Google One launches with cheaper cloud storage plans

For some reason, Google is
rebranding Google Drive storage plans
under the name
Google One. Along with the
rebranding, Google is also improving its pricing in ways that
give customers more options and more storage at lower prices.
It marks the service’s first price cut
in four years
.

Google One plans start at the same place as Google Drive plans
— $1.99 per month for 100GB of additional storage — but the
situation improves after that. Google is introducing a new
$2.99-per-month tier, which includes 200GB of storage, and it’s
upgrading the $9.99-per-month tier to include 2TB of storage
instead of 1TB.

We signed up for a 2TB storage option to try out Google One.
The process is simple, you just head into Google Drive and
click on Storage, then Upgrade Storage, to bring up all the
possible upgrades.

It’s mostly just new storage tiers

That’s basically it for the changes. Pricing for plans larger
than 2TB remain the same. There are supposed to be some other
perks, like deals in the Google Store, but nothing’s been
announced yet. You’ll also be able to share your storage with
up to five family members, which is a useful feature,
especially since you could wind up paying for far more storage
than you really need. In practice, Google doesn’t actually
check if the email accounts you’ve added are family members, so
you can add friends or coworkers easily.

As for the name change, we suspect Google decided to introduce
the “One” brand to clarify that this storage isn’t just limited
to Drive but is also used for Gmail and Photos. Ultimately,
though, today’s changes largely amount to a different name on
the same product, alongside two tweaked pricing tiers.


Image: Google

Google says it’s already moved Drive subscribers on personal
accounts over to Google One plans. As of today, anyone in the
US can sign up with the new pricing. Obviously, your choice of
cloud storage provider is going to be dependent on what
services you typically use — if you’re stuck in iCloud, this
won’t mean much to you — but on an even playing field, Google’s
pricing is extremely competitive. Microsoft offers half as much
storage as Google at $1.99 per month; Dropbox doesn’t offer
anything between free and $9.99; and while iCloud has an
appealing $0.99-per-month plan with 50GB of storage, you have
to jump straight to a $2.99 / 200GB plan if you want anything
more than that.

The new Google One plans aren’t actually live as of this
writing, but Google has told us they’ll be available this
afternoon.

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