Shared Drive Vs. Google Drive (Game Development Company Experience)

Shared Drives (ex-Team Drive) was introduced by Google as a tool able to enhance collaboration within organizations and teams.

In comparison with user-centric Google Drive, all the files stored on Shared Drive belong to a company. Individuals cannot delete any files unless they are provided special permission by an Admin. Thus, it minimizes the risks of losing important data.

Shared Drives Google Drive

What’s the difference between My Drive and Shared Drive?

Understanding the differences between My Drive and Shared Drives is an essential part of deciding where to store your files and how to share them.

My Drive Shared Drive
Who owns files and folders?
Files owned by individuals. Files owned by the organization.
Who can add files?
The person who owns Google Drive. Any member with Contributor access or higher.
Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files. All team members see the same file set. File-level sharing is possible, but folder-level sharing is not possible. All team members will see all the files, however, files can be shared outside the team.
200 GB for $2.99 and 2TB for $9.99 monthly. Business Starter $6, Business Standard $12, Business Plus $18 monthly.
Google file stream access. 
Yes. Yes.
 Who can delete files and recover them from the trash?
The person who owns Google Drive. Content Manager or Manager can delete files and recover them from the Trash.
How long do deleted files stay in the trash?
Files or folders in the Trash remain there until the user selects Delete Forever. After 30 days, all files/folders in the trash are permanently deleted. Members with the role of Manager, Content Manager, or Contributor can restore shared drive content from the trash.
Mobile device support.
My Drive is supported on mobile devices. Yes, Shared Drives are supported on mobile devices.
My Drive folders are better suited to use by a small, tight-knit group of people because of the relatively flat permission structure. Team Drive folders are ideal for use as file repositories accessed by a large number of people over a long period of time.

Overview: Google Shared Drives Vs. Google My Drive

The main advantage of Shared Drives over Google Drive is that it is a separate drive with all file hierarchy visible in a web browser or directly on PC, no matter if all files are synced or not yet. Shared Drives comprise separate subfolders, that can contain all data for a specific project. In other words, Shared Drives have all important features of Google Drive, and more – the possibility to see all file hierarchy on the cloud.

In contrast, all the folders, stored on Google Drive, need to be synchronized in advance. Otherwise, a user won’t be able to see files on the local PC. Let’s face it, that can be cumbersome in some cases, especially, if you are synchronizing heavy files.

The main inconvenience of Shared Drive lies in the impossibility to assign separate subfolders to a different individual rather than a parent folder.

Main benefits of using Shared Drives

We think Shared Drive is a must-have tool for shared space for Freelancers, Designers, Concept Artists and Artwork Developers working in a team.

Here are some essential benefits you get from using Shared Drive:

  • You get unlimited cloud space. Literally, it is the heart of the matter in the context of file-sharing and storing tools. With Team Drive available shared space is no longer an issue of concern.
  • The path to storage is a drive letter, not a special folder in a hierarchy, which most users find more convenient and quick to manage.
  • Shared Drives allow you to see and preview all stored files and folder structure without actually downloading them. It is the best option for everyone dealing with large files most of the time. You know, artwork files sometimes are rather space-consuming and can be downloaded for years.
  • Shared Drive includes all the functionality of Google Drive (and as a bonus – Google Workspace ex G Suite).
  • Your files and docs are available anytime  (just switch on the offline mode and go on using your storage even on a deserted island).

Shared Drives file explorer windows

Drawbacks of Shared Drives

However, nothing is perfect, you know. So is the new Google tool. So, here are some disadvantages of Shared Drives  (if compared to their sibling – Google Drive):

  • Shared Drives does not allow us to create Google Docs inside a shared folder.
  • It is not possible to assign a subfolder to a different individual rather than a parent folder.  You can only link to each separate file, which can be a protracted process if dealing with hundreds of files.

Shared Drives drawback cons

Shared Drives + Google My Drive = Winning Combo

Real benefits come from using both of the tools.
Actually, we find convenient to organize the working process as follows:

  • We store each Client’s folder on Google My Drive.
  • As soon as we get an artwork accomplished, we move it to Shared Drive, which functions as a web/cloud archive.
  • As for extremely large files, we store them in Shared Drives from scratch, as it saves space on cloud, server and local PC.

Two interconnected storages definitely play for better productivity.

What is Google Workspace?

Shared Drive is a part of Google Universe, so to get access to Shared Drive, you need to be registered in Google Workspace (ex G Suite). Accordingly, together with fast file storage, you get all the benefits of other Google Apps (Gmail, Google Account, Google Calendar, Google Slides, Google Keep etc).

Google Workspace is a productivity toolkit. Google Workspace (ex G Suite) gives our organization more control and more features, so we can secure documents and data, break down information silos, and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to make our teams faster, more collaborative and better informed than ever before.

We are using Google Workspaces (ex G Suite) as our cloud storage and email hosting/interface. Shared Drive storage is unlimited, so it’s definitely a better option than regular Google My Drive/Google One. Due to unlimited space in Shared Drives, you can store large files forever and a day and get them in one stroke. Especially when you are uploading huge PSDs/3D sources daily.

Once, the Client asked to provide him a source file 2 years after the project. Ha, no worries, guys.

Pricing and Subscription Plans

The biggest advantage of using Shared Drive is that you definitely don’t have to pay an arm and leg for it. Google Workspace (ex G Suite) offers 3 subscription plans – Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus.

In Starter edition only View Access to Shared Drives files is enabled, so it is not of big interest to us. Business Standard edition will cost you 12$ per user a month. So, you have to pay only 12$ per user to get all the Google Workspace and Shared Drives perks as well as unlimited MyDrive. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

RSG Shared Drives image

Google Drive has a limited storage space – 15GB. If you need more, you can subscribe to Google One, which offers 200 GB for $2.99 and 2TB for $9.99 monthly.
In contrast, to subscribe to another cloud giant Dropbox Business with unlimited cloud space you need to pay 20-25$ per user (depends on what you choose – annual or monthly billing).

Basic math shows that with Google Workspace (ex G Suite) Business Standard you will save 40-65 $ per month (considering a team of 5 users) and 480-780$ per year.

Perhaps, Google may change its pricing policy in line with the market as soon as they get lots of subscribers, who knows.

Do Google Drives keep up with the times?

Well, as for current trends and tendencies in software solutions, we can claim that Google File/Sheet/Docs/Slides lag behind their competitors. The world tends to be more simplistic and convenient, especially in all business processes. Living at a high pace, the interconnection of different aspects is getting more and more critical.

A Google Shared Drives competitor in terms of cloud storing – Dropbox Business got the idea and introduced its own additional tools and services for better cooperation, turning file storage into a collaborative workspace. Dropbox Paper allows you to comment docs and track changes as well as allocate tasks to your team members and check completion. Nowadays teams and project managers want not only to have a possibility to share project files but use them for collaboration as well. It explains the growing popularity of project management with cloud storage, like Notion, Dropbox Paper, Coda, Slack, Figma, Miro.

  • a dropbox program screenshot
  • N notion software, UI screenshot
  • a dashboard with a bunch of tasks on it
  • a desktop computer with a bunch of different messages, Slack messenger
  • a Miro whiteboard with a bunch of diagrams on it
  • a draft from Figma software