Google Drive

Written by Michael Woodman

Google Drive is a free cloud storage application, similar to Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. The basic principle behind having your files stored in “the cloud” is that you can easily back up documents, photos and other files just by saving them to a specific folder on your computer – your Google Drive folder.

How it Works

As soon as you save a file in your Google Drive, it is automatically uploaded to Google’s servers, so that it can be accessed from any computer, phone, or tablet with an internet connection.

What makes Google Drive different from many other cloud drives is that it includes a series of web-browser apps which offer the same functionality as many of the components of Microsoft Office. For example, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides are alternative versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These are all completely free, and you can export their files in a format that can be recognised by the equivalent Microsoft products.

Best features:

  • No software to install! Google Drive works in most web browsers so you can access it from public/library computers.
  • Get the Google Drive app for your phone or tablet to view your files wherever you have internet access.
  • Working online means that all your writing, spreadsheets, and presentations are backed up and editable in the cloud.
  • Get 15GB of storage space absolutely free to store any other type of file – additionally, anything you create with Docs, Sheets or Slides won’t use up any of your storage.
  • Collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and slides with anybody who has a google account. You can also share any other type of file in your account with other people – even if they don’t have a Google account.

Top Tip: Read more about Google Docs, (Google’s version of Microsoft Word included in Google Drive) on this D&A Resource Page.