Google’s Insync has been in closed beta for the last 15 months while advertising itself as a cheaper Dropbox alternative with a better feature set. The company is now finally ready to launch with a service that tightly integrates into Google Docs. According to their marketing, the service is “8x cheaper” than Dropbox and furthermore, the core service is now free
. Customers who previously paid for the service during the beta period will be offered a refund or premium service credit. The only cost for basic membership is the cost of Google storage.
For those of you who didn’t know, Insync brings a number of unique features to the table, which helps differentiate itself from Dropbox’s current service. An example of this would be the ability to share individual files with more granularity, not just as public links, but with the option of specifying read-write or read-only permissions. Furthermore, you can also revoke a sharing link, which isn’t possible on Dropbox unless you move or delete the shared file. You can also nest sharing privileges so people might have access to just part of a folder structure. Users are also given the option to set re-sharing permissions, specifying whether those you share with can re-share that material or not. Recipients aren’t charged against their storage quota either, which is quite useful. Last but not least, the files all live inside your Google Docs account, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to the supported Google file types; any file can be synced over as long as it is less than 10GB in size.
The Insync service supports multiple Google accounts and uses Google’s storage system
, starting with 1GB of free storage and moving up to 20GB for $5/year up to 16TB for $4096/year. If you compare prices here, Dropbox’s pricing rates
include 2GB of free storage and jump to 50GB paid storage at $10/moth. Dropbox’s 50GB will end up costing users $120/year compared to Google’ s$20/year for 80GB. With some quick math, you’ll come to realize that Google’s service will cost you $0.25/GB per year compared to Dropbox’s $2/GB per year.
If you are interested in using Insync, you can sign in with your Google credentials and permit it to gain access to Google Docs. All you have to do then is download and install the client software on your computer. Once installed, you launch, link the Google account to your machine, and you’ll be ready to go. For those of you using the Mac OS X, all of your Google Docs will appear in a Finder window. As of right now, Insync feels very similar to Dropbox, even when you look at its menu bar widget and small status indicators next to files (with other competitors such as Egnyte
using similar UI conventions for their respective cloud sync tools as well). If you’ve used Dropbox, then you’ll figure out how to use Insync rather quickly.
Do any of you think you'll be utilizing the new service? Have any of you already hopped the bandwagon? If so, share any thoughts and opinions below!