If you want to share large files with others, an email attachment just won’t do. You’ll want to have a file sharing platform that will allow others to access and download the large file. Two popular options in this category are OneDrive and Dropbox.
In the OneDrive vs Dropbox debate, it is important to note that both platforms offer free options for users. Both platforms make it easy to store files, including large video files, so they can be available whenever they are needed. Accessing the files is possible from virtually any location, as long as there is an internet or data access point that can be used.
Both platforms offer premium plans for users who have specific needs as well. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of both platforms to consider.
What Are the Advantages of OneDrive?
OneDrive offers three premium personal plans. The basic plan, which allows for storage only, provides up to 50 GB of space for just $1.99 per month. Users can opt for Office 365 Personal with Premium OneDrive features for $69.99 or $99.99 per year, offering 1 TB or 5 TB of space in total. The lower-priced tier allows for 1 PC or Mac installation, 1 tablet, and 1 phone. The higher-priced tier allows for 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 phones.
Both premium plans are available at a monthly price of $6.99 or $9.99 respectively.
Business plans begin at $60 per year for storage only, allowing for 1 TB of space in total. A 15 GB file upload limit is in place on all plans. Additional options are available at $120 or $150 per year with advanced security options and compliance features. The upper business tier includes Office apps for the PC or Mac.
Here are the advantages to consider when looking at OneDrive.
- OneDrive offers users up to 5 GB of free storage space. There are opportunities to earn free storage space as well, thanks to the referral programs Microsoft offers. Users who link OneDrive to their mobile devices for data backup can increase their storage space as well.
- Organizing OneDrive is super simple. You can store any type of file on this platform, including videos and documents and they are organized by file type. You can then access it from any Windows PC, your preferred mobile device, or through a browser and your Microsoft account on other devices.
- It offers a friendly integration experience with Microsoft Office products and apps. You can launch Microsoft Word, for example, and then pull up a document that is saved on OneDrive. You then work on the file locally and save it back to the OneDrive for storage. With a MS365 subscription, you can even collaborate on files in real-time.
- Social networks can be linked to OneDrive, allowing files to be shared with others with one-click convenience. Users can also set specific permissions for each user, from complete access to read-only access, for customized security.
What Are the Advantages of Dropbox?
Dropbox offers three premium plans for users who need services that go above and beyond the basic storage options. The actual cost of these premium plans depends on the country where the user resides. In the United states, Dropbox Plus is $9.99 per month or $8.25 per month if paid annually. This offers users 1 TB of space, offline folders that are accessible from mobile devices, and a remote device wipe.
The Dropbox Professional plan is $19.99 per month or $16.58 per month if paid annually. This plan includes advanced sharing controls, full text search, document image searches, and smart syncing. That frees up a lot of space on an HDD without compromising access.
Dropbox Professional is also an option, providing 3 user licenses and 2 TB of space starting at $12.50 per month. There are also customizable enterprise mobility management solutions which are available.
- Dropbox offers users up to 2 GB of free storage space. Users also have the option of gaining additional storage space through certain referral activities or by upgrading to one of the premium plans.
- Syncing happens automatically across every device when a file is saved to Dropbox. As long as you have logged into Dropbox from the device, you have access to the file. That means your work is always available to you, no matter where you are or what device you happen to be using. That includes mobile devices, thanks to the Dropbox app that is available.
- The folders that are within Dropbox can be restored. Folders are stored for 30 days before they are completely removed. That makes it much easier to save information that may be inadvertently changed or removed from the folder. Users who subscribe to Dropbox Professional have access to a 120-day version history of their files.
- Sharing files is super easy with Dropbox. Once users have uploaded the file, they can send a specific link to others so that the file can be downloaded. With the link, the file can be downloaded without a Dropbox account. For those who do have a Dropbox account, files can be shared to one profile, then saved in real-time so that the updated file is always available.
What Are the Disadvantages of OneDrive?
- Document management is dependent upon user permissions that are set. Sharing files with the wrong permissions can allow others to make changes to a file that are not wanted. Collaboration is possible, but OneDrive is not designed to be a project management tool. It is designed more for information sharing and awareness, along with file storage.
- There are privacy concerns with OneDrive that must be addressed as well. Microsoft requires users to agree that they will scan files that are saved onto this platform. Users are not permitted to upload “objectionable content.” That includes copyrighted material. If Microsoft deems the content to be in violation of their terms of service, they can remove the file or your access to OneDrive at any time.
- OneDrive encrypts data that is in transit, but it does not encrypt data that is not in movement. A business account is required for per-file encryption that uses a unique key, which means an added cost for those who are looking to use this service.
- Because others may be granted access for collaboration purposes and Microsoft may scan certain files, users have complained that some files are altered on them when they are uploaded or synced to other devices.
What Are the Disadvantages of Dropbox?
- Dropbox requires accounts to be active for the files to remain in storage. As part of the terms of service, the administrators at Dropbox are permitted to delete files that are not touched in an account that is not accessed for several months.
- Dropbox servers have been occasionally hacked from time to time, which has resulted in some users having their data stolen. The encryption used for Dropbox file movement has never been released and users are not allowed to encrypt their data before uploading it to Dropbox, which can make it difficult to lessen the risk of information theft on this platform.
- It can be difficult to access files through Dropbox, especially when using the mobile app to do so. The navigation is intended to be similar to the file and folder trees that are used by most operating systems, but on mobile devices, there can be a lot of empty space that must be dealt with before finding the correct file. Depending upon the user’s organization, it may be difficult to find a specific piece of information that is needed.
- Third-parties are highly involved with the Dropbox process. That includes reporting gaps in reporting and security information, as well as data loss prevention. Any information that is shared to Dropbox for syncing and later retrieval may be accessed by those third-parties, which could increase the risk of data loss in certain circumstances. That risk may be too high for some individuals or businesses that are dealing with highly sensitive information.
Which Is Better: OneDrive vs Dropbox?
In the OneDrive vs Dropbox comparison, there are good, free options available that make it easy to share and store data. Collaboration becomes easier, either in real-time or through file syncing, making the product very easy to use. OneDrive and Dropbox have excellent device support and customer service options for those who may need troubleshooting assistance.
There are some disadvantages to consider as well. OneDrive provides no encryption for files that are at-rest. Uploads can sometimes stall and OneDrive only supports NTFS. There are file-naming restrictions in place as well.
Dropbox has concerns about security and privacy that must be evaluated on an individualized basis as well. Files can be shared via links to non-members at Dropbox, but full access depends upon membership.
OneDrive and Dropbox are viable options to increase productivity. Compare these key points to your specific needs to determine which platform can provide the best possible solution today.