I’ve been using Microsoft’s OneDrive since it was launched as Windows Live SkyDrive, back in 2007. By the time it got renamed as OneDrive in 2014, I had 40 GB of free storage available in the Cloud to use for storing documents and photos.
I’ve noticed a change in my computing habits over the years. When I had just my Desktop PC, my primary location for storing both documents and photos was local storage on my PC. Backups were taken daily and stored on our Windows Home Server system, with secondary backups of the most important data taken from that server and stored off-site.
With the arrival of my first “proper”tablet, the ThinkPad Tablet 2, back in January 2013, I started to make more use of OneDrive as the primary location for my OneNote documents. It was simple to create a OneNote document (usually on the Tablet), and then continue to work on it on my PC. That has grown to the point where my primary storage location for OneNote documents is no longer a local device (the desktop PC or the Tablet), but the Documents folder in OneDrive, which is synchronised transparently across all my devices (now a desktop PC, a Windows tablet, a Lumia Smartphone and a laptop).
When I bought a license for Office Home & Student 2013 for my ThinkPad Tablet, I began storing all my Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) in OneDrive by default. That way, they would be immediately accessible from my other machines and synchronised with them.
With my 40 GB of free online storage available in OneDrive, this would probably suffice for my documents and selected photos.
But then, last month, Microsoft announced that music media could be stored in OneDrive, and be available to my devices. In truth, it’s not really necessary for me, I already use the Windows Home Server as my music media storage; but the thought of having extra backup options appealed to me. With a music collection that is currently 215 GB in size, I would not be able to hold a duplicate, backup copy, on OneDrive as it stood.
I decided to bite the bullet, and take out a yearly subscription to Office 365 Personal (70 euros annually). That way I would kill several birds with one stone:
- Upgrade my license of Office 2010 on my Desktop PC to Office 2013,
- Be able to install Office 2013 on a further Windows tablet
- Get 1TB of OneDrive storage, and
- Get 60 minutes of Skype calls to landline telephone numbers (useful for overseas calls).
So I’ve subscribed, and also signed up for the “unlimited storage” option of OneDrive that Microsoft announced last year. Today, I received an email from Microsoft telling me that my Office 365 account now has unlimited storage and they’ve added an initial 10TB of storage. I’m only scratching the surface of what is available:
And now I’m discovering that I’m trying to fill a reservoir with a teaspoon. My connection to the internet is via ADSL, and with 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, it is not blazingly fast. I reckon that it’s going to take several weeks to upload my music collection to OneDrive, and a couple of weeks for my photos. An added complication is that the Smart files feature of Windows 8.1 is being removed by Microsoft in Windows 10, while they work out how to re-engineer it. This means that the user experience of using OneDrive storage will take a step backwards until at least mid 2016.
Still, I’ve now moved across to using OneDrive as my primary storage for documents, and given time, it will also become the primary storage for my photos, and possibly for my music. I’ll still be using our Windows Home Server for local storage and backup as an additional safety measure.