What is Google Drive?
Something that has been rumoured for a long time, Google’s new cloud storage service, aka Google Drive, has just been released and seeks to go head-to-head with other online storage providers in the race to dominate this new digital playing field.
What is Google Drive?
The service is simple. Upload your files to Google’s servers using the free Apple Mac, PC or Android application and then access them through your mobile device, tablet, web browser or computer system. Quite simply it puts your files anywhere you have an internet connection.
Google offers all customers 5GB completely free, which should be ample for most people’s needs if you snap the occasional photo and use a lot of documents. Premium accounts are also available for those who want to have the ability to upload more data to the services, or if you plan on having a number of people using the same account.
The service integrates at a low level with the Google documents service, gmail and other Google systems that millions of people use worldwide everyday - giving them some serious mass appeal right from the word go. With so many people already familiar with the Google way of working, it’s hard to see how the system can struggle to attract interest.
In addition, Google have sought to undercut the competition somewhat in this area and if you’re looking for a monthly subscription to a service like this, Google’s offering represents the best value in the industry (at time of publishing) – a definite signal to the competition.
A number of different services have been vying for cloud storage supremacy for a while now and many industry analysts feel that Google are actually a little late to the party. Microsoft’s own offering ‘SkyDrive’ has been around May 2008, and similar service ‘DropBox’ (much lauded by Geeks the world over) started offering online storage shortly after in September 2008.
Microsoft’s service represents the best value as they only offer annual subscriptions, keeping the cost fairly low for users. Google have certainly sent a shot across the bows of the industry by offering storage on a month-by-month basis for around 25% of the cost of the rest of the industry.
What does this mean for the consumer?
Cloud storage is going to get cheap. Really cheap. It’s hard to see how any of the companies operating in the marketplace can ignore the mammoth statement made by Google with their latest offering. They want your files, all of them and are prepared to offer you a modern service with serious tools for less than £2 month in order to get them.
This should be the trigger to start a slew of offers, reduced prices and additional free storage from existing providers as they all seek to win you over and get you to choose them as the place to keep your files online. One thing’s for sure, the competition just got a lot more intense and hopefully the customer will reap the rewards as services attempt to out-do one another.
DropBox (2GB Free)
SugarSync (5GB Free)
SkyDrive (7GB Free)
Box (5GB Free)
Google Drive (5GB Free)