Store, sync and share your files online
OneDrive is a cloud storage system that provides data backup in the cloud, as opposed to on local storage devices. It's an integral part of the Microsoft platform, but also directly integrated into the Windows 10 operating system (OS). By logging into a Microsoft account, users are automatically granted their own space without the need for any downloads.
Everybody with an active Microsoft account automatically gets 5 GB of cloud storage for free. After that, it's £1.99 for the most basic paid-for subscription, with 10 times more storage. From here, things scale up to £59.99 or £79.99 a year for Office software package bundles that include OneDrive, too.
Since OneDrive is integrated into Windows 10, it has beneficial features as part of this OS. When Windows 10 is installed, the default save location for many files is within OneDrive, as opposed to a local disk. This means that your files are more secure and accessible anywhere; Office files will also auto-save to OneDrive like other disks.
By default, the OneDrive product provides more than adequate security. For example, everything stored within OneDrive is encrypted using SSL, and personal accounts can set up two-factor authentication. This would be sufficient for most personal accounts, though business-only features include per-file encryption, encryption at rest, and more.
OneDrive should automatically synchronise any files shared between it and the Windows 10 operating system. If this isn't happening, be sure that an account has been linked in Settings, and try rebooting the application. If all else fails, reinstallation of OneDrive may be required to resolve the issue.
The encryption methods of OneDrive are multi-layered, with business accounts having better security features, owing to the increased need. SSL and rest encryption is used, as is per-file encryption that gives each file it's own key. Should a file be breached, intruders will not have access to all files saved on the OneDrive account.
As OneDrive is simply a cloud service, it's possible to use it on a Mac, too. File management can be done in-browser, as with any other Windows computer, but it's also possible to download the OneDrive application, which provides a desktop icon for easy drag and drop of files.
Although OneDrive has been integrated into the most recent Windows operating system (OS), Windows 10, the software service has in fact been around since the 1st August 2007. Continued improvements to cloud services and software have meant that the service could be more broadly rolled out to everybody who has a Microsoft account.
When data protection regulation changes in 2018, companies may be concerned about how GDPR compliance relates to files stored within the OneDrive system, particularly those containing personal and customer data. Microsoft have committed to ensuring that GDPR compliance is achieved across all products within the cloud services suite, including OneDrive.
Yes, Microsoft saves multiple copies of the files stored in OneDrive across different servers and drives. However, the OneDrive space should be seen as a separate backup of data stored on a personal computer. It's best not to use it as a single storage of files that have no other saved copies, as accidents or malicious attacks could still result in loss of files and data.