Cloud

How to back up your data with Google's new Backup and Sync feature

Google recently made Backup and Sync available to the public for Drive and Photos. Here's how to download it, and how it stacks up against competitors.

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Image: iStockphoto/pixelparticle

In an effort to make it easier for users to back up files to Google Drive, Google recently launched its new Backup and Sync feature. According to a Google blog post, the feature allows users to continuously back up their files to Google Drive from any folder on their local machine.

Backup and Sync works for both Google Photos and Google Drive, replacing the previous Google Photos desktop uploader and Google Drive for Mac and PC, the post said.

In theory, the new tool operates much like the consumer version of Dropbox. Once installed, users simply point to which folder they wish to back up, and the program will continue to upload and sync new data as it is added to the connected folder.

SEE: Cloud Data Storage Policy Template (Tech Pro Research)

To get started using the service, it is important to first check the system requirements and make sure that your machine qualifies. If so, proceed to the Drive download page and/or the Photos download page to download Backup and Sync.

Once you have downloaded the program of your choosing, find the installer in your downloads window and double-click it. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the program for your Mac or PC.

Upon installation, find the application and open it. The, click the blue GET STARTED button at the bottom of the window. You'll be required to sign in with the Google account you wish to connect it to. After putting in your credentials, click the blue NEXT button.

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Keep in mind that Google considers this a consumer product, and if you're an enterprise G Suite user, your admin may have blocked access to the Backup and Sync feature.

Once signed in, you will need to choose what folders you wish to sync. All of the folders will be selected by default, so you will need to deselect them if you wish for them not to sync.

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Additionally, you will need to choose what quality of files you want to upload. The High quality option is a reduced file size that is uploadable for free. Original quality files will count against your available storage in Drive.

It's important to note that you may need to upgrade your Drive storage to properly use Backup and Sync, and the cost may be more expensive than comparable services as The Next Web noted. Once you've made your selections, click the blue NEXT Button at the bottom.

On the final page, you'll be given the option of whether or not you wish to sync your Drive account back to the machine you're working on, thereby making all of the files already there available locally on your machine. This option is selected by default, so be sure to deselect it if you don't want to sync older Drive data back to your computer. Once you have made your selection, click the blue START button to finish the setup.

Being that Backup and Sync is intended for the consumer audience, enterprise users should exercise caution before downloading it. Be sure to check your company's data policies to make sure that the use of such a tool is in line with company standards and compliance. If you need additional resources to develop a cloud storage policy, check out our templates on Tech Pro Research.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google's Backup and Sync feature is now live, offering continuous local file sync with Google Drive and Google Photos.
  2. Users may need to upgrade their Drive storage to use Backup and Sync, and it may be more expensive than competitive solutions.
  3. Enterprise users should use caution when deploying services like Back and Sync, as it could violate company practices or compliance standards.

Also see

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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