What is Microsoft OneDrive and should it be used for online backups?

What is Microsoft OneDrive?

Microsoft OneDrive









Microsoft’s OneDrive (previoulsy SkyDrive) is a cloud storage service that allows you to upload and synchronise files across all your devices including PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones, from anywhere, anytime, both online and offline.


OneDrive comes pre-installed on Windows 8.1. OneDrive is not supported on Windows XP. Plans start at 15Gb of storage for Free.




OneDrive for Business is part of the Microsoft Office 365 collaboration and productivity tools delivered in the cloud an provides a massive 1Tb of storage per user.


For more information refer to and for a Getting started with OneDrive Tutorial


Should OneDrive be used for online backups?

OneDrive is a great tool that is designed to be used as online storage of documents files, pictures and videos that can be worked on and shared with other people. OneDrive uses “SharePoint” as its backend. It synchs files to a SharePoint Document Library, not directly to a hard drive. SharePoint Document Libraries have size limitations and limitations regarding characters that can be used in file names. OneDrive is not marketed as or meant to be a online backup your hard drive(s) as it does not have many features that online backup solutions should have, including:

  • OneDrive only synchronises files. If you accidentally delete something on your local machine, it will be deleted from the OneDrive cloud. If you make a mistake in a file on your local machine, that mistake with by synchronised in the One Drive cloud.
  • OneDrive does not retain multiple copies (version history) of all files. In a Online Backup solution, you should be able to retrieve earlier version of files, say up to 30 days ago. At present OneDrive can maintain version history for Office documents only but not other files.
  • OneDrive does not have the ability to recover all files from a particular point in time.
  • OneDrive does not include automated email alerts and logs functions.

For more information, please refer to the following forum posts:

Ask us about our Online Backup and Remote Data Storage IT Solutions.

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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