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Google Drive for Education Offers Unlimited Storage

Cloud storage is a wonderful thing, but for some users it isn’t quite affordable enough for their needs. This can ring true for educational institutions that have many staff and students to cover, but usually suffer from tight budgetary constraints. However, that’s all set to change now that Google have announced that they will be offering unlimited data storage on Drive with their creation of Drive for Education.

Using the cloud within schools has many obvious benefits. It can mean that class activities can easily be shared out amongst the staff for ease of use. It can also mean that students don’t have to carry heavy bags around full of their work – which means a saving of paper, thus a save of the school’s costs and the environment.

Currently, under Google Apps for Education, a single user gest 30GB of space for free with the ability to pay $5 a month for an additional 70GB of storage space. In a couple of weeks, when Google’s new initiative goes live, that cost and storage limitation will be completely gone. The user will have the ability to store as much data as they like without paying anything.

There is a limitation in that no file can exceed 5TB in size, but in reality that’s actually pretty generous. It’s rare that any single file is going to get anywhere near that and the likelihood is that the majority of users won’t even be aware that such a limitation is in place.

Drive is, of course, just one of the products that Google offers. It fits nicely into their Apps for Education suite, which makes up things like Gmail, Docs and Vault. In a marketplace where Microsoft dominates (not only with their operating system, but also with the Office suite of products), Google is perhaps hoping this push of free storage will get more institutions jumping on board.

The unlimited storage is a permanent fixture for the institute in question, but each individual user will only benefit from that service while they’re actually a student. It’s likely that when they graduate it’ll be a case of paying the standard Drive monthly fees – which a lot may do if they’ve already invested into the Google ecosystem.

In their blog post announcing Google Drive for Education, the big tech company put an emphasis on the security of their service. They noted that every file uploaded is encrypted from your device, when in transit, and also in rest on their servers. They also said how every file uploaded still belongs to that person. Security is one of the biggest concerns about cloud storage, so Google are obviously keen to quell any fears educators might have.

Google claims that over 30 million students and educators are using Google Apps for Education, so it’s no doubt that this news of unlimited storage is going to be well received by… well, millions. It’ll be interesting to see whether competitors like Dropbox or OneDrive will follow suit in this big move from the search engine giant.

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