Google Drive Chops Prices - InformationWeek
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Google Drive Chops Prices

Google Drive blows past other online storage services by tripling free space to 15 GB and cutting prices across the board.

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Google, like other companies offering online storage, still faces doubts about the security of cloud computing following last summer's revelations about the reach of the National Security Agency. But it's doing its best to reassure customers and to attract new ones.

Following a declaration this month by Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google Apps, that "the cloud can be as safe as -- or in many cases, safer than -- storing data on-premise," Google is making a financial case for the cloud. The company lowered the cost of Google Drive storage substantially Thursday.

"Today, thanks to a number of recent infrastructure improvements, we're able to make it more affordable for you to keep everything safe and easy to reach on any device, from anywhere," Google product management director Scott Johnston wrote in a blog post.

Google Drive now offers 15 GB of storage for free, up from 5 GB. Its paid storage tiers are now 100 GB for $24 a year, down from $60; 1 TB for $120 a year, down from $600; and 10 TB for $1,200 a year, with larger allotments available.

[Will your cloud project succeed? Read Enterprise Cloud Adoption: 5 Hard Truths.]

By comparison, Microsoft OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive) offers 7 GB for free, 50 GB for $25 a year, 100 GB for $50 a year, and 200 GB for $100 a year.

Apple iCloud offers 5 GB of storage at no cost, a 10-GB upgrade for $20 a year, a 20-GB upgrade for $40 a year, and a 50-GB upgrade for $100 a year.

Dropbox offers 2 GB for free, with 100 GB for $99 a year, 200 GB for $199 a year, and 500 GB for $499 a year.

Amazon Web Services' Glacier archival backup service costs $0.01 per GB a month, or 1 TB for $120 a year. That's the same as the new Google Drive price, excluding the Glacier Archive price of $0.05 per 1,000 requests.

Bitcasa offers up to 20 GB free or 1 TB for $99 a year.

(Source: JD Hancock/Flickr)
(Source: JD Hancock/Flickr)

Those who would rather buy a 1-TB SATA hard drive than trust the cloud can do so for about $65 these days. To approximate the redundancy assumed in cloud storage, you might want to buy two. That would be comparable price-wise to Google Drive, but it would also be less secure in the event of on-site disaster or theft.

Storage calculations with these services aren't always straightforward. Apple, for example, lets users store backup, documents, and mail for free. Google does not count docs, sheets, or slides documents toward storage quotas.

But if security matters more than price, take a look at the zero-knowledge backup provider SpiderOak, which offers 2 GB free and increments of 100 GB for $100 a year. "Zero knowledge" means that SpiderOak doesn't keep a copy of the encryption key that unlocks encrypted files. That might not be enough to deter a determined intelligence agency, but it's better protection than you'll get from a provider that can be compelled by court order to decrypt files using its own key.

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Author
3/14/2014 | 4:06:34 PM
Re: Competition!
What do you think is the magic price here? Has Google reached it yet?
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/14/2014 | 3:54:42 PM
Re: Google needs to make a categorical statement: No Drive snooping
>They need to make a categorical statement that they won't examine your information in Drive.

I'd like to see that too, but I suspect it won't happen. Drive users, however, can still encrypt files locally and upload them. 
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/14/2014 | 1:31:55 PM
Google needs to make a categorical statement: No Drive snooping
In the past, Google has said it is free to view your information as a better way to bring the world's information to you. It's in your interest, so just let us do what we do best. They need to make a categorical statement that they won't examine your information in Drive. I do agree storage on Drive is probably more secure than on your computer or disk at home, and it's a good strategy to use it as recovery site if you lose the former.
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2014 | 11:12:06 AM
What does Google know?
What I'm concerned about is what Google does with this info? For corporate customers, they likely keep hands off. I can't imagine businesses using them otherwise. But for consumer use, I simply won't ever trust Google, no matter what they say. In the past they've denied a number of things that later turned out to be true.
User Rank: Author
3/14/2014 | 9:09:12 AM
Price Drops Alone?
Not sure if cutting prices will be enough to counter the public and corporate fears about NSA's intrusion into privacy and confidentiality. I think the technology industry must work together (perhaps in collaboration with individual government reps) to clarify or change the laws to protect data from warrantless searches. Only then, perhaps, will those fears be allayed. We've seen a number of non-US organizations move away from contracts with US cloud service providers post-Snowden -- and those are only the ones that went public. Who knows how many others never even made it to the board rooms of public companies?
User Rank: Author
3/14/2014 | 9:03:43 AM
Re: .gov is watching so no thanks.
If you do choose to store data on a drive of some kind though, it's important to keep a copy offsite somewhere in case of fire, water damage, break-in, or some other disaster, natural or man-made. Granted, you may not have immediate access as you would in the case of cloud backup, but you will at least have copies for future recovery. Of course, it's important to keep data up-to-date, too.
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2014 | 2:07:19 AM
Storage space should be free
Why would you even pay for online storage space when you can possibly get all the storage you need with Copywith a little bit of referral effort?
User Rank: Ninja
3/13/2014 | 10:31:31 PM
Never mind the NSA, but I wonder what would happen if the police or the DA were convinced that some important evidence relevant to a major felony is stored with SpiderOak. Maybe there isn't an "encryption key," but I'll bet the local authorities will get what they want, one way or the other. Anybody who's got something to hide should keep it offline.
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2014 | 8:55:10 PM
Seems like they all are dropping.
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2014 | 7:16:58 PM
.gov is watching so no thanks.
.gov is watching so no thanks. My local 2tb hard drive for 60 dollars works fine
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