Storage Wars: OneDrive vs. Google Drive

Joe Reithmeier May 22, 2015

In the battle between business cloud services Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365, we’ve taken a look at Microsoft Word Online vs. Google Docs and Excel Online vs. Google Sheets. Now it’s time for (cloud) storage wars between Microsoft OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) and Google Drive.

Two of the most popular cloud storage offerings available, these services allow users to sync and upload files to be accessed from a web browser or local device. Let’s take a look some key features of two of the best cloud storage options in the business to see how they stack up.

Service Offering

The good news for users is that both online storage services offer 15GB of storage free with the creation of a corresponding account (Microsoft Account for OneDrive and Google account for Drive). Note that the 15GB offered from google is also shared across your Gmail as well as Google+ Photos if you utilize those other services. If you would like more storage space, both cloud storage offerings have different pricing plans available:

Note that the 1TB option from OneDrive also includes a subscription to Office 365. Both services also have different business pricing plans available for businesses of all sizes through OneDrive for Business and Google Drive for Work.

One key difference in the service offerings is the individual file size restrictions. Google Drive’s individual file size limit is 5TB, while OneDrive’s is a much smaller 10 GB, moved up recently from 2GB. This is not likely to be an issue for most of the everyday files users work with like documents, spreadsheets and images, but depending on the industry of a business, there may be significantly larger files that will need to be backed up to cloud storage.

Integration and Ease of Use

As expected, both online storage services integrate seamlessly with the other products and applications developed by their parent company. They also both have desktop and mobile applications to function across all major operating systems and devices. Actions completed on the applications are synced to the drive accounts, assuming there is an internet connection available.


OneDrive is built into the Windows 8 and 8.1 operating systems, and it will appear as an option in the file explorer just like your computer’s hard drive or any other file storage locations. Users of popular Microsoft applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint have can easily save to and access files from OneDrive right from the save menu. OneDrive’s mobile app also has features like automatic photo uploads that sync your photos on your mobile device to your OneDrive.


Google Drive

Similar to its Microsoft counterpart, Google Drive is built into Google’s web-operating systems Chrome OS (the default operating system of Chromebooks) and Chromium OS.  It also functions very well with other Google applications like Gmail, Google Docs and Google Sheets. You can preview and save images, documents and other file attachments from your Gmail to Google Drive with one click. Files you create in programs like Docs, Sheets and Slides are automatically categorized and stored to your Google Drive account.


So, which is the best cloud storage option for me? 

Good question! Much like the other battles between the spreadsheet applications and the online word processors, this cloud storage war will likely come down to user preference. If most of your business users rely heavily on Windows operating systems and Windows applications, OneDrive may be the best choice for you because of its integration and familiar interface, especially with Windows 8 and 8.1. If you are a regular Chromebook user or rely on Gmail and other Google Applications, Google Drive would likely be your best option for online storage.

Unlike the applications, which are available free of charge with the creation of an account, cost may be an important factor in your online storage decision. Assess the needs of your business in terms of number of users and necessary storage space, and look further into the different pricing and storage options available. The storage is similarly priced for individual use, but both business cloud services may offer different tiered pricing or bulk discounts depending on number of users.

Whatever choice you make, make sure you are taking into account both the affect it will have on your budget and employee productivity.

What are some of your positive or negative experiences using either or both of these cloud storage services? Which one do you find better for your business? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you have any questions about these online storage services or would like to learn more about business cloud services that can make your company more efficient, contact us today to speak to an experienced IT advisor.

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