How it works
Users of Gmail and Google Apps for business have always been able to edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations online in a browser using Google Docs. The challenge has been if you want those documents to be readily available on your desktop computer or to easily upload files to Google Docs without uploading and downloading.
Much like Dropbox, there is now a GDrive application for both Windows and Mac and once installed allows you to save files directly to it, which in turn upload to Google Docs (now renamed Google Drive) online
Not only is it convenient; as soon as you save a file to your GDrive, it automatically gets backed up online across Google’s 33 data centres worldwide. So now you can ditch the external hard drive and forget about remembering to do your own backups.
What does it cost?
The free version gives your 5 gbs of space; which for most users will be plenty. However if you wish to increase the size of your drive to 25 gbs, this costs £1.50 per month.
If you only create and edit Google Docs as against other formats like Word and Excel, then the you have unlimited space available in your GDrive as these don’t take up any storage space.
Why all the excitement?
- Users of Google Docs have often complained that they do not have a local copy of their files; now with GDrive they have instant access them on their computer
- GDrive can be expanded to 15TBs so it’s really scalable for the small and corporate business alike
- As well as editing your documents locally on your computer, you can continue editing online and on your smart phone while away from your desk providing real business continuity
- Gmail users have been unable to attach files from Google Docs to an email; now they can by browsing for files stored locally in GDrive on their computer
What about accessing GDrive on a mobile device?
For now there is only an Android App, however Google are working on an iOS app for both iPhone and iPad to be released shortly. No word on an app for Blackberry and Windows mobile though.
How to install Google G Drive on your computer
- First you need either a Gmail or a Google Apps account
- Download G Drive from here
- Install on your computer
- Run the GDrive Program and sign into your Gmail or Google Apps Account
- Choose which folders to sync locally or sync them all
Google’s GDrive cloud storage is great if you want to have local access to files already stored in Google Docs and with the ability to store up to 15 tbs of data even the corporate user will be happy.