On July 13, Google finally launched the Google Backup and Sync app (for PC and Mac), which replaces the Drive desktop app. This development integrates new features in the app and just like OneDrive for Business is to Office, Drive hopes to boost its functionality on the web with apps such as Google Docs, Slides and Sheets within the G Suite, as well as a cloud option to sync user files. It does this while keeping the photo syncing option intact.
I have tested the app for two days, and I must admit that it makes backing all of your PC/Mac files way to easy, save for space restrictions (more of that in a minute). In essence, all of us understand why it vital to keep copies of your important files because computers crash, get stolen or forgotten at home in situation when you need them (this should not be confused with Backup and Sync being a restoration tool because it cannot be used to restored the OS of dead computer). As we have mentioned, the tool is cloud-based, which eliminates the need to spend money on new hardware such as external sticks and hard drives – although you will spend money if you have files that exceed Drive’s 15GB cap of free storage.
The app can be grabbed from here, and upon installation, it will prompt you to enter your Google account credentials. Do it. Next, you will need to pick folders that you want backed; there is an option for Documents, Desktop and Pictures. Assuming you are me, meaning you take your photos with a phone, then you may need to uncheck the Pictures option because the Photos app backs up your images on phone just fine. Else, you will be prompted to choose the quality of pictures that you want synced; high quality (downsized) for unlimited storage or original quality (limited).
The next dialog box will give an option change sync option, where a user can select syncing the selected folders or everything in Drive. You might need to revise selected folders if file sizes are huge. Afterward, shortcuts to Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive will be strewn on your desktop and that is it.
Backup and sync will then take place anytime you are connected to the internet, and backed up files will be ticked.
What’s more, you can backup files from multiple computers, and on the Drive Web app, those computers will be listed with their backed data under the computer names. However, these files in different computers will not be synced to other devices.
There is an upgrade solution for when you run out of space. An annual, 100GB plan costs $19.99 or $1.99 per month, while a jump to 1TB will cost $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month.
Are you ready to upload the content of your drive(s) to Google Backup and Sync? Have you been waiting for such a solution for years, assuming your work revolves around Google products? Also, are you confident that a cloud solution will keep your files safe in case Google changes its mind and drops the solution?
One thing I have noticed is that if you remove a file that has been synced on the Drive Web app, it gets deleted on your PC, although you can still restore it from trash. Fortunately, you can set a delete rule to define file removal reactions when you delete a file from your PC/Mac; delete everywhere (my option) or delete from Drive without a prompt to keep files there when you delete them from your computer.
In my opinion, the bigger problem is that there is no way you will have sufficient space on Drive to use the solution for real backups even if you trust Google with all your files. Even so, your ISP, with the sugarcoated ‘unlimited’ plan will cripple your upload speeds or charge you more based on fair usage policy. Assuming storage was in fact free, you will still need to jump data caps hurdles, unless you can really afford robust bandwidths. Another interpretation could be in reference to the storage provided by Google Backup and Sync (that you will buy), for which bandwidth caps are a major letdown.
Otherwise, happy uploading.