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OneDrive vs. Google Drive Best Cloud Storage Service in 2018

There are many cloud storage services to choose from in 2018, and the differences between them are not always obvious. In this article, we compare Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive to see which of these two heavyweights offers better value.

Setup

Both Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive support Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, but only OneDrive also supports Windows Phone devices. Considering that the market with Windows Phone devices is essentially dead, and the operating system itself has been discontinued, most people probably won’t see the Windows Phone client as a huge plus.

What is a huge plus, however, is the fact that Windows 8 and 10 ship with OneDrive pre-installed. You can simply log in with your username and password and start synchronizing your files right away without any complicated setup. If you still use an earlier version of Windows or would like to use OneDrive on Android and iOS, there’s an alternative client that you can download.

Google Drive is very easy to set up as well, and you most likely won’t even need to create a user account because you can log in with any existing Google account, including your Gmail account. However, the storage space Google Drive gives you is shared across all Google services, which is something you should keep in mind if you’re a heavy email user and need a lot of space for emails.

Of course, both OneDrive and Google Drive can be accessed from the web using any modern web browser.

Features

OneDrive and Google Drive can seamlessly synchronize your files across different devices and keep them safely and securely stored in the cloud. You can either synchronize all your data or select specific folders and synchronize only what you really need.

OneDrive has implemented block-level file copying for Microsoft Office documents, which means that only the parts of the file that changed get sent after a change has been made. This allows Microsoft to synchronize Microsoft Office documents on the fly as you edit them. This is a killer feature for anyone who uses Microsoft Office documents on a daily basis and can’t afford to lose unsaved work.

While Google Drive doesn’t support block-level file copying, it supports integrations with a number of first- and third-party apps thanks to Google’s decision to open its API to developers. You can connect your Google Drive account to Pixlr, DocHub, Lumin PDF, PicMonkey and many other apps, not to mention Google’s own app ecosystem, including Google Docs.

Regardless of which of the two cloud storage services you choose, you’ll always find it easy to share files and folders with others and control who has access to what. Both OneDrive and Google Drive allow you to create expiring sharing links to give others access to files and folders for a limited period of time, and both also support password-protected links to prevent unintended recipients from accessing your data.

Price

The free version of OneDrive includes 5 GB of storage space. Google is more generous than Microsoft, and Google Drive offers 15 GB of storage space for free, but the storage space is shared across all Google services.

You can buy 50 GB of extra storage space from Microsoft for just $1.99 per month, but most people will do themselves a favor if they pay $6.99 per month for the Office 365 Personal plan, which includes 1 TB of total storage space and comes with Office for one PC, Mac, and mobile device. The Office 365 Personal plan also offers advanced security and productivity features, including ransomware detection, multi-page scan, offline folders, and file restore.

Families and groups of up to 5 users can purchase the Office 365 Home plan, which costs $9.99 per month and includes 5 TB of total storage space (1 TB for each user) and comes with Office for five PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.

Google offers 100 GB of extra storage space for $2.49 per month, 1 TB for $12.49 per month, and 10 TB for $124.99. There’s even a 30 TB package for $374.99 per month, so the sky is really the limit with Google Drive.

Right now, Google is starting to offer its Google One plan, which is an expanded version of Google Drive, with more storage space and some extra perks. Google One will initially only be available on a limited basis, and it will start at 100 GB for $1.99, 200 GB for $2.99 and 2 TB for $9.99 per month, with pricing for plans larger than 2 TB remaining the same.

Verdict

Microsoft and Google offer reliable cloud storage services with attractive premium plans and native support for most popular operating systems, except for Linux.

OneDrive is pre-installed in Windows 8 and 10, and it works great with Microsoft’s other applications, such as Word or Excel. All Microsoft Office users will find OneDrive a lot more affordable than Google Drive because Microsoft includes a generous amount of OneDrive storage space in its Office 365 Personal and Home plans.

All Gmail users already have a Google Drive account and can start using the cloud storage service right away with very little configuration required. Google Drive is an integral part of Google’s large app ecosystem, and it works especially great on Android devices, which is hardly a surprise considering that Android is made by Google.

Since both OneDrive and Google Drive offer free plans, the best way how to choose between them is to give each of them a try and see how they perform. You won’t be disappointed regardless of how you choose.

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