Today is the day that Google makes Drive File Stream generally available to all G Suite users. As of December 11, 2017, Google will fully deprecate and end support for the old Google Drive Client that has, up until now, provided users with the ability to sync and share files between Drive and their devices. Recently, Google also released Backup and Sync.
Which Drive Client is Right for You?
Briefly, Backup and Sync is a personal utility that Google has publicly classified as a “consumer” tool. Drive File Stream is a support part of G Suite and is designed for business users. For most businesses, even small businesses, Drive File Stream will be best. While Drive File Stream will not let you sync other local folders, it will provide “native drive” access to both My Drive and Team Drives. This style of access gives you nearly universal access to files in Drive from local applications, without large sync directories and large local storage demands.
A Deeper Look
|Feature||Drive File Stream||Backup and Sync|
|Access files in My Drive||Y||Y|
|Access files in Team Drives||Y||✘|
|Stream files on demand||Y||✘|
|Sync only selected folders in My Drive||Y||Y|
|Sync only individual files in My Drive||Y||✘|
|Use native applications like MS Word and Photoshop||Y||Y|
|Sync other folders, such as Documents or Desktop||✘||Y|
Better Look and Feel
Drive File Stream will have a new look on your local machine, instead of syncing between a “Google Drive” folder and My Drive, Drive File Stream will appear as a local disk:
- Mac: Google Drive appears in Finder under Devices
- Windows 7: Google Drive appears in Explorer as a mounted drive under My Computer and Favorites
- Windows 10: Google Drive appears in Explorer as a mounted drive under This PC and Quick Access
Sync & Share
You will still be able to flag folders (and individual files!) for sync to the local disk for offline and high-performance access.