Google Drive Review: Cloud Storage for the Masses

As players advance in the cloud storage game, Google lives up to Microsoft and Dropbox, based on the number of users who access their system daily.

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Pros

  • Powerful platform
  • Cheap
  • G Integration of suite

Cons

  • No zero knowledge encryption
  • No Linux supportNo Linux support

The success of Google Drive should not come as a surprise because anyone who uses an Android device will normally use Google services, and an inherent part of that experience is Google Drive. Google offers all users 15 GB of free space just by having an account with them. But when that runs out, should I invest in Google Drive and buy a Google One plan or look elsewhere?

For some, opting for Google Drive as their cloud storage solution may be reduced to how you feel about Google and the power it has. drive on the Internet and if you want to support or support other less dominant companies.


But regardless of your opinion about the company, Google Drive is a stellar package.

Prices

Google Drive Review: Cloud Storage for the Masses

Paid

Paid storage on Google is known as Google One. In addition to offering up to 30 TB of space on Google Drive, it comes with additional benefits, such as Google Play credits and the option to share with up to five people.

Google One plans start with 15 GB and have six paid plans. You can get a reduction of up to 17% by paying annually, instead of monthly.

Storage Price per month Price per year
15GB Free N / A [19659024] 100GB $ 1.99 / month (£ 1.59) $ 19.99 ($ 1.67 / month)
200GB $ 2.99 / month (£ 2.35) $ 29.99 ($ ​​2.50 / month)
2TB [19659022] $ 9.99 / month (£ 8 ) $ 99.99 ($ ​​8.33 / month)
10TB $ 99.99 per month (£ 74) N / A
20TB $ 199.99 per month (£ 148) N / A
30TB $ 299.99 per month (£ 236) N / A

Google One is not the cheapest cloud storage you can get; Although, it is competitive, it offers a good range of capabilities and relatively few restrictions on file size and how much it shares with others. The only product that possibly offers a better offer is Microsoft OneDrive, which offers 1 TB and Office 365 for $ 69.99 per year ($ 5.83 / month).

Features

Google’s cloud storage has many faces, depending on the hardware you use to access the service. Unfortunately, Google has not adopted Linux, which, given the origin of Android is ironic. For Android phone and tablet users, it is a mostly invisible mechanism that stores the images and videos it captures so that they can be shared with other people or kept safe.


If you use a PC or Mac, you can install a client tool, Backup and Synchronization, which allows all those stored files to synchronize with the computer and also synchronize folders on the computer with the cloud. In Windows and Mac OS, in addition to the obvious advantage of having a backup in the cloud, it is also very useful to be able to synchronize several machines through this service.


Once the files are stored in the cloud, that Google account can view them on any machine they’re signed in to. And the web interface means that you can access the content even if you don’t have the desktop tools installed.

In 2017, Google launched a new application, Drive File Stream, to Google Drive as an alternative to Backup and Sync tool. Similar to what Microsoft OneDrive offers, File Stream locates all the documents that would normally reside on the computer in the cloud, leaving only markers in the system that are used to connect to them.

Confusion can occur if you do not understand the function and, for example, get on a plane and realize that the file you need is not on your computer and does not have Internet service. Drive File Stream requires the correct use case, but it can be very useful for those who share a machine or change computers regularly.

Standard document types can be edited using the G Suite web-based applications (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.), allowing team members to collaborate on files saved in Google Drive. It is also possible to share them with others as read only. Changes can be easily reversed through an inherent version system, and if you use Gmail or Hangouts, you can receive notifications when a file you have shared is modified by others.

You can store any file of any format; however, Google imposes a limit of 5 TB for a single file. For most users, that will not be a major problem.

Another limitation is that Microsoft Office documents are converted to native G Suite formats, and this format translation is not always perfect. The problem will depend on how complex your documents make, but many files become smoothly in our experience.

Security

There is a significant elephant in the Google Drive room in terms of security: avoiding zero knowledge encryption.

Without zero knowledge encryption, Google can always read your files, since it has the encryption keys. Some fear that Google will deliver them to government representatives if requested. The importance of the problem for you will depend on how sensitive the files you store are.

For those who wish to have their security cake and eat it, it is possible to use a localized file encryption tool, such as Symantec PGP or Boxcryptor and store the encrypted output in Google Drive. In this scenario, Google could deliver the file to anyone, but without the encryption key it would still be inaccessible.

On the positive side of Google’s security approach, Google Drive presents a two-factor transmission and authentication encryption model, giving users more confidence that external ones do not access their files. Those in the Business or Enterprise versions also get complete records about who accessed each file, what they did and when.

Also notable, Google has one of the largest security development teams constantly working to make raids less likely every day.

Performance

With the resources available to Google, Google Drive performance is generally not a problem unless you have a very poor broadband connection. The Backup and Synchronization tool works tirelessly in the background. We never notice it downloading and uploading files and we don’t expect it to do so unless it has an exceptionally slow system.

On Windows, the taskbar application provides comments on transfer activities and allows you to start a browser panel that points directly to the connected Google Drive.

As Google also controls the Chrome browser, there is a lot of synergy between the two, including an add-on that allows you to click on a file and send it directly to Google Drive.

The only defects in Google Drive’s reputation are some notable downtime, which occurred in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Google has since admitted that due to the scale and complexity of its solution, some times of Inactivity are statistically inevitable. He also said that every time it happens, they dissect what went wrong and develop a strategy to reduce the possibility of a failure happening again. Other cloud storage companies are not immune to this problem, but with more than 800 million customers, more people realize if Google Drive is not available.

Conclusion

There is a lot I like about Google’s cloud storage service if you’re willing to accept some of the non-negotiable warnings that come with it.

Google Drive is not the cheapest cloud storage, but its profitability may depend entirely on how you use it. When you sign up for Google One as an individual, you can share the same storage capacity improvement with up to five family members, each of whom gets their own 15 GB of free storage. That said, the costs are low, considering the space and functionality that entails.

Our only real concern with Google One is the lack of zero knowledge encryption, although the ways to avoid that omission are numerous.

Even if you don’t like Google, what it offers with its cloud storage solution is remarkably powerful, cost effective and well integrated. And it is likely that those outlets will not change soon.

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