NEWS ANALYSIS: The Google Drive cloud storage service dealt with a serious service outage, but that's just one reason the average user might think twice before using it.
is the search giant's answer to Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive and countless other cloud-based storage solutions that are trying to grab a major share of the cloud storage market.
The service allows Google customers to log in, upload data into their cloud-based drive and leave it there for access on all kinds of devices, including Android-based smartphones, iPhones and PCs.
On March 18, however, Google Drive was taken down by an outage that affected some users. And not surprisingly, its outage called into question whether the service really deserves to be treated as one of the best online storage solutions in the world.
Google Drive certainly works as a storage option, and the service is widely used by Google's customers. But when examining its overall value, one thing becomes immediately certain: It shouldn't be used. Here's why.
1. Got a problem with Google? Move on
Although Google is one of the richest and most successful Web companies in existence, a few people really can't stand the company or its cloud applications. For those folks, getting started with Google Drive makes absolutely no sense. Google Drive is quintessential Google.
2. Too many competitors to count
Google Drive is facing too many competitors
to be the ideal solution for many potential users. An enterprise user, for example, might find more to like with something like Dropbox. Although Microsoft's SkyDrive doesn't get tons of attention, it has more free storage. But if you don't like SkyDrive either, there's something for everyone in the cloud-storage market. SugarSync will deliver all kinds of features, including a better user interface and music streaming. LiveDrive's 2TB of storage may be a bit pricey but certainly makes Google Drive look less appealing.
3. Security could be better
Unfortunately, security is one place where Google Drive tends to fall short. The biggest problem is the service's credentialing. Getting into Google Drive is as simple as being logged into your Google account. So if you have Firefox open and Gmail up, it'll be as simple as another person going to Google Drive within the browser to access your files.
4. Is it reliable enough?
Reliability is the difference between success and failure in the cloud-storage business. It's for that reason that Google Drive might not win too many friends today. The service was down on March 18 for some users, and those who were affected took to Twitter to express their displeasure. Other cloud storage services, including Microsoft's, have sustained outages recently. This raises questions about the reliability of all these cloud services.