The backup features on Google Drive will soon gain significant improvements, possibly making it a more attractive as a cloud storage solution than its rivals. In the future, Google Drive will be able to monitor and back up files inside any location you point it to, including your desktop, entire folders, and others.
Google Launching New Backup Tool
Google will launch the backup feature on June 28 via a new app called Backup and Sync. The app appears to be replacing both the Google Drive app and the Google Photos Backup app, although that remains to be seen. Google says regular users should download the new tool once it comes out, but advises business users to remain using the existing Drive app, even so.
Google's New Drive File System
Google further advises G Suite customers to use the regular version of Drive until it releases Drive File Stream, the company's enterprise-focused storage solution. Drive File Stream will allow users to have access to huge corporate data sets without taking up huge data spaces on local hard drives. Google encourages anyone interested in trying the Drive File Stream to sign up for its Early Adopter Program.
Google didn't elaborate exactly how much users can do with the forthcoming backup tool. There's sure to be basic features such as opening and editing certain file types, as users are able to do on Drive presently. More specific functions, however, such as syncing files from one computer to Drive and then having them synced back down to another computer, are a bit unclear at present. But expect due coverage should Google share more details as the tool nears launch.
Storage Limit Still In Place For Free Accounts, Though
For regular users, files stored using the new backup tool will probably also count toward the standard Google Drive storage limit. On free accounts, that's just 15 GB worth of storage. Those who want increased storage would have to pay the price. Check out our breakdown of the best cloud storage solutions, which includes Google's own service.
But even with just 15 GB worth of storage for free accounts, the move to introduce a dedicated backup tool seems smart and wise for Google to do, since there have been requests for a rival service, Dropbox, to do a similar feature. Similar to Drive at present, Dropbox also requires users to store whatever files they want to sync in the main Dropbox folder, which might not be a very productive backup mechanism for some.
Just this past March, Google launched significant improvements to Drive, especially ones focused on helping enterprise teams migrate massive files to Google Cloud. One of those improvements is a better Google Vault for Drive, which allows admins to have more control over files as dictated by a company's particular hold policies.
Thoughts about Google's forthcoming Backup and Sync tool? Does it now appear more useful than to you than Dropbox and other cloud storage and backup solutions? If you have thoughts or opinions, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!