Well, it’s not the mythical Google Drive, but it’s close. For a price. And assuming you only want to store pictures and emails.
Google tonight announced that it was drastically slashing prices while at the same time offering more storage pricing options for users of its services. Specifically, while Gmail users currently get about 7 gigabytes for free and Picasa users get about 1 gigabyte for free, both can now upgrade to 20 GB for just $5 a year. Previously, it cost $20 to get just 10 GB of additional service.
But what’s really pretty incredible is that Google has an option for you to buy up to 16 terabytes, yes, terabytes, of storage from them. As Google notes, that enough to store 8 million very high resolution photos. Considering that most consumers probably still have south of 500 gigabytes of storage in their home, that’s pretty massive.
Of course, you’ll pay for it: 16 TB will set you back $4,096 a year. But if you do something that requires you to store 16 TB of photos, you can probably afford that. And there are varying storage levels at different price points leading up to that. 8 TB is $2,048 a year, 4 TB is $1,024, and so forth.
These all represent significant price decreases from Google’s previous offerings, but it still would be cheaper to buy your own external drives. So why not do that? Well, Google offers the same levels of backup security that it ensures on all of its data currently. Plus, you won’t have to have dozens of drives sitting around. And since the data is all in the cloud, you’d be able to access it from anywhere, which Google highlights in its post.
But there’s something key to remember: Google is only officially offering this storage for use with Gmail and Picasa. It’s not a complete online backup/storage system, which is what Google Drive (or Gdrive) has long been rumored to be. Of course, there are programs and workarounds that will more or less let you use it for that purpose, but Google is not yet sanctioning the use of its storage as your official cloud drive.
Under Google’s system, 1 TB of storage will cost $256 a year and 400 GB is $100 a year. I don’t know about you, but if Apple offered something similar that would let me backup all my iTunes music and movies and allowed me to access them from anywhere, I would do it.