is a very useful cloud storage platform that was launched way back in 2012. Originally named “SkyDrive” it has been extremely well maintained and developed over the years and today it is a very reliable and feature rich cloud storage platform that comes in several different packages for both personal use and business.
Desktop sync client
OneDrive has its own sync client, also called OneDrive and this works with Windows and Apple software as well as most well-known desktop and mobile clients.
The sync client works by constantly comparing the locally stored files to their counterparts stored in the cloud. If it finds any changes in either version of the file then it will update the older version accordingly.
The client comes with various features including “Files on demand” which allows files to remain in an “online only” state unless you are using them. This reduces the amount of space required locally.
This feature can be disabled, causing your computer to keep a full local copy of every file – this can be handy if you want to have offline access to your files.
It is important to note that on MacOS operating systems From macOS 12.1, Files On Demand is part of macOS and cannot be turned off.
OneDrive itself is primarily geared towards domestic use (Although it has a business counterpart called SharePoint, which we will discuss further on in this article).
If you purchase Microsoft office 365 Personal then you will get a lot for your money, including –
- A substantial 1TB of cloud storage space
- Access to the full Microsoft desktop apps suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook, Access and several other applications)
- Access to the OneDrive desktop application
- Optional SSO (Single sign-on) if you are using a Microsoft Windows device
The good thing to observe here is that its very affordable, you get lots of storage space and you have access to the Microsoft software. As always, they have somewhat of a monopoly here seeing as their software package is one of the most widely used, it stands to reason that if you are already needing access to the software, you may as well sign up and the software alone gives you value for money. Then you are almost getting the 1TB of cloud storage at no extra cost.
The other great thing about Microsoft OneDrive is that it integrates very tightly with Windows. Not only does it allow for single sign-on – meaning you can sign in to Windows, as well as all of your Microsoft applications and OneDrive only having to enter one set of credentials – but also you can configure OneDrive to automatically back up your personal data (Desktop, Pictures and Documents).
Of course, quite a few of the other cloud storage providers have similar functionality whereby you can elect to back up local data on your computer. However, after reviewing all of the top providers, we found that Microsoft OneDrive does this better than any of the other providers and it’s no surprise seeing as Microsoft own both the storage provider and the operating system.
On that note, the other part that works really well with OneDrive is the synchronisation of personal data between different computers. This is hard to achieve with most of the other providers but with OneDrive, you can have the sync client installed on several computers and once you configure the personal folders backup, you will have a mirrored desktop, documents and pictures folder on all of your devices.
This works best on Windows operating systems but it’s a really handy feature if you use different devices on a daily basis – a workstation and a laptop for example – and you want a seamless working experience between them.
OneDrive also has a Recycle Bin feature that allows you to easily find and restore deleted files. This is very handy if you accidentally delete an important file or folder and want to restore it.
The recycle bin retains deleted items for 30 days by default, when using the personal edition of Microsoft OneDrive (Reference).
Limitations of OneDrive
We started the article with OneDrive as it is a top contender when it comes to cloud storage providers. However, in the interests of not being biased, we should also point out that it does have some weaknesses and limitations.
Sync application reliability
The sync client for OneDrive can sometimes be a little temperamental. It is sometimes prone to crashing during use as well as occasionally logging itself out, leaving files to be stored locally and not correctly synced with the cloud.
The downside to this is that it often goes unnoticed for some amount of time, until you re-open the app or re-authenticate with Microsoft.
In their defence though, the re-sync process is always seamless. Even if you realise OneDrive has not been running for several days, as soon as you log back in it will quickly work out which files have and have not been synchronised and then it will upload or download them accordingly.
If there are any discrepancies – for example if you edited a file on two different devices before they had a chance to upload to the cloud, Microsoft will flag this up and give you the option of comparing, merging or saving both files – this helps to avoid a file ever being over-written by an incorrect version.
Size and item count limits
Microsoft OneDrive has a file size limit of 250GB when it comes to synchronising files with the cloud (Reference).
Microsoft also recommend that for optimum performance, you don’t synchronise more than 300,000 items across your cloud storage. We tested this by uploading 1,000,000 files to Microsoft OneDrive, using the desktop sync client, and we found that a) this took a considerable amount of time to complete (Several days) and b) once we had these files fully synchronised, changes to files within OneDrive took a long time to sync (over 5 minutes). We also found that sync performance was reduced at around 200,000 items.
As such, if you are planning to sync a very large number of files or individual files with very large file sizes (over or approaching 250GB) then it may not be the best provider for you.
However, if you are a personal user who wants to keep their data safe, avoid relying on the stability of a local device such as a laptop to protect their data and perhaps keep files up to date across multiple devices then OneDrive is definitely a suitable option. OneDrive is even more appealing if you already have a requirement to use the Microsoft office suite.
Microsoft SharePoint for Business
Leading directly on from OneDrive is the Microsoft SharePoint suite which is effectively an extension of the OneDrive platform that has been built specifically with business in mind.
Although SharePoint is a cloud storage solution in its own right and will operate independently from OneDrive, the two platforms do work well together. As a business user you can configure one or more libraries in SharePoint which allow you to collaborate on files and folders between your company employees. The advantages of SharePoint libraries over OneDrive personal are that you can configure permissions for these libraries and the folders contained within them, in order to restrict what company data each of your employees have access to.
SharePoint also has rich sharing functionality as well as many other features. When used in conjunction with the OneDrive desktop sync client SharePoint will function in much the same way as OneDrive allowing you to synchronise your cloud data locally, back up your personal files and folders and also share data with external users directly from your desktop device whist everything is automatically synchronised to the SharePoint library behind the scenes.
Unlike the personal version of OneDrive, SharePoint comes with additional features and benefits including a longer 93 day default retention period.
Microsoft take security very seriously and offer two-factor authentication with their personal and business accounts. In particular, with a business account you will be set up with their “security defaults” as standard, which includes multi-factor authentication as a requirement.
As a business user you can optionally set up Azure identity protection as well, in order to monitor (and block) suspicious sign-ins to your account.
You can find out more about the security practices employed by Microsoft in their security whitepaper.
Microsoft OneDrive is ideal if you are a windows user. It is also the logical provider to use if you are a user of the Microsoft Office suite.
- Closely integrated with Windows
- Comes bundled in with the Microsoft office suite
- Very affordable solution with lots of space (1TB)
- Easy to set up and use.
- Desktop sync client has some limitations
- Does not work as well on Apple desktop operating systems
Google drive was launched in 2012 and provides users with a cloud based storage system that is built around the web experience as well as being closely tied in with Googles other services such as the Google office suite.
Google drive documents and spreadsheets can easily be edited online using Googles docs and Google sheets (Two applications that compete with Microsoft Word and Excel applications respectively). The main difference with Google vs OneDrive is that Google Drive has clearly been built as a web-first solution. In other words, it works much better when being accessed from the web interface than it does from a desktop file system environment using their sync tool.
When working in the web interface documents can be edited and saved seamlessly and collaboration with other users is also very user-friendly. Files can be worked on at the same time with one user being able to see other users in real time as they edit documents.
This focus on sharing makes Google drive an ideal cloud storage platform if you are someone that collaborates with lots of other users – freelancers for example will often use Google drive so they can share and collaborate on files between their team and external clients.
It is also ideal if you are already a user of other Google services seeing as their cloud storage app is closely integrated with their other online services. For example, with Gmail (Googles email application) you can attach and send files directly from Google drive and with Google Photos you can easily move and store photographs in a designated storage area. All of these services can also be configured to use a shared pool of storage space within your Google account.
Desktop sync client
Google does have a desktop sync client that runs on MacOS and Windows and it is fairly good. The Google desktop client runs in the taskbar and provides you with access to your Google drive data in the form of a G: drive.
Files are stored in the cloud by default and downloaded on demand but if you want to keep specific files or folders locally in the device you can right-click on them and select for them to be “kept offline”. With this feature enabled, the files will be available locally even if the device is not connected to the internet.
The client also provides users with the ability to sync folders from the local computer onto the drive – in this scenario any selected folders will be synchronised in a separate area named “computers”.
This is handy if you want to back up folders on your local computer – such as your desktop and documents folders. However, it does have some limitations in that you can’t easily synchronise these folders between multiple computers. The reason being is that Google drive will create a separate storage folder for each device (Unlike Microsoft OneDrive which allows you to sync folders from multiple computers into a single shared folder).
There is a way to work around this, but it involves modifying the default windows library locations. In summary you can set up a folder within the “My Drive” area of Google Drive, then within that folder you can create a documents folder.
From within windows, you can right-click your local documents folder, select properties, location and then move the location to the documents folder created above.
The result will be your computer using the documents folder that you created in Google Drive, as its standard documents folder. You can then repeat this procedure on your other computer(s) to achieve a shared documents area that will be natively supported by Windows.
You can repeat this with other folders such as your pictures folder. However, it is not advisable to do this with the desktop folders because, until Windows has launched Google Drive, it will complain that the Desktop folder does not exist.
Despite this being a plausible scenario, it does highlight the fact that Google Drive client isn’t as well developed as Microsoft OneDrive when it comes to Windows support and it doesn’t offer quite as much flexibility.
Size and item count limits
Google Drive does have considerably larger file size limitations than Microsoft OneDrive. Google boasts an impressive 5TB individual file synchronisation limit. However, there are usage restrictions in place preventing individual users from uploading more than 750GB per day.
When it comes to item-count Google struggles a little bit – especially where the desktop client is concerned. In our tests, we tried uploading 1,000,000 files to Google Drive via the desktop sync client and it completely failed to cope with this – struggling for some time and then completely crashing the sync application.
Google have a very strong security policy across all of their applications and Google Drive is no different. They are very proactive when it comes to multi-factor authentication, and they are also very touchy when you try logging in from different devices or locations.
Out of all the cloud storage providers Google definitely seems to be the most secure option.
If you would like to find our more about how Google protect their users and the cloud data stored on their systems you can read their security whitepaper.
Google Drive is great if you are already using the rest of the Google suite and it is also ideal if you are a freelancer or someone who collaborates with lots of external users.
If you prefer working in a Windows desktop environment then it isn’t ideal and furthermore, if you are used to working with the Microsoft Office Suite then you end up effectively paying twice (Once for Microsoft office 365 so that you can make use of their desktop applications and then again for Google Drive so that you can make use of their cloud storage platform.
- Very good collaboration features
- Works very well with mobile devices
- Ideal for synchronising photos and videos
- Modern web-first user experience
- Doesn’t have as much support for Windows desktop environments
- Unless you use Google docs, you need Microsoft office suite as well
Dropbox is one of the older file sharing and cloud storage platforms; it was launched way back in 2007 by drew Houston (Co-founder and CEO). The platform is geared towards the creative industry and has many features pertaining to this including a huge 2TB single file synchronisation limit, deep integration with Adobe products, meta data search and video commenting (With the creative tools addon).
Dropbox has a very nice web interface that makes navigating the data stored in their cloud very easy. They have mobile apps as well as an impressive desktop sync client that works on most popular platforms.
Another advantage of Dropbox is that it will work alongside both the Microsoft office suite and Google docs. There is a caveat with the later – you must have signed up to Dropbox with the same email address that you use for your Google account, but assuming this is the case, you can edit documents and spreadsheets using the Google applications and then save them directly back to Dropbox.
Equally, Dropbox has an integration feature with Microsoft office suite so that you can easily edit and save content directly to Dropbox from the Microsoft suite.
Although this is often written up as a big benefit, in our opinion its negligible and the fact still remains that only OneDrive and Google have their own native applications (Microsoft Office and Google Docs respectively).
There are many impressive features when it comes to Dropbox though, that’s for certain.
Desktop sync client
The desktop sync client that comes with Dropbox is very good. It has a friendly and easy to use interface making it easy to set up, sync files and decide whether you want everything stored locally, or to take advantage of the online-only feature.
The desktop sync client also has the ability to back up personal folders on your computer. This interface is very similar to that of OneDrive, allowing you to select your common personal folders (Desktop, pictures and documents for example).
Size and item count limits
As we previously mentioned, Dropbox has an impressive Size upload limit (using the desktop client) of 2TB. In addition, Dropbox performed better than any other provider when it came to our item count test; We uploaded 1,000,000 files to Dropbox via the desktop sync client and Dropbox managed to successfully sync all of these files within 5 hours. This was faster than any other provider. In addition, once these files were synchronised, we could make further changes with near-instant updates being reflected on the web interface and vice-versa. So the large number of files had no visible impact on performance.
Dropbox boasts an impressive set of security features including 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption (both at rest and in transit), multi-factor authentication as well as remote device wipe.
You can find out more details in the Dropbox security whitepaper.
Dropbox Business Suite
As well as their personal platform, Dropbox also offer a business edition of their software which comes with lots of additional features. Most importantly though, it comes with a very intuitive admin interface that allows you to manage users, configure granular file permissions and take full control of your organisation and their access to your cloud file system.
Once again, Dropbox comes up trumps here as it has one of the most user-friendly and intuitive admin interfaces out of all the cloud service providers that we tested.
Dropbox is one of the most developed cloud storage providers with lots of features for both personal and business users. Whilst it doesn’t have its own native file editing suite, it does have integration with lots of other providers including Microsoft, Google and Adobe. It is well suited to the creative industry, and it has one of the most efficient desktop sync clients out of all the cloud storage providers.
- Modern and intuitive interface
- Integrates with Microsoft, Google and Adobe
- Able to hand extremely large number of files
- Able to handle extremely large files
- Impressive security features
- Doesn’t have its own native document editor
The other cloud storage providers
Box was founded in 2005 so it has also been around for a long time. When we first looked at Box we were impressed – the admin interface is very nice and it is packed with features including Built-in integration with office 365, google workplace and slack as well as the ability to manage file access permissions from a friendly admin interface.
The pricing model with Box is slightly unusual; the individual paid plan – personal pro – is comparable in price to the other providers, but it only comes with 100GB of file storage which is fairly low considering the price-point.
However, once you move up to the business plans (Which start at around $500+ per year for 3 users – their minimum user count on any business plan by the way) you get unlimited storage.
In our view, this gave out mixed messages – looking at the low amount of storage in the personal plans we assumed that Box were doing things differently to the other providers and as such, had to restrict how much storage they offered. But when we saw the word unlimited, it gave us a different opinion all together; how can a provider seriously offer a robust cloud storage solution whilst allowing users to store an unlimited amount of files; this just doesn’t make sense.
Desktop sync client
The desktop sync client works fairly well on both Windows and Mac operating systems. They also have similar clients for mobile devices.
Size and item count limits
Because Box looks so impressive, because they have such a well-built admin interface and because they are fairly expensive compared to other providers, we assumed there would be no problem uploading 1,000,000 files to the platform via their sync client.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the case; on our first attempt, Box managed to upload 70,000 files before crashing and then getting completely stuck. On the second attempt it took around 2 days to reach a successfully uploaded file count of around 200,000 and on this basis we estimated that it would take around 10 days to fully synchronise the 1,000,000 files.
To find out more about the security practices offered by Box you can download their security whitepaper.
Seafile is an open-source cloud storage application that can be downloaded and installed on your own server. There is a free community edition as well as a professional edition (The later comes with various extras including support, fine grained folder permissions and remote wipe to mention just a few. More details on the differences between the community and paid editions can be found on the Seafile website.
The Seafile application offers impressive performance and scalability; it can be configured in a multi-server, high-availability environment and will happily support thousands of active users and millions of files.
There are several case studies on the Seafile website showcasing the performance attributes of Seafile.
Desktop sync client
Seafile has its own file sync client and although the interface is perhaps not as modern as some of the other cloud providers out there, it works extremely well and is rich in features.
The client provides you with the ability to select which libraries will be synchronised with the device as well as providing various logging options to check on performance and deal with any sync issues.
One of the short-comings of the Seafile client is that it does not have an “online only” option so all of the files must be downloaded locally to the device. This is a shame because it means that you must have enough space on your local device to house all of the libraries which you wish to sync.
Size and item count limits
In the defence of Seafile, when we tested the platform with a large number of files – you guessed it; 1,000,000 – it handled them with ease. We managed to synchronise all of the files over night and afterwards, changes to the file system were still synced near-instantly and the high number of files seemed to have no visible effect on performance. This is perhaps, in part, thanks to the fact that there is no cloud-only option; perhaps having the files all stored locally allows the synchronisation to take place quickly and efficiently even when a very large number of files are being stored.
Seafile is very secure by nature, offering a range of security features including Two-factor authentication, Server-side data encryption, remote wipe and server-side virus scanning.
In addition, individual libraries can be encrypted by the end-user offering an added layer of protection.
Due to its open-source design, any security issues or bugs can also be discovered and patched far more efficiently than with closed-source software.
You can find more information on Seafile’s security features here.
Livedrive was founded in 2008 and is a valid competitor in the cloud storage provider landscape. Whilst it is not quite as well built-out as some of the other providers, it does work fairly well as a cloud storage solution and their Pro suite offers an impressive 5TB of storage for their briefcase (Which is their cloud sync application) and unlimited storage for backup.
Backup vs briefcase
Livedrive is slightly different to many of the other storage providers in that they have two separate components to their application.
Backup – they have a dedicated backup component that can be configured to take real-time (or periodic) backups of data stored locally on your computer or mobile device.
The backup component will constantly check for changes to files in the locations that you select and then back up those changes to the cloud. In the event of accidental file deletion or other disaster, you can restore the files to the same device or a new device with the click of a button.
Briefcase – the briefcase component handles file synchronisation and is more suited to the storage of files, allowing them to be synchronised in real time between multiple devices as well as the web interface.
Both the backup component and the briefcase benefit from file restoration features and revision history.
Desktop sync client
Livedrive have their own desktop sync client that handles backups, briefcase and restoration of files. The desktop sync client does not have the ability to keep files in an online only state, so as with Seafile, all of the files in the briefcase have to be synced locally to the device.
The client does have a cool feature – LAN sync – which will allow devices on the same local network to synchronise file changes among themselves (Rather than having to synchronise over the internet to the Livedrive servers).
Whilst Livedrive does work fairly well, in our tests we found that there are performance issues with Livedrive when you reach several hundred thousand files and there are often issues with data integrity. There are often scenarios where Livedrive reports that all files are synchronised and up to date, but in reality there are files that have not fully uploaded to Livedrive servers. If the local device fails and has to be reloaded there are sometimes cases where files were never successfully uploaded from the device and they become corrupt and inaccessible.
Livedrive have taken steps to combat this, offering an integrity check feature within the desktop client that will scan all of the local files and determine whether they have infact been synced with Livedrive servers. However, in our opinion this is a shortcoming to the software and makes it slightly unreliable compared to other providers.
Size and item count limits
Livedrive does begin to struggle when it has over 100,000 files in a single briedcase; sync times between computers starts to suffer and as mentioned above, there are scenarios where files don’t upload or download reliably.
You can find details on the security messures that Livedrive have in place here.
iCloud is Apples offering to the cloud storage landscape. iCloud works very well on Apple devices and does also have a desktop sync client for Windows, although its clear they have focused most of their efforts on developing the Apple software over the Windows counterpart.
iCloud has very close integrations with all of Apple servers including their Photo syncing platform as well as their device backup features.
If you are an Apple user then the iCloud is almost a necessity. It is very affordable and will take care of backing up and synchronising all of your personal data across multiple devices. The backup component does a fantastic job of automatically backing up your device configuration to the cloud and in the event that you lose your device, setting up a new one is as easy as logging in with your Apple ID and clicking on restore.
Desktop sync client
Apples desktop sync client is closely embedded into the MacOS operating system allowing you to configure the sync for desktop, documents and photos with ease.
On the Windows platform however, the iCloud sync client isn’t quite so well built out, although it does an OK job of synchronising existing iCloud data to the local windows device it is not nearly as functional (on Windows at least) as the sync apps offered by other providers.
Shortcomings of Apple iCloud
One of the main disadvantages of the iCloud is when it comes to business use. The iCloud does not accommodate a business use-case whereby multiple users can have access to a shared storage area held within the cloud. This makes the iCloud virtually unusable in a business scenario and means that business users working from Apple devices have no choice but to resort to competitor platforms such as OneDrive or Dropbox.
Apple gets a big green tick for security; it is one of the most secure providers in our opinion offering multi-factor authentication by default and having a very tight control over security and access control. So much so that we have seen multiple occasions where users have completely lost access to their iCloud accounts due to being unable to verify ownership of the account for various reasons.
Summary and best cloud storage provider
There are many different cloud storage providers available on the market today and we have mentioned just a few of the top names.
The most suitable cloud storage provider will depend on your situation, what other apps you are using and what your primary requirements for a storage provider are.
However, if we had to pick the overall “best cloud storage provider” we would have to choose Microsoft OneDrive. The reasons are clear;
- Great value for money
- Close integration with the Windows operating system
- Comprehensive and efficient local data backup options
- Robust file integrity features
- Bundled with the Microsoft Office Suite
However, the other providers that we have mentioned in this article are all valid contenders in their own right and if they weren’t robust offerings, they would not have been included in our writeup. Despite having some disadvantages, overall, they match up fairly well to OneDrive and in certain cases they can be the better option.
For example, if you are collaborating with lots of external users and used to working with Google docs and Gmail then Google Drive is a fantastic option for your cloud storage needs.
Equally if you are in the creative industry or a start-up company self-managing a small team then Dropbox could be the ideal solution for you.
If you have a very large number of files that you need to synchronise across multiple devices and perhaps you want a bespoke solution to accommodate this, then Seafile could be the better option.
Which Is Better: Dropbox or OneDrive or Google Drive?
These providers all offer a similar service in terms of cloud storage, but Microsoft OneDrive is better provider overall as they have the best value for money and the richest feature set.
Why Use Dropbox Instead of OneDrive?
If you are managing a small team and you would like to manage your cloud storage and have granular control over file and folder access for your staff, then it would make sense to use Dropbox instead of OneDrive.
Is OneDrive vs Google Drive Better for Personal Use?
If you are using a Windows computer, then OneDrive is better than Google Drive for personal use as it has a better integration with Windows as well as robust personal folder backup and sync options.
Is OneDrive Free?
OneDrive is free for personal use and comes with 5GB of storage space by default. If you upgrade to one of Microsoft’s paid plans, such as Microsoft 365 Personal you will get 1TB (1000GB) of storage space.
Which Cloud Storage Is Safest: OneDrive vs Google Drive vs Dropbox?
Google Drive is the safest cloud storage provider as they offer the most comprehensive security features by default and they are very good at monitoring for and preventing suspicious logins. Having said that, all three of these providers have very robust security best practices.