Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage services on the market today, with more than 1 billion users worldwide. Google Drive offers an excellent suite of features for teams and individuals alike. With an easy-to-use interface and automatic functionalities, what’s not to love about Google Drive? By looking at the good and the bad, let’s find out if Google Drive is the platform for you.
Comparing Google Drive to The Best Cloud Storage Services
Unfortunately, Google Drive didn’t make it onto our top list. However, Google Drive is popular for a reason and is a service that many people consider before purchasing anything else due to its excellent collaboration functions and flexible integrations.
We reviewed dozens of cloud storage services on the market and narrowed them down to the top five. We looked at each option to see who it’s best for, what features to consider, and how to find the best option for your needs. Want to scope out all of your options? See all of our top picks here.
Google Drive: The Good and The Bad
Just like for all cloud storage services, there will be good and bad features to consider. After extensive research, we found that Google Drive offers excellent features that most users are happy to continue using, with only a few drawbacks. Let’s take a deep dive into both sides of the spectrum before you decide.
Built-in Protection: As a cloud-native service, Google Drive offers built-in protection from the get-go to help protect your documents, data, and files from malware, spam, and ransomware. Google Drive offers encrypted and secure access to all of your files, so you don’t need to worry about anyone stealing your personal information. Whether you are sharing or receiving shared files, Google Drive will automatically scan these files and immediately remove any malware once detected.
Google Drive’s infrastructure eliminates the need for local files, which minimizes the risk of malware attacking your devices.
Collaborative Functions: Google Drive is one of the easiest cloud storage services to use because of its access to easy collaboration. You can collaborate effectively in real-time with integrations like Docs, Slides, and Sheets. But that’s not all—Google Drive lets you create and share content with one-click buttons for assigning and sharing documents without the need to migrate from existing tools.
When it comes to collaborations, click Share in the top right-hand corner of the page and include the nominated person’s Gmail address. Alternatively, you can copy the document link and open the access so whoever has the link can view your document.
Excellent Integration: Not only does Google Drive integrate with Docs and Sheets, but it also seamlessly works with existing technology outside of the Google suite. With Google Drive, you can use and collaborate in Microsoft Office files without needing to convert file formats or migrate to completely different software. Google Drive lets you edit and store more than 100 additional formats, including PDFs, CAD files, and images.
If you need to manage your workflow, Google Drive also integrates with leading applications that let you do just that. You can connect apps such as Slack, Trello, Hive, and Evernote Business to expand the use of your Google Drive platform with ease.
Easy-to-Use Interface: Google Drive has one of the most concise user interfaces on the market today. As soon as you log in, you will find your most recent files at the top of the page and all your folders directly below. To the left of the screen, you will see the following tabs: shared drives, computers, shared with me, recent, starred, and trash—all with one-click capabilities—so you can find what you are looking for immediately.
You can also change your list view, create new documents through a drop-down menu, and purchase more storage if need be.
Convenient AI Technology: Whether you need to share a document or search for a lost file, it’s no lie that Google Drive has some of the best and most convenient AI technology of any other cloud storage service. For example, Google’s powerful search capabilities are integrated into the drive, offering unmatched speed, performance, and reliability. You can use its advanced search filter to find what you need, and Google Drive will retrieve this for you without fail.
In Google Drive’s search bar, you can choose the type of file, owner, item name, date modified, location, and shared drive to help you find what you are looking for within its database. Google’s search capabilities can help your team find files up to 50% faster, especially with AI-based features like Priority, which predicts what you need and surfaces the most relevant content.
Limitations on File Size: Most of these drawbacks for Google Drive certainly won’t break the product, but you should still consider them before investing, especially when it comes to limitations of any kind. Google Drive currently has limitations on file size for up to 5TB per user. While 5TB is quite a large amount of storage for most users, there are large teams who will have to scale and purchase the most expensive package to have the freedom to choose as much storage as they need.
And not only are there limitations on file size, but Google Drive also blocks you from uploading files once you’ve hit the 750GB limit. This limitation applies to individual and team accounts, which can be a drawback for larger teams who will easily exceed this size limit.
You Need an Internet Connection: While you can create and edit documents in offline mode, you will need an internet connection to receive real-time updates and have your changes saved to the drive. Without an internet connection, the updates you make are only visible on the current device you are using at the time, instead of all synced devices. You won’t be able to view the changes a team member makes or save your work for them to see until you reconnect to the internet.
Needing an internet connection isn’t a huge deal for most users, but there have been a few instances where documents failed to save, and some users weren’t able to retrieve them elsewhere because they couldn’t save them to the drive to begin with.
Slow Downloading and Uploading Speeds: A cloud storage service should prioritize fast download and upload speeds because it’s one of the main reasons people use the software. However, after looking through a wide array of reviews, we found that the most common complaint about Google Drive was its slow downloading and uploading speeds. Whether you are uploading images or downloading large files, many users found the process tedious and time-consuming, and a good internet connection is a must-have for any remotely larger file.
Many users expect to upload and download files in a few seconds, but sometimes Google Drive can take up to a few minutes for this process to finish. While a few minutes isn’t all bad in the grand scheme of things, many users would like Google Drive to be faster for convenience.
Google Drive Pricing and Options
When it comes to pricing, Google Drive offers two affordable options for everyone. Here’s an in-depth overview of each plan:
- Free. Includes 15GB of secure cloud storage per user.
For Personal is Google Drive’s free plan that is best suited for individual use and offers a few key features to help you secure a limited amount of files. With this plan, you get docs, sheets, slides, forms content creation, Gmail, 100 participants for Google Meet video and voice conferencing, and self-service online and community forums support.
- $12.00 per user per month. Includes 2TB of secure cloud storage per user.
Google Drive’s Business Standard plan is incredibly affordable and includes a higher amount of storage that could be suitable for a small business. You get the same features that the free plan offers and additional functionalities, such as target audience sharing and shared drives for your team.
You also get access to 150 participants for your Google Meet conferences with recordings saved to your drive, centralized administration, group-based security policy controls, and 24/7 online support and community forums.
However, if you are looking for more storage for your personal account, Google Drive offers an additional service called Google One, where you can pay a smaller price per month for more storage space. Here’s a quick overview:
- Basic — $1.76 per month. Includes 100GB of storage, access to Google experts, sharing with up to five others, and extra member benefits.
- Standard — $3.04 per month. Includes 200GB of storage and everything in Basic, plus 3% back in the Google store.
- Premium — $8.65 per month. Includes 2TB of storage and everything in Standard, plus 10% back in the Google store and VPN for Android and iOS.
Within Google’s massive suite of software and technology, Google Cloud is an expansive product that can transform your business with top-tier organization infrastructure.
Google Cloud is essentially a more advanced version of Google Drive, except it’s a cloud computing service offering reduced latency and redundancy by locating resources closer to clients. With Google Cloud, you can get specific industry solutions, database migration, and infrastructure modernization.
Make smarter decisions with Google Cloud by taking advantage of its data cloud functionality, which is unmatched in scale, security, and speed. You can break down your data and analytics and turn them into real-time decisions.
If you are a developer, Google Cloud is the perfect system to help you build and run your apps from anywhere. With a multi-cloud strategy, you can run each workload on a global network that offers three times the throughput at half of the admin costs you might find with other cloud providers.
Do you need to collaborate with your team effectively? Google Cloud can help you with comprehensive integrations for video calling, email, chat, and document collaboration, all in one centralized interface.
With Google Cloud, you also get access to the same security measures that Google uses, so you can protect what’s most important to you. With the reCAPTCHA Enterprise, you will benefit from adaptive risk analysis, a score-based detection system, and extra granular scores for enterprise-level protection.
You will have to contact sales for a Google Cloud quote. However, all new customers get $300 worth of credits to run, test, and deploy workloads and can use more than 20 products for free, up to monthly usage limits.
If you need a collaborative space, no matter how large your team is, Google Workspace has got you covered.
Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace is one of the most popular products that Google has to offer. You can grow and run your business more efficiently with business solutions and integrations that will help you create a seamless online working environment.
With Google Workspace, you can integrate the tools you love and prefer without the need to migrate or restrict your team from using their favorite applications. You can connect and collaborate with customers, partners, team members, and suppliers through the business versions of a video call, chat room, or shared drive.
Google Workspace allows you to easily manage your tools and simplify costs with automatic updates on the familiar tools you know and love, such as Google Meet, Chat, Drive, Sheets, and Docs. Not only do you get access to the business versions of the above applications, but you also get access to Google Forms, Sites, Keep, Jamboard, Apps Script, Cloud Search, Admin, Endpoint, Vault, and Work Insights.
Remain professional with a custom business email, alongside smart canvas and grammar corrections for writing emails. You also get more storage for your team and can streamline your workflow with powerful integrations, such as Salesforce and DocuSign.
Google Workspace offers three pricing tiers that scale to suit the needs of your business. Here’s a quick overview:
- Business Starter — $6 per user per month. Includes custom business email, 100 participant video meetings, 30GB cloud storage per user, and standard support.
- Business Standard — $12 per user per month. Includes everything in Business Starter, plus 150 participants for video meetings with recordings, 2TB cloud storage per user, and paid upgrade to enhanced support.
- Business Plus — $18 per user per month. Includes everything in Business Standard, plus eDiscovery and retention, 500 participants for video meetings with recordings and attendance tracking, 5TB cloud storage per user, and enhanced security management.
How Google Drive Ranks
While Google Drive doesn’t rank in our top list, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad product—far from it. Google Drive is a popular cloud storage service for a good reason. With its excellent collaboration features and AI technology, it makes sense for many teams to use and love Google Drive.
Here is a short overview of the top cloud storage services:
- Sync – Best cloud storage service for most
- pCloud – Best long-term storage solution
- Icedrive – Best for personal cloud storage
- IDrive – Best for personal backups
- Zoolz – Best for automated backups from any device
Overall, Google Drive is an excellent cloud storage service as an affordable way to collaborate with teams and organize your business infrastructure.
Especially with additional product offerings such as Google Cloud and Google Workspace, you can completely transform your business with Google’s extensive suite of technology at an affordable price.