Google announced Google Drive yesterday. No, this isn’t about Google’s Self-Driving car, it is essentially a way to store your files in the cloud (Google’s cloud) and to share them with others. There are a few things to keep in mind, however, before diving into this cloud.
The first thing to remember is that any time you store any of your data (meaning files, documents, pictures, spreadsheets – anything) in any cloud storage service, you are basically making it available to any law enforcement agency that wants it. That is because the courts have ruled that law enforcement agencies don’t need a warrent to get at data that is stored in the cloud.
With that in mind, the second thing to consider is that it’s not very difficult to create your own cloud storage for yourself.
All that said, here is some information about Google Drive:
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Google Drive is free to all users for the first 5 gigabytes of storage. If you need more than 5 GB, you can purchase additional storage capacity for a monthly fee. You can purchase anywhere from an extra 25 GB per month (for just $2.50 a month) to as much as a terabyte ($50.00 per month).
Of course, you can buy a 1 terabyte external hard drive from Amazon for less than the cost of three months of terabyte storage on Google Drive.
Google Drive’s main feature and difference over the competition is that, of course, it works fairly seamlessly with other Google offerings, most particularly Google Docs. Also, Google Drive has a native OCR (optical character recognition) feature so that you can “scan” items such as PDF documents.
Relatedly, third-party app developers are already working on apps to work with Google Drive, such as the ability to fax documents from within Google Drive, and even to edit videos within Google Drive.
Said Google Drive group product manager Scott Johnson, “We’re always working to make our products more useful to people.”
You can sign up for Google Drive here.
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