Keeping your files safe and secured should be our topmost priority. In today’s digital world, most of our most important files are stored in our computer or smartphone devices. However, their various instances where those files may be lost over time. Good thing: Google Drive provides a great solution to most of our file storing and sharing problems.
In this article, we will extensively discuss everything you need to know about Google Drive. We will look into its history, platforms, storage, features, and other related apps. After all, the best way to utilize a specific app is to know everything about them.
Sometimes, before we trust software, we wanted to know everything about it. The same goes for online storage. After all, if we will entrust all our confidential files to storage, we must be 100% that it is the perfect drive for us.
Google Drive is one of the leading and most trusted online storage today. Developed by Google, Google Drive offers everything that we look for in file storage – accessibility, security, and reliability.
- If you want to know more other cloud storage aside from Google Drive, we suggest that you check out Never Lose Your Files with These 5 Best Free Cloud Storage. When it comes to filing storage and sharing, you always have to have the best.
So, without further due, let us head-on and know everything we need about Google Drive!
Google Drive: An Overview
For starters, Google Drive is a file storage service developed by the tech giant Google.
This storage and synchronization service were first launched on April 24, 2012. Google Drive lets users save their media files and documents into their service. Such allows synchronization across devices. Thus, it has become possible to access share files between the device of different operating systems.
Google Drive can be accessed via the website (https://www.google.com/drive/). Also, it offers apps that are optimized cross-device.
- Download Google Drive App for iOS
- Download Google Drive App for Android
- Download Google Drive App for Mac
- Download Google Drive App for Windows
These apps are equipped with offline capabilities. Thus, you can still access your files stored in Google Drive even without a connection.
Integrated with Google Drive are various Google apps such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. These apps are part of Google Suites where you can edit documents, spreadsheets, forms, presentations, among others. Further, you can invite your peers for collaborative editing and updating of these files.
- If you want to know more about Google Apps and the only ones you need to have to maximize Google services, you might want to check out our article: Top 7 Amazing Google Mobile Apps You Should Be Using Right Now. Indeed, Google offers a lot of great apps; however, you don’t need to use everything to stay on top.
Those files that are created and updated are automatically saved in Google Drive. So, you no longer have to repetitively save your documents all the time. With Google Drive, everything synced up automatically.
For new users, Google Drive provides users with 15 GB of storage free of charge. This is made possible through Google One, a subscription service of Google that offers expansion programs for cloud storage aimed at the consumer market. For paying users, Google One offers 100 GB, 200 GB, 2 TB, 10 TB, 20 TB, and 30 TB. Further, users can change accordingly all their privacy settings for specific files and folders. Thus, you can choose which files to be available publicly, and which one to remain confidential.
Google Drive and Its Platforms
As mentioned earlier, Google Drive is available across the device. It has apps optimized for macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android.
Optimized for Computer Apps
Google Drive runs for computers on Windows 7 or later, and Macs om OIS X Lion or later. Last April 2012, Google announced that it is currently developing an app optimized too for Linux.
Of all the operating systems, Google Drive is best integrated with Chrome OS with version 20.
Back up and Sync Software
In 2017, Google was proud to announce that they have finally released their Back up and Sync Software. It intends to replace Google Drive desktop app which was discontinued in December 2017.
The goal of this update to continuously sync folders from one device to Google Drive. They are distributed accordingly to Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail.
Optimized for Mobile Apps
Google Drive runs to Android devices on Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” or later. On the other hand, it runs on iOS devices on iOS 8 or later.
Although it remains working for the other older versions of operating systems, they are not equipped with Google Drives latest updates.
Google Drive can also be accessed via a website. Using this platform, users can see their files without downloading any app.
The August 2016 update provided several improvements in the visual and user interface of Google Drive. With this, users were enabled to compress and download large files from Google drive, for a multiple of 2 GB zip files.
With these, downloaded files may maintain its organization as it were on the drive.
Google Drive: Its Storage and Pricing
For starters, Google provides every user with a free 15 GB storage, This limit is shared with other Google Apps such as Gmail and Google Photos. However, if these free storage does not seem enough, users can purchase additional storage space. Subscription plans can be arranged either monthly or annually. Yet, take note that yearly payment offers a big discount compared to a month-to-month payment basis.
Here are the Google Drive storage plans:
- 15 GB – free
- 100 GB – $1.99 per month or $20.99 per year
- 200 GB – $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year
- 2 TB – $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year
- 10 TB – $99.99 per month or $20.99 per year
- 20 TB – $199.99 per month
- 30 TB – $299.99 per month
Do you want to know other online storage which offers free plans? Then, you should check out this article: Never Lose Your Files with These 5 Best Free Cloud Storage. After all, you must try the first service before actually paying for it.
Free 100 GB for Chromebook users
Google offers a free 100 GB Google Drive storage for Chromebook users. This promo is provided that such was activated within 6 months or 180 days of purchase.
Take note: this 100 GB promo is available only to brand-new Chromebooks and not to refurbished devices.
Free 20 GB for G Suite
Google also provides a free 30 GB Google Drive storage space for G Suite customers with the basic subscription. On the other hand, those who are subscribed to G Suite Business or G Suite for Education are given unlimited Google Drive storage.
However, if you only have less than 5 members, you only get to have a 1 TB storage space. Well, that amount is still huge!
The Features of Google Drive
1. File Sharing
Google Drive is best known for its file-sharing features.
The owner of the file can administer the security and accessibility of a certain file or folder – whether it is available for public visibility or can only be accessed when such is granted.
These files and folders can be privately shared with another user with a Google account. Sharing can be as easy as inviting them through their Gmail address, or through providing them with a shareable link.
Upon clicking the link, your peers can access the files you intended to share. Further, as the owner, you can regulate their access to your files, as to whether they:
- Can edit
- Can comment
- Can view
Indeed, file sharing has been made easier with Google Drive
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2. Third-Party Apps Support
Google Drive already has a great library of in-app. Further, it has a large external web app available for download from the Chrome Web Store.
These third-party apps are free. However, some may require an additional payment for continuous usage. Installing them requires Google Drive authorization. This is an added security if ever you are not quite sure what you are downloading yet.
3. Google Drive views files instantly
With Google Drive, you will no longer need to download files before you can view what is stored inside. After all, it is optimized to view files with the following formats:
- Native formats
- Image files (.JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, .TIFF, and .BMP, among other file extensions)
- Video files (.WEBM, .MPEG4, .3GPP, .MOV, and .AVI, among other file extensions)
- Audio formats (.MP3, .M4A, and .WAV, among other file extensions)
- Text files
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Adobe Portable Document Format
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Raw Image formats
- And a lot more file formats!
Those file formats that are not supported in default can be viewed using third-party apps. As mentioned, these third-party apps can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.
- Are you looking for a free app that can help you with your PDF files? Do you find Adobe Acrobat a bit difficult for you to handle? We suggest our on Notable Free Pdf Editors Beyond Adobe Acrobat. This article is going to help you find user-friendly apps you can use for all your PDF-related work.
4. Google Drive is equipped with AI optimized Quick Access
Using machine learning, Google Drive predicts what you look for before telling it exactly what it is. Basically, by typing in a few words of the file you look for, Google Drive presents them to you automatically.
5. Google Drive is great Backup software for all devices
With its Backup and Sync feature, files in your computer can automatically sync in Google Drive.
The Different Editions of Google Drive
Aside from the standard Google Drive that we know, this online store also has a different version to cater to your specific needs, as follows:
1. Google Drive Enterprise
As part of G Suit, Google Drive for Work is specifically designed for business.
Users do not have to subscribe to the whole G Suite package to enjoy Drive Enterprise. Yet, it also includes the most essential Google apps for business, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
The pricing for Google Drive Enterprise varies depending on your needs, usage, and preferences. Nonetheless, it usually starts at $8.00 per month for every user.
2. Google Drive for Education
Released in 2014, Google Drive for Education is free for users of Google Apps for Education users.
As a package, it generously offers unlimited storage space!
3. Team Drives
To further increase the collaboration that we enjoy from the usual Google Drive, Google released Team Drives in 2016.
Here, file sharing and ownership are shared by the whole team. Thus, it reduces the stress and responsibility for the supposed single owner in the usual Google Drive.
In this article, we have discussed everything you need to know about Google Drive. We have tackled its platforms, storage pricing, features, and its different editions.
How about you? Do you think Google Drive is the best online storage for every user? Let us know by leaving your thoughts below.
DM Pascual is an experienced web content writer and SEO specialist. His fields of expertise include: Law, Technology, and Popular Culture, among others. Check out his works on www.legal-scrutiny.com.