I have been using Dropbox since 2010 and have nearly 290 GB of storage space in my account. However, I decided to give OneDrive another shot since it comes integrated deeply with my new Windows 8.1 device out-of-the-box. Unlike Dropbox which currently lacks document editing capabilities, OneDrive brings the added benefits of Microsoft Office online integration. This seemed like a good reason to switch, but I quickly noticed a few critical drawbacks after spending a week using OneDrive exclusively for all my documents. Here are some much-needed features:
1) Revision History
Dropbox maintains an unlimited number of snapshots for every change to a file in the cloud over the past 30 days. I was quite shocked to realize OneDrive lacks this feature entirely. If I were to accidentally tweak a image in Photoshop and re-save the file, there’s no way to restore a previous version. Fortunately, OneDrive does at least offer revision history for Microsoft Office documents.
2) Shared Folders
While I can share a link to a specific file, it’s 2014 and OneDrive still lacks shared folders. Dropbox had this feature even before I began using their service in 2010. OneDrive users still have to click on a link in an email to view a shared file while Dropbox users have already been enjoying seeing content magically appear on their computers automatically.
3) LAN Sync
I was recently migrating from my Vizio Notebook over to a Surface Pro 3. After installing Dropbox on my new device, all 15 GB of files transferred over in minutes since the software fetched the data from my old laptop on the same local network. Meanwhile, just OneDrive took nearly twice as long to fetch just 10 GB of data since it had to resort to the cloud despite the same data being available on my other computer just a few feet way.
4) Differential Sync
I was editing a large PSD (Photoshop Document) which was over 100 MB in size. If I save an edited file in Dropbox, it would complete syncing in a few seconds. On the other hand, OneDrive was taking much much longer. After a bit of investigating, I found that Dropbox saves bandwidth and time by taking advantage of differential sync which only transfers pieces of a file which have since changed. OneDrive unfortunately still ends up having to re-transfer an entire file for every edit.
Edit 8/27/14: Turns out there’s another limitation. The max file size limit is 2 GB for any file stored in OneDrive while Dropbox supports up to 10 GB files!
Edit 9/4/14: Microsoft has removed the 2 GB max file size limit.
I can’t believe how much time I just wasted. Starting the long trek back to Dropbox now. Ugh. I can’t believe I was so stupid as to miss that OneDrive doesn’t do (1) differential sync and (2) offers no revision history for non-Office files!!!