Google Drive Is A Tool But Not Online Backup

Google Drive Is Just Another Sync Folder


Google Drive Home

Google Drive is new and we will give it a chance and cut it some slack in our upcoming complete Google Drive Review.

What you need to know for now is that Google Drive is really nothing more than a special sync folder much like the “give-me” feature in MyPCBackup.

So at this point Google Drive is a tool you can use but it is a far cry from online backup. (Note: Google is not pushing it as that, but many PC users are trying to compare it to a real online backup service like Mozy, we’ve received LOTS of questions.)

Some Initial Impressions Of Google Drive

When you install Google Drive, unless you take advanced setup, you get a new “Google Drive” directory in your “My Documents” folder in Windows.

What is in that folder is synced to your Google Drive, unless you select in the configuration to not have all folders in the drive synced.

Why you would do that I don’t know, it’s not like you can choose an existing folder to be your Google Drive on your PC, in which case that would be a VERY handy feature.

Google does not currently allow you to change the location of the folder once installed. You will need to uninstall and re-install if you change your mind.

It did let me choose a network location, but the program crashed every time I tried to run it. So I uninstalled. Will that work in the future? Who knows.

Any files on your computer that are NOT in the Google Drive sync folder will NOT be uploaded to your Google cloud drive.

Yes, you can upload separately, but not to store it there. The file will be synced back down to your PC.

And if your are not using Chrome, the “folder upload” feature does not work. Naturally Google wants you to use Chrome and please use if for everything, thank you very much. That’s probably in the “whatever” category.

Summarize Google Drive (for now)

  • Installation is fairly straightforward, choose advanced setup if you want to change location of the Google Drive “sync folder” or do not want Google Drive to start automatically with Windows.
  • The only way to “back up” a file to the cloud is to have it reside in the Google Drive folder. There is currently no way to backup other locations of your PC or network.
  • If something is not working right, there is not much you can change other than the account you connect to. Uninstall and re-install.
  • Google will want to “convert” files to Google Docs format when you upload. There is a checkbox option to turn this off. So if you enjoy using Office “lite” with limited features and the frustration of browser applications instead of using a “real” computer program like MS Office or OpenOffice, Google Drive may be quite handy for you.
  • There is a bit of a delay between when the desktop app (and the little file indicator) say that a file is synced and when it actually shows up in the home screen when you login to your account on the web. Don’t be alarmed, just give it a few minutes. This may get better in time.
  • If you delete a file from your Google Drive directory on your PC it will promptly be removed from your Google Drive active files list but you CAN find it in the “Trash” folder. Just don’t empty that trash until you know it’s safe to do so.
  • While this can be a handy feature, or “Tool”, it is hard to imagine paying for any extra storage at this point.

Google Drive Preferences Configuration Screen

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