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Dated: Jan. 12, 2013

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 A few years ago some users have devised of a way to use the unlimited space on the  Inbox space in Gmail as their online storage file, and that by using the once popular Gmail Drive program. The app worked by exploiting the possibility of the larger attachments in e-mails, but there was a limit at 15 MB per attachment. But still, many people found a lot of use from that. In the meantime the cloud became a new buzzword and Google has consequently expanded the assortment, and now offers official cloud storage for all users.

Google Drive is in many ways modeled on Dropbox, but it is typical of Google, the emphasis is placed on linking with other services offered by the company. For example, if you use Google Docs, and had taken the documents, at the first sync they will be copied in your local folder, or space for Google Docs documents will automatically be associated with Google Drive. Moreover, your old documents are saved as files with Google Docs extensions (gdoc, gxls) and double-clicking on them will open the Google Docs interface in the default web browser on your computer, which is completely in line with Google's "Internet-centric" philosophy of work. 

Google DriveAs we said, Google Drive looks much like Dropbox as far as the user is concerned. You need to download an application that will when it is installed create a shared folder in your home folder and nest in the system tray from which you can easily make calls. While in Dropbox, by default, there are several pre built folder (Photos and Public), that is not the case in Google Drive, but all of your files are initially stored "all together". Synchronization, of course, at any time, can be paused and resumed by command, which is very important to home users when sharing a single connection among multiple computers.

Free users get 5 GB of free space, but it should be noted that the area is common to Google Drive and the pictures you post in Google+ albums (if you use this service). Fortunately, at Google Drive it can be clearly seen how much space you have spent on Google Drive and how much on Google+ images. Also, for existing Gmail users it is not needed to create a new account for Google Drive. The things you delete will not be hidden as in Dropbox. You just put them in a virtual trash can from where you can return them or permanently delete them.

As for the users that need more space, the capacity of Google Drive can be expanded to 25 GB for the price of 2.5 dollars a month , or to a 100 GB for the price of 5 dollars a month. A nice bonus is that with both packages you get  an increase in Gmail space (to 25 GB). That is certainly a better bargain than Dropbox who increased it’s space this summer as an answer to the competition, but it still costs 10 dollars a month. Logically, Google is a huge company with a stronger server infrastructure so it is easier for them to offer lower prices, but Dropbox has a large user database for a long time now, especially business, so we don’t expect a massive migration. A lot of people don’t even know about Google Drive in this form. Dropbox is still a synonym for this way of file storing. 

The thing that Google Drive misses is the creation of public links that other users can use, so you can share them with other Google Drive users. Also, Dropbox has concrete packages for cooperation with multiple users („Dropbox for Teams“), with more clear terms of use and with all the possibilities listed in comparison to Google that relies on the intuitiveness of it’s service and hopes that the users will figure it out by themselves. But, Google also offers apps for mobile devices, and you shouldn’t forget the possibility of offline working with the appropriate Google Chrome addition so you can edit Google Docs files even if you don’t have internet.

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