Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s OneDrive are some of the best online storage services currently available on the market. However, they are designed for different devices and operating systems. OneDrive is integrated with Windows 10, and wonderful for Microsoft users, while iCloud comes packaged with any Apple product, and is very simple and intuitive. In this OneDrive vs iCloud review, we’ll take a look at these two prominent cloud storage solutions, and compare them so that you can get a good idea of which might be the one for you. Read on our iCloud vs OneDrive comparison to learn more about their plans & pricing, features, security, pros & cons.
OneDrive vs iCloud – Overview
OneDrive Cloud Storage Service Overview
Microsoft OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iCloud, coming baked in with newer versions of Windows without the need to install any extra software. This makes it easily accessible to those who use Windows PCs at home and want a simple drag-and-drop cloud storage solution for some of their sensitive files, or files that need to be made portable.
The OneDrive app is developed by Microsoft, so it has supreme compatibility with Windows and Microsoft Office 365, even integrating itself seamlessly into File Explorer in older versions of Windows. Again, a big plus for Windows PC users. But Android and iOS users can still get the app for their devices as well. OneDrive has Mac apps, as well as apps for both types of mobile devices. Of course, it also supports Windows Phone. The good news is that there is no file size limit with the OneDrive desktop apps.
iCloud Cloud Storage Service Overview
Many users are confused by iCloud and iCloud Drive. Are they the same thing? iCloud is the cloud storage service offered by Apple exclusively for their line of products. iCloud will automatically backup app settings, photos, email, videos, contacts, and more from all of your Apple devices, and much of that is done freely. You can use the iCloud Drive portion of iCloud similarly to OneDrive or other apps like Dropbox.
For Apple product devotees, you don’t have much choice and are probably using iCloud for various things already. Therefore, if you need quick access to cloud storage, iCloud Drive may seem like an obvious choice. Apple’s Pages app also integrates and competes with OneDrive and the Microsoft Office online suite.
OneDrive vs iCloud – Prices & Features
OneDrive Pricing Plans
|OneDrive Basic, Storage Only
|OneDrive 50 GB, Storage Only
|Office 365 Personal, Premium OneDrive Features
|$6.99/mo or $69.99/yr
|Office 365 Home, Premium OneDrive Features
|$9.99 / mo or $99.99/yr
|5 TB (1 TB each split among 5 devices)
iCloud Pricing Plans
If you work out the monthly fee of the higher tier OneDrive plans compared to iCloud plans, they come out about equal. OneDrive, however, offers access to Microsoft Office products in the Office 365 tiers, which can be indispensable for some people who need that suite of products for work or school. Getting OneDrive cloud storage on top of that is a huge boon. For those just looking at cost per GB though, the iCloud vs OneDrive plans are pretty identical, with the win in the 50GB category just barely going to iCloud and with identical free tiers. iCloud also states their pricing and plans per country and region. So, if you live outside the US, check out the link above to learn how much the iCloud plans will cost in your country.
OneDrive offers more features than iCloud. Some examples of OneDrive features include access control, data synchronization, collaboration tools, feedback collection, file management and transfer, surveys and feedback, and version control. In terms of integrations, OneDrive has 139 integrations (some of which include Bitium, Gmail, Microsoft Office 365, Share Point, Slack, Visitor Track, Zendesk), while iCloud has only 21 integrations. If your school or company uses OneDrive, you will also have a OneDrive for Business account, besides your personal one. There you can store your school or work-related files, or share them with your colleagues.
iCloud vs OneDrive Plans FAQs
If you want to change your iCloud storage plan, follow the steps provided on the iCloud support page. iCloud also has clear guidelines on how to change your iCloud payment information on any device. OneDrive also has a page dedicated to storage plans and billing questions. There you can find out how to cancel your OneDrive subscription, when will your subscription expire, how can you prepay for a monthly plan, and more.
OneDrive vs iCloud – Security
Security is a section in which OneDrive and iCloud differ pretty drastically. OneDrive for starters offers SSL transit encryption, which is standard in the industry but does not offer at-rest encryption to home users. That means any files you upload are sitting unencrypted on their servers. Business users have access to more advanced at-rest encryption options though.
iCloud offers SSL transit encryption from the web, AES 128-bit protection from most mobile device apps, and at-rest encryption at all tiers of their service. iCloud Keychain, used for password storage, is kept under a tighter 256-bit AES encryption. Mail, however, always sits unencrypted on their servers, so that could be something to consider for some. Luckily, you can choose not to sync mail if that bothers you.
OneDrive vs iCloud Additional Features
OneDrive’s key benefits are mainly realized by Windows users. Full integration into Windows, File Explorer and Office 365 offer amazing benefits to those who use those products. Collaboration is one especially helpful feature. It allows you to share files with coworkers and edit in real time. And even go back and look at what other people have changed in your documents.
OneDrive’s Android and iOS apps are also very helpful. They offer an alternative photo syncing option to Google Photos or iCloud that you can enable with a simple tap. Of course, the downside is these services will count against your storage in OneDrive, where proprietary offerings like Google Photos offer free storage for photos.
Looking for the best cloud storage for photos? Check out our list of the best photo storage services available online.
iCloud’s automatic syncing features come in handy for iOS users, syncing just about every setting you’d want to be transferred over to a new device. There’s also the helpful photo storage, mail syncing, password syncing, and everything else. Unfortunately, these features are only accessible through Apple devices. PCs can use the iCloud Drive web interface, but the interface is pretty clunky and lacking in features.
iCloud also offers collaboration through Pages and KeyNote, similarly to OneDrive. These features work pretty well if your coworkers or classmates also use Apple products.
OneDrive vs iCloud – Pros & Cons
OneDrive Pros & Cons
- Reasonably priced plans;
- Inclusion of Office 365 in higher tiers;
- Great integration with Windows and useful mobile apps;
- Free option is limited;
- No options for free photo storage, etc.
iCloud Pros & Cons
- Reasonably priced plans;
- Great integration with Apple devices;
- Growing collaboration features;
- Not recommended for non-Apple devices/users;
- No options for free photo storage, etc.
So, iCloud or OneDrive? The iCloud vs OneDrive battle is so tight, that which devices you use will ultimately determine your best option. OneDrive’s compatibility with Windows and Office products make it a clear choice for those who use those products. The inclusion of Office 365 is another big boon.
iCloud is best reserved for those totally in the Apple ecosystem. Its lack of support for other platforms is a disappointing hindrance. Especially since Microsoft has gone out of their way to support Apple products.
For those with a mix of devices, OneDrive might again be the best choice. iCloud Drive is severely limited when it is not used specifically on your Apple devices. Thank you for reading our OneDrive vs iCloud comparison, and please share your thoughts in the comment form below!