Access, backup and share files on PC, Mac, Android and iOS


Our rating: 


Pros & Cons:

25 GB of Online Storage for old subscribers or 7 GB if you are a new subscriber; User files on your hard drive will automatically sync with OneDrive.
No encryption; All files to be synchronized must be located in the OneDrive folder on your PC.

Our Review:

Microsoft gives you 7 GB free cloud storage if you are a new subscriber to the OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) service. If you are an old subscriber and had 25 GB of storage you get to keep your 25 GB.

I ranked OneDrive's lower because of its reduced storage space, no encryption and the annoying OneDrive folder you have to use. It is built into Windows 8 and 10, and the service is expected to be around for a long time as it's provided by Microsoft.

OneDrive's storage size is 7 GB. This is not very large by today standards. OneDrive originally was 25 GB. A new user can't get 25 GB free anymore. If you have an old Hotmail account you may have 25 GB.

OneDrive is easy to use. Once installed just copy or move the files you want to backup to the special OneDrive folder. Only files in the OneDrive folder will be stored online. It may be less convenient for you but the advantage of this approach is that you know exactly which files are being stored online.

You also have control over whether files are only stored online rather than on your local Windows device (PC, tablet, phone). Many users use OneDrive to synchronize files between two or more Windows devices. On each individual device you can specify whether a particular folder is stored offline (on the local drive) or online-only on OneDrive. If you store a large folder with several GBs of data on OneDrive then other devices that synchronize with that account will usually have online access so you will have to change it to offline to get a copy of the files.

One of OneDrive's weaknesses is the lack of encryption which means that you should not put files on OneDrive that you don't want other people to ever see. While it is not open to anyone on the Internet who doesn't have the password, law enforcement agencies can obtain copies of your files without your knowledge.

A combination of back-up solutions may be the best strategy. Use OneDrive for your photos and non critical documents like kids homework, your non-financial files, and family pictures. Then use Spideroak or IDrive for your taxes and financial files.

OneDrive was reviewed by on