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January 14, 2009

Google Shared Storage

In 2007 Google added an option to pay for additional storage for Gmail and Picasa Web. The prices have changed since then: for $20/year you get 10 GB instead of 6 GB, for $75/year you get 40 GB from 25 GB, for $250/year you get 150 GB instead of 100 GB and $500/year is the price for 400 GB, up from 250 GB.

Google's offer doesn't look very good if you compare it with the storage offered by Yahoo Mail and Flickr. Yahoo Mail promises to offer "unlimited storage" if you don't abuse the system. "The purpose of unlimited mail isn't to provide an online storage warehouse. Usage that suggests this approach gets flagged by our anti-abuse measures."

Flickr is less generous: you can only upload 100 MB of photos each month if you have a free account. Picasa Web Albums offers 1 GB of storage for free, but a Flickr Pro account costs $25/year and you get "unlimited storage".

Google's offer would make sense if you could use the storage in a service like GDrive, but uploading photos and storing more attachments in Gmail is not enough. There's no defined limit for uploading videos at Google Video, but you need to pay if you want more than 1 GB of storage at Picasa Web Albums.
Google offers a way to purchase more storage space to use with some of its products (currently Gmail and Picasa Web Albums). This extra storage acts as overflow when you run out of free storage space in either product. If you've filled your free storage (5 7.2 GB and counting for Gmail or 1 GB for Picasa Web Albums), you'll automatically use your purchased space to store more pictures and messages up to your new storage limit.

Your shared storage space will be used by whatever product needs it. Picasa's free storage is for photos only, and Gmail's is just for Gmail messages, but the shared storage can be all photos, all messages, or a mix of both. You can't set aside shared storage space for one product - it will be used by any product that's over its free storage quota on a first-come, first-served basis.

22 comments:

  1. You do no seem to talk about Facebook who is the only one with unlimited storage (photos specially). Maybe it was one of the only way to monetize Picasa and more advertised Gmail. 1 GB for Picasa is so not enough that people would prefer go to Facebook rather than Picasa even if it has some very cool features!

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  2. So what is your point?

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  3. "There's no defined limit for uploading videos at Google Video, but you need to pay if you want more than 1 GB of storage at Picasa Web Albums."

    That makes sense, as Google earns tons of money for every video you upload, while storage for private files doesn't benefit them in any way..

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  4. I thought you were going to say Google now offers even more space for the same plans... $20 bucks for 10GB is insanely expensive by today's standards.

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  5. @sam - agreed. I can buy a 1000GB disk from amazon for $140, and Google wants to charge me $400/yr for less than half that? Admittedly Google might be a bit safer than mine, but what the heck, I'll buy three, and rotate them between home and work.

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  6. I pay something like $50/year for unlimited backup space on Carbonite. With all my family pictures and videos (and a little bit of music and data thrown in) I've got over 85 GB of stuff on their service.

    I would not be doing that if I had to pay $250/year. Granted I can't share them, but that's why I've got my own personal web space from 1and1.com ($4.95/month) and JAlbum. All those same pictures are backed up there too, and all my family can view them.

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  7. Here I thought you were going to say that it is still worthwhile since you can use Google with services like GDrive. It is rather expensive storage but if they say that your free to max out your storage than I'm fine with it. I'd rather use GMail with it's cap where I have total control over my email service than Yahoo where I'm afraid they may just "move things around".

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  8. I've been waiting for GDrive for a long time.. and then I realized that all I really wanted was Windows Live Sync.
    If bandwidth and hardware is not a problem, WLS can be a great alternative (though the 20,000 files limit per synced folder can be annoying).

    Google Desktop is the closest thing to WLS, but not nearly enough.. it certainly could develop in that direction.

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  9. I have been waiting for Google Drive forever... in the meantime, I just use DropBox.

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  10. wouldn't it be cool, if google would do what it does best and searches in all of these different services and deliver it to you... Or am I just being ignorant

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  11. I think the worst storage problem is to be found with Google Docs. Yes, you can have 5,000 documents which is more enough, but did you know that each doc cannot exceed 512Kb?

    Being a researcher and having to write long essays, this makes Goodle Docs unusable to be.

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  12. I want integration of Picasa Web with Google Apps. It's ugly the way Google Accounts are tacked on the side.

    If I purchase storage, then I want to be able to share the storage with other applications, and/or across specific users in the domain.

    It's hard for me to commit to Picasa Web Albums in it's current form, since I don't know if I'll be able to migrate later.

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  13. 20 bucks for additional 4 GB, too much

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  14. It's most annoying that the extra google storage is only limited to 2 products. Not extending it to sites, blogger, etc is just a pain

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  15. Cheap or not, what worries me is that Google doesn't seem to have an official policy on what happens to your data when you stop paying...

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  16. @Christophe and @Davide Pasca

    I agree on WL Sync - great program, very simple, very efficient. Only "problem" is it lacks online syncing - which is where Skydrive COULD come in. (my beef with Skydrive is there is zero syncing ability) I would think that MS would want to integrate WL Sync and Skydrive at some point?? Then there's Live Mesh, but that's meant for much bigger things down the road than just syncing and backing up.

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  17. In the cloud, dont you pay for storage, uploading, viewing(downloading)...transfer requests (changing file names)???
    with Google storage, its a set fee and no extra charges...picasa is pretty nice, tag names on to faces in the pics, easy content management system,

    If I store wedding pics on aws, whats it cost, and how would i configure: a way to let 150 people view 2 gb of pics, download if they choose? How secure is it?

    I would like to know what happens to my data on Google's paid storage if the payment isnt made. How long would you have to recover? any cost?

    What about trust? Who thinks that Google cant be trusted?

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  18. I use S3 for backup and only pay for what I use. I think Google could offer the same service and even at a cheaper cost. I use it for backup only, I don't let folks pull any of my photos, etc. If I want to show you my photos, it isn't going to be all 40GB of them it is going to be a select few which you can view on flickr or picasa. I think G's rates for additional space are a bit high, especially since they own all the world's servers :D. Think they could cut you a bit better deal. There are a lot a of services out there for backup, just choose the one that makes the most sense for you and run with it.

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  19. Now, the price is just $5/yr for 20 GB of storage. I think that's a small price to pay for security in knowing that my family memories are stored safely in Google's cloud.

    Alternative? Going with some other provider that may or may not be around 1 or 2 years from now.

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  20. What happens when you stop paying? When I stopped paying at my Flickr account I could no longer see the albums that I created to store the images in, so all the work I did to arrange them in chronological order is lost to anyone looking at them. I want an archive that will be useful after I die. So, what happens to your Picasa Web Albums account when you stop paying? What happens to the images beyond the free storage limit, are they erased?

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  21. You can't upload new photos / compose new Gmail messages / upload Google Docs files until you delete some of your files or buy more storage. Your files aren't deleted.

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