A lot of small businesses rely on free cloud services to help them compete in the digital world. One of the benefits of cloud technology has been that it levels the playing field for smaller companies and startups.
The Software as a Service (SaaS) business model that many providers use is to give away limited feature accounts for free to get someone using their platform. The goal is that they’ll eventually need to purchase a higher featured plan.
Once companies reach a point where they are running into growth limitations, they’ll usually turn to IT consulting to help them devise where it makes the most sense to spend their cloud budget.
What’s one of the most popular free cloud solutions that people use? A Google account.
Google is one of the most generous as far as giving away free storage space – something that is vital when it comes to storing all those documents created and images taken every day.
Google provides 15GB of free storage space, which is used by:
- Google Drive files
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Low-res Google Photos files
Most of today’s smartphones automatically take high-quality and high-resolution photos and videos, so storing those has been a challenge. Smartphones quickly fill up, which can cause problems with apps and other files.
Google has been generous in this area as well allowing unlimited uploads in Google Photos for high-quality images. That is, until now.
As of June 1st, Google changed this policy, causing many users that rely on that free storage to scramble for another solution.
Here are the facts about the policy change that you need to know so you don’t end up losing any photos or videos.
Unlimited Storage in Google Photos Ended June 1, 2021
As of June 1, 2021, users no longer get unlimited storage for high-quality photos and videos in Google Photos. Any uploads on and after that date are now counted towards the storage total of the Google account.
In the case of a free account, that’s 15GB.
Existing Photos & Videos Will Not Be Deleted or Counted in the Storage Limit
If you had 30GB of photos and videos already stored in Google Photos before June 1st, you can rest easy. Google is grandfathering existing files into the previous policy.
So, any high-quality files you had in Google Photos prior to June 1, 2021, will not be deleted and will not count towards your storage limit.
Google Pixel 1-5 Users Are Exempt
Google is rewarding people who purchase its smartphone. Google Pixel owners (versions 1 to 5) can still enjoy uploading all high-quality images and videos from their device to Google Photos and having no storage limits.
Why the Policy Change?
Google states that this change in policy to stop unlimited photo uploads, “allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage.”
This is also most likely going to push people towards a purchase from Google in the form of additional account space.
Will Filling Up Google Photos After June 1st Impact My Gmail?
Because Google Photos is now fully included in your storage space allotment, if you fill it up with photos, it will impact your storage for Gmail emails and files in Google Drive.
You’ll need to be aware of your overall storage limits.
Google Has Made It Easier to Delete Unneeded Photos & Videos
To help users better manage their space in Google Photos, Google has added a free tool to the app that allows users to review memories and surface shots that may be unneeded, such as those that are dark or blurry or extremely large photos and videos.
New Google Photos Storage Management Tool
How Much Does More Space on Google Cost?
You can purchase a significant amount of additional storage space for as little as $1.99 per month.
Google markets its storage plans under the Google One account name. Here are the different plan prices:
- $1.99/month: 100GB
- $2.99/month: 200GB
- $9.99/month: 2TB
You can save between 16%-17% when you pay annually.
Are There Any Other Unlimited Free Storage Options?
While many other providers offer free storage, most have a storage limit. We did however find one that offers free unlimited photo storage.
You can learn more about this at Shutterfly.
Are There Other Options for Cloud Storage That I Can Control?
One of the drawbacks of relying on a cloud provider for your file storage, is that they can change the rules at any time, just like Google did. They also have outages; in which case you could lose access to your files.
A more permanent solution for file, photo, and video storage is network-attached storage. This gives you the best of both worlds. It allows you to use a Wi-Fi or hard-wired connection to store files on site, and also enables cloud connectivity, so you can still access those files from anywhere on any device.
Get Expert Help With Reliable Cloud Storage Solutions
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business adopt the best cloud storage strategy to meet your use, security, and budget needs.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.