Should I use Dropbox or iCloud?

iCloud Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive in comparison

Users who work with different platforms and are often on the go are often looking for cloud storage in which they can save data and exchange it between the systems. Cloud storage systems are particularly suitable for exchanging data between Mac computers, PCs, smartphones and tablets. Below we take a look at the three most famous in this area, which are either integrated into the operating system (iCloud Drive and OneDrive) or, in the case of Dropbox, are veterans in the field of cloud storage.

Use iCloud Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox for data exchange

The three most important cloud storage for Mac computers or PCs are Microsoft's OneDrive, Apple's iCloud Drive and Dropbox. For all three cloud storage there are clients for Windows, for OS X as well as apps for iPhone / iPad, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 10 for Mobile. Dropbox also offers the option of synchronizing data from Linux computers. This enables users to access data across different platform boundaries. Professional users who rely on OneDrive for Business from Office 365 can also use the storage on all relevant systems, but not on Linux computers.

Other services

In addition to iCloud Drive One Drive and Dropbox, there are other services, for example Google Drive, Box, Telekom MediaCenter and some exotic ones, such as Vodafone Cloud, Web.de online storage or Amazon Cloud Drive. In this article, however, we will focus on the three most common online storage media on Mac computers and PCs.

In many companies, but also in private households, there are different operating systems that are in use. In addition to the Mac computer and iPhone or iPad, Android devices and one or the other Windows PC are often used. Here it is of course ideal if the stored documents can be accessed on Windows PCs in the same way as on Mac computers and smartphones or tablets. Fast data exchange between the devices is also important in this case.

iCloud Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business in comparison

Which memory should be used is primarily a matter of taste. The cloud storages differ from each other, especially when it comes to the available storage space. There is a tendency to say that Mac users naturally prefer to use iCloud Drive, especially if iPhones / iPads are still in use. iCloud Drive is pre-installed in OS X as well as on iOS devices and is ready for use. The memory can be shared by up to six people in the household via family sharing. You can share the files created by them with the iWork apps and also access and edit them from other computers, but sharing other types of files or Office documents is not possible. Teamwork in iCloud Drive is limited to sharing and editing iWork documents. These can in turn be used by all current browsers except Opera, also on different operating systems.

Windows users, especially those who also rely on Microsoft Office, often work with OneDrive or OneDrive for Business. The advantages are apparent. In Windows 8.1, Windows 10, but also in Microsoft Office 2013/2016, the OneDrive / OneDrive for Business client is tightly integrated and allows much more efficient navigation than the iCloud storage. There are also opportunities for teamwork and the joint editing of documents. From the Office programs, documents can be saved directly in OneDrive, and from Office 2016 even shared with other users and edited together.

Apple users rely on iCloud Drive especially when storage has already been purchased and has also been connected to the iPhone / iPad. If there is enough storage space, additional data can be saved in iCloud Drive and synchronized on PCs using the Windows client.

OneDrive: 15 GB free

OneDrive initially offers 15 GB of free storage space, 100 GB costs 1.99 euros per month, and those who want to use 200 GB of storage space have to invest 2.99 euros / month. Alternatively, users take out a subscription to Office 365. This is available from around 10 euros / month. But you also get access to the latest Microsoft Office version and receive 1 TB of cloud storage, depending on the subscription, for up to five users separately, a total of 5 TB.

OneDrive has also put its emphasis on teamwork functions. Users can quickly and easily share documents with other users without them having to log in to OneDrive. This function is also possible with Dropbox, but not with iCloud Drive. However, iCloud allows documents to be synchronized based on the Apple programs Keynote, Pages and Numbers.

Microsoft OneDrive also offers access to the Word, Excel and Powerpoint online apps. Notes can also be synchronized with the free OneNote note-taking program on Windows computers, but also on Macs, smartphones and tablets. Anyone who frequently handles Office documents therefore has real advantages when using OneDrive.

Microsoft also offers Office apps for smartphones and tablets. These are available free of charge with basic functions and can also read data from OneDrive or save it in OneDrive.