Google has officially announced Google Drive, its long-rumored cloud storage solution that will be competing with Dropbox, Microsoft's SkyDrive, and other cloud sync and backup services. The service, which gives you 5GB of storage for free, is now (or soon will be) available to anyone with a Google accoun, including Google Apps users.

The Google Drive client, which is currently available for PC, Mac, and Android devices (with iOS support coming soon), works similarly to Dropbox: it creates a single folder on your computer that syncs your data with Google's servers and with your other synced devices. Storage upgrades are available starting at $2.49 a month for 25GB, $4.99 a month for 100GB, and so on all the way up to $799.99 a month for 16TB - the full list of price points is available here. Upgrading to a paid account automatically gets you 25GB of Gmail space, and will let the Picasa image storing service use your expanded Google Drive storage pool rather than the 1GB of space available for free.

The advantage that Drive has over Dropbox for heavy Google users is deep integration with Google's existing services; if you've already got documents in Google Docs, they will automatically appear in your Google Drive. Sharing, collaborating, and commenting on files is also built-in, as is a robust search engine that can actually scan images and PDFs for keyword matches using OCR.

You can find more information about Google Drive here. While the service looks promising, whether it can make headway against entreched competitors like Dropbox (or competitors with deep OS integration, like iCloud and the recently upgraded SkyDrive) remains to be seen.

Source: Google

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  • jaydee - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    "Storage upgrades are available starting at $2.49 a month for 100GB, $4.99 a month for 50GB, and so on all the way up to $799.99 a month for 16GB"

  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Thank you for immortalizing that awful, awful sentence. Dunno what I was thinking. :-)

    Prices should be correct now.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Are there any encryption options?
  • webmastir - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    having 2 factor authentication protect my files is as good as it'll get. i COULD create an encrypted container via truecrypt or something, but i don't have anything that sensitive that is going to be store on my 'Drive'
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    2-factor authentication is not encryption. Some people do have something "that sensitive" that could be store on Google Drive if encryption were an option. Ideally without Google having a "master key" to decrypt the data.

    It would be a nice feature, even if a premium account would be required to enable encryption.
  • shabby - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    It boggles the mind that none of the cloud storage lockers have any encryption options, wonder why that is.
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Nobody understands/cares.
  • Nanobaud - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Because for $5/month, users will expect them to go to court and mount a defense everytime some government wants to force them to decrypt something.
  • twotwotwo - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    I think part of their philosophy is that it's not just streams of bytes they're storing, it's meaningful content they can manipulate/serve in special ways: Picasa photos can be viewed in a gallery and resized and so forth, Amazon Cloud Player MP3s can be played, Office docs can open in Microsoft's web apps--even Dropbox has photo galleries. But I bet there will be a day when there's a more security-oriented (and geek-oriented? enterprise-IT-oriented?) option.
  • MrEgo - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    Yes, Microsoft already has that available, and it's been available for several years. It's called SharePoint.

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