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What is Google Drive? Everything you need to know

Today’s digital world is creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, which has generated a market for Big data analytics, machine learning, and data analytics. Data is being considered the new oil — such is its value — and due to this reason, it needs to be stored securely and yet be easily accessible. Gone are the days of storing your data on dedicated hard drives on devices; now cloud storage services are taking over as they offer greater accessibility. Virtual storage also protects data against physical losses due to device breakage.

There are a lot of cloud storage platforms out there — One drive, Dropbox, and Sync, to name a few. In this article, we will be talking about one of the most used cloud storage platforms, Google Drive.

Google Drive was launched on April 24, 2012, as a platform for Gmail users to create, collaborate and share things online. It is a cloud-based storage service which comes as a part of GSuite along with other services such as Google SheetsGoogle Docs, Google Slide, among others.

The 15GB storage available to Gmail users when they create an account is a part of the entire Google Drive storage, which is shared among the other Google online software linked to a single Gmail account.

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Google Drive explained

What is G Suite? Price and plan features comparedGoogle Drive is a cloud storage platform that allows you to store 15 GB of data on Google servers for free. It is the highest amount of free storage space given by any cloud storage provider. Cloud storage enables you to access your data from anywhere in the world. You are no longer constrained to the realms of physical storage devices like hard drives.

Since Google Drive is online, you can easily access, share and save data from anywhere. Alongwith that, it has cross-platform support which means that you can save a document from iPhone and can access it a couple of weeks later on any Windows or Android device.

Google Drive is loaded with several features such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where you can upload a scanned copy of the newspaper or a book and then can search for a particular word. Furthermore, Google also added image recognition whereby you can upload the picture and then can search that picture by the name of the place. For example, if you have uploaded a photo in front of Taj Mahal, you can later search that picture by searching Taj Mahal.

Google Drive also provides the office suite, which includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. All these services — offered as a part of the paid G Suite plan for businesses — make handling presentations, spreadsheets, and documents a breeze. You can share your drive link with your co-workers and finish work faster.

Google Drive also has a feature that enables backing up your phone. So, in case of an accident, you can restore all your data from your drive. Google has embedded advanced NLP (neural language processing) in its cloud storage environment. It allows users to search for data with great ease. Moreover, with the Backup and Sync tool of Google, you can add files directly in the Google Drive folder by simple cut and paste process. Those files will then be uploaded and can be accessed on Google Drive.

Furthermore, in case of a power cut or internet failure, you can use the service offline. For this, you will have to enable the Google Drive extension on Chrome. However, you should be cautious while installing the extension if your device is a public or a shared one.

With Google Drive, you can almost do anything with your documents or files that you have uploaded. In a few simple clicks, you can upload the data on Google Drive. You can make and share folders to keep the workspace organised.

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Privacy and security

What is PGP encryption and OpenPGP? How do they work?Google Drive provides you with 128 bit AES encryption. This might not be as good as 256 bit AES encryption, but it is secure enough. It uses SSL encryption during data transmission. So rest assured your data is safe with google

Privacy is a whole other ballgame. Google, in its agreement, says that it can use data uploaded to the cloud for targeted advertising.  NSA’s PRISM branch and Google Drive are connected to keep a check on terrorist activities, so Uncle Sam is indeed spying on everyone. Google might be using state of the art encryption, but it has the encryption keys as well, which means that realistically there is a probability that a rogue employee can access your data.

Pricing and plans

The free version of Google Drive gives you 15 GB of storage which alright for most of us. But if you are a business owner or has tons of data to upload, you can always go for the subscription-based Google One plan.

  • 100GB storage: INR 130/month or INR 1300/year
  • 200GB storage: INR 210/month or INR 2100/year
  • 2TB storage: INR 650/month or INR 6500/year
  • 10TB storage: INR 6500/month
  • 100GB storage: INR 13000/month
  • 100GB storage: INR 19500/month

The plans and pricing may differ depending on your country. You can check Google One prices for your country here.

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