Google to offer 1GB of free cloud storage

In late November 2007, we reported on a story by the Wall Street Journal that said Google was planning a free cloud storage service. Well, it’s taken over two years, but that prediction has now come true. Google made the announcement on its official blog earlier today.

Rather than a standalone service, the new cloud storage option integrates with Google Documents. Users could upload word processing documents, spreadsheets, and PDF files to the service before, but over the “next few weeks,” Google will start accepting any file up to 250MB in size. The blog post cites ZIP archives and RAW files from digital cameras as examples, adding that users will still benefit from existing file and folder sharing features.

Non-paying users will get 1GB of free storage for files not convertible into Google Documents formats. Those willing to exchange money for extra capacity will be able to do so at the cost of 25 cents per gigabyte per year. The cheapest plan provides 20GB of cloud-based storage capacity for five bucks a year—not a bad deal by any means.

Meanwhile, Google says businesses who subscribe to the Google Apps Premier Edition service will have the ability to “seamlessly upload many files at once and sync them with their desktop in real time using third party applications.” According to the Google Enterprise Blog, though, extra capacity will cost a heftier $3.50 per gigabyte per year for that service.

Comments closed
    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    Cloud storage is a nightmare waiting to happen.Think they are being generous?
    Wait till you have to download the info back to your computer and they say…oops sorry…only 100MB download a month please.
    Should only take a year or so to get back all your photos etc.
    Not to mention the download speed of said material is entirely at Google’s discretion.
    Anyone with high level password access will be able to have a nice little poke around in your data and you’ll be none the wiser.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      This is true of Gmail’s IMAP and POP3 access, so I would not be surprised if it was true here, too.

    • psyclone
    • 10 years ago

    Hurry and put your financial files in the cloud with Google, China is ready to download them at anytime.

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      I say they should just leave that damn country. And so should every other western company as well. It’s an authoritarian dictatorship, and it’s not about to change anytime soon. Why the hell should we make business with those? Better take the industry back again.

      I’m dreaming, yeah I know, companies are driven by greed. But it’s a nice dream.

        • September
        • 10 years ago

        THIS. Plus the will rape the world of all the resouces, there can’t be 2 billion middle-class people on this planet at our current per capita consumption.

    • Warp9
    • 10 years ago

    1GB of free storage? This seems like an announcement from 3-4 years ago. 1GB is nothing these days. Microsoft provides 25GB free storage on SkyDrive.

      • Sniper
      • 10 years ago

      But this is special cloud storage! All the rules have changed! This is… ehh… uhhh… great… and stuff.

      • moog
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah and Cyril ‘forgot’ to make a newsline for that?

    • FireGryphon
    • 10 years ago

    How is this a deal when hard drive space costs about 9 cents per GB these days (e.g. WD Caviar Green 2 TB)? Even smaller 500 GB drives from WD cost 16 cents per GB.

    Unless you do a LOT of document swapping, 25 cents per GB is a bit steep. You’d get better mileage buying a regular hard drive and running a server off your computer.

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      So? First, there’s a convenience factor you’re completely leaving out. That’s huge. Second, it’s completely off site. If your computer goes up in flames it’s another area you have a back up of your important information. Third, it’s probably more secure than the vast majority of home server setups. Fourth, ease of sharing what is there. See Microsoft’s SkyDrive sharing options (and also DropBox’s).

      Those all add a lot of value.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      Yea, I see where you are coming from, but this is good for portability without a machine. There is a lot of overhead here. Up time, electricity and all that other crap.

      Of course, I will never use it. That is was a website hosting is for, right?

    • adam1378
    • 10 years ago

    Sugarsync has worked pretty well for me so far. I only wish it had an app for the palm pre. But like the fact I can access my music anywhere.

    • A_Pickle
    • 10 years ago

    Go to hell, Google.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    BitTorrent, anyone?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    ISPs have had ‘cloud storage’ for quite a while now. *shrug*

    • blastdoor
    • 10 years ago

    I’m becoming increasingly suspicious of google. They seem very eager to get their hands on all data in existence. That’s a lot of power for a single entity, particularly one with little political accountability. I like gmail, but I’m starting to wonder if I should switch to something else…. maybe, gasp, mobileme. I wonder what Apple’s privacy policies are, and if they sell data to advertisers or give it to the government…

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      It’s called running a business and increasingly the biggest business on the web is having people put their information on your website in order for you to sell services that leverage that data.

      I feel this issue will expand further as this new generation of people and those who have been raised on the Internet expect everything to be free. Be it email, news, videos, information hosting, etc. We all want it to be free and the reality is that it either 1.) Can’t be free or 2.) Ways to make it profitable are not always ideal for long term plans for either user (privacy) or company (sustainability of the entire operation and the business model doesn’t have a high barrier for entry).

      I’m more than ready to make a shift back to paying for quality service.

        • blastdoor
        • 10 years ago

        I have no problem paying for things that I value. I’d rather pay a fair price than find out that I’ve sold my soul to the devil later.

          • poulpy
          • 10 years ago

          Although being the devil he’d probably both take your money and then your soul, the cheeky bastard.

          More to the point why this service -not first to the market as other pointed out- makes you increasingly suspicious of Google?
          EDIT: So far AFAIK Google has been pretty straightforward with what they do with your queries and emails, they dig in anonymously for advertising purposes.

          I mean Teh Cloud(TM) is the next big thing and given Google’s architecture (crunching power and storage on the server side, weakish phones/netbooks/pcs for end users) it fits perfectly in their model.

            • Skrying
            • 10 years ago

            Probably has a bit to do with the comments on privacy Google’s CEO is on record talking about. Could also be some of the other recent behavior that is making Google appear to be more traditional company than before (see double ETF’s on Nexus One for instance).

        • blazer_123
        • 10 years ago

        Cloud computing has an extreme barrier to entry: Economies of Scale that require massive capital investment. This is more important in tech industries, specifically with regards to memory, because of fast technological progress and a rapid rate of depreciation.

        Whether Google is a monopoly or oligopoly doesn’t change the situation prospective competitors are in. Unless you have an extraordinary amount of technical expertise and bottomless pockets you can’t compete.

        That doesn’t mean storage companies, like rapidshare and filebox, can’t compete. They can. However, Google almost certainly has a lower cost of production due to its size. Lower cost of production coupled with integration gives Google a strong position in the future market power of cloud computing.

        If the smaller competitors can find a niche market they may be around for a long time. Rapidshare will continue to thrive on illegal content but I find it hard to see a future for small, legitimate, storage providers.

      • barleyguy
      • 10 years ago

      You could just encrypt your data before uploading it. Then it becomes just a bag of bits.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 10 years ago

      Every online email will give your email to a legal authority. Not a single one of them will shield you from a local, state or federal subpoena.

        • blastdoor
        • 10 years ago

        I guess I don’t expect them to shield me from a LEGAL request from the government to see my data. But I would prefer that they fight tooth and nail against legally questionable requests. I would also prefer that they not sell my data to anyone.

          • StashTheVampede
          • 10 years ago

          “But I would prefer that they fight tooth and nail against legally questionable requests.” What do you define as legally questionable? You aren’t being forced to use *any* of their services.

          “I would also prefer that they not sell my data to anyone.” Who says they have? They have far more to gain by not selling.

      • shank15217
      • 10 years ago

      Funny, Google just announced they will not censor search results in China any longer. Maybe that’s a sign of overbearing corporate involvement.

      • VILLAIN_xx
      • 10 years ago

      §[<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRj2HJx5Il0<]§ Oh dont be so scared... its just your privacy.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      I’m trying out the free MobileMe trial. So far it seems to work flawlessly as long as you use Outlook on Windows or Apple’s Mail/Address Book/iCal software. Other software is supported, just not qutie as seamless. Anything that can do CalDAV, IMAP, and CardDAV is supported for sure as far as I can tell.

      It’s also the fastest way to get my iPod updated with calendar/contacts/email, too.

      The knock against MobileMe is that it’s had some stability issues in the past. I’ve read that they’ve gotten alot better, but I can try it for myself for 60 days to find out. I’m on day 7.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 10 years ago

    Been using Skydrive since it came out. Been very happy with it, no gripes at all.

    I’m sure this announcement will only cause Microsoft to up the storage, much like they did with hotmail/msn when gmail came out.

      • dermutti
      • 10 years ago

      Yea, but back when Gmail came out, Microsoft upped their storage because gmail’s dwarfed hotmail’s. I’m surprised that google didn’t repeat that with this service. After all, they give away 7+ gigs with gmail. Why didn’t they just make it one big pool shared between their services?

        • ew
        • 10 years ago

        I suspect gmail is very good at only storing one copy of duplicate messages that are duplicated. De-duplication probably won’t work as well in this case and so you get a lower limit.

    • -_-
    • 10 years ago

    Adrive.com gives 50GB free and 2GB upload limit.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    Cloud storage is OK, but I prefer cloud syncing. Mesh and Dropbox are both miles ahead of either this or Skydrive. Why doesn’t Skydrive just sync and drop the Mesh nonsense?

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      I know! It’s nuts that Microsoft has multiple conflicting services that could easily be combined.

      What I’d give for the *one* killer syncing suite of services.

        • Convert
        • 10 years ago

        Nice, thanks for the heads up about drop box.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 10 years ago

          I <3 Dropbox. Been using it for over a year now, and it’s a life-saver if I forget to print something out. Don’t even need a client to download, only to sync. Cross-platform sync only makes it better.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 10 years ago

    Skydrive 25GB with LiveMesh….what is this Google thing, uh?

    • jstern
    • 10 years ago

    Oops. Meant as a reply.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    And worth every penny!

    • jstern
    • 10 years ago

    Microsoft gives 25gb free. But only 50mb file limit.

      • Nitrodist
      • 10 years ago

      What’s it called?

        • VaultDweller
        • 10 years ago

        SkyDrive.

        • jstern
        • 10 years ago

        Skydrive. It makes me like Microsoft. Not that I hated them or anything. (Forgot to press reply)

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        SkyDrive.

        • no51
        • 10 years ago

        Sky-[

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      It’s called SkyDrive.

        • VaultDweller
        • 10 years ago

        And that was called me posting the same answer multiple times by mistake.

          • ModernPrimitive
          • 10 years ago

          What’s it called again ? 😀 lol ….sry 😉

            • jstern
            • 10 years ago

            SkyDrive.

            • Game_boy
            • 10 years ago

            -[

    • PRIME1
    • 10 years ago

    How many buzz words will that store?

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      Seven.

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