I’ve had my Samsung Chromebook for long enough now to really get to know it inside and out. I’ve dug through the settings menus, looked at all the flags I could enable, and even changed to the developer channel. It’s not a perfect laptop by any means, but it’s great for what I need. And perhaps one of my favorite features is the 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years that comes with the new Chromebook.
Getting 100GB of free cloud storage finally enabled me to make the jump and truly embrace a cloud-centered lifestyle. Previously, I used a variety of online storage services – I had 25GB of free SkyDrive storage, and I had amassed almost 12GB of free SugarSync storage from referrals. I had 40GB of free Dropbox storage from various promotions (25GB for linking my HTC EVO 4G LTE, 5GB for uploading some photos, and 8GB from when I was a student). Combined, that’s a lot of free storage, but therein lies the problem – it was all too spread out. It was too inconvenient to store different files in different services, and I also didn’t like running four different syncing programs all at once on my Windows laptop. I also wasn’t fully ready to pay anything out of pocket for cloud storage. Therefore, even though a lot of what I did was in the cloud, I still never fully embraced the cloud lifestyle.
And then Google and Samsung came out with the $249 Chromebook, which included 100GB of Google Drive storage, itself a value of just under $120. So, as soon as I received the laptop and claimed my free storage, I turned on my Windows laptop, moved everything – literally everything – into my Google Drive folder, and waited hours and hours for everything to sync.
Then I turned off my Windows laptop, and it’s been off ever since.
That’s because everything I need is now in the cloud, and accessible on my Chromebook, my ASUS Nexus 7 tablet, and my HTC EVO 4G LTE smartphone. And because Google Drive is integrated so well into the Chromebook’s native file explorer, it’s like all my files are already on my machine locally, even though there’s really only 16GB of local storage. (I’m never without a connection to the internet, so I don’t mind that SSD capacity.)
The Chromebook’s free cloud storage was just the kick in the butt I needed to embrace the cloud lifestyle, and that’s why it’s turning out to be one of my favorite features – it’s just so convenient. And, combined with Google’s two-step sign-in verification, it’s probably one of the safest cloud storage services available, too.
Now that I’m in the cloud entirely, I don’t see myself ever going back. If the hard drive on my Windows laptop decides to quit tomorrow, that’s OK. If my Chromebook gets stolen, that’s OK (although I’ll still be ticked about losing $249). Everything will still be accessible to me in the cloud on my next machine, without skipping a beat. Everything will be right where I left it. It’s a convenience and peace of mind I never knew I needed, until I had it – and it’s something I will finally start to pay for once my two years are up.