Online storage services have become very useful tools in all sectors, whether professional, academic or domestic. There are loads of situations in which we can need to have some space on the cloud where to store any file: presentations, projects, photo albums, Word or Excel documents, videos... All in all, anything that we want to have available from our smartphone or tablet, or any other device without having to carry them around physically.
There are loads of different possibilities available, including Microsoft's OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive), Box, Dropbox, iCloud or Google's own solution. The company of the search engine has developed Google Drive - Online Storage, a free service for all users that only require having an email account.
15 GB of free storage space
Exactly. You only need your Google email account (the one you use for Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Docs...) to have access to an online hard drive to upload all your files. It's quite a remarkable amount of free space, especially considering its price. Need more and you don't know how to get hold of more MBs of free space on Google Drive? You've just got to contract any of the following plans with the following prices (the most expensive ones are aimed at companies):
- 100 GB for €1.99 per month.
- 1 TB for €9.99 per month.
- 10 TB for €99.99 per month.
Built into the ecosystem of Google's functions
If we take a look at the functions and features of the service, we'll notice that it has one of the best systems to upload files to the cloud to be used as backups or to share work. In fact, its collaborative work and sharing functions are some of its most important aspects: you only need a few clicks to share with other users or authorize them to view, edit or comment documents.
Furthermore, it syncs perfectly with online office suite Docs, which can help you to increase your productivity when working with text documents, presentations or spreadsheets.
All in all, these are its main features:
- Upload files from your smartphone or download them quickly.
- Open PDFs, photos, videos, and text documents from the app. It supports up to 30 different formats.
- Share folders and files with other people and establish different levels of access permission: editing, reading or commenting.
- Quickly access your most recent files.
- Check the details and activity of your files.
- View files offline.
You should remember that it's a multi-platform service that comes along with applications for different operating systems. So here's the application for iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad, but there are also editions for Android, Windows PC, and Mac. To open Google Drive on Linux you'll have to access the web. In any case, you'll be able to access all your files wherever you go.
Which one's better? Google Drive or Dropbox? OneDrive? iCloud?
All the above-mentioned services are very decent and may interest you depending on the tools you use. Google's solution has been conceived to work with app ecosystem of this company, whilst iCloud is the default option for all Apple users... In other words, it was conceived for iOS and macOS. On the other hand, OneDrive is perfectly synced with Office and its Word, Excel or PowerPoint applications. And Dropbox is one of the most veteran solutions with growing functions and compatibility with all sorts of systems and software.
Therefore, if you're trying to decide which one to go for, that will depend on aspects that go beyond the amount of space available and will have to do with how you use your devices rather than the service itself.
What's new in the latest version?
- Hide the units you don't use.
- New Priority page for G Suite users.
- Bug fixes and performance improvements.