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Choosing Proton Drive or Google Drive for Cloud Storage

Choosing Proton Drive or Google Drive for Cloud Storage


When it comes to cloud storage, there are a lot of options. One of the best known and popular is Google Drive, since it's free when you sign up for a Gmail account. But in the last few years, some compelling new competitors have emerged.

One of the most promising services is Proton Drive, a privacy-focused cloud storage option that gives you full control over who has direct access to your data while using full end-to-end encryption. It's a nice change of pace, but can it really compete with the behemoth that is Google's cloud storage service? And is it a good alternative if you're looking to move on from Google altogether? Let's compare the two.

Credit: Proton AG

Storage Space and Price

One of the most attractive things about Google Drive is that it gives you 15GB of free storage space just for signing up, which is more than enough space to back up your photos, emails, and other stuff. However, keep in mind that attachments and other data associated with your email account also count towards your storage space.

Proton Drive also offers a completely free option, but it only lets you store up to 5GB, which is quite different from what Google offers. It's easy to write off Proton for being 10GB short, but this competitor has strengths in other areas.

Both services offer more “premium” storage options through monthly subscriptions. Google's cheapest monthly plan is called Google One, which gives you 100GB of data for $1.99 per month, while Proton Drive's cheapest option is 200GB for $4.99. Again, there's a pretty big difference between what you pay and what you get, so Google still has the lead in terms of pure economics.

Of course, there are more expensive options: Google offers plans up to 20TB for $99/month, while Proton offers plans up to 3TB for $29.99/month. If you need more space than that, you'll need to look into each service's business plans.

When you factor in storage and price, Google tends to offer slightly better value for money, although Proton's 3TB plan is technically the family version of Proton Unlimited, meaning you can invite multiple people to utilize that data, plus get access to all of Proton's other services.

Sharing and Features

Cloud storage is great for managing all your personal documents, photos, videos, etc. It's also great for sharing those items with friends and family. Both Proton Drive and Google Drive make it easy to share those items with the people you care about.

Google Drive's sharing options allow you to share to an individual Google account or a list of accounts, choose whether others can edit or only view the shared content, and share via a URL.

Proton offers these same features but adds a variety of extra features. For example, the service lets you create “timed sharing links” that expire after a certain amount of time, giving other users temporary file access. You can also set up password-protected files, which is not yet possible with Google Drive.

Both Google Drive and Proton Drive offer the option to audit your files to see who's downloaded them, allowing you to track where they've been saved and who's been given access – useful if you're sharing publicly accessible links. And both services offer apps for all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, meaning you can easily manage your files no matter what system you use.

Overall, both services offer similar features for sharing files with others, and both support the same file types. The addition of timed sharing links makes Proton Drive a bit more appealing for those looking for finer-grained sharing control, but both services also let you lock content at any time so no one can access it, even if it was previously shared.

Credit: Proton AG


This is where Google Drive and Proton Drive really differ: At the end of the day, it's hard to beat the convenience of Google Drive. It's tied to your Google account, you get 15GB for free, and most Google One plans are pretty affordable.

On the other hand, Proton Drive is a bit more expensive and offers a bit less storage space. However, Proton Drive takes privacy much more seriously than Google.

That's not to say that Google Drive isn't secure: Google says it uses end-to-end encryption to protect your files at all times, both in transit and at rest. However, the keys needed to decrypt your files are stored within its own servers, meaning the tech giant can access your data if it needs to.

Proton Drive, on the other hand, does not have access to any of your data. It is fully encrypted and only you and those you choose can access it. This adds an extra level of security and gives you peace of mind knowing that no one can access your data through unauthorized means. Proton is based in Switzerland, which at the time of writing has some of the best security laws in the world.

Ultimately, Google Drive is fine for casually storing documents, photos, and videos. But it doesn't offer the same level of privacy as Proton Drive, and the extra cost is the price you pay for the peace of mind you get from using Proton's service. So, the choice between the two ultimately comes down to whether you value privacy or cost.

For me, the answer is clear: privacy is paramount in this day and age, and Proton protects your personal information without any extra hassle. But for you, the answer might not be so easy to decide, especially since some of Proton's features are still being rolled out to various apps. Either way, both services have free options, so there's nothing stopping you from using one for some files and the other for the rest.




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