Google One launches with cheaper cloud storage plans

For some reason, Google is rebranding Google Drive storage plans under the name Google One. Along with the rebranding, Google is also improving its pricing in ways that give customers more options and more storage at lower prices. It marks the service’s first price cut in four years.

Google One plans start at the same place as Google Drive plans — $1.99 per month for 100GB of additional storage — but the situation improves after that. Google is introducing a new $2.99-per-month tier, which includes 200GB of storage, and it’s upgrading the $9.99-per-month tier to include 2TB of storage instead of 1TB.

That’s basically it for the changes. Pricing for plans larger than 2TB remain the same. There are supposed to be some other perks, like deals in the Google Store, but nothing’s been announced yet. You’ll also be able to share your storage with up to five family members, which is a useful feature, especially since you could wind up paying for far more storage than you really need.

As for the name change, I suspect Google decided to introduce the “One” brand to clarify that this storage isn’t just limited to Drive but is also used for Gmail and Photos. Ultimately, though, today’s changes largely amount to a different name on the same product, alongside two tweaked pricing tiers.

Google says it’s already moved Drive subscribers on personal accounts over to Google One plans. As of today, anyone in the US can sign up with the new pricing. Obviously, your choice of cloud storage provider is going to be dependent on what services you typically use — if you’re stuck in iCloud, this won’t mean much to you — but on an even playing field, Google’s pricing is extremely competitive. Microsoft offers half as much storage as Google at $1.99 per month; Dropbox doesn’t offer anything between free and $9.99; and while iCloud has an appealing $0.99-per-month plan with 50GB of storage, you have to jump straight to a $2.99 / 200GB plan if you want anything more than that.

The new Google One plans aren’t actually live as of this writing, but Google has told us they’ll be available this afternoon.


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