When it comes to data protection, things are a little bit different when you’re trying to help friends and family store things like documents and pictures, and share them with others.  While we do spend quite a bit of time here talking about things in the business space, today we’re going to focus someplace else: home and personal use.  We’re going to take a look at two of the most popular consumer cloud storage platforms out there: OneDrive vs DropBox.

OneDrive vs DropBox, How to Choose

When it comes time to recommend a cloud service to friends and family, we’re going to take a look at several criteria to help guide them through the choices.

They are:

  • Cost
  • Amount of Storage
  • Usability between platforms

All About OneDrive

First, let’s talk about OneDrive.  I’m starting with OneDrive for a reason, your friends and family may already have it!

If you subscribe to Microsoft 365 Family, or Microsoft 365 OneDrive can be n easy choice, you already have it.

With a Microsoft 365 Family subscription, there’s a total of 6TB, at 1TB for up to 6 users.  This runs 99.99 a year for six users.

With a Microsoft 365 Personal subscription, you get 1TB.  This costs 69.99 per year per user.

Also, the subscription includes popular Microsoft office tools like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which is key for many.  You’re getting way more than just a cloud storage platform.

The Details on DropBox

When it comes to DropBox, things are a little different.  We’re talking about mostly storage.

The paid versions clock in at 9.99 a month for 2TB of storage per individual, and 16.99 per month for the same 2TB per family of up to 6 users.

This works out to be very similar in cost to OneDrive, but lacks the benefits of the other Microsoft365 features.

OneDrive vs DropBox: Similar Features

There’s many things that DropBox and OneDrive do very similarly.  The key points are:

  • 30 days of version history
  • The ability to sync specific files and folders per device
  • Backup type functionality
  • The ability to add more storage
  • Cross platform accessibility: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, you name it.

These are the common things that most people are looking to do, put stuff in the cloud, access it from wherever, and maybe roll back to a previous version.

DropBox vs OneDrive Differences

If I had to boil down DropBox vs OneDrive differences, I would pick out a few major ones.

DropBox File Sharing

DropBox has probably set the gold standard for file sharing.  If you are using a paid account like the ones we just talked about, you can share up to a 2 GB file, which is a key consideration.  On the flip side, you’re looking at a 100 MB file size from Microsoft 365…will you want to share more than 2 GB?  Probably not.  Will you want to share more than 100 MB?  I can think of many cases where that answer is yes.

OneDrive Office Document Collaboration and Sync

If you’re going to be working with Office Documents like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel a lot, OneDrive is the winner for sure.  Besides seamless collaboration between others if that’s what you are doing, you can truly access and edit your files seamlessly with any device.  I’m talking about start on your PC, then open your Mac and continue, which is definitely a key feature for me as I use both platforms regularly.

Choosing DropBox vs OneDrive

Now I’m going to probably blow your mind, because at the end of the day, I use both services.  Why?  Simple.  I like to have multiple copies of my data like any other IT person does.  This is one of the reasons I survived when my Surface was bricked by a bad update.

It really boils down what someone wants to use the platform for.  If you are just using it to back up files and pictures and data, and already have Microsoft 365, then the choice is simple, use OneDrive.  If you need Microsoft Office, then the choice is simple, use OneDrive.

If you are more storing those files in the cloud, then sharing them, then DropBox is the clear winner.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either service once you understand what it will be used for and its capabilities.  If you’re helping friends and family with this decision, be sure to have a discussion on this before you help them choose.

Be sure to check out more information on OneDrive here, and more information on DropBox here.