Microsoft offers several cloud features, one of which is Microsoft OneDrive. The application is an individual-based cloud storage offering that allows for storage and sharing at will. This OneDrive review aims to help you evaluate the feasibility of having the application in your business by providing you with its features, pros and cons, prices and plans, etc.
In this OneDrive review…
One could say that Microsoft is known for being a productivity suite that offers as much or as little as business class customers need to keep their operations running. Microsoft OneDrive is aimed at those who may need secure storage beyond the confines of local hardware. It’s meant to be easy to set up and use allowing for efficient and scalable operation.
OneDrive Pros and Cons
Now, we switch gears to explore the kind of functionality that would make Microsoft OneDrive desirable for your business needs. Note that Microsoft 365 for Business is the focus here, as OneDrive is available as a personal offering for individuals.
Centralized user management with cloud platforms is always a win, and you get this through Microsoft 365. With two different admin centres that can help you manage user accounts, licenses, and permissions, your administrators can always be on top of user access control. While competitors may not have multiple areas for managing user access, the capability is still present with known providers, such as Box or Google Drive.
Multiple access methods
Microsoft has spent a long time fine-tuning its offerings and attempting to guarantee accessibility to its users. To this end, it has gotten to a point where OneDrive can be accessed via a series of different mediums. The most basic of them all is using the web browser, which allows you access to the full suite of controls.
Additionally, you may use a desktop application that makes using OneDrive feel as seamless as possible. That’s because the OneDrive library no longer feels like an additional program to learn. Instead, it appears as just another folder on your PC. You can then choose to have the folder contents exclusively reside in the cloud (yet usable from your PC) or have a copy of them downloaded.
Note that if you want to mix the arrangement, you can choose to download a copy of only a few individual files or several folders if you wish. File indexing also works excellently. If you were to use Google Drive, for example, while you would appear to have a normal folder tree in your offline folder, you would find that searching it is a challenge. That’s because behind the scenes Google doesn’t use an organized folder structure.
By default, OneDrive plans provide 1 TB of storage per user. This compares excellently to Google Drive that only offers 30 GB at its lower tier. Box, however, has this superior starting point, since all its plans feature unlimited total storage. Nevertheless, with a simple upgrade, you also get OneDrive into unlimited territory. Typically, 1 TB of storage is more than enough for individual users. However, as time passes, or for those who may be working with large files, it may become necessary to go beyond the default allocation.
Limited setup requirement
OneDrive is working and ready for use out of the box. Almost immediately after an administrator has assigned a license to a user that includes a OneDrive plan, that user can hop onto a browser and view the new cloud storage space. Technically speaking, an administrator could even choose to pre-provision OneDrive.
Under normal circumstances, after creation, the storage space is not allocated nor is it active until the user logs in for the first time. However, if your company needs to put data into the user’s one drive before that, the pre-provisioning system is perfect as the space is allocated and the folder is ready for file upload well before that initial login.
Even the setup for the desktop application is a breeze. Simply click on the “sync” button from your browser, allow it to open the desktop application, and enter your Microsoft 365 credentials. From there, you can choose which folders sync to your PC and if you want OneDrive to automatically retain a copy of your desktop and documents folders.
Thanks to its use of Microsoft’s Azure platform for storage, OneDrive features decentralized hosting, which translates to immense fault tolerance. Though cloud storage may appear to not reside on physical hardware, that’s not the case. Microsoft must maintain data centres to host all the data for all its customers.
As these are physical locations, it’s reasonable that disasters or other challenges can occur that could result in damage to the physical infrastructure. However, decentralized hosting means that Geo-redundant storage is used. In other words, there are technically multiple copies of the data. This means even if a single data centre is destroyed, multiple others then begin to start serving your requests, so you don’t experience an outage.
as indicated before, there is a desktop application that allows you to sync your data offline, allowing you to manipulate it as you would typical folders. Such an offering is present with Box and Google Drive too. However, unless you are using a Mac or Linux based PC, you find that Microsoft OneDrive is the most consistent. That’s because Microsoft is also the developer of the Windows operating system that most people use.
Therefore, you find that the best-optimized version of OneDrive is the one for Windows operating systems.
External share control
Google Drive doesn’t necessarily allow fine-grained control over link sharing. Box, on the other hand, allows some level of restriction through its password-protected offerings. However, OneDrive seems to have the most reliable and best system in place for managing sharing with external entities.
First, none of the collaboration applications can support any external users unless the administrator turns on the setting for the organization. Even after that is done, further controls can be used to stipulate external sharing requirements. For example, you could choose to mandate that only users with Microsoft accounts can access your organization’s shared files.
You could also require an authentication code to be entered before access is granted. Additionally, you could even set up a company policy that decides if documents shared grant edit or view-only permissions by default.
Reporting is always great for understanding where your business stands with its cloud platform usage. Most of these things are licensed per user, so you can always re-evaluate to optimize your spending. Both Box and Google Drive offer reporting metrics. Of the two, Box delves into more specifics.
If you were to compare Box and OneDrive based on default reporting options, Box would probably get the win. However, OneDrive is supported by the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre, Security Centre, and Compliance Centre, allowing for a much more holistic view of what is going on with the storage platform and the implications it can have.
Simple file sharing
Though OneDrive is an individual storage space, it does allow you to share files with those with whom you collaborate. It’s as easy as right-clicking on a file, choosing “share,” and selecting your intended recipients. Note that Google Drive and Box make it just as simple.
OneDrive Prices and Plans
Microsoft has an incredibly straightforward pricing model for Microsoft OneDrive, as it’s mostly featured in bundles. Though you can pay either monthly or annually, both costs are equal. This is much different from providers, such as Box, that offer slight cost savings when you choose to pay annually. Though the price doesn’t change, it manages to stare consistently lower than that of its competitors. The plans are as follows:
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1)
This plan costs only $5 per user per month. There is 1 TB of storage per user, tolerating up to 100 GB for individual file sizing. Core features, such as file sharing, anywhere access, and data encryption at rest are all included here.
OneDrive for Business (Plan 2)
This plan, which is the next step up, runs for $10 per user per month and provides unlimited individual cloud storage. Along with all the features in the previous plan, this one offers advanced security features, such as document protection, file auditing and reporting, retention policies, eDiscovery, sensitivity labels, and a series of compliance offerings.
Beyond these, Microsoft has various business and enterprise bundles that combine office desktop programs with either the plan one or plan two variation of one drive for business.
OneDrive Integration Potential
Microsoft OneDrive is built to integrate with a host of other Microsoft 365 products. For example, you can access your OneDrive location for saving documents. Doing so provides access to versioning for recovery and a consistently auto-saving feature that preserves your information with an RPO Of under 5 minutes.
Other more complex integrations include those with Power BI or Power Automate.
OneDrive Review Summary
Microsoft OneDrive comes highly recommended as a cloud storage platform. Though there are stellar competitors out there, there is no beating this one in terms of price to value ratio and the sheer number of features.
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