Microsoft is about to make its Microsoft 365 Basic subscription a lot more enticing. In an announcement earlier this week, the tech giant confirmed that it will be adding advanced OneDrive security features to the Microsoft 365 Basic plan, which is available for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. The rollout, set to begin on October 12, 2023, will bring a suite of sophisticated security features to subscribers at no additional cost.

A Closer Look at the New Features

Microsoft 365 Basic will soon offer:

  1. Unlimited Personal Vault: A feature initially launched in 2019, Personal Vault provides an extra layer of security through two-factor authentication. The storage automatically locks after 20 minutes of inactivity. Initially limited to three files for free account users, the Basic plan will remove this limitation.
  2. Expiring Sharing Links: Users will be able to create sharing links that automatically expire after a certain period, enhancing the control over shared files.
  3. Ransomware Detection and Recovery: If OneDrive detects any ransomware activity, it will notify the account holder and provide options to restore compromised files.
  4. File Restore: Users can restore their entire OneDrive storage to a state from within the last 30 days. This feature could prove crucial in recovering from accidental mass deletions or ransomware attacks.
  5. Password-Protected Sharing Links: Along with setting expiration dates for shared links, users can add an additional layer of security by password-protecting them.

Why This Matters

This move comes as a part of Microsoft’s broader commitment to incorporating advanced security features into its products. With cyber threats on the rise, the added security measures aim to give users peace of mind, particularly when storing and sharing sensitive data. The OneDrive cloud storage service alone boasts over 250 million active users per month, making it one of the most popular cloud storage solutions globally. By offering advanced security features on the Basic plan, Microsoft is making robust data protection more accessible to a wider user base.

The Larger Context

This announcement also coincides with Microsoft’s unveiling of other security tools and features designed to protect families and businesses. In addition to Microsoft 365 updates, the company discussed the upcoming Windows 11 security features, aiming to build a “passwordless future.” Such initiatives underline Microsoft’s dedication to deploying technology with a “security-first mindset.”

What’s Next?

The added features will be available to Microsoft 365 Basic customers starting October 12, 2023, without any increase in the subscription price. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on digital storage and cloud services, these upgrades could significantly impact how users perceive the value offered by Microsoft’s basic subscription plan.

Key Takeaways: More Than Just Storage

The upcoming features are not just another update; they signify Microsoft’s commitment to providing secure and comprehensive solutions for its customers. For a subscription fee of just $1.99 per month, users will soon gain access to a range of advanced features previously only available in higher-tier plans. This democratisation of security features could well set a precedent in the cloud storage industry, making advanced data protection the norm rather than a premium.