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article imageGoogle Offers Online Storage for a Fee

By Kyle Pallanik     Aug 12, 2007 in Technology
You could almost see it coming when Google began rolling out Gmail, online services and applications, that the day would come when they would offer a premium version of their online products for a fee.
When Gmail was first introduced in 2004, the allotted space was 1GB and later was increased to 2GB, growing slowly by small amounts. Currently Gmail users get 2.82 GB of free storage and Picasa users get 1 GB.
Google has recently announced on its blogspot that if you're struggling to find room on your hard drive to put data, for $20 per year you will can now purchase 6GB of virtual hard drive space, once your Gmail has been filled up. This can also include pictures stored on Picasa web albums. Google said that the storage would soon extend to Google Docs & Spreadsheets as well.
It's not entirely news, Yahoo, and AOL already offer unlimited free storage for their e-mail services, but perhaps it does represent a slight shift in Google's revenue strategy. It's not a major shift though, Forbes estimates that online advertising made up 99% of Google's $3.9 billion revenue last quarter.
If you have a Gmail account and sign in, you will see the amount of space that you have available to you.
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If you want more, here are the rates for the web based storage:
6 GB ($20.00 per year)
25 GB ($75.00 per year)
100 GB ($250.00 per year)
250 GB ($500.00 per year)
Having gone to the web link, I can tell you that the purchasing part uses secure encryption, which means that when they charge your credit card it should be safe. You could probably use paypal if you wanted to as well. Myself I don't have a great need for this much storage space, but I have got into the habit of only using webmail, even for my main email account from my Internet service provider. It's just so much easier to share files and access them anywhere than using a usb drive or other means to transport large files.
Who knows if it will take off though, many users of Gmail probably don't come anywhere near the maximum storage limit, even with all the spam. Picasa users on the other hand would probably fill up the space much faster, with the size requirements of pictures being much larger than a simple email. It doesn't beat Yahoo's unlimited storage, but it's a better deal than Hotmail's 2GB for $20 per year.
For pure online storage there is also Windows Live Folders, which has recently been renamed Windows Live Skydrive. For more specialized data like images, a quick web search will show you that there are also services like ImageShack and photobucket or flickr which are popular with users of web forums.
Yahoo is actually shutting down its photo site on Sept. 20th, moving users over to other web albums like Flickr, but the new home for pictures only allows 100 MB of uploads per month, unless you pay $24.95 per year.
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