OneDrive vs Sharepoint: Which is best?

Man tapping a cloud icon
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The number of different cloud storage solutions on the market today can be overwhelming. And things aren’t made any clearer when two come from the same technology provider. But while Microsoft may have created both SharePoint and OneDrive, the two tools have a few differences (as well as a fair amount of overlap).

Of course, deciding between the two will depend on what exactly you're looking for. While some users have their eyes peeled for the best cloud document storage, others want the best photo cloud storage, and some are looking for the best cloud storage overall. 

When deciding between OneDrive and SharePoint, it’s a good idea to check out our reviews of each platform. Our Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage review, for example, emphasizes the strengths of a platform that is designed to be closely integrated with other Microsoft solutions. Similarly, our SharePoint Online review points out its advantages for users. 

Perhaps the main differentiator between SharePoint and OneDrive is that they have slightly different focuses. While OneDrive is focused on cloud storage, SharePoint would be more accurately described as a piece of document management software.  

OneDrive vs SharePoint: Features

As the scope of Microsoft OneDrive is a lot smaller than SharePoint, it stands to reason that it comes with fewer features. What it does do, however, it does extremely well. In addition to offering basic cloud storage, OneDrive provides mobile document scanning, close integration with Office solutions, and the ability to add in-document comments and @mentions. OneDrive also offers auto-save and version history for file types like Excel and Word. 

Disappointingly, OneDrive doesn’t come with unlimited, bare metal backup for your devices and doesn’t support external drives and NAS drives - only your files are supported. But using OneDrive is at least very intuitive. Individuals simply drag and drop a file or folder into OneDrive and it is automatically synced to the cloud so it can be accessed from any device where you log in to your OneDrive account. There’s also an option to just keep a copy in the cloud, which means you can save on storage. Sharing files and folders with other people is straightforward too, with OneDrive generating a link for you.

SharePoint’s feature list is more extensive. The platform lets businesses create an internal website to facilitate collaboration between employees. Of course, you can collaborate using OneDrive but that isn’t really its aim. Part of the Office 365 suite of tools, SharePoint is also a cloud solution as it is accessed remotely via an online connection but it offers more than just storage. 

Among SharePoint’s features, users will find business intelligence solutions, page landmarks for easier document navigation, information rights management, and a mobile-friendly UI. In addition, SharePoint provides Team sites to facilitate collaboration. Team sites are locations where groups can work on projects and share information.

OneDrive vs SharePoint: Performance

Fast and reliable, OneDrive boasts some respectable upload and download speeds. In our testing, OneDrive completed a 1GB test file upload in just over five minutes. The cloud platform took around seven minutes to download the same file. While this download speed would ideally be a little faster, it’s worth keeping in mind that most of the time, OneDrive’s desktop client is simply left to run and sync in the background and, as such, files will generally be available quite quickly.

Because SharePoint is not really a cloud storage solution, it is difficult to directly compare its performance with OneDrive. There are several ways of enhancing SharePoint’s performance, however. Optimizing images, minimizing the use of web parts, and using a page diagnostic tool can all help speed up your SharePoint site. 

OneDrive vs SharePoint: Support

With both OneDrive and SharePoint being Microsoft offerings, the support available is fairly similar. For OneDrove, there are plenty of self-help articles online but getting further help is a little more challenging. While it is true that there are email and phone support channels, finding these buried deep in several menus is a bit disappointing.

There are also help and support articles available online for SharePoint, covering a wide range of topics. This encompasses the full gamut of questions, from “What is SharePoint?” to how to create a SharePoint site. As with OneDrive, there is plenty of help available online but getting more bespoke support is not always so easy. 

OneDrive vs SharePoint: Pricing

OneDrive users receive 5GB of free cloud storage, with paid plans starting at $5.00 per user, per month. Business users will also enjoy access to the suite of Office tools, which is thrown in as part of the most expensive OneDrive subscription - priced at $12.50 per user, per month. At the lowest price point, users only receive access to file sharing and OneDrive storage so they may want to explore the pricier options. 

Interestingly, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which is $6 per user, per month, comes with SharePoint access included. Similarly, the SharePoint Online (Plan 1) comes with OneDrive bundled in. Of course, you could choose to access OneDrive on its own but the interconnected nature of the two programs makes it difficult to compare them on price.

OneDrive vs SharePoint: Our Verdict

OneDrive and SharePoint are like apples and oranges. Although there is some overlap - both platforms can be used to store files, for example - they generally serve different purposes. If you are looking for a straight-up cloud storage solution, it’s worth checking OneDrive out. If you want a collaboration tool, SharePoint could be the one for you. 

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!

With contributions from