Google Drive Review: Cloud Storage
|Cheap, easy to use and good for users who like Google Docs; does not have full backup capabilities|
Those who enjoyed using Google Docs will definitely like Google Drive for sharing and quick file syncing. They give users 5 GB of free storage, and their paid options are very affordable as well. Though it is a great value, the service cannot double as a computer backup solution and shares a password with all of your other Google services; so if your email password is stolen, your files will be at risk as well. Thus, we recommend looking at other cloud storage services for total computer loss prevention.
If you don't already have a Google account, signing up for one is free and easy. You can access your Google Drive in the navigation bar at the top of your Google account, next to Calendar and Sites. Note that Google is working on replacing Docs with Drive altogether, and if you've already used Google Docs, each of those files will show up under your drive. Trying to find where you can install Google Drive onto your computer was unintuitive until we realized you must click the Options icon and select "Try the new look." From there, Google will welcome you and provide a button that lets you install Google Drive onto your Mac or PC.
Installation was easy on both Mac and PC. After dragging the Google Drive icon into your Mac applications, the folder will show up in your Finder instantly. There you will notice any files you have previously created or added to your Google Docs, if you already had an account. The PC setup will take you through a mini-tutorial and direct you straight to the Google Drive folder.
To sync a file or folder across your computers and to the web, just drag it into the Google Drive folder. Once you've dragged and dropped, the file or folder is instantly accessible in your Google Drive web account and on your other computers. You can then download the files onto other computers and also view them in a Google Doc format for easy editing as well as collaboration with others.
Google Drive is great for quick online file storage and, as we point out later, collaboration. However, it cannot double as an online backup service like our top-ranked cloud storage provider can. You can individually copy each folder you may want to revisit at one point into your Google Drive folder, but that will require you to pay for extra space, something you may not think to do when you're first signing up for Google Drive. Other cloud storage services require you to initially backup you computer, so you don't have to worry about anything being lost forever, especially since these services will then start to incrementally backup all the files you've selected in your backup preferences.
Though Google Drive has a nice search feature in the web interface, we don't like how all of your backed up folders and files are clumped together in a single Google Drive folder. We prefer when they are more organized so you can find the data you want to download and restore much easier.
There is also the issue of security. If you use Gmail and don't log out of your account, it only takes one click for someone to have access to your backed up computer files on Google Drive. In addition to that, there have been many email hackings, and if someone gets access to your Gmail password, then your files are a free for all as well.
In the Activity tab of your Google Drive front page, you can find everything that has been edited recently. This tab includes anything that you've created, that has been shared with you, or that you've clicked the link to open. Since the Google Drive interface is very similar to Google Docs, one of the service's best features is definitely the sharing and collaborating function. Like in Docs, you can work on a document with someone at the same time, and see changes in real time as they are happening. Like with other cloud storage, you can share files through the service instead of having to send bulky attachments.
When you sign up, you get 5 GB of storage to use for free. From there, it's only $2.49 per month for 25 GB, $4.99 per month for 100 GB, $9.99 per month for 200 GB and the list grows until $799.99 for 16 TB.
Google Drive's prices are a great deal for those who need quick syncing on the go and the ability to collaborate on a large number of files through Google Docs. However, we think most people will be better served by a cloud storage service that can also act as a full online backup solution.
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For your specific qualifications and needs we suggest you look into online business cloud storage. Based on some of the specifications that you are...
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- Google Drive Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Google Drive Cloud Storage: http://www.nextadvisor.com/cloud_storag ... review.php