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Using Google Shared Drives

Originally referred to as Team Drives, Google's Shared Drives service facilitates the sharing of data between the different members of a group. Although it's most often used in business and enterprise settings when sharing files between co-workers, it can be used in other instances, too – including academic and home environments.

Pricing and Accessibility

Google Shared Drives is often confused with Google My Drive, but the two are very distinct. For starters, My Drive is aimed at individual users. It's also available in a free service that offers 15 GB of storage space. Additional space is available via their affordable pricing structure, which offers 100 GB for $1.99 per month, 200 GB for $2.99 per month or 2 TB for $9.99 per month.

On the other hand, Shared Drives is only accessible to those who own a paid version of G Suite – Business, Enterprise, Education, Essentials or Nonprofit. If you're a current user with an active subscription, you can access Google Shared Drives via the Google Chrome web browser.

When to Use a Shared Drive

Let's face it: there are many options available when it comes to sharing data between teammates. However, Google's Shared Drives service offers a convenient, easy-to-use platform that is already familiar to many users. To determine if Google Shared Drives is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do your files need to be shared between all members of a specific project team?

2. Do your files have a consistent theme between them?
If you answered "yes" to both questions, Google's Shared Drives service is probably right for you.

What Can You Do With Shared Drives?

Google's Shared Drives service is a highly versatile system that gives you a number of options when working with individual drives and the files within. If an organization sets up the Shared Drive service, they'll have access to the files within until they choose to remove them – even if the member who created the file ends up leaving before the project is finished.

You'll also benefit from instant content discoverability. With Google Shared Drives, every new user added to your group will immediately be given access to all of the shared drives for that particular group. Not only does it save the administrator the time and hassle of having to set these permissions individually, but it also lets new teammates get started as quickly as possible.

In some cases, you might even want to add users to your drives that aren't a part of your immediate organization. This is possible with Google Shared Drives, too. Any work completed by these external users – including any new files created – will remain on the drive until removed by an administrator.

Administrators also have the ability to restore previously deleted files and move files as necessary. Users flagged as Content Manager or Contributor can also perform these basic actions on Google Shared Drives.

Finally, Google Shared Drives lets you synchronize content with your local desktop. Although this requires the use of the Drive File Stream program, the process is rather straightforward and as accessible as possible.


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