Google Drive Cloud Storage has arrived

Launched this month, Google’s GDrive enables you to save files locally on your computer and automatically back them up online. IT Hound reviews how it works and the benefits for businesses.

How it works

Users of Gmail and Google for Work have always been able to edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations online in a browser using Google Drive. 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

  1. First you need either a Gmail or a Google Apps account
  2. Download G Drive from here
  3. Install on your computer
  4. Run the GDrive Program and sign into your Gmail or Google Apps Account
  5. Choose which folders to sync locally or sync them all

The verdict

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.


About Carl the IT Hound

I am passionate about all things technical and in helping businesses to improve how they work and experience greater efficiencies with the right technology

2 Responses to Google Drive Cloud Storage has arrived

  1. Peter Baars June 27, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    We are one of the first government bodies fully using google apps and have been looking out to gdrive. That having sad, I am (as usual) dissapointed by the first version. It is another product where google thinks how something should work and that is the way it is. We have seen that they will isten to customers about new functions but I think it is time that Google starts listening first to what the customers want and then making solutions for it, instead of making a solution and then telling the client what the problem is that is going to be solved by this.
    Nice as this is, in a corperate enviroment this is at the moment a nightmare. We are not able to back the files up on our own backup system as the files are located on the local drive of the user. A lot of corporations do not allow the use of a local drive so there you go. We do however and I am afraid users will start using this as some kind of home folder. Something goes missing and then what? With some handywork you can move the google drive folder to a network location (for backup) but then GDrive won’t work correctly and start giving error messages. So nice try google. We will look again when we are at version….

  2. Nelly Berova June 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    We love Google Drive – as a web company with 2 offices in 2 countries we used to use many different online tools to share files with one another (dropbox, basecamp, emails, skype) but now we migrated all our files into Google Drive, so all members of staff can make changes at any time. We also moved to Google Apps because of Google Drive so that it’s even easier to share files. Well done Google and thank you IT Hound for helping us set it all up.

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