If your work entails sharing numerous files with multiple people, you would either use a network storage device or use an online cloud storage platform such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. For me, personally, Google Drive has all the tools that I need to backup, sync and share the files that I need. Google Drive’s desktop app offers even greater ease of use because you can just drag and drop any file and it will be instantly uploaded to Google Drive’s cloud storage (provided that the desktop app is running at the time).
Now comes some slightly sad news. As of the 11th of December 2017 Google Drive for Mac and PC will no longer be supported and the service itself will shutdown completely on the 12th of March 2018. What about all your files, you ask? What happens to your favorite cloud storage platform? Well, that’s two alternatives that you can use. The first one is Google’s Drive File Stream.
Google Drive File Stream is a new desktop application that allows you to access all of your google drive files on demand from your PC. As the files are on demand, you would use little to no hard drive space and you would also have less time to wait for your files to sync. However, Drive File Stream is available only for G Suite Customers. If you have a google account that is registered with G Suite, you can contact your system administrator to setup Drive File Stream for you.
For ye average consumer, you have Backup and Sync; an all inclusive app that replaces both the standalone Google Drive and Google Photos Uploader app. It pretty much works the same way as its predecessor, Google Drive works. You’d only notice a new icon in your taskbar. At least, that was the only change I noticed.
Between Backup and Sync & Drive File Stream however, there are a few differences. For example, While Drive File Stream allows you to access Team Drives, that feature is not available in Backup and Sync. You cannot stream your files or sync only individual files in “My Drive” with Backup and Sync either. Lastly, Drive File Stream does not allow you to sync other folders such as documents or your desktop.
If you see a message while using Google Drive notifying you that Drive for Mac/PC is going away, don’t have a panic attack, rest assured that the service offered by Google called Google Drive isn’t shutting down. It is still accessible from the web, your smartphone and via apps. It can also be accessed by the software alternatives that we explained above as well. In addition, if you’re using both Backup and Sync & Drive File Stream, you will be prompted to stop syncing My Drive with Backup and Sync to save disk space.
What are your thoughts on Google shutting down the Drive desktop app? Leave a comment below.
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