Google Backup and Sync launches this month

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Google Drive is a relatively simple, but convenient way to backup and share files between computers. Have a project you are working on at work? Throw it in Drive and finish it when you get home. It is nothing new, but it is effective, and many people use it.

However, Google wants to offer more with Drive. The folks in Mountain View are looking to turn Drive from a virtual thumb drive into a more functional backup utility. To that end, they’re developing a new app called Backup and Sync.

The new app is meant to replace the current Google Drive and Google Photos Backup apps. The app is not vastly different, primarily merging the two, so it will still function properly with current Drive accounts and will “respect any current Drive for Mac/PC settings in the Admin console.” However, it does appear to add auto-sync functionality.

"Backup and Sync is the latest version of Google Drive for Mac/PC, which is now integrated with the Google Photos desktop uploader."

Google will incrementally roll out the service starting on June 28 beginning with standard users and moving on to enterprise clients later. Enterprise users will migrate to the new Drive File Stream platform, which has an early adopter program for those G Suite Enterprise, Business and Education customers anxious to test the waters ahead of the full release.

The screenshot above shows that you can mark files on your computer that 'Backup and Sync' will monitor and update to the cloud seamlessly. Free customers receive 15 GB, which is okay for most day-to-day backups of a few folders, but those that work with larger files or are interested in backing up their entire hard drive, the free account will not be adequate.

Google does have paid accounts that are affordable and similar to other services. Drive’s 100 GB plan is only $19.99 per year. If that is not enough, Google also has a 1TB plan that is $99 per year, just like Dropbox. That should be sufficient for all but the most demanding customers, but as we've seen in the past, as physical storage solutions continue to decrease in price, cloud storage expands and becomes more affordable as well.

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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Yes, but as storage costs go down - and cloud storage rates as well - storage usage increases. Files get larger, the pack rats pack away more, etc. It probably is pretty close to a net change of zero over a long enough period of time.
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Yes, but as storage costs go down - and cloud storage rates as well - storage usage increases. Files get larger, the pack rats pack away more, etc. It probably is pretty close to a net change of zero over a long enough period of time.
For users that don't really work with files it's more than enough. The thing is people tend to backup trash, and by trash I mean things that are easily found on the internet, music, movies and tv shows, who knows. I know people who have huge collections of MP3s, that could take years to listen to every single thing once. It's kind of electronic-hoarding-syndrome.

Between the free and some invites I've had in Dropbox I have about 11 to 12 gb of files to sync, and that has sufficed for my work and personal documents with almost 50% free (And I do have Google Drive space for Google Photos auto backup, I'm paying for the 100gb, it's cheap and it's awesome)
 
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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
For users that don't really work with files it's more than enough. The thing is people tend to backup trash, and by trash I mean things that are easily found on the internet, music, movies and tv shows, who knows. I know people who have huge collections of MP3s, that could take years to listen to every single thing once. It's kind of electronic-hoarding-syndrome.

Between the free and some invites I've had in Dropbox I have about 11 to 12 gb of files to sync, and that has sufficed for my work and personal documents with almost 50% free (And I do have Google Drive space for Google Photos auto backup, I'm paying for the 100gb, it's cheap and it's awesome)
Same. Excluding my photography work (which pushes 2TB, after RAW, TIFFs, and PSDs), I only have around 4GB of documents. I still have my old mp3 collection from the pre-streaming days. Only reason I keep it around is because I'm constantly listening to music while I work - and just in case I stop being able to justify the expense of streaming/renting access to music (so its not getting larger).
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Between the free and some invites I've had in Dropbox I have about 11 to 12 gb of files to sync, and that has sufficed for my work and personal documents with almost 50% free (And I do have Google Drive space for Google Photos auto backup, I'm paying for the 100gb, it's cheap and it's awesome)
Yeah, I too have my Dropbox up to just over 12GB and that is more than sufficient for my needs. I only back up files that I really need to back up. All my music (which I never even listen now since I use Spotify), is through iTunes, so I can download it again anytime I want. Same with games and other crap. Only thing I really backup is work stuff and that amounts to a drop in a 12 GB bucket.
 

HardReset

TS Guru
1TB for $99 per year? For same price many cloud services offer unlimited space *nerd*

Before someone asks: Opendrive, Backblaze, Crashplan, Carbonite, Livedrive, Jottacloud...
 
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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
1TB for $99 per year? For same price many cloud services offer unlimited space *nerd*

Before someone asks: Opendrive, Backblaze, Crashplan, Carbonite, Livedrive, Jottacloud...
I thought Caronite killed their unlimited backups? Or was that the multicomputer unlimited backups? Either way, Crashplan and Backblaze aren't really set up to be synchronizing services, like Google Drive is. There is a difference between "synchronizing" and "backing-up" files when it comes to file handling. Synchonizing keeps the latest version, and backing-up maintains a file history of some kind - among other technical backend differences concerning storage.
 
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HardReset

TS Guru
I thought Caronite killed their unlimited backups? Or was that the multicomputer unlimited backups? Either way, Crashplan and Backblaze aren't really set up to be synchronizing services, like Google Drive is. There is a difference between "synchronizing" and "backing-up" files when it comes to file handling. Synchonizing keeps the latest version, and backing-up maintains a file history of some kind - among other technical backend differences concerning storage.
Not sure about Carbonite. I agree with sync vs backup thing. Backblaze and Crashplan both IIRC offered only sync service when I tried them. Really pretty useless for backup purposes as file is deleted from cloud if it's deleted on computer. Opendrive offers pure backup solution in addition to sync, not sure about others.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Not sure about Carbonite. I agree with sync vs backup thing. Backblaze and Crashplan both IIRC offered only sync service when I tried them. Really pretty useless for backup purposes as file is deleted from cloud if it's deleted on computer. Opendrive offers pure backup solution in addition to sync, not sure about others.
I also thought Backblaze and Crashplan only ever offered backup plans? That's all they offer today. I just evaluated both (picked BackBlaze, for what its worth), and both are backup services offering encryption and file history, and both compress your data. They are no longer sync services and are now backup services.

Ostensibly, the only difference between the two is CrashPlan is written entirely in Java that needs 1GB of RAM for every 1TB of data being maintained in the backup (eww - literally had program crashes because I was "running low on memory" with 16GB installed) and only offers Blowfish448 (double ewww) encryption for consumer-level products, while Crashplan is a lightweight C++ applet that barely needs 20MB of RAM to maintain a 2.8TB backup and uses AES256. They're priced petty much the same, but Backblaze offers a much more polished and well-thought-out product for the money, imo. Backblaze also uploaded 1.8TB during the 15 day trial period, and it took CrashPlan 22 days to get to the same place. CrashPlan also only wanted to grab 2.4TB of data, while BackBlaze grabbed 2.8TB - and I have no idea what the 400GB difference was made of, I just know it would be lost in a worst-case scenario. The only downside I could find with BackBlaze was it only retains 30 days of file history, while CrashPlan's was unlimited.