Why Paid Online Storage is Better than Google Drive
Since the inception of the internet, over the years our need for storage space has grown exponentially. So much so, that today most of us need additional storage space to store our files. Also, there is the constant fear of the data getting corrupted or the drive failing, thus increasing the need for us to have secure copies of our data elsewhere. All this has led to the emergence of online cloud storage systems.
So… What exactly is Google Drive Promising?
Google Drive is the newest member of the free cloud storage facilities available on the internet. It has been made an important part of the Google Android system, similar to what SkyDrive is to the Windows platform. It has finally hit the mainstream after years of speculation and rumors.
For most of us, however, Google Drive has come a bit late. For those people who were already Google Docs users, the migration to Google Drive might have been a good thing. You got 5GB of free storage space and more space in your email account (which jumped from 7.5GB to about 10GB). But for people who did not use much of the online Google Docs services, the presence of Google Drive on the market won’t really change anything.
The major reason for this is that for people who are already using other online storage services, it offers very little in its free version. This is perhaps why it has still to make any kind of major mark in the market for online storage services. It is true that Dropbox offers only 2GB for free while SugarSync offers 5GB for free, but Windows SkyDrive offers by far the best in this category, with 25GB for free. Google’s free service has failed for the simple reason that it was not there at the right time. The consumers have already moved on and made their choices known. So until Google does something really remarkable in this field, its chances of market domination in the online storage sector are slim.
What AREN’T They Telling Us?
In actual fact, the amount of storage space offered by Google’s free service is peanuts compared to what most users need these days. Sure, Google offers more space if you are willing to pay for it. But is it really worth the price? Several controversies are currently doing the rounds of the internet, concerning the ‘End User License Agreement’ (or EULA), which a user automatically signs whenever they start using Google`s free service.
While other paid competitors have gone on to specify things like how much they value a users privacy, what is unknown to most average users is that Google has done quite the opposite! The agreement roughly says that when you store or submit documents and files with them, it gives them a free license to use, host, store and modify them and use them for derivative works. It also says that it gives them the right to display your files publicly. Then they even go on to say that their license over the files stored with them continues even when you stop using their services! Sounds scary, doesn’t it? A total outcry about this kind of open license is sure to be in the table, if they do not modify it soon. However, it could be that the lukewarm response to Google Drive itself has robbed it much of its controversial nature.
Already, Google is facing a certain amount of flak for the controversial nature of its privacy agreement and the way it uses targeted advertising. Basically, it will allow itself to go snooping through your personal stuff, in order to improve its targeted advertising. Certainly, this is something that most users would not want to happen to them, if they took the time to think about it.
OCR Technology and Picture Match: Excellent Features, or an Invasion of your Privacy?
Another thing (which Google is touting as an improvement!) is OCR technology and Picture Match. This means that if you have a scanned copy of your health documents saved, for example, Google will use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to scan through the document and bring it up when you search for specific words quoted in the article. Another feature it provides is that it also scans pictures for bringing up in relation to search results on specific keywords that might be related to the picture.
Both of these might sound exciting when you first hear of them, but do you really want Google to go through all of the private stuff you upload? This means that it will know that you visited Paris last week and went to see the Eiffel Tower, simply from scanning through your pictures! It will be the same with your other scanned documents as well. Google would do this without your knowledge and the data would most certainly be used to ‘improve their services’- privacy breach, anyone? Basically, you’re giving Google completely open access to your private life. All of this is in stark contrast with the other vendors who have, for quite some time now, been promoting their services to PROTECT the privacy of users.
How Do The Paid Services Compare?
When you weigh up all of this information, it’s easy to conclude that a paid online service is comparatively much better than Google’s free or paid service. MyPCBackup offers plans from a mere $4.95. Other popular providers include SugarSync, LiveDrive and SOS Online Backup. With many more providers available as well, the market for paid online storage has really opened up. It is no wonder that every month, many more vendors are offering their services. Thus the price/GB may even fall in the next few months (at any rate, it certainly is not predicted to increase!) as the demand for better privacy and services goes up. Until Google does something about the controversial nature of the storage services it is offering, it’s a much better idea to stick with the paid versions of the other online storage services, which respect your privacy and offer far more storage space.