Google Drive Full Review

Google hasn’t limited itself to its search engine. In addition to expanding to the mobile device industry via Android, it has stepped into the cloud storage and file sharing industry with sheer confidence. Though rumors of the venture circulated since 2006, the service was launched in 2012 and met positively. If you haven’t tried this cloud storage option yet, read on to discover whether you should or not.

Overview of Google Drive

Previously known as Google Docs, Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service that allows users to store their data virtually, share it through links and e-mails, and collaborate with others on the same files. Now you can download the Google Drive client software or use the interface via the web. However, the prior option is more efficient since it allow you to connect your OC, Mac, Android and iOS devices to the service. Google claims to be working on a Linux version, but still no signs of one.

Features that Make Google Drive Stand Out

Google Drive offers its users a wide range of features that make it the No. 1 choice, especially for Gmail and Android users.

  • Improved Google Docs Features – Google Drive is now the new home for Google Docs, a service that allowed the upload, creation, and sharing of word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The additional formats Drive supports are folder, form and drawing.
  • Powerful Search Feature – You can easily search for your files by the objects you include in your images or via text in scanned documents. This pattern recognition feature is definitely a welcome change to opening and checking multiple files in search of one.
  • Drive Offline Feature – If you were ever disconnected from the network, you can add Google Drive to your Google Chrome browser and continue creating, editing and commenting on different documents. Everything will sync once you’re done.
  • Collaboration Features – You can start chatting inside the document you’re working on. You can also leave comments on files and pictures alike.
  • Activity Tracking – Through the Activity feature in your Drive, you will be able to see which files were last modified, by whom and when. This will assure you that your collection of files is secure.
  • Google Drive Apps – To further ensure that your experience with Google Drive remains smooth, the company has added a number of drive apps which you can choose and install. For example, you can use the AutoCAD 360 app to view, edit and share DWG drawings via your browser. On the other hand, you have HelloFax, which allows you to sign documents and send faxes from your drive.

With over a year under its belt, Google Drive is working on expanding its operations through its own apps and third-party ones. However, who knows what Google is up to? The company may have something up its sleeve.

The Pros of Google Drive

The number of pros Google Drive flaunts is probably bigger than most cloud storage solutions have to offer. Here are the top four:

  1. Generous Free Storage – Though Drive started out with only 5 GB, it now offers 15 GB to all of its users and that too for free. With the different apps and features that the software offers, this is definitely great value for no money.
  2. Ease of Collaboration – Even the free version of Google Drive allows you to find out who’s viewing the document and ultimately contact them. This is one of the reasons many virtual offices have accomplished so much using this service.
  3. More Value for Business Users – Business users who are interested in more features can pay as low as $5 per user per month for 30 GB to get a custom e-mail address, unlimited users, video chat and access to business-oriented apps, 24/7 customer support, and business controls.
  4. Integration with Other Google Services – You can easily view attachments from your e-mails without downloading them thanks to Google Drive and Google Docs. The same goes with the Google + integration, which allows you to view images from your profile with ease.

The Cons of the Service

If you’re excited about Google Drive and its services, there’s one con that makes the rest appear like trifles. When it comes to privacy, the service may put you up against strangers. If your document is open to the public, it may appear on search results. Once someone accesses that file, they may see your picture while you’re viewing those files. So, take a good look at the terms of use document of this service.

The Bottom Line

Google Drive is a good cloud storage option but only if you can work around the privacy issues. However, this shouldn’t even be a problem if you have used Gmail or other Google products. So, let the apps and storage limit tempt you and get signed up for this service.

 

 

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