Google Drive - www.google.com/drive
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service created by Google. It allows users to store files in the cloud, share files and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations with others. Google Drive also offers an office suite with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides that permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more.
Google Drive was launched on April 29, 2012. As of October 2014, it had 240 million active users. In September 2015, Google said that they had over one million paid users of Google Drive.
To use Google Drive, you will need to create a Google account. Signing up for a Google account is free and simple. If you already have a Gmail address, you can use it to access Google Drive and other Google services such as YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Photos.
You can read this article to know how to register a Google account: Gmail Sign Up.
Google offers all users 15 GB of online storage space free of charge, which is shared between 3 of Google storage services, Google Drive, Google Photos and Gmail. Users can get more space through monthly paid subscription. Files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides native formats (.gdoc, .gsheet, .gslides) are not counted towards the storage limits. Photos at maximum 16 megapixels and videos at maximum 1080p resolution using Google's "High quality" setting will be stored in Google Drive for free, but using "Original quality" setting will take up storage space.
As of 2016, Google offers 5 paid storage plan.
| Total storage || Monthly price |
Note: You may be charged local taxes or fees in addition to the prices listed. Google doesn't charge extra fees.
By default, storage plans are set to renew automatically at the end of the subscription period. Users can upgrade their plans anytime. If the renewal fails, users will be given a 7-day grace period to update their payment information. When the storage plan expired or is canceled, the storage limit reverts to the free level. Users can still access their files but will not be able to add anything beyond the storage limit, which means:
- - Users cannot add new files to Google Drive, with the exception of Docs, Sheets, or Slides files, which do not take up space. Synchronization will stop.
- - Users with the "Original quality" setting in Google Photos cannot upload new photos or videos.
- - Any incoming emails in Gmail will be returned to the senders.
File viewing and Sharing
The Google Drive viewer on the web allows the following file formats to be viewed.
- - Image files (.JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, .TIFF, .BMP, .WEBP)
- - Video files (WebM, .MPEG4, .3GPP, .MOV, .AVI, .MPEG, .MPEGPS, .WMV, .FLV, .OGG)
- - Audio formats (.MP3, .M4A, .WAV, .ogg)
- - Text files (.TXT)
- - Markup/Code (.CSS, .HTML, .PHP, .C, .CPP, .H, .HPP, .JS)
- - Microsoft Word (.DOC and .DOCX)
- - Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
- - Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX)
- - Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF)
- - Apple Pages (.PAGES)
- - Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
- - Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
- - Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
- - Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
- - PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
- - Fonts (.TTF)
- - XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
- - Archive file types (.ZIP, .RAR, tar, gzip)
- - .MTS files
- - Raw Image formats
Any formats not included can also be handled through third-party apps that work with Google Drive.
By default, the creator of a file or a folder is its owner. Ownership is transferable. The owner can regulate the visibility and accessibility of the files or folders. They can be shared publicly on the web (anyone can find and view the files, no sign-in required), shared with specific Google accounts (sign-in required), or shared with "anyone with the link" (a secret URL to be shared via emails, blog, etc. No sign-in required). The owner can also set an access level to the shared files or folders. There are 2 access levels: "can view" (files or folders are view-only) or "can edit" (files and folder or be edited). Users who have editing privilege can also give access to others.
Google Drive can synchronize your files between devices through the Google Drive software application, available for Windows PC, Android and iOS devices. The app also supports offline viewing of most file types, and any unsupported file types can be opened by third-party apps on user's device.