Google Drive: Is it worth subscribing? » 【2023】

If you have a Gmail address, you can also access Google’s full suite of online services. This includes Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.

Unfortunately, free users only have about 15 GB of free storage to cover all the storage for these services. A Google One subscription allows you to pay for additional storage space, giving you more benefits. But is it worth subscribing?

How Google Drive Storage Works?

Storage with your Google Account is unified, except for Compressed Google Photos. This means that your emails, Drive content, device backups, and anything that needs to be stored in the cloud count towards the total pool.

If you’re just an email user and experimenting with Google Docs a bit, the 15GB storage is probably enough for you. However, if you take high-quality photos and videos with your smartphone’s sophisticated camera, you may also find that your cloud saves eat up that drive quickly. So there is a case for those who invest in the ecosystem.

Storage plan pricing

Google One offers three tiers of storage for new subscribers:

  • 100 GB plan:AUD2 per month or $20 paid annually, you get 100 GB to share with up to five people on your family plan. You get access to Google Experts, Google Play Credits, advanced Google Photos editing features, Google hardware discounts, and hotel accommodation deals.
  • 200 GB plan: A $3 per month or $30 pay annually, you get 200 GB of storage to share with up to five people. You also get 3% of Google Store purchases as credit. This level includes all other benefits included in the 100 GB plan.
  • 2 TB plan: For $10 per month or $100 paid annually, you get two terabytes of storage to share among five people, 10% back on Google Store purchases, Google VPN access, and all the other benefits of the lower two tiers.

Google One offers larger storage tiers, but you can only access them once you’ve already subscribed to the public tiers. You must also be in an eligible country:

  • 5 TB plan: For $25 per month or $250 paid annuallyyou get five terabytes of storage, with all the benefits of the lower tiers, except you now get 10% off Google Store purchases.
  • 10 TB package: A $50 per month or $600 per year, you get lower benefits, but no annual discount.
  • 20 TB plan: At $100 per month or $1,200 per year, you get lesser benefits, but no annual discount.
  • 30 TB plan: At $150 per month or $1,800 per year, you get lesser benefits, but no annual discount.

Share in family group

Google One lets you share your storage allowance with up to five family members for a total of six members.

There are no home restrictions in our experience with the service. Different members do not have to be different. We used Google One with multiple accounts belonging to the same user. This makes it easy to share storage between your other Google accounts.

Adding or removing members is simple. From the Google One app or homepage, just go to

Get expert help and priority support

Google services work well when they’re working properly, but issues can occur from time to time. It’s easy to become addicted to tools like Google Drive and Google Docs, but you don’t qualify for quick support if you’re a free user.

The best place for free users is the community forums, where other users can help. But if you’re a Google One subscriber, you get priority access to Google experts who can help you in minutes or hours.

Most people won’t ever need this feature, but if your job or business relies on Google products, this access to priority help is worth the full price of a Google One subscription.

Google Premium photo editing

The Google Photos app is a simple interface that lets you view and manage photos that have been backed up to your Google account. Many people may not know that you can also edit your photos directly in the app.

You will have access to several advanced editing features if you subscribe to Google One. Google has made a name for itself in computational photography with its Pixel phones, and whether you’re on an Android or iPhone device, you can access some of that magic with Google One. This function.

You will find several “Tips” to fix your photo in one go. These include Dynamic, Vivid, Color Pop, Luminous, Afterglow and others.

You will also benefit from advanced color blurring and sharpening functions. However, if you opened a photo that already contains depth information, these features do not require a Google One subscription. Other tweaks include the ability to introduce virtual portrait lights and HDR editing.

However, these features will not work with any phone. You need Android 8.0 or iOS 14 and at least 3 GB of RAM, regardless of your operating system.

Google One VPN

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) create encrypted data tunnels through the web so that neither your ISP nor anyone on the same Wi-Fi network can eavesdrop on your browsing.

Free VPNs are often unsafe or malfunctioning, which is why many people pay monthly fees for fast, reputable services. If you subscribe to Google One on the 2TB or higher plan, you can also access Google’s VPN service. There’s no one in the world with Google’s global network infrastructure, so their VPN is definitely a good one.

However, it’s currently only available on iOS and Android phones, with plans for Windows and macOS still in the works. Also, if you want to use a VPN to unblock content restricted in your country, Google VPN won’t be much help there. On the other hand, if you want to protect your privacy on your smartphone, this is a fantastic advantage. Speaking of benefits…

Google One Benefits (AKA Member Benefits)

Depending on your country, Google One offers a constant selection of additional benefits. Some may be from third-party partners and some may be from Google.

You can get free Google Play Store credit to spend on content like movies or apps. You may also receive free Google hardware, early access to Google items, or deep member discounts. It’s difficult to quantify whether this should be part of Google One’s value proposition, as the benefits are unpredictable and currently appear to be US-focused.

Get Google One for free

Google sometimes partners with companies like Samsung to bundle a Google One plan with mobile phones or contracts. For example, Three (a UK network operator) offers its subscribers three months of the 100 GB plan.

What happens to the data when you unsubscribe?

If you downgrade your Google One account, cancel it, or lose access to your extended data, Google will adjust your quota accordingly. However, your data will not disappear. You have at least two years to download and delete your data yourself or pay to expand your storage again.

As long as you exceed your quota, you cannot upload or create new files. You won’t be able to sync anything, and you won’t be able to edit or copy any of your files. So don’t worry about suddenly losing your data if you can’t pay or if your card expires and you don’t know it!

Is Google One worth it for Mac and iOS users?

There’s a lot to like about Google One, even if you’re an iPhone or Mac user. There is a macOS version of Google Drive’s desktop client, as is Microsoft Windows, and mobile apps are available for iPhone and iPad.

We think it would be much better for Apple customers to purchase their additional cloud storage through iCloud. Integrating Apple devices with iCloud goes beyond what Google can do on the platform, so if we had to choose as Apple users, this would be the smart choice. Of course, you can use both at the same time!

Who should subscribe to Google One?

This subscription service is undoubtedly an incredible deal, even if you only look at it from a dollar per gigabyte perspective. Still, anyone who relies on Google’s tools and apps will benefit considerably from paying a little to expand their Unified Storage.

Even if you can stay under the 15GB limit, access to priority customer support alone is worth the price of entry. Add to that the fact that you can share the storage pool with up to six people, and it becomes an easy-to-recommend cloud storage service for anyone with a smartphone or, of course, an internet connection.