I have often written about the advantages of having cloud-based storage space, primarily as a place to store copies of your important information, including copies of all your genealogy information, family photos, and more. There are a number of safe and secure file storage services to choose from, and their pricing also varies. Most of the file storage services give away some amount of storage space free of charge and then charge modest prices to anyone who desires even more storage space. Today I received a notice from Microsoft about the company’s OneDrive service, one of the more popular file storage services. Microsoft is dramatically cutting the free space available in OneDrive.
According to an announcement I received in email from Microsoft:
We want to inform you about some upcoming changes to OneDrive that will affect you. In approximately 90 days, the amount of storage that comes with OneDrive will change from 15 GB to 5 GB. We are also discontinuing the 15 GB camera roll bonus. As a result of these changes, you will be over your OneDrive storage limit on June 16, 2016 (visit the Storage page to check your account). You can learn more at our FAQ.
To bring your account within the new limits, you can purchase additional storage,* or choose to remove some files.
We realize these are big changes to a service you rely on. We want to apologize for any frustration they may cause you. We made a difficult decision, but it’s one that will let us sustainably operate OneDrive into the future.
Thank you for using OneDrive.
– The OneDrive Team
As suggested in the message, you can learn more in Microsoft’s FAQs at https://goo.gl/kPUJlA.
If you use Microsoft OneDrive, you might want to check the amount of storage space you are using and adjust your plans accordingly.
Comment by Dick Eastman: I encourage everyone to use safe and secure file storage services for backup purposes. In fact, you never want to depend upon any one backup. Always have two, three, five, or even twenty copies of your important files, all stored in different places. That almost guarantees safety of your critical information. As I have written several times, remember the acronym L.O.C.K.S.S. That stands for “Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.”
However, none of us with lots if genealogy information should depend upon free space alone. If the information is important enough to justify spending some money, you should consider paying for some storage space. After all, most of the space available in the cloud is cheaper than purchasing an external hard drive at the local computer store. Safer, too. Unlike another hard drive in your home, cloud-based storage won’t be destroyed by fire, flood, tornado, burst water pipes, or other disasters in your home.
As in any other purchase, you always want to be sure your money is well spent for a cost-effective service. It looks like Microsoft OneDrive is no longer cost-effective. Several other services offer better prices.
I make multiple backups to multiple services. I only store small amounts of information in available free space on a couple of the services I use. However, I store huge amounts of data on Dropbox, Amazon Glacier, BackBlaze, and SpiderOak. I find this to be cheap insurance. You also might want to think about your storage needs.
I don’t consider Microsoft OneDrive to be a bad service. Indeed, it has always proven to be reliable. However, after today’s announcement, I no longer consider OneDrive to be cost-effective.
If you are not sure which service is best for your needs, I suggest you look at BackBlaze. It is simple, it is reliable, and it is one of the cheapest services available. BackBlaze offers UNLIMITED backups for a Windows or Macintosh computer for $5 per month. For more information, see my earlier article at https://blog.eogn.com/2015/09/21/backblaze-online-backup-service-2/.
My second choice for very low-cost backup services is Amazon Glacier. Although it has one of the lowest prices available, Amazon Glacier does require a significant amount of technical expertise to install and configure. I do not recommend Amazon Glacier for computer novices. However, if you possess the required expertise or if you have a technical expert on call, such as the 12-year-old up the street, you might want to look at https://aws.amazon.com/glacier.
How important is your information?