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Back up your PC or Mac to Google Drive with new Backup and Sync

Google has simplified its back-up software to keep your important files, photos and videos backed up and synced, with a single new tool replacing two old Google tools.

If you have the Google Photos desktop uploader, or if you have Google Drive for PC or Mac, then Google wants you to download its brand new Google Backup and Sync app.

The news was announced in Google’s blog post written by the Google Drive product manager Aakash Sahney, and Google Photos product manager, David Loxton.

The blog post pitch starts by noting that “you probably keep your most important files and photos in different places – your computer, your phone, various SD cards, and that digital camera you use from time to time.

“It can be a challenge to keep all these things safe, backed up, and organised, so today we’re introducing Backup and Sync. It’s a simpler, speedier and more reliable way to protect the files and photos that mean the most to you. This new tool replaces the existing Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive for Mac/PC.”

If you’re a Google Drive user, you can download the new app for PC or Mac here.

Google Photos users can download the new app for PC or Mac here.

We’re told that “Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they're no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Just choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest".

Now, if you have a Google Pixel smartphone, you’re supposed to get unlimited photo and video uploads, with photo resolutions capped (or reduced) to 16 megapixels, and a maximum of 1080P video only.

Otherwise, Google Drive gives you 15GB free space, or you can get 100GB for US$1.99 pre month, 1TB for US$9.99 per month, or 10TB for US$99.99 per month.

Google goes let you pre-pay a year’s worth of 100GB for US$19.99, which saves you 16%, or pre-pay a year’s worth of 1TB for US$99.99, which saves you 17%.

As you can see from the screenshot below, you can choose any folders to upload to Google Drive, so effectively, you can back up your entire computer if you want to, and if you have enough free space to upload to.

In reality, this is more of an upgraded competitor to Dropbox, OneDrive and other services, rather than a true competitor to back-up software such as Acronis, Carbonite, Crashplan or other true complete back-up programs that offer online storage, file and folder back-up, and system image back-ups, something Crashplan doesn’t offer, but others such as Acronis and Carbonite do.

G Suite customers also have the option of a tool called “Drive File Stream”.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.