Google Drive

Get to know Google Drive

There’s so many places you could save your files online, though, that just having free storage isn’t enough to make Google Drive interesting. What sets apart Google’s storage service is its deep integration with web apps. You manage files 100% online, using the web app to share files and even pick what’s synced to your devices. Even search is better online. Sure, you could use your computer’s search to quickly find a file synced with Drive, but if you use the search in the Drive web app, you’ll also be able to search though text in everything, including your images and PDFs, as it includes automatic optical character recognition for everything you upload. And every time you open Drive, Google will show the files it thinks you’re most likely to need right now.

Editing files with Drive is equally better when you’re working primarily online. When editing a document in Google Docs or replying to emails in Gmail, you can easily grab files from your Google Drive storage and use them directly without needing to upload anything. Add one of the dozens of web apps that support Google Drive, and you’ll both see their files show up in your Drive and will be able to just as easily import Drive files into those apps. Back on your desktop, you’ll see all the files from the web apps, though they’ll actually be just shortcuts that’ll open the appropriate web app in your browser.

Where almost every other file sync tool is built around the way you’d use files in traditional apps, Google Drive is built for the web. And that makes it an obvious choice if you’re doing most of your work online already.

Originally published September 1, 2014; updated April 25, 2018 with new screenshots, features, and pricing.

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Google Drive Pricing

  • 15Gb of storage and all features for free

  • $1.99/month for 100GB storage

  • $9.99/month for 1TB storage

  • $99.99/month for 10TB storage

  • Included with G Suite accounts from $5/month per user

Google Drive Features

  • Store all of your files alongside your Google Docs documents, spreadsheets, and presentations

  • Keep all your files synced between all of your devices

  • View your files online, and edit them in Google Docs or other Drive-compatible web apps

  • Embed files in your site, publish them with a link, or share them privately with any Google account

  • OCR text from images or PDFs and easily search through all your files

  • iOS and Android apps available

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