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Google Drive Launching Next Week With 5GB Free Space

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-their-autonomous-car-project dept.

Cloud 265

An anonymous reader writes "The Next Web is reporting that Google Drive, the search giant's long anticipated cloud storage service, is set to launch next week. From the article: 'What's interesting though is that Google is planning to start everyone with 5 GB of storage. Of course you can buy more, but that trumps Dropbox's 2 GB that is included with every account. Dropbox does make it easy to get more space, including 23 GB of potential upgrades for HTC users. What's also interesting is the wording related to how the system will work. It's been long-thought that Windows integration will come easy, but that getting the Google Drive icon into the Mac a la Dropbox would be a bit harder. From what we're reading, Google Drive will work "in desktop folders" on both Mac and Windows machines, which still leaves the operation question unanswered.'"

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Google Drive (5, Insightful)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704631)

There are two large, very real problems with Google Drive. For starters Google has a long history of abandoning projects after they fail to gain users on them. This would be a huge problem with cloud storage like Google Drive.

I also fail to see why this would get any good amount of users even if Google did advertise it correctly - unlike their search engine, gmail and youtube, cloud storage is nothing new. There are tons of companies offering their services with ridiculously low profit margins. Hell, most of them are free for home users, and I really wouldn't trust Google with my company or work data - I would use a professional hosting service with SLA and company that has no need to mine my data.

Lastly, but even more so importantly, putting everything for Google to datamine and crawl is just stupid. They already know so much - hell, they track Slashdot too. On top of that Google has serious problem with anti-competition regulators and this is just going to make those issues worse when Dropbox and other companies will demand Google to stop leveraging their search engine against them. They already have this problem in other markets.

Re:Google Drive (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704671)

>> unlike their search engine, gmail and youtube, cloud storage is nothing new.

Because email was a new phenomenon when Gmail launched?

Re:Google Drive (5, Funny)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705057)

Gmail offered 1gb of mail storage per user while the competition offered something like 2mb. For Google Drive to be equally impressive, I'd expect them to offer 1.25tb of cloud storage per user. :P

Re:Google Drive (4, Informative)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705083)

In fact even Microsoft's offering, SkyDrive, is currently offering 25GB for free. Google is seriously lagging behind in this.

Re:Google Drive (-1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705277)

ick Microsoft? Really?

I bet DEC is offering 50GB of space!

Re:Google Drive (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705287)

Nobody is using skydrive. Microsoft has to offer than t much to even attract people.

Dropbox is still eating microsoft lunch on their skydrive.

Re:Google Drive (2, Interesting)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705405)

You may think that nobody is using it, but it is actually quite widespread service. Of course, Microsoft also offers it for Office and other business users with actual SLA, unlike Google.

SkyDrive will also be directly integrated into Windows 8, which will most likely bring them millions of users. Hell, even Apple uses Microsoft's cloud offerings, albeit that is Microsoft Azure as they need programming access too.

Re:Google Drive (-1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705459)

But Windows Shill, you forgot to mention all the great new features in the Lumia 900 and how easy it is to program for it using Microsoft Visual Studio and the .NET platform!

Re:Google Drive (1)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705509)

I don't really know the details of Lumia 900, but WP7 actually is a great OS. Your blind hatred towards MS is just keeping you from admitting that. And yes, programming with Visual Studio and .NET is a blast. I've recently started using OS X and Objective-C and Xcode is nowhere close Microsoft's offerings for developers. And Linux is even further behind.

Re:Google Drive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705537)

It's not blind hatred, we've just been used to better for a few years already :) How much does all the BS pay, though?

Re:Google Drive (-1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705553)

Oh Windows Shil, don't be so bashful (LOL @ Windows Shill being "Bash"ful ROFL)

Can you tell me more about the amazing Microsoft SharePoint, which I can use in conjunction with fantastic business tools like Microsoft Great Plains to increase my productivity and my profitability?

Re:Google Drive (1, Funny)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705669)

Can you tell me more about the amazing Microsoft SharePoint, which I can use in conjunction with fantastic business tools like Microsoft Great Plains to increase my productivity and my profitability?

No, but you can Bing for that!

Re:Google Drive (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705957)

You may think that nobody is using it, but it is actually quite widespread service. Of course, Microsoft also offers it for Office and other business users with actual SLA, unlike Google.

Well, Google doesn't offer Google Drive at all yet. I don't know what the basis is for assuming that when they do, they won't offer it to to paid users with an SLA as they already do for similar services (notably including the Cloud Storage API.)

SkyDrive will also be directly integrated into Windows 8, which will most likely bring them millions of users.

Yeah, if only Google had a widely used consumer operating system with which they could bundle Google Drive.

Re:Google Drive (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705297)

I know, I found it interesting that TFA doesn't mention this. As a live account user, I don't see this big deal of this announcement.

Re:Google Drive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705353)

HAHA! You publicly admitted to being a Live user.

Which is what we call a "luser" for short.

Re:Google Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705575)

It is true that MS is offering a lot for free but they are not gaining users like dropbox due
1. No API. No API means no serious apps on Windows, Windows Phone, Android and iOS.
2. Limited file types. You cannot store just any file type.
3. No folder synchronization on the desktop.
So MS tied their own hands and feet on this one.
Skydrive is great for photo sharing though.

Re:Google Drive (4, Insightful)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704685)

I also fail to see why this would get any good amount of users even if Google did advertise it correctly - unlike their search engine, gmail and youtube, cloud storage is nothing new. There are tons of companies offering their services with ridiculously low profit margins. Hell, most of them are free for home users, and I really wouldn't trust Google with my company or work data [...] Lastly, but even more so importantly, putting everything for Google to datamine and crawl is just stupid. They

Yeah, and for the same reasons their e-mail service never caught on.

Re:Google Drive (5, Insightful)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704743)

Gmail was done remarkably better and offered much larger storage than their competitors. Yet, Gmail still didn't win Hotmail or Yahoo which to date are the two largest email providers on planet.

However, it doesn't seem like this is the case with Google Drive. It actually looks like they don't bring anything new or innovative to the table either, and in fact, might have a worse service than Dropbox and other companies have (not even having good software for OS X or Linux). They also don't offer that much more space either.

The cloud storage landscape and internet in 2012 is vastly different from email and Gmail when it launched.

Re:Google Drive (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704909)

Email is not storage. Users don't want a new email address. That's why hotmail and yahoo still exist at all.

Re:Google Drive (5, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705009)

You must be pretty young to not remember a time when someone might have had to actually delete messages before they received new ones because they ran out of storage in their inbox. We're talking services that offered like 2mb for storage. Then Google came around and offered an entire gigabyte, promising to never have to worry about your inbox capacity again. This absolutely caused many people to switch to gmail. When hotmail and others realized this, they followed suit and started upping their mailbox capacity to match gmail's.

Re:Google Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705255)

anyone here ever use ricemail / rmail ? talk about limited space. of course back then you didn't have 1 meg of images in a newsletter.

Re:Google Drive (1)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705435)

Images aren't usually sent with emails, they are loaded from a server.

Re:Google Drive (2)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705025)

Email definitely is storage. You don't want to keep deleting your emails all the time. You most likely also want to search through your old emails. With other free services of the time you would have to keep deleting them constantly as otherwise the message box got full and you didn't get new emails.

Re:Google Drive (2)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705395)

You missed the point. To change storage providers you don't have to make sure 100 different websites use your new "address" - like an email address or a phone number. <whoosh>

Re:Google Drive (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705303)

"Yet, Gmail still didn't win Hotmail or Yahoo which to date are the two largest email providers on planet."
Yet, Yahoo and Hotmail still didn't win AOL users which to date still has a huge number of users.

Yes, they do. It makes most tech people weep, but I meet someone in business weekly that has a @AOL address.

Re:Google Drive (4, Interesting)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705581)

I also fail to see why this would get any good amount of users even if Google did advertise it correctly - unlike their search engine, gmail and youtube, cloud storage is nothing new. There are tons of companies offering their services with ridiculously low profit margins. Hell, most of them are free for home users, and I really wouldn't trust Google with my company or work data [...] Lastly, but even more so importantly, putting everything for Google to datamine and crawl is just stupid. They

Yeah, and for the same reasons their e-mail service never caught on.

Speaking of Gmail, currently it says I have 7.7 GB of free storage there. Can't they at least match this with their new Cloud drive? I already use Gmail for temporary storage all the time - just attach files to draft emails and I can access them from anywhere.

Re:Google Drive (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704711)

It's probably targeting Apple's iCloud. It's nice to be able to tell developers "Here's a place to store data. It will automatically be backed up and synchronized between the user's devices. You won't have to run your own servers and get the user to trust you with their data. You won't even have to ask the user for special credentials or get them to sign up for Dropbox or anything like that. It just works."

Re:Google Drive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704747)

It just works if the customer in question already has a Gdrive account.

Re:Google Drive (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704791)

I'd imagine Google Drive would be tied to Google accounts, and it's safe to assume most Android users will have Google accounts.

Re:Google Drive (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704821)

Google isn't a charity. Giving away free storage doesn't make money in and of itself. Will they charge for more space? Show ads? Read your docs and blackmail you?

(And yes, the same point is true for dropbox et alia).

Re:Google Drive (2)

dehole (1577363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705257)

Exactly. With Google Drive, you and your data is the product.

Re:Google Drive (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704897)

Lastly, but even more so importantly, putting everything for Google to datamine and crawl is just stupid.

The advantage of a dumb data store is that you can layer some encryption transparently. Even something simple like putting a password on a RAR file is enough to prevent such snooping.

That said, I probably wouldn't use it for anything important anyway.

Re:Google Drive (2)

vaccum pony (721932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705253)

I already use Gmail as a dumb (limited) data store. With encryption.

Re:Google Drive (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704923)

The attraction of cloud storage for end users is integration with other services - think iCloud. Google already has cloud storage for music, which is pretty neat because you can stream directly from it on any Android device (and optionally precache some files locally, while still having auto-sync etc). They also have a separate cloud storage for photos - PicasaWeb - also integrated with Android gallery, as well as G+. Then there are Google Docs. Perhaps they figured that it's long overdue for them to aggregate all those services together in a single solution, like Apple did with iCloud.

Re:Google Drive (1)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704985)

Since Google Music was just recently launched, why didn't they do it with Google Drive to begin with? Same is true for Picasa, or now Google+. Seems they are just separating their services. On top of that Google sucks at building brand names which is also visible from their use of subdomains for different products. drive.google.com looks a lot more serious than something like dropbox.com. They would probably have youtube under youtube.google.com if it wasn't for the fact that they bought the whole website from other company and it had already built it's name by then.

Re:Google Drive (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705081)

Since Google Music was just recently launched, why didn't they do it with Google Drive to begin with? Same is true for Picasa, or now Google+. Seems they are just separating their services.

Picasa is not recent - it has been there for years (G+ integration is what's recent).

I don't know about Google Music, though. Maybe it is actually built on top of GDrive?

Re:Google Drive (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705987)

Speaking of Picasa, I'm disappointed with Google's support for Linux lately. For a company that actively shuns Windows for its own users, they seem to be lacking in support for it these days. The latest versions of Picasa have dropped support for Linux ... it'll be interesting to see if this has a Linux client, or even better, and open API.

Re:Google Drive (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706013)

I don't know about Google Music, though. Maybe it is actually built on top of GDrive?

Its more likely that Google Music and the forthcoming Drive are built on the same low-level cloud storage layer that underlies many of Google's cloud offerings -- like Docs, the Cloud Storage API, and many others.

Its unlikely that Music or any of the others are built on Drive.

Re:Google Drive (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704935)

Google has a long history of abandoning projects after they fail to gain users on them...
Or simply deciding to allocate resources elsewhere when ( Squirrel! ) some other technology looks more interesting to some 20-something with the title of "Manager"

Re:Google Drive (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704953)

Truecrypt. It's not completely secure since they probably have copies of your container elsewhere they can use to do a bitwise comparison against. But it's more work for them to decrypt than plaintext, and practically necessitates a determined attacker.

Assuming they don't already securely encrypt your data during transit and in storage.

Re:Google Drive (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704991)

There are two large, very real problems with Google Drive. For starters Google has a long history of abandoning projects after they fail to gain users on them. This would be a huge problem with cloud storage like Google Drive.

Insofar as that is true, that history includes doing so with a long warning before cutting off access and with quite good support for outbound migration, so I don't see why it would be much of a rational concern. Further, the kind of cloud storage user interface being provided is a pretty trivial layer on top of the cloud storage backend that underlies many other Google services that its a pretty low risk of it being discontinued.

I also fail to see why this would get any good amount of users even if Google did advertise it correctly - unlike their search engine, gmail and youtube, cloud storage is nothing new.

Neither web search engines, web-based email, or web-based video hosting were anything new when Google's search engine, Gmail, or YouTube (which wasn't Google's when it was introduced) were introduced. Nevertheless, each managed to do quite well.

Free-to-start, generous quota, and zero-effort (or close to it) signup if you already have a Google Account, by themselves, will get them some users. Actually having some interesting distinguishing features compared to other cloud storage providers would obviously be important to getting substantially more users. The most obvious opportunity I see for Google here is integration with Google Docs.

Lastly, but even more so importantly, putting everything for Google to datamine and crawl is just stupid.

How?

They already know so much - hell, they track Slashdot too.

Tracking slashdot may be evidence of inefficient use of resources, but its hardly an argument in support of "they know too much!" scaremongering.

On top of that Google has serious problem with anti-competition regulators and this is just going to make those issues worse when Dropbox and other companies will demand Google to stop leveraging their search engine against them.

Well, it might cause problems in that regard, if there was evidence that Google was illegally leveraging anything against competitors in the cloud storage space. Then again, as I discuss below, it probably wouldn't even then.

They already have this problem in other markets.

Winning in two different markets to the extent where established players in one feel that its worth their effort to complain that you are leveraging your market position in one to dominate the other is the exact opposite of a "problem" for the firm that is in that position.

It might lead to a problem if you actually were doing something that was likely to produce a signficant restraining action from some government, but as many other firms have demonstrated (notably Microsoft in the software market), even actually illegally leveraging a monopoly in one market to monopolize another rarely results in any remedy that is either timely enough to make any substantial impact on the utility of the action, or significant enough to outweigh the benefits you gain from doing it.

Re:Google Drive (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705029)

There are two large, very real problems with Google Drive. For starters Google has a long history of abandoning projects after they fail to gain users on them. This would be a huge problem with cloud storage like Google Drive.

They do tend to give you quite a bit of notice though. It may be a hassle, but it's not like it's impossible to download your stuff and upload it somewhere else.

Re:Google Drive (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705097)

There are two large, very real problems with Google Drive. For starters Google has a long history of abandoning projects after they fail to gain users on them. This would be a huge problem with cloud storage like Google Drive.

How would it be a "huge problem" if Google should abandon this cloud-storage? It's only 5gig, after all, and they give away 4gig flash drives in boxes of cereal (practically).

The only reason I'd use it is to allow me to access files from anywhere, the way I use dropbox now. I would never use either service as a backup system. Hell, I won't use ANY cloud-based backup system. It's pretty easy to create your own ubiquitous storage anyway, flash memory being so cheap.

Re:Google Drive (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705797)

I use Dropbox as a backup system - part of a rational, multi component program. The Dropbox data is on every machine I have the account on (three currently), so that's different local stores - one at home, one at work, one in my backpack, one in the cloud. Personal info is encrypted in sparseimages - I could use truecrypt as well if I really wanted a multi platform solution.

It doesn't backup everything - my terabyte collection of pictures and video is backed up locally using a NAS and external drives - but Dropbox is hella convenient for some data. And pretty safe. If Dropbox went belly up tomorrow, I would be missing just one out of three copies of the data.

Re:Google Drive (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705221)

I don't necessarily disagree with your arguments but I'd like to offer arguments to each:

1. Googles target audience is not the corporate user. It's people at home that want to backup photos and such. These people will probobly have a google account, a dropbox account, etc... etc.. The more places you can backup your data the better. If Google drops the product, oh well.

2. I don' think this needs a "Good amount of users" Much like microsoft, Google wants to offer you every option. They don't want to force you to use another companies product simply because they don't offer a "google version" The biggest threat that Google would ever face would be a company offering something they do not, and then that something becoming ubiquitous enough that the rival company could offer the same service that Google does and kill off their business (see facebook)

3. Google, like every other corporation on earth, doesn't give a shit about anti-competition regulation. They can, just like Apple, Microsoft, and everyone else, just ignore it... then, when sued, draw out the court battle so long that the companies in question will die long before any litigation is resolved. Even if they do not, the fines levied are almost always so small they are a joke. If I get a speeding ticket, the fine is about 3 days pay for me. How about when a buisness gets a fine they get a similar fine... 3days gross income. Well, that's another topic.

Re:Google Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705237)

How is that Play-for-sure working for you?

Re:Google Drive (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705421)

I'd say the first of those two is the big "Uh oh" with Google drive, after all you could always encrypt your stuff before you sent it. But as we have seen with Google its either a megahit or its dead, there really is no in between with that company so i would be seriously leery of wanting to store my stuff with them until I saw whether or not its gonna last.

Of course all of these cloud storage bunches that aren't targeting businesses is gonna end up screwed anyway as it looks like the ISPs are just gonna cap the ever loving shit out of anything they aren't getting a cut of.....err i mean "hosting in their local datacenter" so unless they are gonna set up a branch on every local ISP this whole "in the cloud" thing will come screeching to a halt the first time someone gets that insane bill for going over their caps. i know in my area its $1.50 a Gb if you go over so its much cheaper just to slap everything on a USB drive and cart it offsite than it is to deal with the overcharges.

Privacy? (1, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704665)

Even Dropbox do some encryption, less than perfect though it may be... AFAIK Google don't scan your docs for data like they do with emails. How will it work with your private files?

Re:Privacy? (4, Informative)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704705)

Dropbox has encryption, but Dropbox has all the keys. If you're worried about your privacy from the party offering the service, you can't give Dropbox a pass.

I think Ars ran an article about a service recently which uses better encryption. Or you can just encrypt your own files before uploading, or use TrueCrypt.

Re:Privacy? (4, Informative)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704829)

This [arstechnica.com] is that Ars article.

Re:Privacy? (2)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704851)

If you're worried about your privacy from the party offering the service, you can't give Dropbox a pass.

Like you noted, you use TrueCrypt or similar. This is even a suggested solution by Dropbox team and it's a valid one, because you should never trust third party provider with your encryption.

However, at least Dropbox does more encryption on the data and actually stores it in encrypted form, even if they are able to obtain the keys. This is still vastly better than just using HTTPS or other "secure" connection between the client and server but still saving it unencrypted. On top of that HTTPS etc are subject to secure key forgery and man in the middle attacks like providing self-signed key and snooping the connection (a real problem in many less developed countries).

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705095)

That is not quite good enough. Theoretically, they could get information based on what sectors change and which don't (according to truecrypt's FAQ). Of course, I'm not really sure how useful that is. If only I knew more about cryptography to make an informed decision.

Re:Privacy? (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704913)

Spideroak lets you keep the keys. Truecrypt will work but does come with two big performance hits. First you have to upload the entire container the first time, after which it should just need differences sending. Unfortunately Windows doesn't allow the client software to know which parts of the file changed via notifications, just that something changed, so it has to scan the entire file. If your container is 1GB then that's scanning 1GB every time you make a change.

Re:Privacy? (1)

w_crossman (451816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705019)

There are two services that I know of which offer truly secure online storage, Wuala and Spideroak. Jungle Disk can be fairly secure, as well. The former two use Java clients, and the latter is native.

Personally, I use Wuala and am pleased with it. There is one hole, though, in that it's possible to state whether a known file is stored in your account; if that's a problem, you could store it in a zip. That's good enough for me, so I use it for synchronization, backup, storage, and file sharing.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705121)

Don't let the horrible UI performance fool you, Spideroak is based on Python and not Java. Wuala doesn't have any jar or class files in its directory and looks native to me.

Re:Privacy? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705683)

Mozy [mozy.com] allows you to store stuff on their system with a private encryption. they do warn you loads about "if you lose the key, you lose the data". That's a backup solution primarily, but they're working on a 'stash' that is an instant-sync type thing.

Re:Privacy? (5, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704729)

Put a TrueCrypt partition on the drive. Encryption needs to be done at the ends; they are just providing a bit storage medium.

Re:Privacy? (2)

Mindscrew (1861410) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705785)

I do this with dropbox. The only problem is you need to use small containers because everytime you add/modify/delete anything , it has to re-upload the whole thing. For this reason, its impractical to have a 100mb true crypt container to hold documents because every little change uploads another 100mb of data.

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704813)

Last I read then Dropbox encryption uses the same encryption key for every one.

So your data is encrypted but they have the decrypt key as well.
So
1) They can look at all your files if they like.
2) If I can figure out my/the decryption key then I can decrypt everyone data, if I get a hold on the encrypted files.

So what is the real point with there encryption?

Re:Privacy? (4, Informative)

Cow Jones (615566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704989)

  • If you're looking for privacy, don't store sensitive data in the cloud.
  • If you have to, avoid companies which have an obvious interest in your connections, your data, and your profile.
  • If you need strong transparent client-side encryption, you can either use a TrueCrypt container (like olsmeister mentioned), or use an alternative provider which offers this feature: for example, SpiderOak [spideroak.com] or Wuala [wuala.com] . Dropbox, as you mentioned is not secure, because they hold your keys.
  • Avoid the US and US-based companies for storage of sensitive data. The Patriot Act requires Google to give the DHS access to their servers, even if they are physically located in the EU. Wuala is operated by LaCie, a Swiss company; they guarantee that customer data will always be stored on their servers, which are located in the EU or Switzerland.

I'm not affiliated with either SpiderOak or LaCie, but we've researched possible cloud storage services last month, and settled on Wuala. So far, no problems.

Re:Privacy? (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705505)

If you're worried about the content of your files, for whatever reason, don't store the file(s) in the cloud. Period.

404 Error LOL (0)

psyclone241 (733888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704683)

Google has created some awesome tools. I use all of them so far. I will most likely use Google Drive as well. Funny thing is though, I visited the site today and got a 404 error! NOT GETTING A WARM AND FUZZY RIGHT NOW!!

WebDAV access? (5, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704703)

We'll have to see. If the new "GDrive" can be securely accessed via the open, standard WebDAV protocol, I'll think it's interesting and I'll be an enthusiastic adopter. If not, then it's just another cloud file locker that uses proprietary client software (or a web UI, no good for integration work), which is considerably less interesting.

Re:WebDAV access? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704751)

Why not try the free "hubic" service by OVH. 25GB free.
I use it to backup my linux box (over webdav).

Re:WebDAV access? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705777)

Why not try the free "hubic" service by OVH. 25GB free.
I use it to backup my linux box (over webdav).

Interesting. Looks like it needs a dedicated app to access, right ? No folder syncing ? In typical french fashion the whole thing seems monolingual french too. Not a problem for me, but I imagine a lot of Slashdot folks might have difficulty.

remember x drive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704749)

about 10 or 12 years ago there were a few websites giving away free storage space(only a few hundred meg, not gigs). The only one I remember the name of was "x drive". Are any of those still around?

5 GB (4, Insightful)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704781)

Only 5 GB? Anyone else a little surprised by that?

My gmail accounts have more space than that, and people have been writing browser extensions and apps for a while to leverage that as cloud storage. 5 GB is at the high end of current free offerings (it matches SugarSync and Box), but by no means revolutionary. You'd think Google, with their resources, would be offering a bit more, especially with their late entry into the game. I guess they can push the tie-ins to other services - like being able to send attachments in Gmail straight to your Google cloud storage. But other than that, what's the incentive, especially if already using another service?

Re:5 GB (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704867)

Maybe they were afraid of Facebook and Apple getting together on a script to open a whole bunch of accounts and filling them with gigabytes of random numbers so they couldn't be compressed.

Re:5 GB (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704929)

Only 5 GB? Anyone else a little surprised by that?

Free. Read my lips. Free. I'm sure they can provide some more space for a little (cough) incentive...

Re:5 GB (5, Informative)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704961)

5 GB is at the high end of current free offerings

SkyDrive is 25 GB and free.

Re:5 GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705209)

And still, no one uses it.

It will be built in to windows 8 (Sort of Cloud based roaming profiles for home users) because that's the only way Microsoft can get anyone to use any of their online services. Forceful leverage from their existing product lines.

Re:5 GB (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705349)

You're right, I forgot about that (and I even have an account).

I never did use it though, even when I was running Windows and used a third party app to make the SkyDrive service look like a network drive.

Have they added any features? Any native clients that do automatic syncing or anything?

Re:5 GB (2)

JoeSavage (906113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705453)

Skydrive has a 100MB limitation per file. Dealbreaker.

Re:5 GB (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705589)

Skydrive has a 100MB limitation per file. Dealbreaker.

Well, thankfully for most people, the files they need to store aren't that big, and that isn't a limitation. Its not a good option for your bookleg movies or porn collection, but 100MB is plenty for photos, documents, etc. A search on my laptop shows basically nothing above that size that isn't an installer, a ZIP containing a bunch of smaller files, or videos that came from either my digital cameras or my HDV video camera.

Personally, I'd like the ability to store my entire media library up on Skydrive or a similar service, but I've been averaging 250GB of new stuff a year, so... its not really an option. And I can't but a terabyte and a half of cloud storage from a reputable place at a reasonable price... yet. So 100MB file sizes are fine for me. I suspect that's probably true of the vast majority of users. (I suspect the size is picked to straddle the line between common legitimate file sizes and file sizes that are more typically found on the various warez-plagued file sharing services.)

And after they scrape all that data (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704809)

And after they scrape all that data watch out for GooglePorn.

Re:And after they scrape all that data (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704925)

The only questions here are
- Can you easily create an anonymous account and
- Can you make your files accessible to others?

Can Google be trusted with so much Private Data? (2, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704837)

Google already collects a huge amount of data on people with its search engine, Youtube (tracking what you watch), Gmail, Maps, Android OS and other services. Now they also want you to store important data on a Google Cloud-Drive? What happens when Google is served with a legal warrant stating that government has a right to access everything of yours that is on Google's servers? Its pretty stunning how much data of yours would become transparent at once: What you search for. What you write in emails. What you watch on Youtube. What you do with your Android tablet. And now also the data you store on Google's cloud-drive... Perhaps this is all by design? You are supposed to trust the Google brand with all your private data, until the day the government comes along, and demands to see years worth of your data, and - crucially - without you even knowing this is happening. For me, Google Cloud-drive is simply too many eggs in one basket. Sure, it could be useful for backing up some not terribly critical data, and then accessing that data from all sorts of different places when you are on the go. My gutfeeling tells me though that Google already knows more than enough about everyone, and that adding your non-internet data to its data collection is a step too far - too far in the wrong direction.

Re:Can Google be trusted with so much Private Data (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705861)

First, I don't get this paranoia about "Google knows everything about you!". Even if it's true, I don't really see how it matters for an average Joe like me. Somebody has to elaborate _how_ it's bad, otherwise it's on "But they know you watch porn!" level - let them, I hope they like midget tranny porn. You (or someone) really should elaborate on this sometime.

Second, why single out Google? If you're so paranoid, a) don't let single bit leave your PC unencrypted, b) don't share single bit with anyone. Also, browse all the web through anonymous VPN proxies, change them often, and so on, and so on.

Right now, every second site includes a dozen social media buttons, a few analytics scripts, some ad scripts and sticks "We reserve the right to sell your soul^W^W^Wshare anonymized untrackable cross-our-heart-unidentifiable (honest) usage data with 3rd party"

What's really interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704839)

Windows Skydrive offers 25GB and is integrated into Win 8.

That seems like it blows G-Drive out of the water. I wonder why so many people try to ignore it.

Extremely Thin (4, Informative)

DakotaSmith (937647) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704843)

I've got 50GB free at Box [box.com] and 30GB free on EchoFS.com [echofs.com] . Why should I care about 5GB? Just because it's Google?

Re:Extremely Thin (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705467)

I've got 50GB free at Box [box.com] and 30GB free on EchoFS.com [echofs.com] . Why should I care about 5GB? Just because it's Google?

Hey, I don't know why you've been modded down to oblivion, but thanks for mentioning EchoFS. I'd not heard of it before. It works great with davfs in Linux... something that is pretty difficult to find, at least with this amount of space.

Re:Extremely Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705711)

Was about to mention box.com. Anyone who has an Android device can install the box.com app and get 50GB. Also, Microsoft Skydrive offers 25GB for anyone.

One of the nice things I like about box.com is it supports WebDAV, so I can access it just like another drive on my PC.

rsync.net (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704845)

I rather use rsync.net than trust my data to an advertising company.

Re:rsync.net (3, Informative)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705173)

And you can secure it with encfs.

MS SkyDrive (3, Informative)

El Rey (61125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39704881)

MS SkyDrive is 25GB for free and no hoops to jump through. They don't let you store large files though. Seems like they could do better than 5GB...

Interesting that Google Drive starts at 5GB? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704893)

Ubuntu One has been offering 5 GB for free for a little while now, as well, so I'm not sure what could be so notable about Google doing the same. I think a free 5 GB to start with is becoming a standard amount for these services.

Google is competing with Microsoft Mesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704987)

Slashdot is so stupid these days.

Google is competing with Microsoft Mesh, which gives away 5GB of storage too. Duh....

Why not to just buy Dropbox, Inc.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39704999)

:-) I guess, it would result in abandonment of service by the current Dropbox users, who use it thinking that Dropbox Inc. doesn't have interest in mining their data.

Docs and gmail (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705039)

I'll be honest, as a wannabe author my backup solution involves storing on multiple computers AND gmailing myself copies as lazy-man incremental backups. I am not exactly sure what I would use a cloud drive for, since I already use gmail(and to a lesser extent docs) that way. One really sweet thing is that it is already integrated into my smart phone as-is, because emails with attachments already work there.

I think there IS a consumer gap as far as sharing files bigger than an email attachment without torrent or the like. XKCD summed it up nicely [xkcd.com] but it seems like nobody has figured out how to do it without going to jail. I am just not quite sure what cloud storage can do (that docs and gmail doesn't, that is legal) without some stupid hardware artificially making it a necessity (e.g. iPad and Kindle Fire omitting storage options)

Re:Docs and gmail (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705305)

I think there IS a consumer gap as far as sharing files bigger than an email attachment without torrent or the like. XKCD summed it up nicely [xkcd.com] but it seems like nobody has figured out how to do it without going to jail. I am just not quite sure what cloud storage can do (that docs and gmail doesn't, that is legal) without some stupid hardware artificially making it a necessity (e.g. iPad and Kindle Fire omitting storage options)

Dropbox actually solved this quite nicely. When you register an account, there's a "Public" folder (you can share other folders as well, only Public is shared by default). You can send anyone a download link to any file in the Public folder. I recently had to send a ~200MB RAR archive to several different people in another city. I copied it into my Dropbox/Public folder on my hard drive, waited for it to finish uploading, and right clicked on it in Explorer and there was a "Copy public link" button -- you can get the same URL by logging into your account on the Dropbox website. I sent my colleagues the URL and that was that, no hassle at all.

I can't speak for Spideroak, SkyDrive, etc. as I have not tried them. A cursory look at Spideroak indicates that it has a similar feature, but with much tighter access control capabilities. As far as I can tell the only security to Dropbox public sharing is that you need the download URL, which can obviously get passed around. The public URL for the aforementioned 200MB RAR has not changed in the past... almost a month since I uploaded it, so I doubt the URL has any kind of expiration date.

G:\ In use. (3, Funny)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705123)

I already have a G: drive, can we remap it to another drive letter?

The internet wants to know ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705129)

... can I migrate my megauploads?

Skydrive/Dropbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705171)

I don't really see a reason to move to this (unless I'm heavily into Android, which I no longer am). Dropbox works, and I have 9GB free on that. Skydrive gives me 25GB free and I don't have nearly as many privacy concerns or questions about "beta" products.

The question is... (4, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705185)

Will Google have native clients for Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android and Symbian that will offer real file system integration?

Or is that just a web drive you have to up- and download data from?

I'm asking because I'm using Dropbox in a business environment in which I export a Samba share from a Linux server to Dropbox which gets synced to a bunch of clients on half a dozen of very different devices running on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS and all of this works just fine. Having 5 GB instead of 2 GB for free is not much of an advantage if there is no system integration to speak of and exactly this has always been a problem with Google. Hey, they even have a hard time to get IMAP right.

Question before I sign up (5, Insightful)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705227)

Is my data stored in the US?

Does the US government claim to have jurisdiction over my data? (I think I know the answer to this one).

You can have 10 GB google storage here instantly (1)

yooy (1146753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705293)

http://sr71.net/projects/gmailfs/ [sr71.net] Should also be possible to just mount it via cryptoloop for encryption.

Gmail Drive Shell Extention (3, Informative)

flogger (524072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705319)

http://www.viksoe.dk/code/gmail.htm [viksoe.dk] Been in use for a long time... If this is as easy to use as Dropbox and as easy to share as that or as easy as google docs, then sign me up.

Years too late Google (2)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39705447)

After you have been forcing G+ on everybody I'm never going to use any of your new services.

incredible google suppremacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705653)

Megaupload left a big hole in the clouding business, and google is going to get it...

think about this: google owned utube, then going to own clouding suppremacy, then what???

Google is like microsoft in its time: they want to rule all the internet...and no one is going to stop them.

Something to consider before you jump into this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39705745)

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