back to article Google's Drive + Gmail: A 10GB Dropbox killer

In the realm of digital overlords, Google just took one more step toward being the lord of all. While Google+ has failed to draw crowds as a social network, Google has made collaboration through existing networks exceptionally easy. This week Google introduced the ability to send supersized email attachments of up to 10GB. In so …

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I love gmail's ability to add multiple labels to emails, and I like that feature in Google Docs, but I was very disappointed when Google Docs became Google Drive and they replaced multiple labels for a file with a single folder. Fortunately, my old files retain their labels, but I can no longer add or change the labels.

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a possibility ...

If you e-mail them to yourself (which is not the file, but a link to it), then you could have multiple labels on the e-mail. It sounds messy but it would work maybe for archive/reference purposes, but maybe not for ongoing work ...?

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Annoyed me too

It's awkward, but I believe you can still select multiple labels if you right-click a file, select Organize then hold Ctrl when you select labels.

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Folders

A folder anywhere in Google's apps is just a tag or label. You can assign multiple folders to a file. Give it a go, it works quite well.

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IT Angle

10GB? Hahahahaha

"I love Dropbox, and have used it in both the personal and corporate contexts."

It took me just 3 hours to create my own webmail server. It has spam removal, virus protection, etc.

Oh, my mailbox is 1TB in size.

It look me just 1 hour to create my own dropbox. I created my own certificates and encryption keys. 2TB in size.

Beat that, Google, Matt Asay et al.

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Re: 10GB? Hahahahaha

Sure. I have my own web site, and it has webmail (part of the standard package from the hosting service), though I never bother using it.

I also have various "personal" web pages courtesy of "comes with a free website!" accounts of one sort or another - one through my ISP, one through my NNTP feed provider, etc. I rarely make any use of those, but I could use them for storing and exchanging files.

I have S3 and Azure accounts. I've used the former for file exchange once or twice, and I could use the latter as well.

I have Gmail and Google Drive.

None of this is difficult for people who are comfortable with IT. The advantage of Dropbox (which I've never bothered with) and the like is that they're easy for people who aren't - for those who just want to share some files and get on with other things.

For those people, "3 hours to create [their] own webmail server" isn't just three hours - it's three whole damn hours of working in a technical area they'd rather not have to understand, instead of doing what's important to them.

Some people like spending three hours doing routine car maintenance, or turning a wooden bowl, or sewing a pair of pants. Many other people would rather have someone else do those things for them, so they can pursue projects that are meaningful to them.

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Thunderbird

I expect the Google+ capability will be slicker, but doesn't the Thunderbird 'Filelink' feature provide this already?

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Re: Thunderbird

Yes, and has done for quite some time before Gmail. Also integrates with YouSendIt and Ubuntu One for good measure.

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Meh

Dropbox's real strength (I think) is in being able to share lots of files seamlessly, and without really knowing you're doing it. Upload a whole album of photos easily to friends by storing them in a local folder; share a load of project documentation between a large project team, etc etc. No need to constantly be sending emails with the latest updates, just save them to a folder and they appear like magic. That's its strength Matt; sharing single large files is only the smallest (and most easily-matched) feature they have.

My 25GB of Skydrive storage is way more likely to compete with Dropbox than Google Drive, I'd say, especially when they make sharing folders easier.

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Re: Meh

Another bonus with Dropbox is that if you've got several machines using the same Dropbox account on the same LAN, they'll sync with each other, Google Drive [when I checked last] insists on uploading everything to Google and the downloading it on the other machine.

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Stop

Re: Meh

It's just as easy in Google Drive, every example you gave is the same in Drive.

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Boffin

Google Drive & Dropbox

The feature that I like best about Drop box that's missing from Google drive is the native client that keeps a folder synchronised with the cloud.

I use that a lot.

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Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

https://tools.google.com/dlpage/drive

If you use Mac or Windows, you're in luck. There are third-party clients for Linux, but the official client isn't ready yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

It have a small but very annoying bug -- you can set it up so it starts automatically, but keeps pestering you to log in, at least in 3 Macs I've tried. I'd rather have it work without asking me the username and password all the time.

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Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

There is a form of GDrive native client but it's an extension of Chrome, as I recall. I use it so I should know more about it. However, the 'files' stored locally are just links to the GCloud, so you need connection to the internet to do any work on them. There are download and store capabilities but these are limited.

This is, of course, Google's intention. They want you to be dependent on them for storage and use.

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Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

Lots of confusion and incorrect info here

There is a native client thingy for Windows at least, it is not a part of Chrome. Just like dropbox

It integrates to your folders lists as 'google drive' just like dropbox

It syncs across multiple machines for offline use, they sync when you go back online again like dropbox.

Dropbox doesn't offer anything google drive doesn't offer now, and GD is more integrated to my GMail, bonzer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

"If you use Mac or Windows, you're in luck. There are third-party clients for Linux, but the official client isn't ready yet."

..which is why it wins for me. It has decent native clients for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android, so all of my devices are covered seamlessly.

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Big Brother

no such thing as "free" storage

If it works on operating system A but not B then this file storage system isn't using standard filesystem protocols. Which means when it does work on Linux you have to install some proprietary device driver to use the so called 'free' storage. Best done using a virtual machine used for nothing else, if you must and if you care about knowing what the software on your main machine is doing.

You may also want to consider only storing remotely if encrypted sharing the key with a friend you wish to share the content with or using asymmetric crypto - and if you look at the small print in the T&Cs and to the extent you can, you'll find that you're generally signing away your first born - e.g. the ability of some corporate to mine your personal data so they can more effectively target advertising at you.

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Re: no such thing as "free" storage

It just means they couldn't be bothered to write a linux version. Even when they get round to it (it's been promised for a while) they won't support Amiga, so you can still claim it's all non-standard etc if that's how you like to get off.

Meanwhile, as some who doesn't use Dropbox and has no idea what it does, I'll join in the game with those above:

I don't like dropbox because it doesn't allow file sharing, doesn't let you email links, doesn't use tags, doesn't have a client, doesn't have a website and you have to sign up to a FedEx account to get your files distributed (they don't support DHL). Oh, and it doesn't actually download files to your computer, it just creates a note to say that a file exists somewhere else, so they can lock you in to their services. But Drive does all those things, including DHL.

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Re: no such thing as "free" storage

You aren't familiar with how these file synchronization services work, are you? They aren't like network shares that you can mount as pseudo-local filesystem locations. Be it Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Ubuntu One, or whatever, you have to install a daemon (not a device driver) to run on top of the operating system, usually in user space. They all generally monitor a specified directory's contents and synchronize changes in either direction when they happen.

With regards to installing a proprietary piece of software that does things without your knowledge, Google Drive's APIs are actually quite open, so there's nothing stopping you from writing your own synchronization software for it. In fact, that's exactly what has been done with Linux so far. I can think of at least two clients for Google Drive available for Linux that are not made by Google, one of which is proprietary (Insync) and one of which is open source (grive).

There just simply isn't a standard device model for synchronization across various operating systems. Even local filesystems are implemented differently throughout the different operating systems. For instance, NTFS, a proprietary file system, is supported only in user space in Linux, apparently due to licensing issues. Ext4 and btrfs on the other hand, both open source file systems, aren't supported in Windows at all.

Regarding privacy and security, I will grant you that you do indeed have a point, but that is a risk you run with any remote storage solution, free or not. In fact, all the services I named above do actually provide additional remote storage capacity for nominal fees.

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Childcatcher

Re: no such thing as "free" storage

Oh no the nasty company giving me free storage and free online services is mining my data to aim ads at me - What a tragedy - Just don't use stick to your non-handy local based files and pay for fast enough upload to send them to friends.

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Go

Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

Insync - https://www.insynchq.com is a Google Drive client. It beats Google Drive hands down. It has clients for Windows, Android, Linux, Mac and iOS - I use their Android, Windows and Linux clients.

Superb tool.

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Re: no such thing as "free" storage

I offer a service for sharing encrypted files and messages for free. It is ThreadThat.com. Perhaps this will help those that need the extra protection of encryption.

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Anonymous Coward

If dropbox died and Google became the dominant service Id have to find another way.

I dont trust Google.

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Linux

If you don't trust the corperations then owncloud is getting very good now.

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Big Brother

Paranoid people rarely trust anyone, if you don't trust Google but do trust Dropbox then I feel you have some pretty strange trust issues.

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Call it paranoia if you will but,

"I love Dropbox, and have used it in both the personal and corporate contexts."

Using dropbox in a corporate settings to share folders or files, even just "as we collaborate on presentations or other files", is unbelievably crazy. I'd love to see the face on most of the companies we work for if we told them we shared files with dropbox "because it's convenient".

Given that we're a non-US company, and that Dropbox puts out statements like this:

"As set forth in our privacy policy, and in compliance with United States law, Dropbox cooperates with United States law enforcement when it receives valid legal process, which may require Dropbox to provide the contents of your private Dropbox. In these cases, Dropbox will remove Dropbox's encryption from the files before providing them to law enforcement."

This makes using dropbox entirely unacceptable within our entire company. It's not paranoia, it's actual business contracts - none of my clients would be please with the idea that we hand anything related to them to Dropbox to do with as they please.

And spare me the bit about "using it only for non-sensitive material". Once you put dropbox in your users' hands, no matter how much you drill it into them that it's not to be used for sensitive information, you can be sure that some retard somewhere will find it convenient enough to sneak some super sensitive crap there to work on it from home without thinking.

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Google is evil.

But Google will just take ownership of your information, read it and then make use of what information it finds to sell you crap, or sell someone else crap, they are afterall in the business of selling crap and being generally evil.

Dropbox is a step aside from the evil selling crap business, too many eggs in one basket so to speak.

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JDX
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Re: Google is evil.

Aren't conspiracy theories fun.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google is evil.

Aren't conspiracy theories fun.

Oh dear. Where do I begin.. OK, I'll give you just two arguments.

The Privacy Policy

For legal reasons

We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:

meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.

enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.

detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.

protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.

Then there is that little known fact that Google is so far the only organisation in the world that has received a notice signed by 27 SEPARATE countries to change its Privacy Policy to something that would actually be acceptable.

Need any more? I do this stuff for a living and trust me, there is plenty..

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Re: Google is evil.

Personal information isn't the same as raiding your files and sharing them with people.

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Re: Google is evil.

Don't buy the crap then? Who is forcing you to buy it? Advertising has pretty much zero effect on me.

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Anonymous Coward

effectiveness of advertising

"Advertising has pretty much zero effect on me."

It's a multibillion dollar business for a reason which isn't about those paying throwing their money away and getting nothing in return. And then there are referrals - getting a cut of the cake when you follow a link and spend something. Advertising wouldn't be as effective as it is if we thought it was effective.

Advertising needs us to think it doesn't affect us for it to be able to affect us.

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Mushroom

Re: effectiveness of advertising

If any of you paranoid crazies have watched commercial television or movies or music for the past 50 years, or read any newspaper or magazine then I hate to tell you this but you've been playing the game for longer than Google has existed, put your tin foil helmet on and stop boring the rest of with your conspiracy nonsense.

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Re: Google is evil. ...... It is not evil, just a very naughty dumb toy

Methinks Google's problem is not that they are evil in that which they do, which may be at least as you say, Avatar of They ...... But Google will just take ownership of your information, read it and then make use of what information it finds to sell you crap, or sell someone else crap, they are afterall in the business of selling crap and being generally evil. ..... it is that they are not smart enough to use to greater good purpose what they hoover up/are freely given in an IP search request or storage location, to create a global virtual reality with augmented realities which they and their clients driver and direct/Command and Control.

But you don't need to be a Google, an Amazon or a Microsoftie to do that, you just need to know how IT is done, and that is a simple matter of freely sharing a surprisingly few basic sensitive secrets.

However, such is coming very soon to an administration near you, for IT has proven it to be unstoppable and extremely exciting and mutually beneficial and unbelievable generous.

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Re: Google is evil.

Google's scanning of the stuff I put on Google Drive must be driving their ad selections crazy. I once mentioned a girl getting a set of King Dick Whitworth spanners for her birthday, and the results were more than somewhat curious.

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Google and storage

So now I've got 10GB on Gmail. Plus 5GB on Drive. Oh, not forgetting 1GB on Picasa. And up to 20000 songs on Listen.

Hey, Google. Great that I've got all this storage, but some kind of joined up approach would be nice...

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JDX
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Email up to 10Gb - not really

You can email a 10Gb file once surely, then your drive is full because you'd have to remember to delete it - doesn't Google add every gdoc you open (even using their web viewer for .doc attachments) to your drive automatically?

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Unhappy

10 GB

At best it would take 2 days 1 hour and 36 mins. for me to upload that amount.

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Anonymous Coward

I use google a lot for work, and their google drive is pretty handy, although I still think their best addition since gmail is hangouts, how else can a team in 4 locations have a meeting and actually see each other no matter what device you are using or where they are?

For all googles data extractions it is bound to be doing, I would rather be on G+ than on Facebook! Google may mine your data to show adverts, but that is better than Facebook...

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Unhappy

My email server

Won't allow inbound emails larger than 2GB.

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Re: My email server

The email you get will be very small as the 'attachment' is in Drive, not in the email

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Re: My email server

Somebody didn't read the article !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My email server

Except, all that is precluded on you and those you're sharing with having Gmail accounts.

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Re: My email server

No it isn't

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Anonymous Coward

All in how you use it.

Personally my primary use for Dropbox is to act as a backup for my photos and important files including source code in case of a disaster. (Flooding is a real possibility.)

The fact I can access them anywhere, have my phone automatically upload pictures to it, and share folders is all a bonus.

GDrive seems to be aimed at documents, for example I'm not sure how a folder hierarchy of source code would be stored. So I guess the article is right for collaboration on office documents, but for other uses it's still a fair bit behind? Well, for now anyway...

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JDX
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Re: All in how you use it.

Same here. DropBox as my backup tool and ability to move between PCs more fluidly, SVN for my source code (cloud based in Assembla), Drive/Docs for sharing files.

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Facepalm

Booble drive more like

I signed up with glee at half the price of dropbox and started dumping files on to my shiny new 100GB google drive. After a day I noticed a lot was still to sync (I knew it was slow, but something was wrong). Once I checked I found that google drive had errors syncing files, and just gave up at the first sign of trouble. I forced it to keep trying, no dice.

I rebooted, reinstalled and recreated my google drive locally (mac client) and tried again, same thing, different files failed sync each time, and it gives up on all files because it's basically a defeatist & depressed bit of software.

Quite a lot of people with same problems judging by this post:

http://iam.richardbucker.com/2012/04/26/google-drive-just-not-syncing-everything/

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Re: Booble drive more like

Sounds just like my experience with iCloud. But Dropbox and Wuala work perfectly so far.

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I'm in

I took a gamble on Gdrive a year ago (5$ wouldn't hurt) and frankly its fantastic. What I am looking for now however is functionality to rival Evernote that uses my g drive.

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