Hands on with Google Drive (Review)

Google Drive was announced on April 24, and I spent some time going through the latest rival in the cloud storage industry. With unbeatable prices for upgrades, Google is trying pretty hard to set it’s foot deep into this arena.

Google Drive, at its core, looks a lot like Dropbox: you install software on a device running Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and “in coming weeks,” iOS. That device gets a special Google Drive folder that synchronizes its files with a mirror stored online.

Initially, all users get 5GB of free storage (against 2GB from DropBox). You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

When you first sign up for Google Drive, you’ll see a welcome message liek the one below:

The interface of Google Drive is much like Google Docs. That’s because your documents from Google Doc are automatically synced to your Google Drive’s ‘root’.

The initial screen also has a message inviting you to download the Google Drive Sync software for your Mac or PC.

The UI of Google Drive, as expected, is much like other Google products. If you still use the default Gmail theme, then you won’t find much of changes to the layout of Google Drive. I like the layout, and do not find it confusing at all, probably because I’m not a heavy user of Google Docs. Here’s the Shared with me folder. You can easily create folders and sort your documents and files.

Uploading to Google Drive

Getting your files onto your Google Drive is pretty easy and straight-forward. Just hit the upload icon and you’ll be set to go. You can also see your storage quota within this menu.

Since I’m using Firefox, Google will only allow me to upload individual files. You can upload a folder if you’re in Chrome.. Nice work Google.

The first time you perform an upload, Drive will ask if you would like to convert documents to the corresponding Google Docs format. You can turn that off by unchecking the option Confirm settings before each upload.

During the uploading process, you get complete insights on the files being uploaded. What’s missing is an ETA timer on here.

You can easily reorder your Drive documents according to many parameters.


The layout is clean, uploading files is easy, and you get a decent amount of storage space for free. I think it’s pretty good option for anyone starting out with cloud storage.

Having said that, if you are already using a file storage service, then there’s no reason to switch – unless you are not satisfied with amount of free storage. SkyDrive is providing 7GB, SugarSync now gives away 5GB for free, while Dropbox is still stuck on just 2GB.

Here’s a chart prepared by Hindustan Times comparing the 4 most popular online storage options:

Tell us what do you think of Google Drive. I would like to know how you compare it with other cloud storage solutions. Drop in a comment below to have your say.

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