I love my laptop. If there is anywhere I am most comfortable, without a shadow of a doubt, that would be behind my PC screen doing this and that. I can easily shop, find places, reserve holidays and even go on a virtual vacation – I kid you not. That’s how attached at the hip my laptop and I are. And, of course, that means a lot of new discoveries, changes, upgrades and experiments.
Trying out products and apps is a huge part of what I spend time doing on my laptop. These apps take a lot of space and come with their service packs and a lot of files and data. To be productive and prevent my laptop from getting cluttered, I have to keep at least 20% of the disk drive space free. Over the years, as technology changed and introduced new methods of saving information, I found myself switching from flash drives and external hard drives to the much lighter and less demanding method of storage — cloud storage.
Like it is with most people who first learn about cloud storage, my go-to cloud environment was always Dropbox. You might be wondering, “Why Dropbox over Google Drive?” First released for consumers in September 2008, Dropbox has remained a constant friend. Presently, it's compatible with the Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems. Dropbox Basic has always been easy to use, especially for individual needs. Offering free storage space of 2 GB, Dropbox Basic is good for personal files. At times, even heavy files can be stored, just as long as I clear the way beforehand.
Why the Changeover?
I have only ever used Google for Gmail; the additional services such as Google Drive, Calendar, Images, Photos and Shopping have never been close to my heart. Having learned how to manipulate Dropbox to store all of my files, I never saw the need to go beyond this. In the last couple of months, I started collaborating with my colleagues working on Google Documents, which need Drive. That’s when I started paying attention.
And it hit me! All along, I have been cramped because of familiarity. The 2 GB offered by Dropbox is actually a drop in the ocean when compared to the 15 GB storage that has always been lying idle in my Google Drive. Working on Google Documents made me realise that I had always had every tool possible, right under my nose. But I was too comfortable to implement change.
Well, not anymore, I am changing. Doing an entire haul. This covers everything that is linked to cloud storage, including why and how to start using Google Drive. You will also come to appreciate the old age question, “Is Dropbox or Google Drive better?” Then answer it yourself.
Here Are Some Top Observations from My Changeover
- Free storage
The main reason why anyone ever considers cloud storage is because of space. So, you can imagine my joy when I fully came to the realization that I had been refusing to leave a platform that only gives 2 GB free storage. Most professionals argue that 15 GB isn’t much since it’s divided across the other Google apps. But if you’re an individual and a maverick at playing around with the 2 GB from Dropbox, you will be wiser with the 15 GB from Google Drive.
Also, you can get more: with the Google Drive friend referral program, you can invite your friends, and if they sign up, you will get up to 16 GB of free storage.
- Access to all the other Google apps
Honestly, it baffles me to this day and I wonder, why was I so adamant about using Dropbox for so long? One of the major advantages that came with my move to Google Drive was the ability to use all these inhouse apps offered by Google. With most of their products successfully integrated into Google Drive, users can now easily access the other apps from the Tasks app found in the right sidebar of the major Google apps such as Gmail and Google Docs.
You can use all these apps to work online – there is no need for creating separate documents or files offline. You can work with whatever data you want online.
- No need for a separate doc scanner
Google Drive takes away that burden of having to get an additional document scanner before stamping your doc as professionally done. There is a 1*1 Scan widget offered by Google Drive on all Android devices. After scanning, your documents are saved as PDF or JPEG files on the cloud.
My excitement levels shot sky-high after realizing that when using Google Drive, there is no need to keep going back to CamScanner and being inconvenienced. I can upload straight away.
- Easy file sharing
You can copy links with your files to share them with your friends. Once you upload something on your Google Drive, you can select to enter the recipient’s email address for them to have access to the file. Alternatively, you can send these links via email or other messaging platforms. However, you might want to be careful about what you share as Google Drive doesn’t offer a secure or passcode-backed method of sharing.
- Tight security
One thing that I was happy, or at least relieved, about is that Google Drive also takes security seriously. Moving from my beloved Dropbox, I was worried about security. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Turns out Google Drive also uses 2-factor authentication.
Additionally, both platforms offer remote wipe whereby you can remotely clear your account in case your device gets stolen. From an individual account holder’s perspective, Google Drive isn’t too bad. One can easily manage it for their file uploads. I am not going to complain too much about the security system. It works for the most part, and I am okay with that.
- Platform support
The best news for me was discovering that Google drive supports most of the popular platforms. If you’re using the most popular platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS, you can easily find your way with Google Drive. At the moment, there is no native client for Linux, so that can be an issue. But since I am using Windows, I am as happy as can be using my Google Drive Basic account.
- Premium memberships for individuals
If you thought that you had understood my excitement, you’re in for more surprises. Well, just as I was. I came to realize that in addition to Google Drive Basic, there are three other premiums that you can pay for. You can choose between:
- 100 GB at $1.99/Month
- 200 GB at $2.99/Month
- 2 TB at $9.99/Month
So, it turns out that one can easily switch between these plans. That’s how flexible Google Drive’s plans are. You can decide the plan that works for you according to your financial standing or storage capacity you need.
- Premium subscriptions for teams
I always knew about Dropbox’s premium plans for teams. So, I was always one of those questioning why I should choose Google Drive storage over Dropbox since the later also offers plans for teams. While I was right and Dropbox does indeed have team plans, which are $12.5/month for 3 TB for Basic and $20/month for as much space as you use for Advanced (price per user), Google Drive’s plans for teams, known as Google Suite (GSuite), start at just $6 per user offering 30 GB of storage.
The G Suite plans are: Basic at $6 per user; Business at $12 per user; and Enterprise at $25 per user. These can also be paid annually, which also reduces the cost. At this moment, I have to fully admit I fricking love Google Drive although it’s yet to overtake Microsoft Office!
- File syncing
When using Google Drive, one can expect to enjoy the syncing feature in addition to the functions of downloading and backing up. You can easily sync Google Drive with your computer. After that, you can view and check your uploaded files and folders stored in your G Drive folder. Improve your work experience by managing and editing files that are stored online.
The best part about Google Drive syncing is that whatever edit or change is made to the files stored on the Drive, it gets synced automatically across all other devices. Through syncing, you can find the latest version of any file you need on any of your devices as long as you use Google Drive.
What Is Special About Google Drive?
Okay, so to answer your question, “Why Google Drive over Dropbox?” one more time, Google Drive is more user-friendly, especially because it helps when one needs to get some order and achieve consistency to help keep their computer clean so it can perform at optimum levels. Google Drive is simply special because it helps me balance my professional and personal work. Filing has become easier, especially with the additional 13 GB.
Note to self: I just need to maintain order and not get carried away with so much more free space. (If that’s even remotely possible!)
Introducing FileWhopper – For When Space Runs Out Anyway
Well, I have come to realize and accept that it’s very easy to run out of memory. If that’s your fear, then this section is perfect for you. After implementing your own Dropbox to Google Drive migration process, you might also run out of storage. To solve this problem once and for all, you can opt to use FileWhopper as your professional cloud zone. With FileWhopper, there are no limits on data size! The only catch, once you upload your file or folder, the recipient has 14 days (or 3 months if you add this extra service) to access it. Afterwards, it will be automatically deleted from the platform along with all traces of its existence.
Thus, FileWhopper is especially convenient for file sharing within a professional environment. Since the site deletes your link as soon as it is opened or 14 days (3 months) after upload, extra security is achieved. This is how the service works:
- Start by selecting the file or folder that you want to upload.
- The FileWhopper app will assist you to upload your data.
- A personal link to the uploaded file or folder will be provided; copy it.
- Share the link alongside the password that protects your encrypted link.
- Once the recipient opens the link and downloads the contents, FileWhopper automatically deletes your file or folder. Likewise, without any action, it will be erased after 14 days (or 3 months).
FileWhopper is a secure file sharing method that doesn’t come with any strings. You can quickly check it out by yourself to determine if you can use their services going forward. By the way, you can also continue using your newly found favorite Google Drive for other file sharing needs.