Using a cloud storage service has plenty of advantages, especially for those people that are always traveling around with work or class files, as it helps them to forget about having to muck around with flash memory sticks and external hard drives. It's also very useful for whoever wants to keep a backup of their information as it can be stored online without the risk of losing the storage unit or being damaged.
Google's solution is, together with Microsoft's OneDrive, Dropbox, and Apple's iCloud, one of the most used and popular services of this nature. We're talking about Google Drive which is the favorite storage system for millions of users from all over the world basically due to the fact that you only need a Google or Gmail user account to be able to use it.
Furthermore, we're talking about a multiplatform service so, even if you download this version for Windows PCs, you going to be able to use all its functions on other devices because there are versions for Mac, and also mobile apps for Android and iPhone.
How does Google Drive work?
To use this online storage service you've only got to download the application's client to your computer. Once downloaded, you can configure it to associate one or several folders on your PC with the application. That means that each time you place a file in one of those folders or modify an already existing file, and provided that you're online, the latter will sync with your folder on the cloud. From that moment, you'll be able to access it from any other device through the GDrive app or accessing your account by means of the web version.
Is it better than Dropbox? Better than OneDrive? Better than Box? The truth is that they're all very similar, the thing is that depending on our applications, email or even devices, we might be more interested in using one or the other. For instance, OneDrive's integration with Microsoft Office is a great advantage regarding Google's Drive if we're users of this office suite:
- Store your files on the cloud. Upload your files to your online storage space and access them when and wherever you want.
- Share contents with other users by means of public or private links.
- Get on with teamwork: access Google Docs and edit documents collaboratively, create spreadsheets or presentations.
- 15 GB of free online storage.
- Synchronize multimedia contents with Google+.
- History of changes.
- Open up to 30 different file formats.
How much storage space does Google Drive offer us?
The service offers us three different plans, one of which is free whilst the other two have to be paid for. They offer us an online hard drive with a different capacity depending on the price chosen:
- Free drive: 15 GB of space. By default, it's the option that all Google's users have. You only need to access your email account.
- 100 GB drive: for 1.99€ per month of 19.99€ a year you can have 100 GB of space.
- 1 TB drive: over 1,000 GB for those that require plenty of online space. Especially indicated for professionals or companies. It costs 9.99€ per month or 99.99€ a year.
In any case, it also comes along with an unlimited space option for teachers and students that can certify that they are such, as part of the Google Apps for Education service.