Data storage has nowadays become a concern for almost all sectors of security. Be it for personal use or for a commercial, data safety, and data storage is an important point in all aspects. Many portable storage devices have been invented and have become popular with users.
However, there is always a concern about these devices getting lost, or damaged. Also there, is great responsibility in keeping these devices safe. For this, Google has come with a great solution that saves users from all these worries. This solution is Google Drive.
We all have heard about Google Drive and most of us have also used it at some time or the other. But only a few of us know what it exactly is and about the features it holds. In this article, we will discuss the various features and ways to access this extremely useful service i.e. the Google Drive.
What is Google Drive?
Google Drive is a free cloud-based storage service by Google. Google Drive allows its users facilities for storing files and accessing them online. With this, the users can access their saved files anywhere and anytime they want. All they will need is a device to access the data that they require, a google account and an internet connection. The service syncs stored documents, photos and more across all of the user’s devices, including mobile devices, tablets, and PCs.
How does Google Drive work?
- Any user who wants to access Google Drive must have a Google account. If a user lacks a Google account, he/she should make one. Having a Google account ready at hand, the simplest way to access the Google drive is by searching for “drive.google.com” on his/her browser.
- The browser opens the “My Drive” on the screen. this screen will show all your uploaded files or the synced files, the Gooogle sheets, slides, docs. The My Drive sheet also has options to upload files, documents, pictures, etc. on the drive.
- The easiest way to access Google Drive is through the Google Drive application. The users can download this application on any device they want. Let it be a mobile, laptop, PC, tablet, etc.
- Any device that has the Google Drive app automatically creates a folder for Google Drive in the file system of the device. Any file that the user adds to a file is available for access through the Google Drive Web app or the Google Drive folder through the device.
- The user can control the accessibility, visibility and all of the files that they create or upload. The user automatically becomes the owner of the files that they create on Drive.
- They can thus decide whether the file will be available for public visibility or will be private. The private accounts can be shared only through specific Google accounts).
- The owners of the files can also transfer the ownership of the files and folders to another user. This transfer can be done through Gmail addresses.
- There are various levels or visibility and accessibility of the files on the Drive. They can decide whether the other person will be able to edit the file, or ill only be able to see and comment on it, or only view the file.
- A user of Google Drive can store any kind of file on the Drive like photos, videos, pdf, document files, etc.
- There is also the option to save e-mail attachments directly to the drive. Therefore, the users will not have to save the attachments manually to the drive.
- Google Drive has some restrictions on the file limit that the user can upload on the drive.
- The documents to upload on the drive can have only 1.02 million characters in length.
- If you convert a document in Google doc format, you have to see that the size of the file does not exceed 50 MB.
- Similarly, if you convert a spreadsheet into a Google sheet, you have to take care that the size of the spreadsheet does not exceed more than two million cells.
- Also, you have to take care that any presentation you make on Google slide should be of a size not exceeding 100 MB.
- At maximum, you can store up to 5 TB on Google Drive. However, free storage is much less. This maximum limit can be accessed only if you pay the price for that.
- Another good thing about Drive is that it can decrypt all the files that you save on it. As an advantage due to this, you can preview the files without having to download it in your device.
- Google Drive enables you to see a preview of many file formats including files of Microsoft Office, Adobe files and other commonly used file formats like .ctrl files, image files, audio files, video files, etc. Thus, Google Drive not only gives you excellent storage but also a good way to access stuff that you store in it.
- A user can also use Google Drive’s search feature can sort results by item name, file type, date modified, location, ownership and more.
- Also, Google Drive gives facilities so that users can make queries in natural language.
- The Quick Access feature for the Android, iOS and web apps uses machine learning to predict files that users need to be based on their Drive activity and workday patterns.
Google Doc is basically a word processor that is a part of Google Drive’s office suite. Google Doc can be compared to Microsoft word by Microsoft Office. However, Google Doc has much fewer features in comparison to Microsoft Word, but it is still very useful. Being free, simple and easy to use, google Doc has become quite popular these days. It has a very userfriendly table of content. you can create large size files on Google Doc without any difficulty. You can create, edit and convert document files on Google Doc which you can store on your Google Drive. you can access Google Docs through your browser or also through the Google Dic app on your phone. Google Doc app is available for both iOS and Android phones. On Google Doc, you can also store your files in Microsoft word format.
Google sheet is another program that comes under the Google drive’s office suite. Google sheets are more or less similar to Microsoft Excel by Microsoft Office though it lacks many features in comparison to the Excel software. This also is quite simple, user-friendly, and free of cost. You can create and edit spreadsheets on Google Sheets which you can store on your Google Drive. You can access Google Sheets through your browser or also through the Google Sheets app on your phone. Google Sheets app is available for both iOS and Android phones. On Google Sheets, you can also store your files as Excel files.
This is also a part of Google Drive’s office suite. With the help of Google Slides, you can create presentations that you can store on Google Drive. This is similar to Microsoft Powerpoint of Microsoft Office. Again, Google Slides have much fewer features than Powerpoint. You can access Google Slides through your browser or also through the Google Slides app in your phone. Google Slides app is available for both iOS and Google Android phones. On Google Slides, you can also store your files as Powerpoint files.
Another part of the Google Drive office suite, Google Drawing is used to draw on your computer or phone. This is similar to paint though its features differ a lot from that of Paint. Again, you can access Google Drawings through your browser or an app that you can download for your Google Android or Apple iOS phone. You can save any file that you create on Google Drawing to Google Drive.
Google Forms is a part of the Google Drive office suite which you can use to create feedback forms, registration forms or any other similar purpose.
Google Drive Apps:
Most users access Google Drive via its web app.
Even the users who don’t have Wi-Fi access can still view and edit files via a Chrome extension, Google Docs offline.
Another extension for Chrome, “save to Google Drive,” enables users to save content from the web to their Google Drive using their browser or through a context menu.
Google Drive allows users to save documents and images directly, but if they want to save a webpage, there is no option other than taking a screenshot and saving it.
If you have Google Drive’s mobile apps for iOS and Android, you can easily store files on the Drive, share the files and view the files that people share with you.
But if you have to create a file or edit one, you need to have separate apps of Google docs, Google sheets, google slides, on your mobile.
Google Drive Price:
- Google Drive has become so famous because it allows each user 15GB or storage space completely free of cost. You can store any type of file in this 15GB space.
- The cost of increasing the storage area is minimal in Google Drive.
- If you want to increase your atorage area to 100 GB, you will only have to pay $1.99 per month.
- You can increase the storage area to 1 TB just by paying $9.99 per month.
- For increasing it to 10TB, pay $ 99.99 each month.
- If you want to increase it to 20 TB, you have to pay $199.99 per month.
- For increasing it to 30 TB, a user needs to pay $299.99 every month.
- Also, there are some discounts for the users who opt for annual plans of 100 GB and 1 TB.
- Any plan that you opt for automatically gets renewed by Google after month.
- Google also gives its users a grace period of 7 days if the payment fails. A user needs to update the payment information within the span of these seven months.
- If you cancel a subscription or if the payment fails even after the grace period, the user goes back to the free space of 15 GB.
Google Drive- Security:
If you worry about the data that you store on Google Drive, you need to shed out your fears. There is no threat of data getting leaked, or misused, or lost, or any such mishap with Google Drive. The only case where there are chances of losing your data that you store on Drive is if you forget your login details.
Google has following provisions for the security of its user’s data:
- Any data that a user uploads on Google Drive is encrypted with the TLS (transport layer security) standards before it gets uploaded on the Drive.
- After the upload is done, the data gets unencrypted and then re-encrypted with 128-bits AES (Advanced Encryption Standards) before it reaches Google.
- These AES encryptions are encrypted again. Therefore, they add double security to the users’ data.
- Google Drive supports two-factor authentication.
Therefore, you can be sure that your data is in safe hands.
How to use Google Drive?
On Your Phone:
On your mobile, you can access Google Drive through your browser or through the mobilwe App. Google Drive app is compatible with Google Android as well as Apple’s iOS and you can easily install it from the Google Play store. However, most of the mobile phones already have Google Drive in them.
To get started with, you can use the ap to upload ir sync files on your Google Drive, create files in various formats namely Google sheets, doc files, Goggle slides, etc.
Here is how you can use the App to upload a file on your drive.
Step 1 :
Open the Google Drive app on your mobile phone. If you don’t have the app, you can download it from the Google Play Store.
Step 2 :
Go to the “My Drive” option on the Google Drive file, There you can all the previous files that you have synced or uploaded ion the drive. You will also get all the sheets, docs, slides, etc. that you ever created.
You have both the options of creating files on the Drive or uploading the pre-existing files. To upload pre-existing files on your device, Tap on the “Add” option the Google Drive app.
Once you click on “Add”, you will see the option of “Upload”. Click on the upload option and you will be shown various files that are there on your device.
Look for the file that you want to add to your drive. Select th concerning file.
As the last file, check the uploaded files option on the app to see wht=ether the file that selected got added or not.
If you want to add files in Microsoft file format, you can do that also by changing the settings on the Drive. However, for changing the settings, you need to have a PC at hand as the change of settings is possible only through a computer.
You can also decide whether you want to use your mobile data to upload files on Google Drive or not. For this, go the Menu on the top right of the Google App’s home screen. There you will find the “Data usage” option. Under “Data usage”, turn ‘Transfer files over Wi-Fi’ on or off as per your need.
You can also share files on Drive and check the files that people have shared with you. To look for the shared files, Go to the “Shared with me” section on the app. There you will find all that any person has ever shared with you.
On your PC:
You can very easily use all the features of Google Drive on your computer or laptop as well. Here is how to do it:
First of all, you need to get the Google Drive Desktop App on your PC. To install the app, you need to follow the following steps:
Look for the Google Drive option on your search menu or on your desktop if you have one. However, most systems lack this. So if you don’t have the icon, it means Google drive is not there in your device. For installing Google Drive, visit https://www.google.com/drive/download/ and then open googledrivesync.exe. Once you do this, the installation process will start automatically.
When you get the app on your device, i.e. when the download process is complete, open the app. You will see a page where you have to enter your Google account username and password. Make sure to have a Google account before using Google Drive. When you enter the details, your Google account the association of your Google account with the Drive takes place.
After completing the account association, complete the further installation process to get the app on your PC.
After completing the installation process, go to the Start menu and choose Google Drive. The app will open.
You can now Move or copy files and folders from your desktop into your Google Drive folder to begin syncing items. You’ll be able to find your files and folders in “My Drive” on drive.google.com.
You can sync your device with the Google drive on the web. With this, you can see your files on any device. The sync takes place through the: My Drive” section of the Google Drive app. This section contains all the files that you have ever uploaded or created on Google Drive. The files can be Google docs, sheets, slides, or any other file.
Sharing files from Google Drive
Google Drive also allows you to share the files and folders that you store in Google Drive with anyone. With sharing files from Google Drive, you also have the power to control whether people can edit, comment on, or only view the file. When you share content from Google Drive, the Google Drive program policies apply.
Here are the steps to follow to share a file from Google Drive:
On the Google Drive app, go to the section of the file you want to share. That is, go to sheets, docs, slides, or My Drive (where you will find the file).
Look for the file you want to share and click on the file. If you want to share more than one files, you can do it simultaneously using your computer. Hold the shift key while making the selection and you can select as many files as you want.
After selecting the file that you want to share, click on the “share” option.
After clicking on the Share option, you have t choose who you want to share the file to and how much accessibility you want to give to that person. First of all, enter the E-mail address of the person with whom you want to share the files.
Click on the Down arrow to decide the kind of accessibility you have to give to the person.
Click Advanced and uncheck the notify people box if you don’t want to send the file in an e-mail.
In the end, click on “Send”.
You can also share the link of the file to a person. The link can be shared through any app, message, e-mail, etc. On sharing the link with a person, anyone having the link can access that file.
To share the link of a file, go to the top right and click on “Get shareable link”. Go to the “Anyone with a link” option and click on the down arrow. Copy the link and you can paste it anywhere you want.
If you want anyone on the internet to search for, find, and open your file, you can publicly share a file. When you publicly share a file, your name will be visible as the owner of the file. For this, go to the top right and click on “Get shareable link”. Go to the “Anyone with a link” option and click on the down arrow. Click More on and then on “Public on the Web”. In the end, click on save. You can also decide the level of accessibility you want to give to people. Finally, Click on “Done”.