Google has officially launched the long awaited Google Drive on 24th April 2012. An average person who knows about the computer understand the ‘Hard Drive’ ‘Flash Drive’ etc associates with it that use to store data. Google drive does the same but with more sophisticated way as it’s the newest Cloud Storage device introduced to the internet users. A Cloud Storage device is a place you store your files online so that you can access them from anywhere at any time. So it can be referred as your hard drive in the sky. After you run the free Google Drive application, you get a folder on your computer (Windows or OSX) that looks just like a directory on your hard disk that you can drag your files in to. Anything stored in that folder is kept on your hard disk and also copied to your account in the cloud. You can access those files from drive.google.com or from other computers, including mobile devices. Is Google Drive the first in Cloud Storage device in the net? The answer for that question is No. Actually Google is very late to introduce a such facility. In the consumer cloud storage market, there are serious, well-established, and highly valued companies already up and running. Dropbox, box, SugarSync,Cubby,CX, Mozy Stash,Wuala ,Bitcasa,Microsoft Sky Drive and Apple icloud are the pioneers and alternatives to the Google Drive. What will happen to the Google Docs ? Google Drive is also the new name for Google Docs. Google's suite of Web-based productivity tools such as word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation app and documents you create using these tools will show in your Google Drive from now on. Files that you drag into your Google Drive from your hard disk are actually copied to the cloud. They're also synchronized to your other computers that use Google Drive. What are facilities I get by using the Google Drive? I. File Synchronization When you do changes to the file that you have stored in the Google Drive it is automatically updated not just in the cloud but on all the other devices that you have connected to the Drive. So you can start working on a file on one computer, close it, and then open it on a second computer, and what you'll see is the version you closed on the first one. II. Ability to store any kind of File format or folder Within file size and space limits, anything you can store on your hard drive can also be stored in a cloud drive.You can also move entire folders in your Google Drive. III. Sharing make easy with coworkers Earlier you have to email a file or sent it stored in a portable storage device to your coworkers in order to get it reviewed or completed. Now all you have to do is email a link to a file stored on your Drive. All the services let you mark a file or folder for sharing and then invite people to view or download it. IV. You get 5 GB Free Google will give you 5GB of completely free storage for storing files to use across computers, or to share, or that you need to access on your mobile device. But if you want to store large archives of photos or videos, you can pay for more storage. 25GB is $2.49 a month; 100GB is $4.99 a month. V. Your Data is safe from hacking as they will be encrypted Google Drive encrypts data between your computer and the Google servers. If you're using your Drive over the Web, the connection defaults to secure (HTTPS), and when you use the software that makes your Google Drive appear on your computer like a local hard drive, the data between your computer and Google is likewise encrypted. No casual hacker will be able to grab your files by monitoring or intercepting your Internet connection to Google. VI. Access your files through your Mobile. Google Drive is available on Android. An iPhone app also will be introduced near future. With cloud storage mobile apps, you can see what's stored in your cloud drive easily, and then download or view files as needed. It won't use up all your storage the moment you set it up. What are the drawbacks in Google Drive?
- For the time being the files created using Google Docs tools is not stored or copied to your computers. You see in your Google Drive are links to your files. If you open one, it'll open in the browser-based Google app.
- There is an element of danger associates with file synchronization. If you update a file before your cloud service has sent you the latest version, you can end up with collisions or version conflicts.
- You cannot sync a file that's buried in a folder on your hard drive without dragging it to the Google Drive.
- The iOS apps aren't out yet and there's no news of versions for Windows Phones or BlackBerry.
- Google Drive doesn't copy your Google Docs data to your computer, so you cannot access those files when offline.
Sandun joined Lanka Help Magazine as a contributor in June, 2011. He has been consistently writing articles to our magazine. Many useful articles of this site are under Sandun's name.
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