What Is OneDrive? A 2020 Guide to Microsoft’s Cloud Storage – Cloudwards

Keeping your files in the cloud allows you to share them with friends or coworkers while still protecting them from outsiders. However, new users may find that many online storage solutions are complicated to use. In this article, well go through the process of setting up and using OneDrive, Microsofts cloud storage solution.

Between the OneDrive app for mobile devices, the Office integration and its decent security measures, its not surprising that this is the first choice of online storage for many users. It even gets the top spot in our Dropbox vs Google Drive vs OneDrive comparison because of these features. Read our full OneDrive review to find out more.

As we mentioned, OneDrive is a form of online storage. This means you can use it to hold onto extra files outside of your hard drive, keep multiple systems synced or even make it act as an online backup.

Although it isnt the best service for security, its other features help OneDrive stay near the top of our rankings. It also comes with flawless integration with Microsofts other products, Office 365 and Windows 10, which few other providers are capable of.

Generally, cloud storage works by saving your files to a server, which is a remote computer with a high storage capacity. You can save your data to these servers by moving files to OneDrives dedicated syncing folder.

For Windows 10 users, OneDrive will already be on your computer, and you can find it inside the file explorer. If it isnt on your device, you can download it directly from Microsofts website and follow the installation wizard.

To use OneDrive, you will also have to log in to a Microsoft account. If you need to do this, you can search the settings window for the your account section.

Once you have it installed and connected to your account, you can begin saving your files through the Windows file explorer. First, search for the OneDrive folder, which should be a tab on the left.

To add more files, simply drag and drop them into this folder from within the file explorer. However, you should be aware that moving files may break other programs, so make a copy of the file if youre unsure.

When your files are safe in your OneDrive storage, there will be a symbol next to each file name. This should be either a green tick mark which means that it is currently synced or a cloud which means its online only. If the icon is two blue arrows, then the file is syncing, so it will fix itself. However, a red cross means your data is out of sync and you need to fix it (we have a help guide for if OneDrive is not syncing).

There are also five options available if you right-click within the folder. The first two share and view online are what you would expect, opening either the sharing options or the web page. The third, manage OneDrive backup, will give you access to more detailed controls.

The last two options allow you to choose where to store your data. Always keep on this device will sync each file, saving it online and on the computer. Meanwhile, free up space tries to remove the files from your computer, making them online-access only.

Finally, you should search through and familiarize yourself with the available settings. Click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar and select settings to open this window. Here, you will find everything from the encryption it uses to the option to remove the service from your computer.

The biggest perk of OneDrive for Windows 10 users is that you dont need to install it. You simply need to sign into a Microsoft account, and it will allow you to store your files without extra hassle.

Being preinstalled means you can access your files from any Windows 10 device in the future. Alongside OneDrives support for macOS, iOS and Android devices, you wont have to struggle to access your data.

Another benefit of this service is the ability to expand your OneDrive storage space when you need it. This has a 2TB cap, but it comes in 200GB increments, rather than the all-or-nothing style that other providers use.

However, the main selling point is OneDrives automatic and frictionless integration with Office 365. By default, Microsoft Office will store everything to your OneDrive account, keeping your documents safe and easy to share.

Alongside the Office integration is 5GB of free storage, which is plenty for a small collection of documents. This means that anyone can create a OneDrive Basic account and receive files and folders from you.

Even its paid plans wont break the bank, starting as low as $5 per month. This affordability helped OneDrive for Business make our list of the best cloud storage solutions for collaboration.

At the low end of the OneDrive pricing structure, both the 5GB and 100GB personal plans come with basic storage functionality. However, they are limited in security options and dont come with offline access to Office 365.

The next step up, Microsoft 365 Personal, comes with 1TB of storage, greater security and access to the core Office apps for $69.99 per year. This can be expanded to six unique users (without sacrificing any features) with a Microsoft 365 Family account for $99.99 per year.

For the extra productivity tools and security options, the OneDrive Business plans are another step up. However, not all of the choices here include the offline Office apps, so if you are considering it, read our full review of OneDrive for Business.

Although OneDrive is great, its hardly the best online storage for everyone, and there are many other options that are worth checking out.

If it doesnt quite meet your needs but security isnt one of your concerns, the other cloud giants have their own specialties. Google Drive focuses on low prices and vast third-party integration, whereas Dropbox comes into its own when youre sharing or syncing files.

For a more secure option than OneDrive, our two favorites Sync.com and pCloud are a good place to look. Both of these services use cutting-edge data protection, although they lose the smooth integration and high speeds of the larger providers.

OneDrive is easy to use and can do everything an average user might want. Its a cheap and simple way to increase your devices storage space or share files with other users. Youll even have access to your data on the go with the OneDrive apps for Android and iOS.

This will be the perfect fit for some users, especially those already using Microsoft Office. However, if mediocre security and tight storage limits are a deal-breaker, there are many other providers fighting for the title of the best cloud storage.

Do you use OneDrive for your remote storage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

There is a 5GB Basic plan available for free, with up to 10GB extra attainable through referrals. However, without a decent amount of space or the offline Office applications, this is a somewhat limited way to use OneDrive. To get a better experience without paying anything, use the free 30-day trial of the full Microsoft 365 Personal plan.

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What Is OneDrive? A 2020 Guide to Microsoft's Cloud Storage - Cloudwards

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