- Free version: Yes
- Ease of Use: Great
- Customer support: Great
- Backup options: Incremental, continuous
- Free version: Yes
- Ease of Use: Great
- Customer support: Great
- Backup options: Incremental, continuous
- Folder syncing: Yes
- Speed: Excellent
- Mobile app: Android, iOS
- Supported OS: Windows, macOS
- Key features: Automatic backup and sync, collaboration tools, integration with the MS Office suite
COLLABORATION & PRODUCTIVITY
- Integration with Office 365
- Free plan
- Both home and business plans
- Reasonable pricing
- No live chat support
- No end-to-end encryption
OneDrive Basic 5GB
OneDrive Standalone 100GB
Microsoft 365 Personal
Microsoft 365 Family
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1)
OneDrive for Business (Plan 2)
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Microsoft 365 Apps
Imagine having all your personal and business data handled by one service—all emails, important documents, family pictures, etc., together in one account.
If this sounds like the ideal solution, you should definitely consider OneDrive.
It’s one of the most famous cloud services, great for both home and business use.
In this comprehensive OneDrive review, we evaluate its file-sharing capabilities, productivity tools, business-related features, and much more.
Check it out to find out whether this is the right solution for you.
What Is OneDrive?
OneDrive is one of the Microsoft Office 365 core apps.
It’s a cloud service that works both as a storage and a backup solution.
It has a home edition mainly intended for individuals and families and a business edition for companies of all sizes.
Let’s see what are the differences between these.
How Does OneDrive Work?
The Microsoft OneDrive Business and Personal editions rely on a cloud-based architecture. It allows you to store, back up, share, and sync your data.
It works as a mix of cloud storage and backup. To start using it, all you have to do is make a Microsoft account.
If you just want to keep your data safe on the cloud, you can use OneDrive as cloud storage. Once you download the desktop app, you can customize the backup options for additional security.
Let’s dive into the next section to see what this service has to offer.
Microsoft OneDrive for Business is a feature-rich service with many uses.
Supported Devices and Operating Systems
OneDrive supports the following devices:
- Windows servers
- iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
It’s compatible with these operating systems:
OneDrive file sharing and synchronization options are fantastic.
With this tool, you can share links to files with other Microsoft users, anyone with the link, or specific people outside or inside the company (for business plans).
As part of our OneDrive for Business review process, we evaluated the advanced features for link sharing and we were very impressed. You can allow or forbid editing, set an expiration date for links, and even create a password for an extra layer of security.
On the business plans, you can block certain documents from being downloaded or change the access options.
The file sync function works flawlessly. You can add files on any device or cloud, turn on the file sync and voila—you have exactly the same information on every machine. OneDrive uses differential and continuous sync, which means that it automatically syncs new or changed files.
The service is not intended for full-system backups but rather for individual files.
OneDrive for Business reviews by users are split when it comes to PC folder backup. This feature allows you to have your Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folders automatically saved to the OneDrive cloud.
But there’s a small downside—you need to put the files you want to back up inside these specific folders.
Every synchronization stores files to the OneDrive cloud. If you want to save them locally, you’ll have to download them.
But during our research for this OneDrive review for 2021, we at HostingTribunal found that files can reside solely on the OneDrive cloud and still be visible in the OneDrive folder on your device. They won’t be on your PC unless you download them and that can save you a lot of storage space.
With OneDrive for Business, there are many options to collaborate with your colleagues or employees.
MS OneDrive for Business includes @mentions, commenting on documents, and setting tasks. Business plans and the bigger Home plans also include Skype. You can also scan and save printed copies as files that are easy to access on any device, which is excellent for professional use.
You can edit Office app files as well as PDFs from any connected device. When it comes to versioning, OneDrive keeps 25 versions of files for 30 days.
There’s also an email hosting option that comes with 50GB of storage.
Throughout the research process for this OneDrive for Business review, we found that OneDrive offers a Teamwork and Communication feature—excellent for businesses.
This includes unlimited HD video conference meetings with up to 250 guests. Microsoft Teams will allow you to create a hub for teamwork and share files among employees, while Microsoft Planner will help you track tasks and monitor teamwork.
Another tool included in some of the business plans is Yammer. With it, you can work together with employees from other departments or those located in different geographical areas.
But the OneDrive for Business feature that most impressed us while making this review was the SharePoint integration. It’s a great business tool that allows you to share and collaborate with employees inside or outside the company over computers or smartphones.
The platform is extremely handy—it gives you the option to create your own intranet and customize almost everything.
The most crucial add-on for OneDrive is the Office integration, included in almost all plans. The more advanced ones include the offline Office package. You can read more about it in the plan comparison section of this OneDrive review.
OneDrive is a fantastic business tool for numerous reasons and one of them is the integration with many business platforms. You can connect it with platforms like Slack, Asana, or Salesforce. OneDrive is built into Asana, so all you have to do is sign in to your Microsoft account.
OneDrive for Business reviews by end-users praise the possibility to incorporate OneDrive not only with collaboration and productivity tools but with security & analytics, workflow, utilities, education, and consumer platforms.
Some of those include the Cloudlock cybersecurity platform from Cisco and Mover—a free tool for moving files to OneDrive or OneDrive for Business. You can also connect OneDrive with Canvas and Schoology and share files directly from OneDrive to Trello or Zoom.
OneDrive is excellent for home use, but, considering all this, it’s even more remarkable for businesses.
Other Business-Related Features
Anywhere Access allows you to access your data no matter where you are. All you have to do is install the OneDrive app on your iOS or Android device.
Another point of praise by users in their OneDrive for Business reviews is the Files On Demand option. With it, you can access your data on the OneDrive cloud without downloading it.
This can save you storage space and give you the flexibility to work from anywhere. And you can rest assured your data is protected—every file is safely encrypted while in transit (with TLS protection) or at rest (with an AES-256 key).
The Microsoft 365 Premium plan comes with some advanced threat protection features—remote wipe of stolen or lost devices, access control to company data, malware protection, etc.
The most secure feature we found in our thorough OneDrive review process, was the Personal Vault
It is a protected area of OneDrive that only you can access with robust methods of verification, such as fingerprints, face ID, PIN, or a code sent to you via text or email. It uses BitLocker encryption and locks automatically if you schedule that.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how hard it is to set up all these features. We’ll answer that question in the next section of this OneDrive for Business review for 2021.
Ease of Use
To use the OneDrive service, you must have a Microsoft account.
Once you sign up, you can download the desktop client. Everything is effortless to install and set up.
What is more, if you have Windows 10 and 8.1, you already have OneDrive on your computer.
A quick overview of OneDrive shows that the web client and the mobile app’s interface is simple with soothing aesthetics. It’s easy to navigate and you’re probably already familiar with most of the apps and functions.
You can easily uninstall OneDrive, but you’ll have to take care of the data restoration process manually. Many of your files might be synced only to the cloud, but not locally. You have to download them before you remove the app, or you’ll lose them.
If you want an easy-to-use service packed with advanced features, OneDrive is the right choice for you.
OneDrive Home Free vs. Premium
The free trials and Home package are highly appreciated by users, as becomes evident from the numerous positive OneDrive for Business reviews. Below, we’ll show you what the free and paid plans have to offer to individuals and families.
OneDrive Basic Plans
The OneDrive Basic 5GB Free Plan includes:
- Three files in your Personal Vault
- The option to scan and save printed documents using your phone
- Free Office apps, but only the web-based version
- PC folder backup to copy and sync folders (Desktop, Documents, and Pictures) to your OneDrive
- Anywhere Access via the smartphone app
- Anywhere editing from your tablet, phone, Mac, or PC
- Offline access to data
- Real-time collaboration with anyone
- High levels of privacy
OneDrive Standalone 100GB costs $1.99 per month and has the same features as the Free plan, but it comes with 100GB storage.
OneDrive Premium Home Plans
Microsoft One Cloud comes together with many amazing features. Upgrading to premium plans can get you more storage, productivity tools, advanced security, and the entire Office package.
Microsoft 365 Personal costs $5.99 per month or only $59.99 per year. Besides OneDrive, it includes Skype and everything that the previous plans contain.
If you don’t want to purchase MS OneDrive for Business, but your needs exceed that of the Standalone and Free home plans, this package is ideal for you. It has advanced perks for individual use:
- 1TB of storage
- Offline office apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint for Windows or Mac (plus Access and Publisher for PC only)
- Install Office apps on up to 5 PCs or Macs
- Unlimited Personal Vault depending on your OneDrive storage
- Malicious attack alerts and help with data recovery
- Expandable storage—up to 2TB for a monthly fee
The last Home plan is Microsoft 365 Family—also useful for small businesses. It costs $7.99/month or $79.99 per year. On top of all the previously mentioned features, you get 6TB of storage in total (1 TB per person for up to 6 people).
And you can try it for free for one month!
Next in our OneDrive for Business review, we’ll show you what the business plans have prepared for you.
OneDrive Business Plans
All Microsoft Business Plans come with 1TB of storage per user, except for Business Plan 2—it has unlimited storage per user for five or more devices.
Admins can increase that to 5TB/user or get in touch with Microsoft support to request extra storage—up to 25TB/user. If you need more than that, Microsoft will redirect you to the other plans.
OneDrive for Business prices for the annual commitment:
- OneDrive for Business (Plan 1): $5.00 user/month
- OneDrive for Business (Plan 2): $10.00 user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5.00 user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $20 user/month
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1 and 2)
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1) includes all home plans features, OneDrive service, OneDrive for Business apps, and additional tools, such as:
- Secure file sharing: with the options of password setup, expiration date, block downloading of shared files, sharing internally or externally
- Advanced anywhere access
- Advanced productivity tools for desktop, web, and mobile phones
- Encrypted data
- FastTrack deployment support for purchasing the 50+ seats at no extra cost (except on a Microsoft 365 Business Basic)
- Commercial use license
Besides these features, OneDrive for Business (Plan 2) and above provide more advanced security:
- Protecting data with Known Folder Move
- Dealing with sensitive information thanks to Advanced data loss prevention
- Compliance settings and many more
As you can see, OneDrive for Business’ pricing is very reasonable and you get a great variety of useful features. Let’s check out the more advanced plans.
Microsoft 365 Business (Basic, Standard, and Premium)
In addition to OneDrive, the Microsoft 365 Business Basic Plan includes Exchange, SharePoint, and Teams.
And it offers even more awesome perks on top of that:
- Web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Up to 300 users
- Email hosting with 50GB per mailbox
- The option to host an unlimited HD video conference for meetings of up to 250 people
Microsoft 365 Business Standard has all this, plus Yammer and Planner.
This Microsoft Cloud Storage for Business plan includes offline Office apps—Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote for iOS and Android (up to 5 mobile devices and 5 tablets). You also get Access and Publisher for PC.
The most expensive and advanced business plan, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, is the cherry on top. This Microsoft OneDrive Business plan offers:
- Intune and Azure Information Protection
- Advanced threat protection
- PC and mobile device management used for updates, security policies, automatic installation of Office and Windows 10 updates, and much more
The last Business plan is the unique Microsoft 365 Apps package. It includes all Office apps, but it offers only OneDrive from the secure cloud services. With this plan, you also get:
- 1 TB of OneDrive storage for file storage and sharing
- Up to 300 users
- Access control to your business data
- Safe file sharing
Our OneDrive for Business review only covered the home and business plans. There are plenty more packages for enterprises and organizations—educational, governmental, non-profit, or the options for first-line workers.
To learn more about them, feel free to visit the Microsoft website.
If you need to contact the OneDrive support team, you can do so via email or the virtual agent. You could also search for the answer in the thorough knowledge base, as well as the active community forum.
Unfortunately, neither live chat nor phone support are available. But the pros and cons of OneDrive’s customer service don’t end here.
While waiting for an email answer, we contacted the Microsoft Office live chat. The agents were polite and the answers—rapid, brief, and helpful, even though OneDrive technically wasn’t under their support. So if you’re in a hurry, this could be a nice alternative.
OneDrive’s email support should answer in 24–48 hours, yet they’ve contacted me in under 24h, which is great. Although it lacks the immediacy of phone or live chat, the agents can provide a solution promptly.
OneDrive User Reviews
OneDrive for Business review Reddit threads are full of positive user experience stories. Their only concern is that it comes with the whole Office package, which many people are already paying for. But OneDrive has great deals for business purposes, so it might be worth switching plans.
Still, many people prefer other providers, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. To be able to collaborate with them, OneDrive users are often forced to resort to more than one cloud service.
Negative reviews are often coming from the macOS and iOS users because OneDrive for Business for Windows seems to work slightly better.
When to Use OneDrive
OneDrive is a great tool for personal use, especially if you’re looking for a family plan. Most packages come with all Office apps—web versions on the lower plans and desktop apps for the advanced ones.
But that’s not all to it.
OneDrive can do wonders for your organization. It’s rich in features and provides many handy business tools, some of which we discussed above in this OneDrive review.
If you still haven’t reached a decision, you can read more about the other services available on the market below.
In this section, we’ll see how OneDrive compares to Dropbox Business and Box fo Business products.
OneDrive for Business vs Dropbox Business
Dropbox isn’t only for personal use, as we often think—it also has Business and Enterprise plans. These are slightly more expensive and not that feature-rich.
In contrast to OneDrive, it doesn’t have a free plan but a free trial of every Business plan. Unless your collaborators are using Dropbox, OneDrive is the better choice.
OneDrive for Business vs Box for Business
Box for Business and OneDrive have similar pricing. Again, there is no free plan, but you can try all plans for free.
It has a lot of potential but not as many integrations and collaboration features as OneDrive. But if your company requires a lot of storage space, Box for Business has the upper hand.
Great for home use and even better for companies, OneDrive is a top-notch product and one of the best cloud storage providers.
It’s packed with business-friendly features, such as collaboration tools, integrations, and ever-evolving plans. Although there are better cloud backup systems, our OneDrive review for 2021 demonstrated that its file sharing and sync capabilities are excellent.
Microsoft could improve its privacy and support, but it is a smart and effective choice for individual or business use.
Yes. And you can easily add more accounts to the web or mobile app. You can have only one personal plan, but the number of business and school registrations is not limited.
With the OneDrive for Business trial, you can test the product for free before you purchase it.
OneDrive is personal cloud storage, while OneDrive for Business accounts are owned by companies. In the latter case, OneDrive is also used as a communication, collaboration, and productivity tool inside or outside of the organization.
For more insight on the differences, visit the plan comparison section of this OneDrive review.
OneDrive offers a variety of packages for businesses, enterprises, educational, governmental, and non-profit organizations, as well as first-line workers. Prices start at $5/user/month and go up to $20/user/month. We discuss OneDrive for Business pricing in more detail in the plan comparison section of this review.
OneDrive is an excellent business tool. With its numerous plans, this service allows you to fully customize your experience.
It has plenty of collaboration tools, data encryption, large storage, and many other features. For a comprehensive overview of its features, check out the OneDrive review above.