I love gmail's ability to add multiple labels to emails, and I like that feature in Google Docs, but I was very disappointed when Google Docs became Google Drive and they replaced multiple labels for a file with a single folder. Fortunately, my old files retain their labels, but I can no longer add or change the labels.
In the realm of digital overlords, Google just took one more step toward being the lord of all. While Google+ has failed to draw crowds as a social network, Google has made collaboration through existing networks exceptionally easy. This week Google introduced the ability to send supersized email attachments of up to 10GB. In …
Monday 3rd December 2012 09:36 GMT Dare to Think
"I love Dropbox, and have used it in both the personal and corporate contexts."
It took me just 3 hours to create my own webmail server. It has spam removal, virus protection, etc.
Oh, my mailbox is 1TB in size.
It look me just 1 hour to create my own dropbox. I created my own certificates and encryption keys. 2TB in size.
Beat that, Google, Matt Asay et al.
Thursday 6th December 2012 14:46 GMT Michael Wojcik
Re: 10GB? Hahahahaha
Sure. I have my own web site, and it has webmail (part of the standard package from the hosting service), though I never bother using it.
I also have various "personal" web pages courtesy of "comes with a free website!" accounts of one sort or another - one through my ISP, one through my NNTP feed provider, etc. I rarely make any use of those, but I could use them for storing and exchanging files.
I have S3 and Azure accounts. I've used the former for file exchange once or twice, and I could use the latter as well.
I have Gmail and Google Drive.
None of this is difficult for people who are comfortable with IT. The advantage of Dropbox (which I've never bothered with) and the like is that they're easy for people who aren't - for those who just want to share some files and get on with other things.
For those people, "3 hours to create [their] own webmail server" isn't just three hours - it's three whole damn hours of working in a technical area they'd rather not have to understand, instead of doing what's important to them.
Some people like spending three hours doing routine car maintenance, or turning a wooden bowl, or sewing a pair of pants. Many other people would rather have someone else do those things for them, so they can pursue projects that are meaningful to them.
Friday 30th November 2012 07:29 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th November 2012 07:37 GMT Robert Grant
Dropbox's real strength (I think) is in being able to share lots of files seamlessly, and without really knowing you're doing it. Upload a whole album of photos easily to friends by storing them in a local folder; share a load of project documentation between a large project team, etc etc. No need to constantly be sending emails with the latest updates, just save them to a folder and they appear like magic. That's its strength Matt; sharing single large files is only the smallest (and most easily-matched) feature they have.
My 25GB of Skydrive storage is way more likely to compete with Dropbox than Google Drive, I'd say, especially when they make sharing folders easier.
Friday 30th November 2012 07:40 GMT Real Ale is Best
Friday 30th November 2012 07:58 GMT Jordan Davenport
Friday 30th November 2012 08:56 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th November 2012 11:19 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Google Drive & Dropbox
"If you use Mac or Windows, you're in luck. There are third-party clients for Linux, but the official client isn't ready yet."
..which is why it wins for me. It has decent native clients for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android, so all of my devices are covered seamlessly.
Friday 30th November 2012 13:15 GMT PyLETS
no such thing as "free" storage
If it works on operating system A but not B then this file storage system isn't using standard filesystem protocols. Which means when it does work on Linux you have to install some proprietary device driver to use the so called 'free' storage. Best done using a virtual machine used for nothing else, if you must and if you care about knowing what the software on your main machine is doing.
You may also want to consider only storing remotely if encrypted sharing the key with a friend you wish to share the content with or using asymmetric crypto - and if you look at the small print in the T&Cs and to the extent you can, you'll find that you're generally signing away your first born - e.g. the ability of some corporate to mine your personal data so they can more effectively target advertising at you.
Friday 30th November 2012 15:31 GMT Craigness
Re: no such thing as "free" storage
It just means they couldn't be bothered to write a linux version. Even when they get round to it (it's been promised for a while) they won't support Amiga, so you can still claim it's all non-standard etc if that's how you like to get off.
Meanwhile, as some who doesn't use Dropbox and has no idea what it does, I'll join in the game with those above:
I don't like dropbox because it doesn't allow file sharing, doesn't let you email links, doesn't use tags, doesn't have a client, doesn't have a website and you have to sign up to a FedEx account to get your files distributed (they don't support DHL). Oh, and it doesn't actually download files to your computer, it just creates a note to say that a file exists somewhere else, so they can lock you in to their services. But Drive does all those things, including DHL.
Friday 30th November 2012 15:46 GMT Jordan Davenport
Re: no such thing as "free" storage
You aren't familiar with how these file synchronization services work, are you? They aren't like network shares that you can mount as pseudo-local filesystem locations. Be it Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Ubuntu One, or whatever, you have to install a daemon (not a device driver) to run on top of the operating system, usually in user space. They all generally monitor a specified directory's contents and synchronize changes in either direction when they happen.
With regards to installing a proprietary piece of software that does things without your knowledge, Google Drive's APIs are actually quite open, so there's nothing stopping you from writing your own synchronization software for it. In fact, that's exactly what has been done with Linux so far. I can think of at least two clients for Google Drive available for Linux that are not made by Google, one of which is proprietary (Insync) and one of which is open source (grive).
There just simply isn't a standard device model for synchronization across various operating systems. Even local filesystems are implemented differently throughout the different operating systems. For instance, NTFS, a proprietary file system, is supported only in user space in Linux, apparently due to licensing issues. Ext4 and btrfs on the other hand, both open source file systems, aren't supported in Windows at all.
Regarding privacy and security, I will grant you that you do indeed have a point, but that is a risk you run with any remote storage solution, free or not. In fact, all the services I named above do actually provide additional remote storage capacity for nominal fees.
Saturday 1st December 2012 00:05 GMT David Simpson 1
Friday 30th November 2012 09:06 GMT frank ly
Re: Google Drive & Dropbox
There is a form of GDrive native client but it's an extension of Chrome, as I recall. I use it so I should know more about it. However, the 'files' stored locally are just links to the GCloud, so you need connection to the internet to do any work on them. There are download and store capabilities but these are limited.
This is, of course, Google's intention. They want you to be dependent on them for storage and use.
Friday 30th November 2012 10:56 GMT Cliff
Re: Google Drive & Dropbox
Lots of confusion and incorrect info here
There is a native client thingy for Windows at least, it is not a part of Chrome. Just like dropbox
It integrates to your folders lists as 'google drive' just like dropbox
It syncs across multiple machines for offline use, they sync when you go back online again like dropbox.
Dropbox doesn't offer anything google drive doesn't offer now, and GD is more integrated to my GMail, bonzer.
Friday 30th November 2012 08:50 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th November 2012 09:12 GMT Avatar of They
Google is evil.
But Google will just take ownership of your information, read it and then make use of what information it finds to sell you crap, or sell someone else crap, they are afterall in the business of selling crap and being generally evil.
Dropbox is a step aside from the evil selling crap business, too many eggs in one basket so to speak.
Friday 30th November 2012 10:46 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Google is evil.
Aren't conspiracy theories fun.
Oh dear. Where do I begin.. OK, I'll give you just two arguments.
For legal reasons
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:
meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.
Need any more? I do this stuff for a living and trust me, there is plenty..
Friday 30th November 2012 12:22 GMT rash.m2k
Friday 30th November 2012 13:22 GMT Anonymous Coward
effectiveness of advertising
"Advertising has pretty much zero effect on me."
It's a multibillion dollar business for a reason which isn't about those paying throwing their money away and getting nothing in return. And then there are referrals - getting a cut of the cake when you follow a link and spend something. Advertising wouldn't be as effective as it is if we thought it was effective.
Advertising needs us to think it doesn't affect us for it to be able to affect us.
Saturday 1st December 2012 00:11 GMT David Simpson 1
Re: effectiveness of advertising
If any of you paranoid crazies have watched commercial television or movies or music for the past 50 years, or read any newspaper or magazine then I hate to tell you this but you've been playing the game for longer than Google has existed, put your tin foil helmet on and stop boring the rest of with your conspiracy nonsense.
Saturday 1st December 2012 05:58 GMT amanfromMars 1
Re: Google is evil. ...... It is not evil, just a very naughty dumb toy
Methinks Google's problem is not that they are evil in that which they do, which may be at least as you say, Avatar of They ...... But Google will just take ownership of your information, read it and then make use of what information it finds to sell you crap, or sell someone else crap, they are afterall in the business of selling crap and being generally evil. ..... it is that they are not smart enough to use to greater good purpose what they hoover up/are freely given in an IP search request or storage location, to create a global virtual reality with augmented realities which they and their clients driver and direct/Command and Control.
But you don't need to be a Google, an Amazon or a Microsoftie to do that, you just need to know how IT is done, and that is a simple matter of freely sharing a surprisingly few basic sensitive secrets.
However, such is coming very soon to an administration near you, for IT has proven it to be unstoppable and extremely exciting and mutually beneficial and unbelievable generous.
Saturday 1st December 2012 22:32 GMT Dave Bell
Friday 30th November 2012 09:43 GMT JDX
Friday 30th November 2012 09:56 GMT Anonymous Coward
I use google a lot for work, and their google drive is pretty handy, although I still think their best addition since gmail is hangouts, how else can a team in 4 locations have a meeting and actually see each other no matter what device you are using or where they are?
For all googles data extractions it is bound to be doing, I would rather be on G+ than on Facebook! Google may mine your data to show adverts, but that is better than Facebook...
Friday 30th November 2012 10:10 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th November 2012 10:38 GMT Anonymous Coward
All in how you use it.
Personally my primary use for Dropbox is to act as a backup for my photos and important files including source code in case of a disaster. (Flooding is a real possibility.)
The fact I can access them anywhere, have my phone automatically upload pictures to it, and share folders is all a bonus.
GDrive seems to be aimed at documents, for example I'm not sure how a folder hierarchy of source code would be stored. So I guess the article is right for collaboration on office documents, but for other uses it's still a fair bit behind? Well, for now anyway...
Friday 30th November 2012 11:05 GMT Gavin 8
Booble drive more like
I signed up with glee at half the price of dropbox and started dumping files on to my shiny new 100GB google drive. After a day I noticed a lot was still to sync (I knew it was slow, but something was wrong). Once I checked I found that google drive had errors syncing files, and just gave up at the first sign of trouble. I forced it to keep trying, no dice.
I rebooted, reinstalled and recreated my google drive locally (mac client) and tried again, same thing, different files failed sync each time, and it gives up on all files because it's basically a defeatist & depressed bit of software.
Quite a lot of people with same problems judging by this post:
Friday 30th November 2012 11:41 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 30th November 2012 11:43 GMT Mark Major
Requires a paid upgrade?
From more thorough coverage:-
"If users do want to attach files as large as 10GB, however, they will have to upgrade their existing free Google Drive accounts, which provide 5GB of storage for free. That’s because the new upload limit is larger than the free storage space given to each Google Drive user. Additional drive storage starts at $2.49 (£1.55) a month for up to 25GB of storage."
Friday 30th November 2012 12:01 GMT Dapprman
Of course this will not work for freretards like me ...
Gdrive limit is only 5GB unless you pay, so how are many of us going to send 10 GB files from it ....
(and yes I know most the free online storage accounts - I use Dropbox and Skydrive, but Google are making the ability to send a 10 GB email as a USP).
Friday 30th November 2012 12:06 GMT Robert Caldecott
I have one of those new Samsung Chromebooks which comes with 100GB of Google Drive space free for 2 years, so this additional GMail integration means I won't be using my Box account any more. The Google Drive Chromebook integration is completely seamless.
However, the Google Drive Android app still needs some work - you can't easily download a file to your SD card for example which seems like a glaring omission to me.
Friday 30th November 2012 12:57 GMT Anonymous Coward 15
Friday 30th November 2012 15:46 GMT Shades
Re: ES File Explorer
Another ES File Explorer user here... I've got it linked up to Google Drive (5Gb), Dropbox (4.75Gb) and Box (50Gb - for free when signing up via the Android app!). Still keep the Dropbox client though as it automatically uploads all images/video taken with the camera as soon as they are taken (settings permitting) - There are smaller apps that do the same job but I've only found ones that just upload images and not video too.
Friday 30th November 2012 13:30 GMT Gavin Jamie
Doesn't work for me
I write documents in Drive (or what was Docs before). When I have finished I email them to my editor. At the moment that involves downloading as text and then uploading to Gmail again.
This is not made any simpler by sharing. I do not want to force the recipient to log on to Docs but the sent "link" is to a live version rather than a downloadable format of my choice. In essence this is just an extension of the "share" option and is not even as good as the "email as an attatchment" option in docs (which for some reason gets caught in spam filters much more and only allows a single attatchment)
Friday 30th November 2012 14:47 GMT Richard Boyce
Privacy in the cloud
Don't neglect your privacy when using cloud storage.
Some cloud service providers such as Google and Dropbox hold the keys to your data. That's great if you forget your password and can convince them who you are. However, the cost is that their systems get to rummage through your data for commercial gain.
There are alternative cloud providers such as Wuala that don't hold your keys. Everything gets encrypted automatically before it's sent to the cloud. It works just the same, but it's private.
if you don't look after your privacy, you're part of the problem.
Friday 30th November 2012 14:47 GMT Nanners
The problem with drop box
I tried it. It wormed itself so deeply into my system I didn't know what it had access to anymore. It scared the poop out of me. When I tried to get rid of it I had a very difficult time getting rid of it. It was DEEP within my system and on multiple devices at that point. I love ten gig mail, just remember not to send anything too private on it, as it is monitored.
Friday 30th November 2012 15:25 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: The problem with drop box
You did this on your production machine instead of testing it in a VM or on a dedicated test machine ?! I hope you're not working in IT!
As for monitoring, I strongly believe people should get accustomed with encryption before even getting closer to a cloud storage.
Friday 30th November 2012 17:08 GMT Anonymous Coward
How did this man get in here?
"I love Dropbox, and have used it in both the personal and corporate contexts. At work, it's a great way to share folders with colleagues as we collaborate on presentations or other files. It's also a convenient way to keep a digital storage locker across my different devices."
If you're very nice to the IT people they might tell you about the network.
Friday 30th November 2012 18:15 GMT steward
I don't know about Blighty, but here in the colonies...
In the US, there's a law that declares emails older than 180 days to be "abandoned" - which means law enforcement can access them without a signed warrant on probable cause.
Using GMail as a storage service exposes your documents to unwarranted seizure. Storage services like Dropbox still can't be legally accessed by law enforcement without a warrant.
Friday 30th November 2012 20:08 GMT Anonymous Coward
about $100, 10 year plan
No Google, No Facebook, No Myspace, No Youtube, No Skype, No Magic Jack
can run light things like encrypted voice, file share, a root shell, ssh, nginx, modsec
Stick box behind a firewall and only the ports you need can be turned on and off with port knock (SPA)
Which means you can face to face deliver binaries to acquaintances, which knock their way in, and close on the way out
It can have it's own IPTABLES that allow only several IP's in, or emergency cutting off getting packets from the entire web including the local lan or switch it's plugged into in only 256 lines of synchronized blacklist.
echo "Done: No packets no mo..."
Security takes valuable daily productivity time
Tuning the performance takes time
Finding the IP's of your small network and getting them into the various rules can be a pain, so you'll probably benefit from some free Dynamic DNS service
It's unmanaged, so if you get cracked because you didn't protect it, you are on your own to fix it, and it might make you stay up for days sometimes. If you want sneaky shit you have to invent, and script it. Figure out what it is you really want to do, kill all the other services and crap, only run what is NEEDED.
This system ain't for running a wikileaks mirror obviously, but it can get you the hell out of all that social crap.and at least feel like back in the bbs days, even though fios splitters are sucking up every packet they can, if your packets are rubbish then who gives a fuck cause you'll never know if they can crack it or not, and in any event mobsters at least won't be looking at plain text to rob your bank accounts, or destroy your live via casual chat. You'll need to replace some fans,add it to the cost, and buy them ASAP. If your like me you have this crap laying around and anything connected to a toilet paper roll ducktaped to the hole, which sucks air is enough cooling for such a low power system.
I can hear you asking already... Yes you can go with a high powered system, fuck my low powered 486 crap. But I wanted to have emergency comms lasting 10 years as my goal here.
Hope this inspires others!!!
Friday 30th November 2012 22:11 GMT Daniel Capra
I use BoxCryptor in combination with DropBox - it automatically encrypts your files locally (including filenames) before they get uploaded. I believe it can also be used on GDrive. It means I don't have to worry about the security of my DropBox account at all; it could be public as long as my encryption passphrase is safe and secure.
Saturday 1st December 2012 10:20 GMT Anonymous Coward
I've used dropbox for a couple of years now. I have my local wwwroot folder on it and my visual studio projects, as well as all my docs in progress. Most of the code I am working on is open source anyway, so I'm not really paranoid about security. It's great to be able to open up my laptop and work on stuff I was working on previously on my desktop, all the files I checked out of source control on the other machine are checked out to me too. All works great.
For storing sensitive content, just use Trucrypt to create an encrypted container within your dropbox sync'd folder. It doesn't matter how much you trust or don't trust dropbox or whatever cloudy file service you use then.
I've tried skydrive but just found it unreliable - got fed up of getting on other machine and finding it hadn't sync'd files I needed. Unlike the author of this article, sending large files isn't my primary use - backing up and sync'ing between machines is. So I don't think this new gmail integration is as big deal as he thinks.
Monday 3rd December 2012 10:35 GMT Tim Walker
This is pretty much my use-case for Dropbox - backing up and sync'ing files between our Mac and Linux machines, and from time to time, sharing large files and folders. Where there's sensitive stuff, I use either an encrypted Truecrypt container, or an EncFS folder with Cryptkeeper (the latter mainly for the Linux boxen).
I mainly like Dropbox because the "infrastructure", including Linux clients, is fairly mature by now and for the most part, it "just works". In particular, because the Dropbox folder is just like any other folder in the filesystem, on Linux and Mac you can do things like symlinking to and from the folder, and Dropbox works on them.
Not that I'm ignoring Google Drive - I've been using it since the Docs days - and I'm sure there'll be a reasonable Linux client in the end (an official GD FUSE filesystem driver from Google would do nicely), but for now Dropbox does the job for me. I may well end up using the "Gmail large files from Drive" option in future - it's nice to have choices!
(BTW: I found that Otixo provides a useful "unite your cloud storage accounts" service - especially as they make all your cloud accounts accessible via a single WebDAV share. I use this to give my Raspberry Pi access to my Dropbox, GDrive, etc., using the davfs2 WebDAV FUSE driver to mount Otixo's WebDAV share into the Pi's filesystem. Very handy.)
Wednesday 5th December 2012 20:03 GMT Jolyon Smith