MS 365 for better storage pricing?

We’re about to pass the 200GB storage tier (very quickly if I finish my video culling project) and I’m seeing some odd pricing tiers. Both iCloud and Google jump from 200GB to 2TB. This tier would be $100/yr for Google, $120 for Apple. Thing is, it will be years before I could possibly use that much data. Maybe never.

MS 365, on the other hand, has a tier at 1TB for only $70/yr. As a bonus I’d get access to Excel, probably the only tool of the office suite I would want to use. And if I wanted to streamline the backup experience, I could go with the family plan, which gives 6 people 1TB each, plus Office. $100/yr. Even found a tip about using ‘dummy’ accounts and sharing folders which bypasses the 1TB limit in a way.

Another reason I’m considering this is frustration at using photos from Google Photos on my laptop. I have to manually download them. And if I want more than one, it combines them into a file named ‘’ and you can’t rename it until after the download (I think). Either way, it’s a major PITA! Yes, I realize this is much easier w/ iCloud, and I’m already subscribed to both iCloud and Google, paying $66/yr. So for $4 a year extra I can get the 1TB tier and Excel and a Finder integration w/ OneDrive so I can access photos without having to go to a browser tab, manually downloading, etc.

Is anyone else using MS 365/Onedrive as their primary Mac data and photo backup?

I use Google Drive as my primary cloud storage and a backup for photos, but I also backup my photos to OneDrive. If you are asking how photos on OneDrive are handled, the procedure is the same as Google and iCloud. Select the photos and download a zip file.

I think the main difference is that iCloud photos are accessible from the Photos app, OneDrive is a folder in the Finder, but for Google Photos the only option is a web browser.

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I use the 1 TB OneDrive to backup my PC and my Mac, using Arq.


If you use the new Google Drive for Desktop app it will sync your photos.

There are indeed rules to observe.

See Restrictions and limitations in OneDrive and SharePoint.

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I supported Macs mainly on Linux and OS X servers in the days before Apple abandoned the Xserve. And on Windows servers (NTFS) exclusively after that. None of our Mac users even noticed when we switched from Mac to Windows servers. And as long as certain special characters were avoided (see below) and the path name was less than 256 characters we had no problems.

Apple has stored iCloud data on Google and Amazon since day one, and at one time also used Microsoft Azure. In June of 2021 it was reported that Apple was Google’s largest corporate client with 8 million terabytes of iCloud Data on Google Servers.

FWIW, I’ve personally never had a problem storing files on Google Drive, S3, or OneDrive. And the only problem I’ve had with iCloud is erratic syncing.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 4.24.52 PM

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OK, thanks for the input.

After much consideration, a lot of which involves a low-tech spouse, simplification wins the day. Moving everything back to iCloud. :man_shrugging:

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Yes, our accounting department loved long file and folder names which wasn’t a problem until they began creating deeper folder structures. Eventually some had a problem which was corrected with a ten minute explanation of special characters and path length. And a few minutes of my time moving some folders on the server.

@dixonge has his solution so I’ll sign off with this. We may be the last generation that will have to deal with these problems. I have a couple of archives of old files in EagleFiler on my Mac and a handful of top level folders on Google Drive and I use search. It’s rare when it takes more than one minute to find what I need whether I’m on my Mac or my primary computer, an iPad Pro. IMO, the future is not files and folders.

“Gradually, Garland came to the same realization that many of her fellow educators have reached in the past four years: the concept of file folders and directories, essential to previous generations’ understanding of computers, is gibberish to many modern students”

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My issue isn’t syncing, it’s using.

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It’s a huge issue that these topics are not part of regular school assignments from an early age. Main problem is that the majority of teachers themselves are quite computer illiterate - at least they are over here (Sweden).

As I was going through high school in the 1980’ies, we had to take typing classes as part of the Office Administration programme. I kinda hated it at the time, but it has turned out to be one of the life skills I have had the most use for since. This was of course a limited offering for us “office” kids only.

I soon took up computers after this, so that list of reserved characters that can’t be used in file names are just second nature. However, it’s easy to see how and why this can be confusing to people without the same historic context or education.

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