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Google launches new online service for storing files and photos

Google Drive is like a drive on your PC or laptop, but in the cloud

Google has launched a new online service that gives users up to 5 GB of free space to store their photos, documents, and other content.

Called Google Drive, the service is meant to compete with several other cloud storage services, including the very popular Dropbox.

Dropbox strong competitor for Google
Dropbox and Box are currently among the most widely used and popular services for users to store and sync their content online. Similar to Dropbox, Google Drive gives users up to 5 GB of free space to store their content.

Google has always been ahead and extremely competitive when it comes to online services. Google’s webmail service, Gmail, is now the most widely used webmail, even though it hit the scene after Hotmail and Yahoo.

Google Docs, introduced just a few years back, has also carved a space for itself, with Microsoft now trying to play catch up with its Office 360 service.

Although Google already has a dedicated online application to store photos (Picasa), it never had an online service where users could store something other than photos or documents.

A new feature that Google Drive offers its users is the ability to search through scanned documents.

Dropbox came along and pretty soon became a favorite among online users for syncing and storing content. Not to be left behind, Microsoft introduced SkyDrive, offering similar functionality.

With more and more users going online on their smartphones and tablets, the demand for storage in the cloud has shot up tremendously over the past few years.

Be happy on the ‘cloud’
The best thing about cloud storage is that you no longer need to worry about losing your important data should your laptop or other device where you have stored it gets lost or gets contaminated with a virus.

Cloud storage services also allow you to sync your online content across multiple devices including your PC, smartphone or tablet.

Other than the 5 GB of storage that Google is offering free of charge, users can opt for more storage for a small fee. The charges per month for 25 GB and 100 GB are $2.49 and $4.99 respectively. 1 TB will set you back by about $50 a month, while 16 TB (yes 16 terabytes!) is yours for around $800 a month.

A new feature that Google Drive offers its users is the ability to search through scanned documents. Any scanned documents that you upload are put through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) so you can use any keyword to search through them. Neat eh?

It remains to be seen if Google Drive is going to be the next big Dropbox or not.