Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Launched on April 24, 2012, Google Drive allows users to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files. In addition to a website, Google Drive offers apps with offline capabilities for Windows and macOS computers, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Google Drive encompasses Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, which are a part of an office suite that permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more. Files created and edited through the office suite are saved in Google Drive.
Google Drive offers users 15 gigabytes of free storage through Google One. Google One also offers 100 gigabytes, 200 gigabytes, 2 terabytes, 10 terabytes, 20 terabytes, and 30 terabytes offered through optional paid plans. Files uploaded can be up to 5 terabytes in size. Users can change privacy settings for individual files and folders, including enabling sharing with other users or making content public. On the website, users can search for an image by describing its visuals, and use natural language to find specific files, such as "find my budget spreadsheet from last December".
The website and Android app offer a Backups section to see what Android devices have data backed up to the service, and a completely overhauled computer app released in July 2017 allows for backing up specific folders on the user's computer. A Quick Access feature can intelligently predict the files users need.
Google Drive is a key component of G Suite, Google's monthly subscription offering for businesses and organizations. As part of select G Suite plans, Drive offers unlimited storage, advanced file audit reporting, enhanced administration controls, and greater collaboration tools for teams.
What Can You Store in Google Drive?
Google Drive can store any kind of file: photos, videos, .pdfs, Microsoft Office files or anything. You can also save email attachments sent to you through Gmail directly to Google Drive, which saves you from having to make the move manually.
There are some general file attribute limits that Google Drive enforces, however, they are pretty generous and should not impact most use. Documents, for example, can be up to 1.02 million characters in length, and if you convert a document to Google Docs format, it needs to be 50MB or smaller in size.
Spreadsheets created in or converted to Google Sheets, which is Google spreadsheet application, need to be two million cells or smaller. Presentations created in or converted to Google Slides, a presentation builder, need to be 100MB or smaller.
All other file types need to be 5TB or less, provided you have purchased that much storage.
One of the nice things about Google Drive is that it lets you preview files from within the browser without having to download them, first. Many zero-knowledge services dont let you do this, owing to the fact that the service cant decrypt your files.
Previews are available for Microsoft Office, Adobe and general file types, like .txt files, image files, audio files and even video files. Its versatility makes Google Drive great for not only getting work done, but enjoying your media library, too