Should I pay for additional Google One storage?

Drive hero
Drive hero (Image credit: Timothy Hansen / Android Central)

Best answer: If you've found yourself working from home, you'll probably tap out your free Google Drive storage space pretty quickly. Even if you're a single employee of a home-based business, a student, or have a hobby, such as photography, you're going to need a lot of space. That's why it's a good idea to invest in some extra storage space and give yourself a safe buffer. Prices vary depending on your country.

What you get with a basic account

A free Google Drive account gives you 15GB of online storage space. This is shared among all Google's programs including Gmail, Docs and Photos. This means all the messages in your Gmail inbox, plus the files saved in Drive folders, chip away from that 15GB of space. For a lot of people, this is plenty of space to keep a few personal documents, photos, and email messages saved for later, but there are times when more space is definitely warranted, and even necessary.

Do you need more space?

Working from home means you need to stay organized in order to keep up on incoming invoices, meeting notes, important contracts, purchase orders, shipping tracking, price sheets, and files, plus all the messages coming through Gmail. If you're using a basic Google account, your 15GB of shared space is going to fill up fast. Google has several packages that make it easy to step up as your needs and budget grows, so you don't have to feel trapped with an expense that's hard to pay while working on your bottom line.

Source: Nicole Johnston/Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nicole Johnston/Android Central)

For students, especially college students, Google Drive is invaluable. It's a great place to keep all your research notes, essays, and projects together. This lets you reference old assignments, notes, and ideas throughout your college career. From Drive, you can also share editing access to teachers and study groups or submit finished homework from right within Drive. With four, or more, years of college, students need a good amount of space. Google offers several packages that fit within a student's budget.

Another situation where more online space is needed is when using Google Drive to save a substantial number of digital images. If you sync your Google Drive to your phone or digital camera, you can upload pictures taken with your camera directly to your Google Photo files, which is a great way to keep your images in one place and free up space on your devices.

However, because images are much larger than a document or email message files, they will gobble up 15GB pretty quickly. If you're a photography junkie than you'll definitely need some extra space. If you use photography for work, it's probably even mandatory.

Additional storage packages and pricing

Google Drive has six different storage upgrade packages available ranging from 100GB to 30TB of space. Each one is paid through a monthly or yearly subscription, meaning you need to continue to pay the subscription so you don't lose files saved beyond the 15GB of the basic, free plan.

Google recommends its 100GB tier for most people. Prices vary via country, but in the U.S. this costs $2 per month, or $20 a year, which is very reasonable for nearly 600% more storage. All Google's paid plans let you add family members to your account so they, too, can use the storage space, and access Google Experts, specialty tech support personnel that will help you set up and maneuver through all that Google Drive has to offer. Paid Google Drive accounts also tap you into a few extra perks including Google Play and special hotel and travel rates.

Source: Nicole Johnston/Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nicole Johnston/Android Central)

Other packages available include 200GB for $3 per month and 2TB for $10 per month. For between $100 and $300 per month, you can pay for between 10TB and 30TB of space, although most people won't need that much.

Nikki Johnston
Commissioned editor

Nikki is a commissioned editor for Future Plc covering internet security including antivirus and VPN. With over 18 years of research and writing experience, and 11 years of testing and reviewing internet security solutions, Nikki knows how to dive deep to get the information consumers need to make better buying decisions. She is also a mom to 10 children, and personally uses many of the products she reviews to ensure the safety of her own family.