Is Google's cheap cloud storage worth the price?

Already reasonable prices drop on Google's bonus storage, but usage is limited for now.

Google has always been generous with its storage space for Gmail and Picasa, giving users roughly 7GB and 1GB, respectively, for free. For most people, this is plenty of room to accumulate e-mail and post high-resolution photos online and have them backed up and protected by Google's powerful servers. What some of you might not know is that Google offers additional storage at a price. Now those prices have been slashed and the storage increased — but is it worth it?

For only $US5 a year, Google will give you 20GB of storage — twice as much as before for a quarter of the old price. This is enough to store "more than 10,000 full resolution pictures taken with a five megapixel camera," according to Google's blog. Not enough? Do you have 8 million photos to rocket into the cloud? Go for the jaw-dropping 16TB option for $4,096 annually. That's a lot of space.

So what can you do with 16TB of Google storage? Basically nothing. Right now Google will only keep emails and photos. This is nothing like the rumor that's been floating around the blogosphere for ages. But some have posited that with the forthcoming release of Chrome OS, Google may be inspired to unveil Google Drive and make its cloud storage worthwhile.

For the time being it may be more frugal to stick with clunky external drives than trust the Google cloud — especially after recent failures.

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Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
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