Google Backup and Sync: Is It Really Backup?

If your business uses G Suite, there’s a good chance your files and images are all over the place: your computer, smartphone, the digital camera you seldom use and the various SD cards that are probably gathering dust. Well, there’s a simple, speedy and reliable way to organize your files. Say hello to Google Backup and Sync!

What Is Google Backup and Sync?

The Google Backup and Sync app (for personal use and Drive File Stream for businesses) is the replacement for Google Drive and Photos desktop apps for Windows PCs and Macs.

When you install Google Backup and Sync, a new folder (named Google Drive) appears on your computer. Files in My Drive (and all the subfolders selected) copy over to the new folder. You can also sync existing folders on your computers, such as Documents or Desktop. The app also lets you sync data from USB devices and SD cards as well as your photos and videos from Google Photos.

When it comes to pricing, Google Backup and Sync is very attractive for users since they can avail its services for free up to 15 GB of storage space. You can add more storage space, but it does come with a price tag.

Here’s the pricing structure for Google Backup and Sync:

  • $1.99/month for 100 GB
  • $2.99/month for 200 GB
  • $9.99/month for 2 TB
  • $99.99/month for 10 TB
  • $199.99/month for 20 TB
  • $299.99/month for 30 TB

And while you’re at it, get an in-depth view on Google’s data retrieval platform, Google Takeout.

Difference Between Google Backup and Sync vs. Google Drive vs. Google Drive File Stream

Folks tend to get confused between Google Drive and Google Backup, and often use the terms interchangeably.

Google Drive stores and syncs data across various devices. On the other hand, Backup and Sync is Google Drive’s app for Windows and Mac computers that provides access to Drive files on your computer and creates a backup of your selected files to Google Drive.

Now, the difference between Backup and Sync and File Stream is a bit more technical.

Google Backup and Sync stores all your data on your local computer. However, Google Drive File Stream stores your files on the cloud instead of your computer. Simply put, Backup and Sync is a synced folder and Drive File Stream is like an additional hard disk that lives in the cloud.

The other difference is that Drive File Stream is available for G Suite business customers. That means Team Drive is only available with Drive File Stream. As for the G Suite personal user, Backup and Sync is all they have.

Let’s sum up the difference between Google Drive and Google Drive File Stream.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch.

How Does Google Backup and Sync Work?

Google Backup and Sync is a great tool for users who want to sync their data. Once you have backed up your selected folders, all the files are automatically copied to the computer by default. With this app, every computer the user adds gets a dedicated entry. Most importantly, the file structure is maintained.

You can’t schedule backups but any changes in files are synced in bulk when you are online next. As far as file recovery is concerned, the Backup and Sync app re-downloads any lost files or old versions you might need, although targeted recovery might not be as smooth.

Watch how to install Google Backup and Sync:

Is Google Backup and Sync Really Backup?

While Google Backup and Sync does keep secured backups of your important files, it is not a true backup solution. Here’s why?

Fails to curb data loss risks

Backed up files are completely vulnerable to ransomware attacks and data loss due to human error. Google Backup blindly syncs malicious files to the cloud, which could infect the files on the computer and cloud via Google File Stream. The corruption will spread at a much larger scale when team members use File Stream to share files and folders.

Poor data hygiene

Google Backup and Sync customers can only download files over the internet. It becomes a problem when you have to download data that goes beyond a couple of gigabytes. The process becomes time consuming and can lead to data corruption if there is a disruption in internet connectivity. Moreover, since others can add or remove files from shared directories, they could also be added or removed from your computer as well.

Cumbersome recovery

Google Backup and Sync has a sloppy data restoration system:

  • Files can only be restored one at a time
  • Poor search capabilities to locate files and folders that need to be recovered
  • It is limited in its capacity to cost-effectively recover large volumes of data

Choose a Robust G Suite Backup Solution

For businesses using G-Suite, Spanning provides native cloud-to-cloud backup and restore solutions with powerful capabilities to protect critical data from loss caused by ransomware and malware attacks, human error, malicious behavior and sync errors.

Spanning is a proven and trusted solution, purpose-built for G Suite, unique in its ability to enable end users as well as administrators to quickly and easily find and restore data. Spanning is the most secure cloud-to-cloud backup solution out there and provides the lowest total cost of ownership among competing solutions in its class.

Want to learn more? Click the button below.

Spanning Backup for G Suite


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