Google Drive Is the service of Cloud Storage free of charge from the Mountain View company, which allows you to have a series of useful services to save your files and work in a team. Google One is a service, relatively recently introduced in Italy, which gives users the possibility of extend functionality e increase the space available on the cloud.
Google Drive is a free service, while Google One, on the contrary, is paid and offers various more or less expensive solutions.
Let's find out more about the two services: how they work, what they allow you to do and what the costs are. And if you want to learn more about the cloud, we recommend taking a look at our guide to the cloud.
What is Google Drive
As mentioned, Google Drive is Google's free cloud storage service, even if defining it like this is a bit limiting: there are many things that Google Drive allows you to do, including share files with other people, scan documents and work offline.
Introduced in 2012 and based on open source software, Google Drive supports among others image files (JPG, PNG, GIF), video, text (typically Microsoft Office package files), Apple Pages, Adobe's suite and archive.
Google Drive does not require any software installation on your computer. Thanks to the services Docs, Sheets (similar to Excel), Slides, Modules, Tables and other features, it is possible to have, free of charge, a complete suite to work.
Google offers Drive with its own 15 GB of free space to anyone with a Google account. And if you need to increase the space on the cloud, thanks to Google One it is possible to have many more GB at a relatively low cost.
What Google Drive can do
Google Drive allows users to upload and store files and folders on the cloud e synchronize them with the pc. Thanks to Google Drive, you can upload files and edit them as you wish (within the limits of the service's functions). Furthermore, if you decide to install the Drive application on your computer's hard disk, you can use the service without accessing the browser and constantly synchronize your most important files with the cloud, so as to make sure that they update automatically every time they are published.
Google Drive allows you to synchronize any folder on your computer and, as mentioned, to store files of all kinds on the cloud. But the features of the service don't stop there. Drive is a real ecosystem of apps and services you can work with, even in a team. The ability to quickly and intuitively share files with your collaborators makes it a practical tool for carrying out projects. When sharing a file on Google Drive, you can give one or more people permission to view and edit the file.
Let's go into detail and see everything that can be done with Drive.
As mentioned, Google Drive basically offers 15 GB to store your files. Uploading files and folders is pretty straightforward. Just click on the button at the top left New: at this point, a window will open that will allow you to upload files or folders. Alternatively, you can use the drag and drop and drag and drop whatever you want into Drive. Uploaded files and folders will be available in the “My Drive” section. It is also possible to organize files in folders and subfolders.
Google Drive also allows you to create files of different types. Also in this case, to start you will have to click on the button New: among the options that will present themselves, it will be present Google documents (similar to the blank Word document), Google Sheets (simile a Excel), Presentations, Forms (for polling) e Other (to create other types of files or use apps). All options provide either a document, a spreadsheet, a blank form or several templates to start with.
Access files from anywhere
Thanks to Google Drive, you can access your files from any PC, smartphone and tablet. From a PC you can access it from any browser, by entering the login data of your Google account, while from a smartphone we recommend downloading the app (available for Android and iOS): from there you can access the files, work on them or share them.
Share with others
And speaking of what has just been said, Google Drive allows you to share your files with other users. It is a useful service especially for those who work: sharing a file or an entire folder rather than sending everything via email is definitely a more practical and faster solution.
To share, just right click on the file or folder you want and select the item Share. From the window, select Share with other people or groups, will allow to indicate the name (if present in the contact list) or the email address of the person with whom you want to share the file or folder (which, in turn, must have a Google account).
Drive also gives the possibility to copy the link, with two sharing options: with limitations, that is giving the possibility only to the added people to open the link, or Whoever has the link, which on the contrary allows anyone in possession of the link to open it.
By clicking on the wheel at the top right of the window, you can change them sharing settings, that is, decide if editors can change permissions and share and if “viewers” and “commenters” can see the option to download, print and copy the shared file (s). In short, Drive allows you to choose the degree of sharing of each of your files, so as to differentiate the possibilities of access and modification.
What if the person you're sharing the file with doesn't have a Google account? You can use the option Get sharing link, which of course will allow him to open it.
Drive allows you to work on files in the cloud even in the absence of a connection: you can in fact create, edit or simply view Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files.
To work offline, the extension must be activated Google Docs Offline for Chrome, using Chrome as your browser, but not in private browsing. At this point, offline access must be enabled: open Drive, click on Settings and activate Offline settings. At this point, you can open the document you want in the Chrome browser.
If, on the other hand, you prefer that only some specific documents are available online, just click Other on the file to be modified or displayed even without connection and click Available offline. At the bottom left, a check will confirm the availability of the file online. Alternatively, you can open a Google Doc, click on File and then Make Available Offline.
View previous versions
How to recover a file in an older version than the last update? It's easy with Google Drive, because it keeps the different drafts in one file. To restore an old version of the file, just open the file, version history and choose the one you want. To upload a different version of a non-Google file to Drive, instead, just choose Upload new version and select the file you want to update from your PC. Finally, to download or restore previous versions of non-Google files, click on the file, choose Other, then Manage versions and upload a new version.
Search for files or folders in Drive
Google Drive gives you the ability to search for the file or folder you want. A convenient search bar at the top, with the unmistakable magnifying glass, allows you to quickly find what you are looking for. This is especially handy if you have a lot of files to search for.
Google Photos allows the backup photos and videos on smartphones and tablets, but not only: thanks to this service, in fact, it will be possible to create galleries, collages and videos, search by keywords. Furthermore, the AI is able to recognize the subjects of the photos, so as to group them and search them in an "intelligent" way according to the subject portrayed.
With a free Google account you can synchronize all the photos and videos on your device with unlimited backups, but with a limit: photos must have a maximum quality of 16 MP and the videos of 1080p. If, on the other hand, you want to save in their original format, photos and videos will occupy the space still available on Drive. Google Photos automatically sync your files to the cloud (but not with iOS operating systems), it allows you to save a lot of space on your smartphone or any other device.
Scanning of documents
Not everyone knows that Drive is possible scan documents. To succeed, however, you will have to use the Android app: the function is not available on iPhone and iPad.
To scan, after opening the Google Drive app, you need to click the button + (Add) and choose Scan. At this point, you can adjust the scan area and proceed with the operation. To make a new scan, just press the Add button again.
Save Gmail attachments
If you have a Gmail account that you use often, you can save them attachments to Drive directly from the mailbox. In fact, just click on the file to find the button to save it on Drive next to those to print and download it. After saving the file, it will be found in the My Drive section.
In addition to the features already indicated, Drive provides apps for every need, work or otherwise. On Google Workspace Marketplace there are apps for editing images, faxing documents, signing, etc. The apps are divided by category and based on the type of Google file for which they have been programmed: Documents, Slides, Sheets and so on.
How Google Drive works
Google Drive has an interface simple and intuitive, a sign of the great UX work done by the Mountain View company. Archiving and synchronizing files and folders, as well as creating new files, are quick and one-click operations, easy even for those who do not have this great familiarity with computer media.
So let's see how it works on the different devices we use every day: PCs, Android devices and iPhones (or iPads).
Sitting at your pc, to access Google Drive just use one of the main browsers (Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox) per connettersi a Drive.google.com. If this is your first time logging in, you will need to enter the Google credentials to have in front of the Google Drive screen with all its options. On the left is the complete menu: the New button to upload or create files, My drive with all files and folders, Shared with me (files that collaborators and friends have shared) Recent, Starred and the trash.
To log in from Android smartphone or tablet, just open the app, installed natively: if it has been deleted, just go to Google Play and reinstall it. Opening the app, in the other there is the quick search bar, at the bottom right the + button, to add files and folders to the cloud. In order, there will be the most recently modified files. The three horizontal lines, placed on the search bar on the left, opens the screen with all the features of the app.
iPhone and iPad
On iPhone and iPad it works similar to that of Android devices: After you download the app, you can do all the operations that Drive allows, from archiving to sharing files and folders.
Backup and synchronization
One of Drive's coolest features is the ability to automatically archive to the cloud folders and files on your pc through the synchronization function. Let's assume that you decide to synchronize a workbook on Drive: every time you add or modify a file within the folder, that file will also be copied or modified on Drive.
How to activate this function? Simple: from the download page of Google Drive click Download Backup and Synchronization. Once the software is installed, you can decide what to synchronize.
The procedure for Mac is similar: once you have opened the downloaded dmg package, just copy it to the Applications folder and start it. Once you have entered your login data (email and password), just press the Ok button. From the My Laptop screen, you will be able to choose individual folders and files to sync to Drive.
What is Google One
Available from 2018, Google One is the subscription plan designed for those in need more storage space than Google Drive's 15GB to keep your files and data. It has several options, with different prices, and offers additional services of interest: for example, credits to be used on Google Play and discounts and exclusive offers for hotel stays found through Google search.
But the most interesting service is the ability to create a family group with which to share the purchased plan and its benefits. In fact, it is possible to add up to five members of the "family", each with its own private storage space. For example, if you decide to buy the 100TB package, the space available to all (of course, 100 TB in total, not each). In addition to free services like Google Keep (for quick annotations) and Google Calendar, members can also share other subscription plans, such as YouTube Premium, Google Play Music, and all Google Play paid apps.
Another advantage, the ability to contact a Google expert in case of problems and malfunctions: you can request the help of an employee both through the app and via the web.
Google One can be used on smartphones, tablets and desktop PCs. To buy one of the plans provided by the service, just download the app or visit the official website. To subscribe, you will also need your credit (or debit) card or a Paypal account.
Google One costs and plans
Google One proposes different plans at different costs. It starts from the plan from 1,99 euros per month for 100 GB of storage space up to 30 TB (obviously intended for large companies) at 299,99 euros per month.
But let's see in detail all the plans:
- 100 GB for € 1,99 per month
- 200 GB for € 2,99 per month
- 2 TB for € 9,99 per month
- 10 TB for € 99,99 per month
- 20 TB for € 299,99 per month
- 30 TB for € 299,99 per month
As we can see, it is a studied plan on everyone's needs, both for those who simply want more space for videos and photos, and for those who need a large chunk of space on the cloud to store important projects and work files.What is Google One and how Google Drive works