Google: Drive File Stream vs Backup and Sync - Thoughts?

This is a long post for a niche group but I am at a crossroads and would like to gather input from those who may be at the same juncture.

Disclaimer: Before you read on, Google Drive is NOT going away.You files and everything are all good. If you have no idea what I am talking about below, then you are safe to ignore this post, :wink:. Plus, I am also pretty certain this only impacts a TINY amount of people using Google Drive’s other tools.

That being said, this greeted me today. . . .
Google Drive Going Away

So now google is “depreciating” Google Drive sync with an end date of March 12 (sort of). Enter two new options which you can download here: Google Drive: Access and sync your files anywhere.

  • The first is Backup and Sync, which is mostly Google Drive Sync renamed. Google Drive Sync while use physical hard drive space for each document.

  • The other is Drive File Stream which is aimed towards GSuite users like our district and businesses. It works by streaming files on demand without taking up physical hard drive space. It also works with Team Drive where the other does not.

The hard part, each one has exclusive features that I want in both.

For those wanting to know more about Google Drive Sync AND what is going on around this upcoming switch, check this out: Google Drive on PC/Mac is dead, long live Backup and Sync

I have heavily used Drive Sync since it came out. It’s VERY helpful for syncing non-Google Drive files such as Microsoft Office, images, SMART Notebook files and most importantly, videos. I liked that folder functioned like every other in File Explorer and contained the same files/structure that was in Google Drive. This allows me to access to these file types without going through the process of navigating to Google Drive in the web, downloading the document for editing, or uploading when I was done. This was extremely helpful for large video files I would be editing on my PC. It was a step up from Dropbox because it had shortcuts to my Google Drive documents as well.

That being said. . . any thoughts by others who may be wondering what to do?

1 Like


I have spotted this change as well and love the new Drive File Stream tool.

What I really like about it is the mapping of a drive letter G: to peoples Google Drive to allow full access to the drive from any Windows application.

I am going to push for that we roll out Drive File Stream as a pre-installed tool on all district PCs.

However, it would be interesting to hear any potential negative feedback. I have not spotted any showstopper in the tool yet so unless we notice anything it will most likely be rolled out within the next month or two.


1 Like

A quick addition.

Per Googles documention, the tool have these drawbacks:

Known issues
You can’t currently duplicate Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

If you have edit access for a Team Drive (or any files shared within a Team Drive), you can currently only view these files in Drive File Stream. To edit the files, you must access them in Drive on the web.

What they really mean with the first one is that you cannot initiate the creation of a new Google format document from within windows or the tool. Any new Google format document must be created using Google Docs, Sheets from the web app.

The second one is a bit more annoying. That you need Full access and not just Edit to be able to edit a Team Drive document if you access it from within windows using the tool. But since we are not heavily using Team Drives just yet, it’s not bound to be a major issue.


1 Like