Google Drive

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: The ultimate guide to cloud-based file sharing
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Google Drive is a freemium cloud storage service that is integrated with the company's other services and systems -- including Google Docs, Gmail, Android, Chrome, YouTube, Picassa, Google Video,Google Analytics and Google+.

Google Drive, which enables a seamless browser-based interface between the user’s files and applications, competes with SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service which is similarly integrated with that company's applications and systems. Other competing services include Apple's iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Mozy's Stash, SugarSync and Yandex.

To get started with Google Drive, the end user downloads a small application to one or more computing devices. A Google Drive folder will appear along with other folders in each device's file system. Files added to one folder are available through a Google Drive web app or the Google Drive folder on each device. Changes made to one file in a Google Drive will be synchronized across all Google Drives.

As of this writing, Google offers five gigabytes storage for free and larger amounts at low rates -- 25GB for $2.49 per month, 100GB for $4.99 per month and a terabyte (TB) for $49.99/month. Google Drive is available for Windows, Macintosh and Android systems.

See a video introduction to Google Drive:

This was last updated in May 2012

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