Google Drive vs. Google Cloud Storage: What's the Difference?

Jorge Farah February 20, 2023
- 5 min read

Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage are both cloud storage solutions, though they differ in purpose. Google created them to provide individuals or businesses with the exact capabilities and features to encourage collaboration and allow users to access their files from anywhere.

Want to know which one is more suitable for your business? Keep reading to discover their differences and similarities!

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a personal storage solution that grants access to all of Google's productivity tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even though it's primarily oriented to individuals, small businesses or teams can also benefit from storing and sharing all types of files, including documents, images, videos, and audio. 

Google Drive advantages Google Drive disadvantages
  • Free plan up to 15GB, but you can upgrade your storage space by subscribing to Google One at an affordable price.

  • The mobile app is packed with features, allowing you to create, share, and edit documents in real-time on the go.

  • SSL encryption to keep your files secure.
  • It doesn't have advanced Data Management features.

  • The maximum file size is limited to 50MB (with a Google One subscription, you can upload up to 750GB of data per day).

What is Google Cloud Storage?

On the other hand, Google Cloud Storage is a cloud-based storage solution specially designed for businesses and organizations. 

With a focus on scalability and business operations, It offers a range of features for storing and managing large amounts of unstructured data – including versioning, access control, and Data Management. 

Google Cloud Storage advantages Google Cloud Storage disadvantages
  • It is highly scalable, durable, and reliable.

  • It offers high performance, providing fast access to stored data.

  • It comes with SSL encryption and access control to protect your data.
  • Cost - The tool is more expensive than other cloud storage solutions, making it less accessible to smaller organizations.

  • Complexity - It can be hard to set up and manage, especially for organizations new to cloud computing.

  • Limited customization - Integrating with other tools and systems might take a lot of work.

Google Drive vs. Google Cloud Storage: what's the difference?

Now that we established their basic information and most relevant difference (one is designed for individuals, and the other for businesses), it's time to take an in-depth look at their differences according to features, pricing, security, support, and more.

Features and specs

Google Drive is designed for individuals, small businesses, and teams who need to store and access documents, images, videos, and audio files. It provides a simple, intuitive interface and comes with Google's suite of productivity tools, including Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. 

On the contrary, Google Cloud Storage is designed for businesses and organizations that store and manage large amounts of unstructured data. Thus, it's packed with features like versioning, access control, and data management to make it easy to work with a high amount of information.


As mentioned above, Google Drive provides free storage of up to 15GB, with the option to upgrade for a fee. 

As for Google Cloud Storage, the platform is scalable and designed to store large amounts of data, making it ideal for businesses with high storage requirements.


Due to the nature of the tool, Google Drive is much more affordable than Google Cloud Storage. You can request a 100GB upgrade for $1.99/month if its free version is insufficient.

When it comes to Google Cloud Storage, you'll need first to make a few decisions regarding data storage, processing, and network usage to calculate the monthly cost. Plus, the price will differ depending on your area. You can see the pricing chart to calculate how much it'll cost your company to acquire it.

Security settings

Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage use SSL encryption to protect your data. But since the latter is oriented to business, it added additional security features, such as versioning and access control, to ensure the safety of your data.


On this point, there's little difference between the two. Google offers 24/7 support (in the US) for their clients. However, if you choose Google Cloud Storage, individuals might not be able to contact it (it's more likely that your company can solve any issue with its level 3 IT support).

Final thoughts

Ultimately, it comes down to what you're looking for in a storage solution. Google Drive is a no-brainer if you're an individual or a small business needing an easy-to-use and affordable option to store your files. 

However, for organizations – whether big or small – it's best to opt for Google Cloud Storage. It's the safest option to ensure scalability and avoid the need for data migration in the future. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google Drive the same as Google Cloud Platform?

No. Even though they are cloud storage solutions, Google Drive is not a platform. It's a solution for individual users and thus has different features than Google Cloud.

Which is better: Google Drive or Google Cloud Storage?

That will depend on what you'll be using them for. If you are an individual or small business, Google Drive might be the best move. Otherwise, Google Cloud Storage ensures security compliance and data management for bigger companies.

When should I use Google Cloud Storage?

Google Cloud Storage is perfect for well-established businesses in need of a data management and collaboration platform since it provides you with enough features to handle information efficiently and securely. 

Is Google Cloud different than iCloud?

Yes. iCloud is supported by Apple and offers storage space for audio, videos, and documents. On the contrary, Google Cloud is supported by Google to help big enterprises use their data more efficiently. 

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