I belong to the legion of one of those early adopters of the digital cloud. From backing up every picture online to using web apps on a phone to living the Chromebook life and consuming only 30 GB of local storage on my primary computer, I have almost, without any complaints, embraced it all. I say “almost” here because there’s one area which I never truly endeavored – desktop backup tools from OneDrive, Dropbox and of course, Google as well.
However, a tragic incident happened recently that propelled me into doing it – my main laptop went kaput while I was working on a project – for an entire fifteen minutes. Alright, here’s what happened, the charger stopped working, but the software continued to show the charging icon and light for some reason. Hence, I thought everything was fine. The screen, as a result, abruptly went off and despite my three extensive searches, nothing would bring it back up again. I tried a few troubleshooting techniques and after a couple of minutes called up a neighboring friend who also had the same laptop, fortunately, and plugged mine in using his charger. And voila! There it was, the apple of my eye (pun totally intended).
While my files were obviously safe post this brief predicament – it did make me realize why backup tools have become so prominent recently. These apps along with enabling an omnipresent database of your files, also allow you to remain calm about at least your local content in case of a crisis. Fire up them up once, and they sync your data in real-time seamlessly in the background.
Being an avid Google Drive user, I went ahead with the company’s new backup and sync tool. The setup process was quick and effortless, and it began backing up my files in no time. As you’d expect, the tool offers granular control over what precisely you’d like to sync. I completely disabled downloading my entire Google Drive as it seemed quite unnecessary since I do most of my work on a browser.
One of the major highlights of this release was that the dedicated Google Photos backup tool was merged as well. Hence, you are able to access all of your offline or online files from a single location. The app creates a separate tab in your Drive account which is available on its smartphone counterpart as well. There are various bandwidth options backed in as well if you have a limited connection.
In addition to that, the Backup and Sync tool also features an impeccable knack for recognizing changes in your files, folders, and updates them immediately on the cloud. You can also turn on a notification alert for whenever it removes them, although I left it off after awhile. Tapping the persistent status bar icon also lets you share specific items with other Google users. Sadly, though, I couldn’t find the option for multiple select. Perhaps, they will add that in future updates.
After spending a healthy week with the tool, I can safely say it will be a persistent part of my computer henceforth. Even though I haven’t found any real use for it yet, I’m sure I won’t have to go through the trepidation of losing my local files now. Of course, this transition was relatively swift for me as I don’t have a ton of data on my computer’s storage. That might not be the case for you when you first install it. You should, however, still consider it as the app is mostly free and allows you to upload unlimited photos in high quality as well.