What is Google Drive? Most of us are probably familiar with it. However, this versatile cloud service has very many different functions. In our Google Drive review, we will try to see what some of these functions are. We’ll look at how Google expanded its service in order to include extra storage and other features that make this cloud-based service one of the best.
Google Drive is, without a doubt, the superlative of cloud-based storage services, offering some of the most ingenious solutions to your everyday cloud needs. If we were to take the comparisons game even further, we could definitely state that Google Drive is the Dropbox of the cloud, having the same versatility as the aforementioned product.
Read our Google Drive review to discover how you can use this service to store your precious information.
Google Drive – General Info
What is Google Drive? If you’re unfamiliar with this service, Google Drive is a backup, restoration, and syncing cloud-based storage product. It is integrated into virtually every function of your device. In addition, Google Drive has many other built-in apps, such as Google Drive Docs or the Google Drive Slides.
Overall, you can use Google Drive to perform the following actions:
- Backup all your favorite files and folders. There’s no limit to what you can upload to the Google Cloud, and by this, we mean that you can upload docs, pictures, and videos.
- Retrieve your lost files and folders from the cloud.
- Create or edit Word of pdf documents using Google Drive’s Docs application;
- Create stunning photo albums;
- Review the versions of all uploaded files;
- Share files with your collaborators;
- Create duplicates of your uploaded files;
- Connect with other Google applications like Google Maps, Google Drawings or Google Forms.
As you can see from our Google Drive review, it has quite a lot of features compared to other cloud-based storage services of the same caliber. Furthermore, as far as we know, Google Drive is the only cloud service on the market that offers 15 GB of storage space upon subscription.
Take the attributes mentioned above, add in some neat OS integration and a sprinkle of top-notch mobile applications, and the result is a cloud-based service that can suit literally any kind of storage needs.
Plans & Pricing
Compare to other cloud storage providers, Google Drive does not have private or business plans, but rather a combination of both plans. By that, we mean Google will allow you to increase your storage space by paying a certain sum of money, and that’s it. No home, professional or enterprise editions, just a well-defined plan.
In the table below, you will find the prices for each storage threshold.
|$1.19 per month||100 GB|
|$9.99 per month||1 TB|
|$99.99 per month||10 TB|
|$199.99 per month||20 TB|
|$299.99 per month||30 TB|
As you can see, all Google’s price tiers for the Drive service are pretty straightforward, with no hidden fees. Furthermore, if you intend to use the free plan, then you should know that you won’t need to enter a credit card number.
Google Drive In-Depth Review
After looking Google Drive pricing plans and offers, we will continue our Google Drive review by looking at the main features this storage service has to offer.
Before you can start using Google Drive to backup your files, you must create an account. Creating a Google Drive account is as easy as it gets, thanks to Google’s seamless integration. Furthermore, if you already own a Google Mail account, you can sign in to your Google Drive’s account and start uploading your first files and folders.
Now, in case you don’t have a Google Mail account, but you still want to use Google Drive, head over to the service’s official page, hit the “Create an Account” button, fill in your personal info, and that’s it. After the registration process is over, you will be automatically be redirected to Drive’s web-based application, which will allow you to upload your favorite files.
Alternatively, if you want to use the desktop-based application, Google Drive will give you a link which you can use in order to download the app. Now, the Web app is very intuitive and easy to use. To start uploading your first files, either click on the upload button and select one of the two options available. Alternatively, you can simply drag-and-drop items from your computer directly on the opened browser window.
As for the desktop application, to our surprise, we have discovered that the tray manager is very similar to Dropbox’s tray agent, right down to the design. In order to upload a file or a folder to the Google Drive cloud, all you have to do is to copy or drag-and-drop files in the Google Drive folder.
However, since Google Drive prizes full OS integration above everything else, you can also issue a right-click command on any folder or individual file, and from the menu that appears, choose the “Send to My Google Drive” command. As you can see, there are quite a lot of ways to work with Google Drive, making it one of the most versatile services on the market.
In case you lose the files from your computer or your device, you can easily restore them either by using the Web-based application or the integrated tray agent. So, to retrieve your files, simply selected them, press the right mouse button and hit the download button. Within seconds, all your files will be placed in the default download folder.
Unfortunately, the service does not have the option to place the files in their original folders or to archive them. Still, the download process is fast, which means that you can get your computer up and running in a jiffy.
Now, if you have many files in the cloud, you can use the search bar included in the Web-based application. Overall, the restoration function works flawlessly. This means you will be able to restore everything you lost in a matter of hours, even if you have a lot of data uploaded to the cloud.
Google Drive is relatively secure, as far as cloud storage services go. You are the only one who can access files in the drive unless you grant other users permission to share files. To share files, you can either send links to other users or invite them via email to share files. You also have the option to choose what users can do with the files you shared. They can view files or view and edit. You can also give users permission to leave comments on shared document but not to edit them. You can add other security features to your account, such as two-step authentication. If you want to know more about these features, you can read more on the Google Accounts support page.
Google Drive support file versioning. By default, it will keep all files deleted within a 30-day interval or approximately 100 revisions of non-native files. You can review the version of each file by using the Web-based application or the desktop tray agent. The Web app will give you a detailed account of the changes committed to a file within a certain interval. It will also let you preview these changes.
Currently, the Google Drive interface can be deployed on machines running Microsoft Windows, Android or iOS. As far as we could tell in our Google Drive review, the mobile version of Google Drive works just as well as its Windows counterpart. You can use the intuitive interface to manage your uploaded folders, review changes, and download files and folders directly onto your phone’s memory. And, of course, you can also create, edit and view documents.
Google Drive – Pros and Cons
To sum up, what we’ve learned so far in our Google Drive review, we created a short list of advantages and disadvantages. We hope this pros and cons list adequately summarizes the key points we’ve made in our Google Drive review.
- Full OS integration;
- Gorgeous Web-based UI and mobile applications;
- Great cross-platform compatibility;
- You can view and edit documents on the go;
- Easy to manage large collections of files;
- Great upload and download speeds;
- Good price per quality ratio;
- Fully compatible with other services offered by Google.
- No admin tools;
- Small security issues;
- Is highly dependent on your Internet connection.
Google Drive Alternative Options
As we’ve come to see in our Google Drive review, it’s very hard to compete with this versatile and user-friendly cloud storage service. As far as file backup goes, the main competitor is Dropbox. Dropbox has more options when it comes to file sharing and file backup. It’s also quite user-friendly. As we’ve mentioned in our Google Drive review, the UI of Google Drive was modeled after that of Dropbox
Since we’ve mentioned Dropbox, we could also discuss OneDrive as an alternative. Together with Google Drive, these three are currently the most popular cloud storage services. OneDrive provides much the same functionality as Google Drive and Dropbox when it comes to storage. However, you can use OneDrive offline, unlike Google Drive, which has limited offline functionality.
To conclude our Google Drive review, we have to say that Google’s Drive is one of the most flexible and powerful cloud-based services out there. And it’s little wonder how it is able always to stay in the limelight of every tech publication.
As a parting note, we strongly encourage you to use this cloud storage service, especially if you have a Google Mail account.
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