After years of rumors dating back to 20061, Google recently made signups finally available for their online data storage service, Google Drive. It offers online cloud storage and is accessible via your PC or Mac, iPhone or Android devices, and soon, iPad2. Google Drive joins a competitive marketplace that includes other remote storage options, like Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
Online cloud storage offers access to your stored files anywhere and anytime. You can work on a file at your business and easily access it online at home or on the road while traveling. With free or inexpensive file storage, syncing, and sharing, remote online storage offers multiple advantages to any business, including:
Easy-to-use convenience: To store a file, you just need to drag and drop it into your service’s online interface. Many of the services even offer an app where you can download files to your Cloud right from your Smartphone or other computing devices quickly and easily.
A safe place for your important files: Once you move your spreadsheet, document, picture, or any other critical file to your online storage locker, it’s safely stored until you delete it from the service. Store it and forget it – it will always be there. So even if your laptop’s hard drive crashes or your phone gets stolen, files already stored in your Cloud will always be safe and accessible.
Free or low cost: Google Drive offers 5GB of storage for free, while other similar services vary in their free space offerings (SkyDrive provides 7GB, while Dropbox starts with 2GB for free). That’s a huge amount of storage without paying a cent out of your pocket. And if you need more space, it’s relatively inexpensive as Google Drive offers a 25GB upgrade for less than $2.50 a month2.
However, there are some disadvantages to using services like Google Drive for your company’s online storage, including:
Enhanced for smaller amounts of files: While easily accessible, these online services are designed for storage of individual files, and not large amounts of data. Even with the fastest Internet connection, uploading of large files or sizeable quantities is just not practical as it’s often met with time-outs or long waits.
Security of your data: Who else has access to your files and data stored in your online locker? “Although the power behind Google’s cloud storage platform looks promising, it is important to remember that Google is also in the business of collecting personal information and selling it to advertisers,” wrote Christine Archer of Lewis PR3.
- File storage, not back-up: With these services, each file you want stored needs to be moved over to your online storage locker. If you are looking for an automated service that backups your important files from all of your company’s computing devices, you will need a professional service, like our Data Backup plans.
Our backup service4 protects your business-critical data from multiple computers on a scheduled basis. More information can be found at http://webservices.thesba.com/data-backup.aspx or by calling us at 1-877-323-4678.
For more information, visit:
1. Information Week: Google Drives Arrives, At Last
2. Google Drive
3. Los Angeles Times: Cloud Storage Providers Weigh In on Google Drive
4. The Small Business Authority: Data Backup Services