G Suite is the new name for Google Apps, which allows you to use Gmail, Google Drive and a variety of google services using your own domain name. There are 2 pricing tiers for G Suite which are Basic at $5/mo and Business at $10/mo. We’re going to be focusing on G Suite Business today because of an unpublicized feature of the Business accounts that you’ll quite enjoy if you’re in need of some serious cloud storage on the cheap.
Unlimited Google Drive Storage For Just $10?
Yep. The G Suite Business plan at $10/month per user offers 1TB of gmail/google drive storage per user, or unlimited storage if you have over 5 users. The thing is: Google doesn’t enforce the 5 user minimum. This has been the case now for over 2 years since Google announced the updated G Suite plans with an unlimited storage options.
For over a year now I’ve been using a G Suite business account with a single user, costing me just $10 a month (paid monthly), and I’m currently storing over 3TB of data in Google Drive.
How Long Will This Last?
Your guess is as good as mine. This has been a fairly open secret for awhile now in certain forums and online communities with, as far as I can tell, zero reports of accounts being limited or shut down.
Now that doesn’t mean I would go hog wild and try to upload a petabyte worth of data to Google Drive as some Amazon Drive users attempted which eventually got the service limited. I feel if you’re reasonable with your storage usage and just need a place to store 2, 3, 5, 10TB – you should be okay. Others have reported storing as much as 100TB on a single account without any issues.
What Happens If Google Enforces The 5 User Limit?
I can only make an educated guess on how Google may handle this if they decide to enforce caps. My personal experience with going over Google’s set storage limits is when I received a 100GB Google Drive bonus with a new Chromebook I bought. At the end of 2 years the promo disappeared from my account and I was over the limit. What happened was my account was essentially put into a read-only state until I got under the limit. I was able to access all of my data and download a copy of everything, I just wasn’t able to upload anything new until I got under the storage limit.
I have a feeling this is how Google would handle this if they wanted to enforce the limit. They would either make you upgrade, which in this case means purchasing at least 5 G Suite Business accounts (only $50/mo), or they would make your account read-only until you got under the 1TB limit. Obviously I can’t predict the future but this is my best guess as to how they would handle it.
How Can I Use My Unlimited Storage?
G Suite plans offer a great feature over normal free gmail/google accounts in that they allow you to use a piece of software called Drive File Stream. File Stream works on Windows or Mac and lets you access your entire google drive even if you don’t have enough space on your local computer to download the entire contents of your cloud storage.
It lets you pick and choose which folders you want to sync onto your machine so you always have access to them and the rest of your files stay in the cloud but the file icons show up on your computer. When you click one of these files it will ‘stream’ over the internet to your computer in real time. This means you can have access to terabytes of files stored in your google account even if you only have a small SSD in your computer.
You can also use Google Drive through the web interface and through a bunch of different third party tools, my favorite being rclone. It’s a great tool that allows you to encrypt and upload your data to a bunch of cloud storage providers, including Google Drive. If you want a primer on it, here’s a YouTube video on using RClone and setting up Remotes/Crypt on Windows. It also works on Mac and Linux via the command line interface (how I primarily use it).
What You Need To Setup G Suite
G Suite is a bit different from normal Google services in that it’s connected to your domain name. This is meant for businesses or end users to get the benefits of using Gmail, Drive, Docs, etc with their own business/personal domain and email address.
So to utilize G Suite you will need to buy a domain name which will cost you about $8-15 a year depending on where you buy it and which type of extension you get. You’ll then need to sign yourself up for G Suite using your new domain name. Then once you’re all signed up you’ll need to change a few settings at your domain registrar to point the domain at G Suite – this is how Google verifies you own the domain name you setup and the rest of the internet knows how to get your email delivered to Google’s servers so you can login to Gmail and read it.
How/Where To Get A Domain Name
My favorite domain registrar in the past few years is NameSilo. They are a smaller registrar than say GoDaddy which is exactly why I use them. They don’t spend a lot of money on things like Super Bowl ads which means they can offer domains a lot cheaper than the big guys. They also stack on extras like free Whois Privacy (which protects your personal info attached to the domain, meaning you won’t get random spam or have your address/phone number out there on the internet).
A .com domain will run you about $9/year and you can get $1 off your first order if you use the coupon SERVER at checkout. NameSilo is different in that they publish their renewal prices upfront and they haven’t increased them ever (to my knowledge) – a .com will run you $8.99 a year to renew.
There are lots of other domain extensions available, including some of the more exotic gTLD extensions released in the last few years like .win .email and .tech. If you’re going to pick one of these make sure you check the ‘Renewals’ tab on the pricing page as these are generally discounted for only the first year and then can go up quite a bit.
(transparency: if you use the code SERVER at checkout it will give you a dollar off but also tell NameSilo that I sent you and they’ll kick me back $0.50-$0.75 or so, which goes towards covering my domain renewal costs. You don’t have to but I would appreciate if you used it, it’s a win-win for both of us. Thanks, Mike)
After you checkout you will have the domain name listed in your account and we’re done at NameSilo for now. Next we head over to G Suite.
Setup G Suite Account
Head over to the G Suite pricing page and click on the sign-up link under the ‘Business’ plan. On the next page it’ll ask for your business name, if you’re using a personal domain name just enter your full name here. Next, select ‘Just You’ when asked how many employees will be using this G Suite account and pick your country.
On the next page enter your first & last name, and your current email address. This should be another email address you use – like a gmail or other account you’ve had for awhile. This is just so they can contact you if your domain or credit card expires and they can’t reach you on your custom email address on your own domain.
Next they’ll ask you about your domain, just pick “Yes, I have one I can use”. Confirm your domain name and hit next.
Now you get to setup the first account at your new domain. Enter the email address you want @yourdomain – this will be the administrator account and how you login to Gmail/Google Drive as well as the G Suite admin area.
All done here! Now let’s connect our domain to G Suite.
How To Connect Your Domain Name to G Suite
You’ll need to follow Google’s steps to verify your domain. It’s pretty straightforward, all you need to do is edit your DNS records for your domain over at NameSilo to add a new TXT record for Google to verify that you own the domain. Follow the steps and if you have any problems you can reach out to Google or NameSilo support to help you configure the TXT record.
After that you’ll need to update your new domain to point at G Suite. This is a couple click procedure with NameSilo when you go to the Manage DNS page for your domain name, there’s a ‘templates’ section which has a G Suite option available. Just hit ‘Apply Template’ and ‘Confirm’ and you’re good to go.
NameSilo has a whole guide to this on their site with a video to walk you through the steps, check it out here: Link your custom domain to G Suite – NameSilo.
Finally: Start Using Your Unlimited Storage!
Your G Suite account login will act like any Google login you’ve had before. You can login to Gmail, Google Drive, or any other Google service with the email @yourdomain and password you set during signup.
If you have any questions on setting things up feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out.