File Storage on OneDrive Vs. File Storage on SharePoint


Both OneDrive and SharePoint are Microsoft-owned file storage tools with distinct features. But which tool best fits your business? In this article, you’ll learn about the fantastic features of OneDrive and SharePoint and their specific differences.

Cloud computing has improved business operations and overall efficiency for many organizations. Small and medium businesses particularly benefit from the cost-effective and secure file storage system that cloud computing offers. OneDrive and SharePoint are secure cloud-based storage tools small and medium companies use to store and access files. 

Both OneDrive and SharePoint are Microsoft-owned file storage tools with distinct features. But which tool best fits your business? In this article, you’ll learn about the fantastic features of OneDrive and SharePoint and their specific differences.

OneDrive for Business (ODFB)

For regular Windows users, OneDrive is the default cloud storage system preinstalled on Microsoft-enabled devices and computers. Quite simply: OneDrive is Microsoft’s version of Dropbox or Google Drive. However, OneDrive is different from OneDrive for Business. Unlike OneDrive, which everyone can use for general purposes, OneDrive for Business is designed specifically for business purposes.

If you use OneDrive for work or school, then you’re using OneDrive for Business. It’s a part of the Office 365 (previously Microsoft 365) products. OneDrive for Business is a cloud-based storage system that provides centralized storage space for easy document sharing. It also delivers high-end security, control, automation, and integration for business enterprises. 

Technically, OneDrive for Business uses the SharePoint server synchronization technology for easy file storage and collaboration amongst team members. Other unique features of OneDrive for Business include: 

  • File Versioning and Recycle Bin: You can save multiple versions of the same file through file versioning. Versioning also allows you to edit old files. OneDrive for Business versioning features gives users access to the last 500 versions of a particular document. 

With the recycle bin feature, you can restore files for up to 90 days. The combination of versioning and the recycle bin features make file retrieval and editing easier for users. 

  • Easy File Synchronization: Live-syncing allows you to save your files across different devices automatically. With live-syncing, you can save your files automatically across multiple devices as you work. 
  • Co-authoring: Co-authoring allows multiple users to work on the same document at the same time. It’s a collaborative feature that prevents team members from storing multiple redundant files.
  • Data Storage: OneDrive for Business offers up to five terabytes (TB) of space. That’s usually enough storage space for small and medium businesses to save their documents and files.
  • Admin Control and Confidentiality: OneDrive for Business server gives you admin control. With admin control, you can control the accessibility and confidentiality status of your files. Admin control also helps you to manage external sharing domains, set expiry dates on shared links, and limit external sharing.

Microsoft SharePoint

Think of SharePoint as an “intelligent intranet system” that provides storage and server technology. With a SharePoint server, you can create and publish content as web pages. SharePoint is available as a cloud storage system or as a standalone on-premise service. 

SharePoint is more than a storage center; it's a system that allows users to store, access, and sync files across different devices through its unique content management and dashboard system. Other key features of SharePoint include:

  • High Security: Besides the regular cloud-storage security and encryption services, SharePoint offers extra security as a standalone server. As an on-premise server, SharePoint offers workflow and authentication upgrades. It also provides complete control of your software. These security features give you control over the accessibility and availability of your files.
  • Resource Management: SharePoint has custom development features that allow you to publish and edit content directly to web pages, build internal documentation and web apps. Besides, SharePoint has data analytics tools that enable you to improve productivity and track work projects. 
  • Secure Collaboration: SharePoint web functionalities and out-of-the-box intranet solutions such as dashboards, calendars, workflows, and tasks ensure a secure connection with other users. For example, you can schedule meetings and track availability with calendars. You can also use the “to-do” list feature on SharePoint to provide additional information about job roles for employees. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: Several regulatory bodies require strict adherence to privacy. Through its integration tools, SharePoint offers effective document and storage control. These security settings help you protect the confidentiality and integrity of critical business data and records. 

Important Factors to Consider

Choosing between SharePoint and OneDrive for Business is a daunting task because of the functional similarities between the two products. Implementing both storage systems is a viable option. However, the financial expenses pose a tall order for small and medium businesses. 

If you’re looking to use SharePoint, ensure your business meets the following criteria:

  • You share documents with others regularly.
  • You fancy publishing documents directly on your business website.
  • You require team collaboration for your business projects. 
  • You need a highly secure integration and automation platform. 

Use OneDrive if you want: 

  • Private access management. 
  • Personal and simple file storage.
  • A centralized storage system.
  • A low to high storage space capability.

Comparison Between SharePoint and OneDrive for Business

Generally, SharePoint and Microsoft offer similar data management and collaboration services. As Microsoft tools, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business provide easy connections with other Office 365 products. Both storage systems also offer internal and external file sharing and co-authoring benefits. 

Despite the similarities, specific differences exist between the two file storage systems. OneDrive for Business is considered a “storage location” where you can save documents on your personal computer and mobile device. On the other hand, SharePoint uses internal websites infrastructures for file sharing and documentation. 

Unlike OneDrive for Business, SharePoint is customizable. It uses an open network system that makes it easy to adapt to specific users. SharePoint also offers more storage. OneDrive for Business is easy to set up with minimal information technology (IT) guidance. On the contrary, SharePoint requires full IT support for file management and maintenance, mainly if you use SharePoint on-premise. 

Final Thoughts

SharePoint and OneDrive are popular cloud storage tools businesses use. For instance, 75% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft SharePoint. Overall, both cloud storage systems offer similar functionalities using distinct features. 

In this article, you’ve learned the main factors to consider before making a choice. After making a decision, you need the services of IT professionals to help you manage your servers and data systems to prevent data breaches. This is why you need NW Technologies.

At NW Technologies, we provide robust IT services that manage data and storage systems. Our well-trained professionals will help you manage your technology infrastructure and other internal security systems. Our services include cybersecurity compliance and auditing and much more. You’re just a call away from enforcing maximum security on your network systems. Book a session with us now and let’s get started!  

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