Just this week, I showed someone how to create a Gmail address and access his new email account. As I was telling him about a few of the features, I also told him about Google Drive, one of programs Google offers in addition to Gmail. While he was versed on emailing, the idea of storing documents and photos online was foreign to him.
It reminded me that many Web-connected people haven’t had the chance to learn and apply the free service Google offers. So, here’s an overview of Drive and how you can find use for it.
First, to understand what Drive is, Google developed the feature based on the cloud system – storage online rather than on your computer, disk or thumb drive. By storing your files on Google’s Drive, you don’t have to keep up with things you can easily misplace … it’s always available with an Internet connection, wherever you are. You can store files, save email attachments and back-up photos directly to Drive. You can also purchase a larger cloud storage plan as you need it, although the free 15 gigs of storage can hold a lot of material.
What are some of the things you can save in Drive? Photos, videos, presentations, PDFs and even Microsoft Office files can be stored on your Drive account. Your files are private, until you decide to share them. You can quickly and easily invite others to view, comment, and edit any file or folder you choose. Share a video or photo with someone with a link or download it and show it on your phone or computer. And once you’ve stored files, you can edit or create inside Drive. Create a file, build out spreadsheets and make a presentation on the fly with Docs, Sheets and Slides apps.
You can scan all your paper documents with an app called Drive for Android. Just snap a photo of documents like receipts, letters and statements, and Drive will store them instantly as PDFs, so anytime you need to retrieve them, they’re a download away. For Apple users, simply install the Google Drive app for IOS on your iPhone or iPad, and you’re good to go.
File security? Every file in Drive stays safe no matter what happens to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Drive uses an encrypted profile using SSL, the same security protocol used on Gmail and other Google services. Log in and log out once you’ve completed your work.
To get started, download and install Google Drive. If you already have a Gmail account, it runs really smooth as you will use your email address and password to log in. Or create a Google Account and you’ll automatically get a Gmail address with it. If you’d rather use another email address to sign in, you can link a non-Gmail email address to the account, and use it to sign in, recover your password, get notifications and more. https://www.google.com/drive
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If you decide to begin using Google Drive or have been using it for some time, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you like about it.
Until next weekend, have a great one, and may God bless you and keep you safe.
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