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Google Drive has finally arrived, and has taken the cloud based storage world by storm. But what does it actually do? What makes it different to other systems already available? We’ve put together the lowdown on Google Drive so you have everything you need to know.

Google drive

So what is Google Drive?

The easiest way to explain Google Drive is to compare it to their not so distant cousin, ‘DropBox’. Drive is a cloud based system that allows you to create anything you need instantly and be updated in real time. Users can access all data via the cloud, from wherever you happen to be, at work, on the go, at home, and it is ready to click and share at a moments notice.

Once you have installed the client software on any/all the platforms you want be it PC, Mac, iPhone or Android (iPad coming soon). Drag and drop a file into the local ‘home’ folder (much like you would on any Cloud based device) and it will be available for all. The speed it is available of course ultimately depends on your broadband speed for larger files, but smaller images and whatnot are synced almost instantly.

How is Google Drive any different to Google Docs?

We doubt it will be very long until the two are one of the same, as your Google Docs are incorporated straight into Google Drive after installation and ready to be used cross platform. Now, when you try to access Docs Google takes you straight to Drive, encouraging use of that instead. The key difference between the two is the amount of storage available. Previously Docs only had 1MB of space, it has now risen with Drive to 5MB. Unlike before, this can also be extended (at a price of course!) and Drive offer packages to those that require more too. 25GB is available at $2.49 per month ($29.88 per year)  or 100GB for $4.99 per month ($58.88 per year)  for the more conventional users, with packages running up to 8TB for those wishing to store small countries in the cloud!

What can I store in Google Drive?

The short answer? Anything you like! As long as it isn’t anything illegal, anything from PDFs, images, videos, documents and power-points can be uploaded onto the Drive. The only slight hitch is that each download cannot exceed the maximum of 10GB, which is still a far bigger limit than any of the competitors on the market. With the ability to use and access the drive via multiple devices, it is a great way of backing up all your data, be it from your phone or your laptop, preventing the colossal meltdown that inevitably entails when technology fails leaving us, empty handed.

Is there anything else we need to know?

Naturally, Drive was developed with all the Google platforms in mind, making it incredibly easy to sync all your Google platforms (Picasa, GMail and not forgetting Google+ of course) and transfer documents/data either which way. Drive is a great addition to the Google family, and really seems to have been the missing piece of the jigsaw tying all their platforms neatly together.

[image via Google]

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