Using Google Backup or Drive for Desktop (File Stream)

There are two options to sync files with your computer and Google Drive.

"Backup and Sync syncs and stores Drive content locally on your computer." (Note: At some point in the future, some of these features will be unified into Drive for Desktop, and they most likely will discontinue Backup & Sync eventually). Setup instructions.

"Drive for Desktop streams all files and folders from the cloud." (This was formerly called Drive File Stream and still is on Macs). Setup instructions.

Following is a link that compares them, and if scroll down, you can choose the one you would like to download. Compare Backup & Sync with Drive for Desktop
Note: Backup & Sync does work with our system if you see a notice to the effect that it only "might work but have to check with an administrator"

Notes on using as a backup solution: Having a copy of your files synced on both your computer and Google Drive, will allow you to recover or use your files from another computer/device in case you no longer have access to the original computer due to damage or loss. This also works well when re-imaging your computer or switching to a new one. However, it does not provide a backup in the case you accidentally erase a file and the drive has synced (it will be deleted on Google's cloud drive as well). Similarly if the file gets corrupted, it most likely will be corrupted in the synced version. And finally if your files are encrypted due to ransomware on your computer, the encrypted files will most likely get synced up to the Google drive as well if your pc has an internet connection during/after the ransomware attack. We recommend you also use a backup drive with its provided backup software or a third-party backup solution since those backups are usually meant to cover any of the above issues.

Ultimately, you will have to choose which Google Drive solution is right for you.

Backup & Sync is easier for making sure you have copies of your files on your pc & Google Drive, while Drive for Desktop is better if you want to mainly keep your files on Google Drive and stream the ones you need to your PC, keeping more of your hard drive space free. Drive for Desktop is the solution if you want to work with Shared drives both on your PC and Google Drive as well. It appears in the future Google will add some of the features in Backup & Sync to Drive for Desktop so that there will be only one app going forward.

Here is a video if want to see a little more comparison:

Once you decide, scroll down on the Comparison page linked above to choose which you'd like to download.

For assistance setting up or more information to compare, visit our Setting up Backup & Sync document page or the Setting up Google Drive for Desktop (File Stream) document for further instructions.

Rate this Article: 
No votes yet
Documentation Category: