Google Drive is the Best Option for Easily Sharing Large Files and Folders on the Web
As a web publishers that distributes content with large file sizes to his fan base I have found it difficult to find a good solution. Many off the shelf solutions are too expensive, and hosted solutions that I tried to tweak to make due were too darn slow. Building my own solution would require either having to babysit a server in my house, or if I used my dedicated server that I lease I have to worry about running into it’s 1TB bandwidth restriction.
When I first thought of sharing my videos and podcasts I figured it would be an easy thing to do. I quickly found out that was no the case.
My first attempt involved uploading my video files to my GoDaddy shared hosting account. Per the plan I had signed up for I had unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. I figured I’d use FTP, upload the files and be done… The fine print in “unlimited” bandwidth does not discuss upload SPEED. The uploads crawled along for days… by the end of the week with less then 50% of my content uploaded I gave up…
I then looked at services such as DropBox. The problem with most of these services is that is you want to share 20GB or less they are affordable. Once you start getting into the hundreds of GB the price goes stratospheric. Even Amazon Web Services came to a ridiculous number once I added everything up.
Once I began leasing my dedicated server I thought about uploading the files there. I have 1 TB of storage on the server, and a 100Mbps connection up and down. The issue is that if I go over 1TB in traffic in a month the bandwidth get throttled to 10Mbps. I find it very easy to imagine more then a few of my fans deciding to download my entire catalogue for the hell of it and swamping that cap within a matter of days. Being that the server runs my community, and I really want my community to run well I don’t want to see my bandwidth restricted.
This then leaves me simply building my own FTP server at home and babysitting it. To be so blunt, “balls to that”. I don’t want to have to worry about power outages, or dead hard drives… Not only that, but again if the server gets hammered with fans trying to copy my whole catalogue my overall Internet Connection will take the hit, and I won’t be able to watch Doc Martin with my wife on Hulu.
Thankfully Google opened up Drive a few months ago. For a dirt cheap price I can get all the storage I want, hosted on their robust servers, and it doesn’t degrade anything else I’m doing. For $9.99 a month I get 200GB of storage, and I can upgrade this to 1TB for only $49 if I wish. If I need even more I can just shoot them an email and get up to 16TB…
With Google Drive all I have to do is install the drive app on my PC, and point it at a folder I want to sync. Past that it will simply sync all files in the folder up to the Online Drive. I then created folders within Google Drive in the web interface, and set permissions to allow the Public to view the files and folders. Once this is done Google provides me a web URL that points to the folder. I share the URL and can call it a day.
Google Drive has been wonderful for the few months I have used it. When I was looking for a solution I kept thinking, “It can’t be this frik’en difficult…” Thankfully Google Drive has made it as simple as it should be.
You can checkout Google Drive here: https://drive.google.com
And my Online Folder here: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BzfXRQv-PV9ab2JoSmFPWjJJdEk/edit