If you currently pay for additional storage on Google Drive, then you may have noticed that the service has been renamed to Google One. You get extra features, including the ability to share your subscription benefits with family members and, now, a VPN service
Here we explain what Google One has to offer and what it all costs.
Is Google Drive going away?
No. Google Drive is still the place where you storage documents and other files. If you use it with your free 15GB of storage, then you’ll continue to do so with no changes.
Google One only comes into play when you click the 'Buy storage' button in Google Drive (or another service).
One important thing to note: Google One is for consumers. If you're using a business account, the G Suite services aren't affected by the changes on the consumer side of things.
What new features are included with Google One?
One of the most important elements of cloud storage is, of course, space for your files. So Google One will have more storage options that range from 100GB to 2TB, with a new 200GB option that’s sure to attract a lot of interest.
These subscriptions can be shared between yourself and up to five other family members. The storage you've paid for is shared between everyone, but each person's files remain private and accessible only to them (unless they choose to share them).
Google also states that users will receive benefits such as Google Play credits and deals on certain hotels if you find them through Google search, all of which again can be shared among the family. These vary between countries, so you need to check the Google One website in your country to confirm what you'll get.
Finally, there’s tech support available for Google services, which isn't available to customers using the free tier.
How much does Google One cost?
The 100GB plan costs £1.99/$1.99 each month, increasing to £2.49/$2.99 for 200GB, and £7.99/$9.99 for 2TB. One bit of good news is that those with a 1TB plan will be automatically upgraded to the 2TB option.
Do I need a Google One subscription for Google Photos?
Not necessarily. If you can manage with the free 15GB you get with a Google account, you can use all the features of Google Photos. But the company just announced it is stopping free, unlimited backups at High Quality as of 1 June 2021.
So after that, to back up every photo and video you take on your phone, you'll need to pay for Google One as soon as your 15GB is full.
What's this about a VPN?
Just recently, Google began making 'VPN by Google One' available to Android users in the US. It's a new benefit of subscribing and you can find out more about the service here.
There's no word on when it will be rolled out in other countries, but it will be and it will also be made available on Windows, iOS and macOS in due course. It's an interesting development because it makes a Google One subscription a whole lot better value (if the service is comparable with NordVPN's and others and can unblock streaming services) and also because we really didn't think Google would want to encourage its users to use a VPN and hide their data.
If you’re thinking of upgrading or changing your online backup, then take a look at our guide to the best cloud storage to see what the competition has to offer.
Plus, here's how to clear out files in Google Drive and free up space.