Google is the dominant force when it comes to search engine rankings and is an online monster eager to devour its competition in an array of different industries. With over 33,000 employees, it’s no surprise to see some of the Google army used to muscle in on the online storage and synchronization market. The only surprise is that it took so long. Google Drive was released on 24 April 2012 and has just announced that over 10 million users have signed into Google Drive. To have so many users in just over 2 months is absolutely remarkable. It has been possible to use Google Docs in order to save, store and share documents for quite some time but Google Drive is in a whole new league. You can install it on Mac OS X and Windows.
You receive 5GB absolutely free but if you want to upgrade and add more space, Google is happy to comply. There are a total of nine Google Drive packages at this point. 25GB of space is the smallest paid package and will set you back $2.50 a month. The available storage space and price quickly escalates with 1TB costing you $49.99 a month. The most expensive package is $799.99 a month but you get to store an incredible 16TB, far beyond what most companies need. The main complaint here is that there is no value beyond 100GB as there is no discount for the higher priced packages. 16TB costs 16 times more than 1TB. With most cloud storage companies, there is something of a discount at the top.
Google Doc users will find that Google Drive replaces the existing Docs interface with its own. There are a few differences between Drive and Docs which may make life difficult at first. Files and documents are now divided between Shared By Me and My Drive (contains files you created).
You are also able to look at images but they are not opened up automatically with the Google+ slideshow interface which is annoying. Drive also lags behind rivals such as SugarSync which allows you to stream video or audio files, something yet to be introduced to Drive. As you are only able to sync the Drive directory and you are unable to add other folders, it’s not really an option for online backup. However, if you delete something, you can retrieve an older version of the file. Old versions are instantly deleted after 30 days or if 100 revisions have been made unless you choose certain files to be spared from this process.
Once you get used to Google Drive, it’s just as easy to use as Google Docs. The free 5GB space is more than what is provided by rival sites though it’s hard to imagine anyone paying almost $10,000 a year for their ultimate storage option. It now supports iPhone and Android operating systems for easy use on smartphones. In typical Google fashion, the security system is top notch, one of the best of any site but then again, they have the resources and experience to keep their products safe. If you want more multimedia support, then there are better options. However, Google Drive does what it sets out to do well and it’s certainly worth taking them up on their free 5GB offer. After all, 10 million people (and counting) can’t be wrong!
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