The first, Google Drive per Desktop, is the program to use for those who want to always have the files stored in the Google Drive cloud available on every PC or Mac used. It would be the recommended program for anyone using Drive with a Google Workspace account in partnership with a team of people or Google Classroom for school, but it’s also usable for simple personal Google accounts.
The second, however, with the name Google Backup and Sync is the program for backing up personal files and photos to the cloud, respectively in Google Drive and Google Photos. This program is the one recommended for those with a Google Photos subscription plan.
Those who have installed the previous Google Photos and Google Drive programs on their PC can now remove them and use this single client.For those who have never used them, remember that Google photo allows you to save photos online, while with Google Drive you can take advantage of a cloud space of 15 GB for each type of file for free.
The main difference between Google Drive for Desktop and Backup and Sync is that the second creates a copy of the files, while the first, that is Google Drive for Desktop, do not create copies but only serves to access the files. In addition, with Backup and Synchronization, you can automatically archive files already saved on the computer disk to the cloud without having to create a new folder and without having to create copies of those files, keeping the photos, documents, and all the files that you want to keep in their position. This feature allows you to back up many folders and subfolders effortlessly.
On the other hand, the Google Drive program is very convenient because it is capable of mapping Google Drive to a virtual disk visible in the explorer. This makes it easy to both access files from your computer, and also add other files within the Google cloud.
Download on Google Drive per Desktop e Backup
To download and install one of the two programs or to try them both (they can also be installed together), you can go to the site of Google Drive. The download the Backup and Synchronization program you can do it directly from that page, while the Google Drive for Desktop program can be downloaded directly from This Page.
To use both, you will be asked to log in with a Google, classic, or even an organization or school account (if the installation is authorized).
If it’s for personal use, it’s better to use the same Google or Gmail account used on your Android phone or iPhone, so you can keep your files and photos in sync and keep a single archive that can be used by any computer or device.
Use the Google Backup and Sync program
If you install the Backup and synchronization, you can start it from the Start menu and then access the Preferences by pressing the right mouse button on its icon in the Windows notification bar, near the clock, with the shape of a speech bubble.
Here you can choose the folders to include in Google’s online backup. You must then select the folders with documents and those with photos taking into account the limits of the free account. By default, folders are automatically selected Desktop, Documents e Images. However, you can remove these folders to add as many as you want. with this program, Google Drive files are copied to a folder on your PC (which you can choose in the settings).
In the preferences, you can choose whether to activate automatic synchronization, whether to synchronize only some folders or the whole drive and other settings.
A special option asks you to choose to upload photos and videos to Google Photos instead of Google Drive, which is definitely recommended in order to use the editing and creation tools of the Google Photos app and to be able to view backup ped photos and videos using the Google Photos app on your smartphone.
Among other preferences, go to the network settings to specify a proxy server and to limit the download and upload bandwidth. This last option is useful for not making the backup and synchronization program occupy all the internet speed.
Use Google Drive for Desktop
The Google Drive for Desktop program is definitely better. After starting it, you can press the Google Drive logo icon to access the activity box and press the gear key to open the settings. Here, in addition to activating the integration with Microsoft Office and changing the folder where used files are saved, you will notice that Google Drive is mapped to a virtual PC disk.
After installing the Google Drive program for Desktop, in fact, you can access the cloud through any folder on your PC, by pressing on Computer and on the mapped disk.
With this program, Google Drive files are only available if the PC is connected to the internet and are not backed up to the computer disk. In other words, this program is used to access the Drive, but not to save files stored in the cloud in a folder on the PC. When using both programs, it must be taken into account that the free account limit is always 15 GB which is an overall space granted by Google for Gmail attachments, for photos uploaded in original size, and for files in Google Drive. In another article, we saw how to manage the space of Google Drive, Photos, and Gmail.
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