Google Cuts Cloud Storage Prices

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Google has reduced its range of fees on Google Drive, its cloud storage service, which competes with offerings from Dropbox, Microsoft and others

Google Drive has just slashed the prices of its cloud data storage to entice more users with rates of $1.99 (£1.30) per month for 100GB, down from the previous rate of $4.99, and $9.99 per month for 1TB, down from the previous rate of $49.99 per month.

The new lower prices were unveiled by Scott Johnston, director of product management for Drive, in a 13 March post on the Google Drive Blog.

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Infrastructure upgrade

“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,” wrote Johnston.

Users who want more storage space can also get it, wrote Johnston, with rates starting at $99.99 for 10TB.

Even with the lower rates, Google Drive is still providing 15GB of space to any user for free, as it has previously, wrote Johnston. The storage also continues to allow users to store their data across Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos. New users can sign up for a storage plan, while existing account holders will automatically see their accounts moved to a better plan at no additional cost, wrote Johnston. Users can visit the storage purchase page to make changes or review their accounts.

In January, Google added an “activity stream” to Google Drive so that users can see whether files have been changed by others since the last time they accessed them. The activity alerts aim to make it easier for workers who share files with others on Google Drive to learn about the latest changes and updates in their work group files.

Other Drive features were introduced in December 2013, such as simpler file and folder renaming, sharing and organising, through a drop-down menu at the top of each shared folder.

Google Drive was launched in April 2012 after six years of planning and talks about its intentions to introduce a cloud storage service.

Unified storage

In May 2013, Google announced that it was enabling those with Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photo accounts to put all their files in one place, rather than having to maintain separate storage areas, depending on what kinds of files that were being stored. That meant that instead of having separate 10GB and 5GB storage areas for their files, users can now keep their data in one 15GB storage bin for free, simplifying file archiving and storage. The combined storage was made possible because as more Google products have been refined to work together, it made less sense to keep their storage repositories separate.

Also in May 2013, Google updated Drive by giving it a new chat capability. Users of Google Drive’s Docs and Slides capabilities can now have chat sessions that are similar to the ones they can use in Gmail.

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