What is Google One and how it works

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Marie-Ange Demory


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As a Gmail or Google Photos user, you should have come across the storage usage bar that tells you how much space you have used and how much is left of the free 15GB that Google offers to all users.

While 15GB of storage works for most people, some of you may find it too limiting. Using the cloud to collaborate on large documents or archive all email attachments consumes free space. Now you can find a respite with Google One.

Let's explore what Google One is all about and why you should consider using it.

What is Google One?

Prior to the launch of, Google was offering users storage subscription plans through its Google Drive platform. Storage plans purchased through Google Drive can be synced and used across all Google platforms.

But in May 2018, Google introduced Google One as a new official platform for purchasing storage, restoring Google Drive to its original location as a storage service.

Google One is essentially a rebranding of Google Drive, with new pricing tiers and some other great additions. You can think of it as an improved version of Google Drive with a few more bells and whistles.

Benefits of using Google One

Why should you use Google One? Here are four reasons why you might want to join the Google One user club.

Access to "Google Experts"

Think of them as premium tech support staff. Google experts are people trained by Google to help answer customer questions about Google products and services. The normal Google user does not have access to these "Experts".

Google One users get instant access to Google experts 24/24 if they run into trouble using the app or any Google-owned service.

The one exception is Google Business products such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) which has a separate support team.

Family storage

Google One users can share their storage plan with up to five additional family members (six in total, including the sharer) by creating a family group or sharing a plan with an existing group.

As a Google One user, you can also share other Google One benefits such as access to Google Experts and the exclusive Google One VPN (more on that later) with your family.

Another benefit of family storage is that while storage is shared by multiple users, other users cannot access your files stored in the cloud unless you share them yourself.

Google One access to the VPN

Google One users with a 2TB or higher plan get access to the exclusive Google One VPN, which Google says will "encrypt all your online activity for an extra layer of protection wherever you are connected."

You wouldn't even need to download another VPN app as the VPN in the Google One app can be activated with a single tap.

If you often use public Wi-Fi networks and happen to need a lot of cloud storage, this is a good deal.

Drive backup for Android

Google One eliminates the difficult part of switching from one Android device to another. Android users can backup all phone data including multimedia messages, photos, videos and device data to the cloud via the Google One app.

Users can restore the backup data to the new device by clicking the Restore option during the Android setup process or by downloading the Google One app when the device is up and running and tapping the Restore from Backup option in Settings.

The Restore from Backup option will restore the backup data to the new device, saving you the stress of manually downloading files.

How to sign up or upgrade to Google One

Log into your personal Google account. You can if you don't already have one. Go up and follow the steps below.

  • Click the button Update .
  • Choose and review the prices for the plan you want from, then click Continue .
  • Select your payment method and click Subscribe.

You can also register with your phone via the mobile app. Download and install the Google One app from the Play Store or the App Store. The process for upgrading to a Google One subscription directly from the app is similar.

Log in with your Google account. Tap the button Become a member  , then choose the plan you want, select your payment method and sign up.

Download: Google One for | (free in-app purchases)

Is Google One the best cloud storage platform out there?

Perhaps. Maybe not. And this is the most honest answer you can get. How you value a cloud storage platform depends entirely on your needs and preferences.

For people who have already invested heavily in the Google ecosystem, Google One is probably the only sensible option. But this may not be true for everyone else.

If you haven't invested in the Google ecosystem and feel that Google One doesn't meet your needs, feel free to try other cloud storage platforms to find the solution that's right for you.

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