Google Drive vs OneDrive: Which is better?

There is no shortage of cloud storage services. You can choose from Google Drive, OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Amazon Drive, Dropbox, and many others. But the two most popular services are Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive. Both Google and Microsoft have deeply integrated their cloud offerings with other services to give you a better user experience. If you can’t decide which one to opt for, this Google Drive vs OneDrive comparison should help you decide.

Google Drive and OneDrive have become platform-agnostic. You can use them on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and other platforms without any issues. They let you access your files across devices. Both services also have a bunch of collaboration tools to let you share files and collaborate with others.

Google Drive vs OneDrive: Plans and pricing

Both Google and Microsoft have a free plan with a limited amount of cloud storage. The free plans are good enough for most users who use cloud only to store or back up photos and documents. Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage, which is significantly higher than OneDrive’s 5GB. But the Google Drive storage is used for all of Google’s services including Gmail. It means you could run out of storage faster than you expect.

If you need more storage, Google charges $2 per month or $20 per year for 100GB of cloud storage. If you want 200GB, it’s going to cost $3 per month or $30 per year. Google’s 2TB plan costs $10 per month or $100 per year. The 10TB plan costs $100 per month and 20TB plan is going to set you back by $200 per month. It’s worth pointing out you can extend Google’s storage to other people in your Google Family.

OneDrive is relatively more expensive, mainly because Microsoft uses a different pricing strategy. The Redmond-based software giant has bundled OneDrive into the Microsoft Office subscription. The Office 365 Home costs $100 per year. It gives you access to Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, Access, and Publisher for PC along with 1TB of OneDrive storage.

You can also share the Office 365 Home plan with five of your family members, each of whom will get their own 1TB of cloud storage. For those who want a personal plan, Microsoft has Office 365 Personal for $70 per year. It gives you 1TB of cloud storage along with the Office tools.

If you only want the OneDrive storage without any Office tools, you can get 100GB of cloud storage for $2 per month. 1TB of OneDrive storage costs $7 per month or $70 per year, and 6TB cloud storage will set you back by $10 per month or $100 per year.

File management

Both cloud services allow you to access their file management features via a web browser. The user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. The file management system is similar to that of the desktop file managers. They both have a variety of viewing options such as thumbnails and list, and give you quick access to your recent files.

The search function is much better in Google Drive. It shows the search results live as you type each letter. It also has an advanced search option that you can toggle on. The advanced search lets you filter search results by date, keyword, file type, etc. The search function in OneDrive is still in its infancy. You won’t be able to view the search results until you hit the Enter button.

The file sharing system is similar on the two services. You can share a direct link or a person’s email address to give them access to a file. Both services allow you to set permissions for anyone accessing the files you shared. In Google Drive, you can let others View, Comment, or Edit for free users. The advanced permission settings are available only to paid users.

Microsoft’s OneDrive comes with block-level copying technology, which breaks files into smaller packages for uploading and saving to the cloud. If you make a change in your file, only the packages that have been modified are re-uploaded to the cloud. It speeds up the uploading process.

Google Drive vs OneDrive: Security

Both services send your files to the cloud via HTTPS encryption. Microsoft and Google encrypt files using their own keys. It makes it incredibly hard for hackers to decrypt files you have stored with Google or Microsoft even if they break into the servers. But it also means that if someone gains access to your email and password, they can access all your files.

Since Microsoft and Google have encryption keys to your files, they can decrypt them or give law enforcement agencies access to your files. Of course, you can use the E2EE option or other services to encrypt all your Google Drive or OneDrive files yourself.

Google scans the files you upload to Google Drive to mine data that it could use for targeted advertising. It doesn’t use that data for malicious purposes. Microsoft doesn’t do that. Recently, the Redmond-based software giant introduced a feature called Personal Vault that adds an extra layer of security to your sensitive files.

Free OneDrive users can add only three files to their Personal Vault. The Office 365 subscribers can add as many files as they want, up to the storage limit of their plan. The Personal Vault is locked automatically upon 20 minutes of inactivity. You can access your Personal Vault within OneDrive using a PIN, fingerprint scan, facial scan, an authenticator app, or by entering the authentication code you get via SMS or email.

Conclusion

If you want maximum cloud storage for the price, Google Drive is the way to go. Its plans are relatively cheaper, and Google Drive integrates well with other Google services. Microsoft’s OneDrive is for people who use its Office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. The Personal Vault also gives OneDrive an edge over Google Drive in terms of security. You should try out the free plans of both to decide which one is better for your needs.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com