Google drive may not shine in the security and privacy department as it doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption. But is excellent for potential users who are looking to collaborate online and offline, share, and work in the G Suite Files.
There might be confusion between Google Drive and Google One.
Google Drive and Google One are both cloud storage services offered by Google, but there are some key differences between the two.
Google Drive is a free service that comes with every Google account, and it allows you to store and access your files from any device with an internet connection.
Google One, on the other hand, is a paid subscription service that offers more storage and additional features, such as phone backup and enhanced support.
In other words, Google Drive is a basic cloud storage service, while Google One is a more comprehensive offering that includes additional features and benefits.
So for our review here, we might be inter-exchanging those two terms but the end results lead to Google’s cloud storage service.
Google Drive is known for its ease of use, and it is no exception when it comes to knowing one of its best services for collaboration thanks to Google features such as third-party apps and Google Office Suite.
Who Doesn’t Know Google
Who doesn’t know Google Drive?
It’s one of the most popular cloud storage services globally.
Google Drive is also known for its excellent sharing features and fast transfer speeds, which will be covered more below.
Now, when it comes to privacy and security, Google isn’t very strong in those areas, unlike pCloud, Sync.com, or Tresorit.
Make sure you check out Sync.com or Tresorit, for better security and privacy cloud storage.
In 2018, Google revamped its cloud storage features which are now known as Google One.
All the space in Google Drive, Gmail, Google Photos, and all Google apps can be accessed via Google One.
Similarly, Google will provide all users with 15GB of free cloud storage upon signing up with them.
For other experienced users, when 15GB runs out, you will automatically be transferred to the One plan if you opt to subscribe.
There’s no need to worry because most of the plans are pretty much the same. There’s not much difference in the cost plans.
That being said, the only upgrade part from Google Drive to Google One is instant access to live customer service, but this is only available for users who are using their paid plans.
Google One subscribers are also able to share their storage with up to five family members by using their new family plan.
Each of them is allocated with their private storage; however, they will all be added toward the total storage space.
Recap: Google One offers custom subscription services, whereas Google Drive is a storage service that is part of Google One.
For years, Google Drive has quietly shifted to one of the best cloud storage for many users.
There’s a reason for it!
Google Drive is known for its excellent collaboration feature.
It’s the only service that is known to be better than Dropbox or OneDrive.
If you want to know more about which cloud storage is better: Google Drive vs Dropbox vs OneDrive, check out our opinion on them.
One of the best things that made Google Drive’s collaboration so well is because of Google’s Office suite such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides that allow you to create, share and collaborate with others.
Google also provides a Chrome extension that allows you to view, edit, and convert between its files and Microsofts as these apps correspond to Microsoft’s Excel, Powerpoint, and Word.
You can sneak peek or open photos and play videos with Google Drive, as well.
However, you can’t edit your photos and videos.
Google also has other apps such as Photos, Calendar, Keep, and many more.
Google Photos makes it easy to organize your photos and upload as many as you want. It’s easy to use and allows you to share your photos and videos on social media.
It’s one of our favorite cloud storage for photos here.
Google Calendar, on the other hand, syncs and records your calendar events across multiple devices.
All and all, Google Drive’s third-party app library, G Suite Marketplace contains thousands of software integrations that you can add, and most of them are free.
Part I: User Ability
1. File sharing
It’s very easy to share files and folders on Google Drive. All you have to do is generate a link to copy and paste or send it via email.
Depending on the permissions you set, other users who received it can view, edit, or comment.
There’s a disable option where you can prevent editors from changing access or adding new people.
You can also prevent the users from downloading, printing, and copying for commenters and viewers as well.
However, the only downside of using Google Drive is that they don’t offer passwords or limit the number of downloads of files and folders.
This being said, you can restrict the users’ access by using permissions, “edit, comment or view.”
Google Drive may have a robust and smart approach to sharing, but its security doesn’t make it good enough for our most secure cloud storage picks.
A sync folder is what you install on the desktop and simultaneously upload and sync files that you drop onto the folder.
So, when you put a file into the folder, it gets automatically sent to the cloud, and you can see the file in your account across your devices.
Google Drive is the perfect cloud storage for students that have a lot of assignments and need to collaborate with team members.
It’s pretty similar to what Dropbox offers, as well.
2. Ease of use
One of the perks of using Google Drive is the minimal and clear features that you can instantly recognize by using either web, mobile, or desktop apps.
The menu allows you to guide your Drive and create new folders and files. You can also search your files and folder using the top search bar.
It presents a full-text search, which means you can search through the content of your files. It comes in pretty handy if you can’t remember your file name.
The immediate access area below the search bar allows you to open your recent files swiftly.
Below that, it can either show your files and folder in a list or grid view – entirely up to your choice.
It’s effortless to use it because all you have to do is right-click to modify your files or drag and drop. You can also drag and drop files and folders to upload into the Drive.
As previously mentioned, the desktop app offers an automatic sync folder option so you won’t face any issues because it’s so simple to navigate and straightforward.
The desktop app is available for macOS and Windows.
There’s a mobile app as well, and it permits you to access your files offline and online. It’s currently available for Android and iOS phones.
As part of the Google for Education program, they are offering free storage when you purchase a Chromebook. In making that cloud storage are the perfect match for Chromebook due to their lack of storage capacity in nature.
Part II: Security & Privacy
Google has to undergo several third-party audits regularly for security and privacy reasons.
You can view more at this link: https://gsuite.google.com/learn-more/security/security-whitepaper/page-5.html
Differing from OneDrive, data is encrypted using AES 128-bit at-rest. It’s uncrackable as of now.
When your files are transferring, they are protected using TLS protocol + AES 256-bit encryption.
However, Google Drive doesn’t implement zero-knowledge encryption which is a slight hiccup for those who want a secure privacy method for their data.
But, Google Drive provides 2FA so you can protect your credentials and passwords.
If you want to know more about which cloud storage services provide zero-knowledge encryption, consider reading our article.
Know Your Rights – Read the fine prints
In this regard, Google doesn’t share your name or email address and any other information that can personally identify you, unless you permit these advertisers.
But truth be told, some people don’t mind this at all, but others see this as a privacy intrusion and might start looking at more secure cloud service alternatives.
Now, this depends on you – if you want to stick with Google Drive, go ahead!
You can protect your privacy by using some tools such as Boxcrypter to encrypt your files.
Next, Google complies with the General Data Protection Regulation that applied to the EU citizens’ data and transferred data outside of the EU.
To sum up, Google Drive doesn’t offer private encryption or implement strict security measures.
If you are the type of person that cares about your privacy, you should go with a more private service such as pCloud, Mega, or Tresorit.
YES, from our Google Drive review test out.
It may not shine in the security and privacy department as it doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption.
But Google Drive is excellent for potential users who are looking to collaborate online and offline, share, and work in the G Suite Files.
The prices are very reasonable, and the new revamped Google Drive and One provide many exciting features.
Google Drive and One are at the same time, but they offer a few differences in their features.
For example, Google Drive is a storage service that is part of Google One subscription plans, which also offers other applications such as Calendar, G Suite, and tons of other applications.
They are all synced with Google Drive for collaboration purposes.
While they are great for Android applications particularly, how about cloud storage for Mac or Apple users?
With that being said and covered in this google drive review, is this enough for you to try it out, or will you pick an alternative that provides better privacy and security?
[Off record] – If you aren’t paying, you most probably paying with your privacy.
And we see no reason why you shouldn’t check out sync.com which offers better privacy and secure cloud storage at a cheaper rate of $8/mo for the same 2TB storage. Check out Sync.com here.