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Google One is a service that you might have seen advertised, but aren’t familiar with. You might wonder how it’s different from Google Drive, and why does it require a paid subscription? We’re here to answer those questions.

A Brief History of Google One

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Before Google One, the company offered storage subscription plans through Google Drive. These plans gave you more storage not only in Drive but in any other Google services as well, including Gmail and Google Photos.

Since Google Drive itself is a storage service, this was a little confusing. Many people mistakenly assumed that the plans were only for getting more Google Drive storage. In an attempt to simplify the plans and make their purpose more clear, Google One was launched in 2018.

At launch, Google upgraded Drive’s 1 terabyte plan to 2 terabytes and kept the price at $9.99 per month. The other tiers included 100GB for $1.99 and 200GB for $2.99. Google Drive users were automatically upgraded to Google One.

What Is the Point of Google One?

When you sign up for a Google account, you get 15GB of storage for free. This storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. For a lot of people, this is enough storage.

However, if you find that 15GB isn’t enough, that’s where Google One comes in. For a monthly subscription, you can get more storage for your Google account. At the time of writing, the storage options include 100GB, 200GB, 2TB, 10TB, 20TB, and 30TB.

As previously mentioned, Google One isn’t just for storing files in the cloud. Your storage allotment also applies to emails and attachments in Gmail, photos and videos in Google Photos, and everything you store in Google Drive. It’s one subscription for everything.

Basically, if you are heavily invested in the Google ecosystem, Google One is something you may want to consider. It will allow you to use the services without worrying so much about storage.

What Are the Benefits?


Storage is the main purpose of Google One, but there are other benefits to the service as well. One of the biggest is the ability to share your subscription with family members.

If you set up a Family Group on your Google account, anyone in the group can share the storage with you. So if you have the 200GB plan, for example, that pool of storage is available to everyone in the group. However, everyone’s files remain private.

Google One members also get access to “Google Experts.” These are people trained to help you with any of the company’s products. Google Experts are essentially a higher level of customer support only for Google One members.

A benefit for people who use Android phones and tablets is Back Up and Restore. This makes it easy to back up things like device data, media from text messages, and photos and videos. You can then use Google One to restore a new device.

If privacy and security are big deals to you, Google One also offers a VPN just for members. “VPN by Google One” can be enabled on Android devices for members with the 2TB plan or higher.

There are several other benefits that vary depending on where you live. In some regions, like the U.S., you can get 40% off select hotels. Occasionally, there will also be free Google Play credit offers. You can check for these by visiting the “Benefits” tab in the Google One app.

How Much Does Google One Cost?

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Pricing for Google One will vary depending on your location. In the U.S., the plans and pricing break down like this:

  • 100GB: $1.99 per month/$19.99 per year
  • 200GB: $2.99 per month/$29.99 per year
  • 2TB: $9.99 per month/$99.99 per year
  • 10TB: $49.99 per month
  • 20TB: $99.99 per month
  • 30TB: $149.99 per month

If the 15GB of free storage isn’t enough, there’s plenty of plans for everyone. Compared to other cloud storage options, Google One is priced competitively. It’s a great service if you’re already a heavy user of Google products.

That’s the core of what Google One is about. It takes all the benefits of Google’s many products and gives you more freedom and features. Think of it as an upgrade to the typical Google experience.

RELATED: How to Back Up and Restore Android Using Google One

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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