It’s natural to be confused between two similar yet different services, so if you’re torn between Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, you’ve come to the right place.
I have lost count of the number of times I’ve seen this question asked online on various platforms, so I decided to take the baton in my hands, compile everything you need to know about them, and put them in this handy post.
With the advent of technology, cloud storage has been gaining popularity with increasing adoption rates every year. As we know, 2 dominant players in the market are widely used amongst the old and the young alike and for various purposes.
They need no introduction, as we’re using them daily. Yes, you guessed it right – it’s Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
While both cloud storages have the same basic functionality, many factors differentiate them and create a fine line.
This post will discuss the basics of Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, what sets them apart, and their features and pricing.
Let’s hope this will end your dilemma, so let’s jump straight into it.
Introduction to Google Drive
Google Drive is perhaps one of the most popular cloud storage out there available to us right now.
I’d say anything coming from Google is known to be amazing, and the fact that the Google system backs all Android phones only adds to their credibility. In fact, you’ll also find a pre-installed Google Chrome browser on a lot of computers.
Google Drive gives you up to 15 GB of free storage and supports the majority of file formats, including:
All documents, such as DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIFF and XLS
One of the main reasons behind Google Drive’s high adoption rate is Google’s overall influence in the market and its reputation over the years.
You can use Google Drive on Android and iOS devices.
Introduction to Microsoft OneDrive
Launched back in 2007, Microsoft entered the cloud storage space with OneDrive. This top-notch storage service is widely-used among a lot of corporates and working professionals due to the unparalleled security that it provides.
This storage service gives you up to 5GB of free storage, after which you’ll have to purchase additional storage from the web store. Similar to Google, Microsoft also comes with its universe of applications that can be easily used in support of OneDrive.
Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Exchange, SharePoint, Access (PC Only), Teams, OneNote, and Publisher (PC only), depending upon the chosen plan
In addition to the plans mentioned above, Microsoft also offers Family plans which you may want to look at. It starts at $99 per year and gives you 6 TB of storage for up to 6 members of your family. This includes Word, Excel, Outlook, Skype, and PowerPoint for every member.
Moving further into the comparison, it’s time to discuss the features they provide, and we’ll look into it from a one-on-one angle so that you’ll be able to judge between them seamlessly.
File Syncing and Sharing
One of the most important features you’d want to look out for a while selecting between the two is how their file syncing and sharing work. It can be safe to say that this also highly depends on the type of ecosystem you’re already in (Google or Microsoft).
Both of the systems offer easy-to-sync and sharing options, but here’s what differentiates between them:
When it comes to Google Drive, most of your contacts, photos, videos, documents, etc., are easily synced in your Drive if you have registered and connected your Gmail account on your phone.
It also allows you to share files in 3 tiers of permissions – viewer, commenter, and editor. If you want to search for files, Google Drive is super intuitive and auto-suggests the files you may be looking for when you start typing in the search bar.
File syncing is one of the biggest strengths of OneDrive, all thanks to its ‘block-level copying’ technology. This technology helps you upload files in fragments instead of the whole piece, making it faster to upload and sync files.
At the time of file sharing, it allows you to set passwords and link expiry dates, which is an enhanced level of user permission by SharePoint. You can also easily check files shared with you and by you from your dashboard.
Another important feature is the integration of Drives with other applications, as it elevates our user experience.
While both of them come with a universe of connectable apps, here’s how the differences stand:
Since Google Drive is a part of Google workplace, you can easily integrate it with other applications available on their system. A lot of people use slides, sheets, and docs, so they don’t need to store Excel, PowerPoint, and other formats separately.
One thing that Google Drive is great at is how beautifully it supports and integrates with a wide range of third-party applications to help make you more productive. This includes Slack, SignEasy, Video Recorder, and even creative tools like AutoCAD.
You can go to ‘App Integrations’ and explore new applications or search for something specific as per your requirement.
It’s a no-brainer that all the apps available in Microsoft Office 365 can be easily integrated with OneDrive. However, there are limitations when compared to Google Drive.
For example, OneDrive cannot be integrated with many third-party apps, which makes the service a little restrictive while using.
Even though it works with prominent platforms such as Salesforce, Zoom, Trello, and more, it’s yet to reach an advanced stage like Google Drive.
Security and Privacy
Security and privacy are two major factors that many businesses and individuals consider while choosing the ecosystem they want to opt for. In my opinion, if a solution doesn’t do well in terms of these two factors, it’s an instant NO.
Keeping that in mind, here’s how Google Drive and OneDrive stand against each other:
It uses a two-step verification process to reduce the risk of unauthorized logins into your account. It has an RSA encryption length doubled to 2048 bits and is subject to change almost every few weeks to ensure data security.
When it comes to privacy, everybody knows that Google tracks your data to give you targeted ads. However, they mention using this information for ‘non-malicious’ purposes only.
While this may seem a bit irrelevant for users who store their data, in case you’re a business house, you may want to relook at it.
OneDrive, on the other hand, provides a better layer of security. This does not mean they don’t keep a tap on data – they do so only to red flag objectionable data, which can also lead to banning the user account. However, this information is not used for targeted ads.
It uses multiple authentications, a face recognition system, and a message prompt to ensure authentic login. It’s also mandatory for users to have a password which is a mixed case of up to 13 digits and characters long.
During the pandemic, many organizations have shifted to OneDrive because of its excellent security and privacy features. This is mainly because Microsoft verifies each access’s identity and compliance to reduce the data leak risk.
It’s essential to find out who will bail you out in case you’re stuck. Let’s have a look at the answer:
One place where Google Drive shines the most is its excellent multilingual customer support. Their common response time is usually less than a day via email, so your queries are resolved at the earliest. If you’re a Google One member, which is their paid service, the waiting time is even shorter.
The support is available on chat, phone, and email. You also have access to their guides and how-to documents which may answer your issues without reaching out for support.
Feel free to join their community of fellow Google Drive users to gain in-depth insights from them.
Coming to OneDrive, support is less accessible to the users. It offers a ticket generation system and a phone number that may not be used if you dig deep through several search results.
While they, too, have a community, their response time is quite slow, so you need to be self-sufficient if you need to resolve some issues on an urgent basis.
Here are some of the many additional features that I couldn’t ignore.
Offers supreme mobile synchronization as most of them have Google system installed in them by default
You can use a lot of space, and if the storage is full, it will show you a report of which area occupies the most space making it easier to delete files
Real-time collaboration and changes tracking are exclusive Google feature that makes it a great collaboration tool for the users
Business plans and features that make the life of working professionals smooth and streamlined
It uses less bandwidth while uploading files, and work files can be easily synced to your space
You can easily share these documents on various other mediums with just one click
There are also some great common features that both of them have. For example, both storages keep a 30-day file history, allowing you to restore the previous version of the file easily.
Also, in case you use the storage service on your phone, it’s incredibly easy to upload files from your phone to Drive.
Google Drive Vs. Microsoft OneDrive: Which One is Better?
Coming back to the most important question – which one is better?
Well, I’d say it depends on your priorities and usage. In my opinion, the operation becomes easier if you know the tools you use the most based on your personal and professional tasks.
If you have the maximum of their work on excel, word, or access, then Microsoft OneDrive is an easy choice.
On the other hand, if you prefer to use a lot of Google tools like chats, meets, travel, etc., then Google Drive is your undoubted choice because the ecosystem can make the process so much simpler.
One thing to note here about Google is that because it’s a well-known search engine, it constantly brings in more and more improvements and adds new apps to its universe.
In many cases, some users use Microsoft in their workspace and Google in their personal space.
Both the storages have their merits and demerits, so weighing your needs against them is advisable before making a choice.
Should I consider other options?
While these storages are the two biggest options in the market, other cloud storage services are available, such as Sync, iDrive, pCloud, etc.
However, remember that these are pure storage options with limited integrations compared to Microsoft and Google.
A possible situation to look for other options would be when you’ve run out of storage and are not keen on purchasing an additional plan. That’s a good time to opt for one of these other storage options and possibly access their free storage for starters.
This article will share a comparison to help you choose and utilize one of these amazing storage options.
Google Docs does a great job of keeping things simple. The default page setup works great for most documents, and common formatting options are right on the toolbar. However, when you need to do some advanced formatting, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.