The Google Drive Review You Should Read in 2018
Ever since Dropbox changed the way cloud storage works, many cloud storage service providers have been battling to get the biggest slice of this relatively new niche. Why is having a back up is very important nowadays?
But one cloud storage service provider that has made leaps, bounds, and many innovative improvements to this mysterious technological advancement is none other than internet and tech giant Google.
Named Google Drive, this ubiquitous cloud service is probably one of the most popular cloud service providers, with a massive following that is over 800 million.
But what makes Google Drive so appealing to both individuals and enterprises?
That’s a great question this Google Drive review will answer.
If you are not using Google Drive yet, you’ll probably kick yourself for not being in the know all this time.
Before we take a look at this powerful cloud service, let’s clear a few things off the table first.
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Google Drive Review – Cloud Storage or Backup service?
When it comes to issues pertaining to cloud services, there’s usually confusion concerning the difference between cloud storage and online backup. In fact, is there actually a difference between the 2?
Cloud storage is basically a way of expanding your physical hard drive’s capacity by affording you to save your files in the cloud.
I know. You want to know what this famous “cloud” is.
The cloud is simply someone else’s computer.
It sounds simple I know, but it’s a bit more complicated than that and has more advantages than simply saving your stuff on your friend’s computer.
Saving your files using a cloud service provider means uploading your files onto your service provider’s remote network of servers where you can access it anytime and from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
This not only has the advantage of saving your hard drive from being overwhelmed but also offers certain levels of security you wouldn’t otherwise have by storing your precious files and media on your friend’s computer.
Most cloud services, including Google Drive, encrypt your files before storing them, making it difficult for unauthorized persons to have access to them.
And what about online backup? Also, see Best Ways to Get Cloud Storage for Android
While both cloud storage and online backup services work by hosting your files in the cloud but their purposes are different.
In simple terms, cloud storage serves as an extension of your physical storage while online backup replicates your storage.
Cloud storage is all about increasing your storage capacity while online backup is about recovering your data from disasters such as theft, or less malicious ones like a coffee spill on your keyboard.
Although their purposes are distinct, cloud storage and online backup do have a few areas in which they overlap.
And as the competition between cloud storage service providers becomes fiercer, many (like Google Drive) are beginning to integrate their storage services with backup services.
Now that those differences are out of the way, let’s get back to the order of the day – our Google Drive Review.
Google Drive Review – Understanding Google Drive
To understand why Google Drive has close to a billion users (or more), you will need to understand what Google Drive is.
One thing you need to understand right off the bat is that Google Drive is not your ordinary cloud storage service – it is way more than that.
Google Drive is a powerful online service that gives you unparalleled collaboration tools in the form of Google Docs, Google Sheets, and everything you will find in G-Suite.
With that powerful collaboration, the suite comes an equally powerful cloud storage service that is super easy to use.
Add a powerful syncing feature and you have a cloud storage solution like no other.
As a cloud storage service, Google Drive does exactly that, it gives you a great cloud storage solution, especially with its 15GB free storage plan that will get you started on your cloud storage journey.
15 GB may sound small, but when compared to other cloud storage service providers that only give 2GB on their free plan, Google Drive is definitely generous.
Let’s break down this amazing service and see what makes it so great.
Google Drive Review – Ease of Use and Functionality
One of the things that have made Google Drive synonymous with cloud storage is the clean, crisp user interface that makes it easy to navigate your way around.
With a simple and intuitive design, Google Drive can be easily mastered by a 10-year old (or an octogenarian).
When it comes to file storage, Google Drive uses a simple drag and drop function that enables you to quickly and effortlessly move your files to the cloud.
With the sync turned on, Google Drive will work in the background to sync all your files without you having to lift a finger – and without straining your computer’s resources too. With the sync feature, you can start your work on one device and continue it on another, making life convenient as you don’t always have to carry your devices everywhere you go.
And when it comes to collaboration, this is where Google Drive shines (and where it carved a name for itself). With its inbuilt Google Docs suite of tools, you can easily collaborate on many kinds of projects by sharing the link to the file you are collaborating on.
Setting Security and Permission
To avoid the wrong people messing with your work, you can easily set permissions that grant different people levels of authority to work with your files. These levels vary from “read-only” to full editing rights.
And in the eventuality that changes are made that you are not happy with either on purpose by yourself or by accident, Google Drive, by default, keeps 30-day old versions of all your files. If, however, you have some file versions you would like to keep indefinitely, you can specify them and Google Drive will keep those versions for you indefinitely.
One great feature you will definitely appreciate is the fact that even when you delete some files, Google Drive will keep them in the trash until you decide to permanently delete them yourself. This is useful as there are times you may need to recover a file that was accidentally deleted.
Of all the cloud storage service providers, Google Drive is probably the one that can easily integrate with the largest number of third-party apps available on the internet and also allows you to access the cloud on multiple devices.
And when it comes to Desktop clients, they are available for Windows and MacOS, but unfortunately not for Linux (for now anyway). You can also use Google Drive via its web interface (which is pretty good by the way) or via mobile apps that run on all platforms – Android, Windows Phone, iOS and every other mobile OS there is.
With its ability to integrate with most apps, Google Drive can store your data in any file format and can also play media files – both audio and video.
Pricing and Storage Capacity
Google Drives really shines in the pricing and storage capacity department – more than most of its competitors.
Starting with a generous 15GB free plan, Google Drive has an array of pricing tiers that make it very flexible for you to choose the one that suits you best. Paid plans include 100TB for $1.99, 1TB for $9.99, and 2TB for $19.99 as the popular ones.
Google Drive Review – Privacy and Security
When it comes to privacy and security, this is one area Google Drive needs to step up its game.
While Google Drive does have powerful encryption codes that keep your data safe in the cloud, Google Drive is lacking in the zero-knowledge encryption department.
Zero-knowledge put simply, is whereby you and you alone have the password that gives you access to your files. Most service providers have stored copies of your passwords stored up somewhere. Although safe, there can be times when they can be compromised, but that is very rare.
With zero knowledge, not even your service provider has your passwords.
And zero-knowledge is one aspect that many cloud users are beginning to demand in a cloud storage service, especially in the wake of the many data breaches we have been seeing in the past few years.
Apart from this, Google Drive is a very secure cloud storage solution.
Being part of the biggest tech company, you can only expect the best encryption and fast updates that will keep Google Drive secure and your files safe.
Google Drive Review – When Following the Herd is Good
Many times, following the herd, is not something I’d advise. But when it comes to Google Drive, this is one time the herd (remember is about a billion strong) has a point.
Google Drive is probably one of the best cloud storage service providers you can trust with all your cloud storage needs. Especially with its powerful suite of tools, Google Drive is almost as good as having a mini project management solution in the cloud, making your life (and business) more streamlined.
Whether you need a cloud storage solution for business or personal use, Google Drive really has you covered.