What is OneDrive and What Are Its Advantages?

If you’ve ever used Microsoft Window 8, RT 8.1 or 10, you’ve probably been wondering what is OneDrive? Users who’ve just installed a fresh copy of Windows or accepted the invitation to upgrade their OS to the new Windows 10, must have seen the floating cloud icon appearing in the bottom-right corner of their screen.

In this article about what is OneDrive, we will try to answer the following questions:

  • What is OneDrive?
  • How can you use OneDrive?
  • What is OneDrive for Business?
  • The Difference between OneDrive and OneDrive for business
  • What is OneDrive Windows 10?
  • OneDrive for Business without Office 365
  • What is OneDrive compared to SharePoint?

Check out our article to learn all there is to know about the advantages and disadvantages of using Microsoft’s OneDrive.

What is OneDrive and What are its Advantages?

What is OneDrive?

So, what is OneDrive? In a nutshell, OneDrive is a cloud-based file hosted service that is completely integrated with Microsoft Windows. Probably every piece of software out there that bears the seal of Microsoft has a OneDrive function.

As a cloud-based service, OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, allows users to sync their favorite files and folders all across their devices, manage files in real-time and share information with other people.

OneDrive’s greatest feature is that you can use it in various ways, without having to rely on Internet connection at all. We will discuss the offline functions, as well as other cloud storage features in the following sections.

How to Get Started

Setting up your first OneDrive account couldn’t be easier thanks to Microsoft’s intuitive and user-friendly interface.

The first thing you’ll have to do in order to use OneDrive is to create a Microsoft account. It doesn’t take more than five minutes to do this, and it will be useful in the future. Users who have already upgraded to Windows 10 were more likely required to create one.

After creating a new account or redeeming the old one, head on over to the start menu and click or tap on the OneDrive icon. You’ll automatically be directed to OneDrive’s official sign-in page, where you’ll get additional information on how to set up your first OneDrive account.

You can either create a new account to start using OneDrive or sign-in with your Microsoft account. Once you’ve signed-in, you can start using OneDrive’s features.

Note that after setting up your first free account, you’ll also receive 5 GB of free storage space, for all your favorite pics, videos or documents.

"What is OneDrive and What are its Advantages?"

Working with OneDrive

There are a couple of ways you can access and work with OneDrive. The most obvious way of committing your files and folders to the cloud is to head on over to OneDrive’s official website and work from there.

As mentioned above, OneDrive has many features that you can use to your advantage:

  • File syncing across any number of devices, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Android, iOS, and even Xbox One.
  • File sharing, done on an invitation basis;
  • Improved file viewing and management thanks to OneDrive’s HTML5 engine;
  • Online collaboration;
  • Create and edit your documents without having to open the Office suite. This can be achieved by opening your files directly from the cloud using Word Web, Excel Web or PowerPoint Web.
  • Your cloud account is highly customizable, starting with themes, system settings and application settings.

One of OneDrive’s greatest feats is how easy it is to stay in touch with your team’s progress even if they are not around. Thanks to Microsoft’s built-in Open Web Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, keeping up-to-date with your work is easy.

Furthermore, you don’t need to download a document in order to edit it or to make annotations. Just open up the document using the Web Office application, review it, edit it, hit save and OneDrive will take care of the rest.

As far as syncing goes, we can truly state that OneDrive has one of the fastest syncing rates out there, followed closely by Dropbox and Backblaze. Within a matter of seconds, you will be able to review the updated version of your document from any device affiliated to your OneDrive account.

There are a couple of ways of working with OneDrive:

  • By using the online platform, which you can access via OneDrive’s official website, www.onedrive.com;
  • Desktop application: you can find the desktop application in the bottom-right corner of your screen or by opening up the charm menu;
  • Directly from the application: using OneDrive with Office 365 lets you save your documents directly to the cloud. Alternately, you can choose to save a copy of your document on the local hard drive.
  • Using Windows Explorer: you can upload files, download files, share and sync directly from Windows Explorer by hitting the OneDrive icon. Basically, you can access OneDrive via Windows Explorer like any other hard drive partition.

OneDrive Cloud Costs and Plans

Everyone who’s signing up with OneDrive will receive a free 5GB storage allotment to fill with files, folders, pictures and videos. OneDrive does not have any special restrictions when it comes to uploading files on the cloud. Just make sure that the size of the folder or file you are about to upload does not exceed 10GB, no matter what subscription plan you’ve purchased.

Alternately, if you think that 5GB are not enough for your needs, you can always purchase more storage space, by purchasing a storage plan. As a service addressed to both families and business, OneDrive can accommodate any cloud needs. So, what is OneDrive and what can it do for your business?

Plan Storage Allotment Cost Additional Features
Free 5 GB per month No fee None
OneDrive Basic 50 GB per month 1.99$ per month None
OneDrive Small Business 1TB per month 6.99$ per month Office 365 Personal (grants access to one user) – Full License
OneDrive Large Business 1TB per month 9.99$ per month Office 365 Personal (used by up to 5 users at the same time) – Full License

The main difference between OneDrive Basic and OneDrive for Business is the Office 365 suite included in the pack. Moreover, the corporate version of OneDrive has more safeguards available. These security features are there in order to prevent data theft and loss.

The business version of OneDrive also features powerful auditing and reporting tools, improved cross-platform syncing, and an improved file management feature.

Moreover, if you want to use OneDrive cloud for your business, it would be a good idea to seek the last two subscription plans that grant access to Office 365, because Web doc readers can only go so far.

OneDrive for Business versus SharePoint

SharePoint shares many similar features with OneDrive for Business. It’s a cloud platform where users can share and keep track of their work. You can use it to upload documents, share deadlines, edit projects and collaborate over the web with your team.

What is OneDrive for Business in comparison with SharePoint? There are a few key difference between using OneDrive for Business and SharePoint:

  • OneDrive has a “share with my device” function, while SharePoint doesn’t;
  • You can’t use SharePoint in order to access your personal files from shared computers and devices;
  • You can only use OneDrive in order to email large files;
  • For documents requiring audit trail or governance for compliance, it’s better to use SharePoint than OneDrive for Business;
  • SharePoint employs check-in/checkout functions;
  • OneDrive for Business cannot be associated with a predetermined SQL database;
  • SharePoint offers more workflow and collaboration features than OneDrive


What is OneDrive? OneDrive can be described as a powerful file sharing and storing tool. Due to its unbeatable price offers and its features, we can clearly state that OneDrive is among the most popular choices for cloud storage services.

As always, our recommendation is to review your plan to see whether this cloud solution suits your needs or not.

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