Dropbox vs OneDrive: Some observations

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by petvas, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #1
    I have been testing both apps extensively and I wanted to post my findings:

    • Dropbox is much better in synchronizing files and folders on OS X. It is faster, syncs all OS X file metadata (tags too) and has no issues with the special characters in files.
    • Dropbox offers sync over Wifi if another computer is on the same network. This feature is missing in OneDrive
    • OneDrive isn't bad, but it lacks the OS X specific sync features. It's a shame basically, because I would like to use it, since i have 50GB space (also as part of my Office Home Premium subscription)
    • Dropbox is much more expensive than OneDrive
    • If you don't care about syncing OS X metadata you can certainly use OneDrive
    • Sharing a folder to Dropbox with the OS X app is possible. OneDrive doesn't offer that functionality, unless you visit their website.

    I would like to use OneDrive only, but unfortunately Dropbox is too good to ignore, or better said, OneDrive is still missing important features to make it a viable, good solution for Mac users. Microsoft should improve the app asap..
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I think OneDrive is good for some, like myself who will use it to synchronize my word and excel documents but I'll continue to use Dropbox for everything else.

    I agree with your other points, Dropbox is a more polished and robust app/service
     
  3. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #3
    I have found this post from a Microsoft support engineer that helps OneDrive upload speeds:
    For Mac users:
    On a Mac, do the following:
    Shut down OneDrive by clicking on the OneDrive icon in the menu bar and click on Quit OneDrive.
    Open Terminal by clicking on the finder or magnifying glass. Type “terminal” within the Spotlight text box. In the results find and click on “Terminal”.
    Type (or copy/paste) this in the terminal: open -a TextEdit ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.onedrive-mac/Data/Library/"Application Support"/OneDrive/settings/global.ini
    After global.ini is opened in the editor, you can set the value of concurrent uploads to either 1, 2, or 3. For example, add the line numberOfConcurrentUploads = 2 as the first line in the document (make sure that line isn’t already present anywhere in the file, and do not make changes to other lines in the file, as they could prevent OneDrive from working)
    In Text Edit click on File and Save
    Quit Text Edit
    Start OneDrive by clicking on it in the app folder
    As a result of increasing this value from its default of 1, you may see increased usage of upload bandwidth on your computer. If making this change negatively impacts use of your computer or other devices on your local network, you can change the value back to 1 (the default), save your changes, and restart OneDrive.
    If you have tried this change and would like to report an issue or share your experiences with it, please reply to this thread.
     
  4. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #4
    I have also found another limitation of OneDrive: Its file limit is 2Gb whereas Dropbox has none! Dropbox is the Mercedes of Cloud storage and it suits my needs much better than anything else available here..
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    That bites.

    The more I use it and the more I read about OneDrive, the more it looks like iCloud with its limitations
     
  6. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #6
    iCloud is different. It's not a file upload cloud service and cannot really be compared to the typical cloud storage services. iCloud is just a repository used for storing information and configuration regarding to specific apps in the Apple universe. I like iCloud a lot but I also need a cloud storage solution and this is Dropbox for me.
     
  7. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #7
    I use OneDrive for work docs.
    1. Its 'Microsoft'
    2. We had to create a live account anyway for corp messenger

    I use DropBox for personal docs.

    Creates a nice boundary
     
  8. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #8
    This is certainly one way to go and I am also thinking of doing that, but I don't want to lose my tags between my Macs, just because OneDrive cannot sync them. But maybe you are right to create this boundary.
     
  9. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    #9
    I know this is an older thread, but this is a somewhat relevant topic so I thought I'd share some of my recent thoughts.

    In February I purchased the Office University $79.99 for 4 year subscription and have unlimited OneDrive storage. I switched from Dropbox to OneDrive to utilize Office for iPad. It's been fine until recently I've had issues with the Office apps not recognizing files and one file actually vanished from OneDrive all together only to reappear on my iPhone later. I don't like inconsistency and some apps I've been exploring only sync with Dropbox so I dusted off and installed my old account. Here are some positives and negatives.

    • In terms of pure OS integration Dropbox far exceeds OneDrive. The OneDrive sidebar icon in the Finder is a generic folder whereas Dropbox uses it's logo which is nicer at a glance.
    • Dropbox uses Finder icons to show which files are synced and which are synching. To be fair, Apple didn't really allow this until Yosemite so OneDrive didn't have this being sold through the Mac App Store.
    • Lack of support. Microsoft simply doesn't prioritize it's Mac users. There hasn't been one update for Yosemite to allow Finder icon symbols or even to address the disappearing menu bar icon in Yosemite's dark mode!
    • OneDrive doesn't sync files with non-windows compatible name characters such as "/ * &". This can be annoying for someone used to a Mac's file system.
    • OneDrive doesn't sync metadata like tags. I restored my computer and loaded my files from OneDrive and lost all my tags. :/
    • On average it uses slightly more CPU resources than Dropbox. Where Dropbox would drop to 0.0% usage when idle, OneDrive would sit at 0.6% and when synching OneDrive would use 1%-2% more CPU.

    All that being said, there are some pros.

    • OneDrive (good or bad) isn't as integrated so it isn't as intrusive as Dropbox. Dropbox install a Finder toolbar icon that can't be permanently removed in mavericks and requires a trick in Yosemite. That is unacceptable.
    • OneDrive doesn't force a control-click (right click) menu item like Dropbox's "Move to Dropbox." This is annoying because it's right next to the move to trash option.
    • And I must say, although lately I'm having random issues, OneDrive has been solid. I have yet to loose a file or have any corruption.

    Now that Office for iPad works with Dropbox I've considered switching back for the better service and third party support, but I have unlimited OneDrive space and only 8GB of Dropbox and I can only get more by referrals which is hard if you really don't know THAT many people. I could use OneDrive for my video and Picture backup (13GB) and just use Dropbox for my school files and apps, but I'd much rather just use iCloud and OneDrive versus iCloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

    I don't know what I'll do.
     
  10. ClearScreen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #10
    I've been a happy Dropbox customer until recently. Ever since I upgraded to Mavericks I've had problems with my work computer synchronization. Work that I've done at home will not appear at my work computer until MUCH later, and at times Dropbox will get "stuck." Exchanges with customer service didn't help nor did internet searches.

    Even before the OS upgrade I seemed to be getting a number of frustrating conflicts every so often.

    After one morning when this behavior caused me a serious work-related problem, I decided to switch try OneDrive for a bit (since I have 1TB storage due to my Office subscription) to see if it is any better. So far I haven't had the same synchronization problems but I'm still in the evaluation phase.

    Advantages of Dropbox that I can see so far:
    - more support from various apps, especially on iOS, though that is changing. One of my most beloved and used iOS apps (PDF Expert) has OneDrive support.
    - versioning on all files (OneDrive only has it on certain files, like Office and PDF files)
    - integration with the OS, as others have noted. I liked being able to (for example) right-click on a file and get a link to share it with others.
    - it accepts filename characters that OneDrive does not. OneDrive also has a shorter limitation on the size of file names (I don't know the specifics, I just know that some filenames have become truncated).

    I didn't know the metadata limitation, in fact I found this thread specifically when I searched about that issue. It hasn't been a problem so far but I could see it becoming one.

    But OneDrive is nice too.
    - the web interface is excellent, far better than Dropbox's. True, I need to use it more than I did with DB for many functions, but I can see it being useful in some situations.
    - the mobile app is also better than Dropbox's, IMO. (And is of course well integrated with the iOS office apps.)
    - more options for file sharing, from what I can see. Streaming/downloading of shared videos seems better; the resolution on streaming videos from DB was bad enough that I always told people to view the file only after downloading rather than through the browser.
    - photo organization is much better and more brainless
    - it seems faster at synchronizing large batches of files (e.g. entire folders) than DB. On the other hand DB would synchronize more promptly than OneDrive when a single file changed -- OneDrive seems to have more of a lag before beginning.

    Anyway I haven't completely decided whether OneDrive will be acceptable or not, but so far so good.
     
  11. JuryDuty macrumors 6502

    JuryDuty

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    File size limit on OneDrive is now increased to 10GB/file: http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-onedrive-to-boost-file-size-limit-to-10gb/

    Personally, I far prefer OneDrive if for nothing else than because I use Office 365 and it has UNLIMITED storage for me. I've moved my documents, pictures, iTunes library, and all my backup storage files to it. Quite a deal.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    OneDrive is better imo, if you win8.1 computers. By default the files are set to online so they don't consume disk space.

    Still, there's some rough edges with OneDrive that plague me from time to time. It has trouble on occasion trying to sync a file or two (not any specific file). I duplicate the file and delete the old one and that seems to fix it. Its slower then Dropbox as well.

    Overall, since I got OneDrive with my office 365 subscription and I have a terabyte compared to 9GB (which I had to work at getting that much w/o paying). Its a no brainer - OneDrive FTW
     
  13. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #13
    Yes they changed that, but OneDrive has still many limitations and issues when using on OS X, that I cannot use it at all.
     
  14. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #14
    PS - Huge news today... Microsoft released a beta version of OneDrive For Business Sync for Mac after a 2.5 year "Coming Soon" ... it's very basic (nothing like Dropbox), but hey, if you're like me and have been waiting and waiting, it's something at least!
     
  15. Thunderboltedge macrumors regular

    Thunderboltedge

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Location:
    Milan
    #15
    Nothing to add, except I would have compare Dropbox to Ferrari
     

Share This Page