Google as a company perhaps needs no introduction. It is best known for its search engine, but it offers many other online tools that people barely hear about.
Google One is a subscription service that offers various benefits and features within the Google ecosystem. It was launched in 2018 and has become a popular tool for Google users.
We’ve tested Google One extensively to give you a full and unbiased review. Our review is based on specified criteria, including features, pricing, customer support, ease of use, and more.
Plans and prices
Google One offers three pricing plans; Basic, Standard and Premium. Basic costs are $2 per month, Standard $3 per month, and Premium $10 per month. The Basic plan includes 100 GB of cloud storage, Standard 200 GB of storage, and Premium 2 TB of storage. You can share the features of each plan with up to 5 other Google users after subscribing.
Google applies a 17% discount to paid plans if you pay annually.
The main feature of Google One is the cloud storage it offers. This storage covers all of your Google services, including Gmail (in English), Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Drive, and so on. Google lets you share storage space with five other users, so your friends and family can also benefit from your Google One subscription.
Other notable features include;
The Google One mobile app (Android only) is helpful. It allows you to automatically backup your phone and restore it when needed. Backup is an essential feature because you could lose your phone anytime, maybe due to damage, theft or improper placement. If you don’t have backups, you cannot recover your important data and files like photos, videos, contacts, etc.
The Google One mobile app also helps you manage space on your phone. For example, the app notifies you when you reach your storage limit and suggests apps and files to clear to free up space.
The app also includes a VPN service to encrypt your online activity and protect your personal information.
virtual private network
Google One includes a VPN service that you can use. However, this service is only available in the Premium plan costing $10 per month. Also, it is not available in all countries.
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and disguises your online identity. It achieves this by redirecting your IP address through a specially configured remote server. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties cannot intercept your browsing data if you have a VPN.
Google One VPN is available for both Android Phones and iPhones and you can install it on up to six mobile phones.
We observed that Google One VPN is quite bare bones, lacking many features you’d typically find in a standalone VPN. We think that’s because it’s just an add-on feature rather than a standalone feature, so Google isn’t obligated to make it comparable to rival VPN services. Google VPN is a single switch with no settings, hence the limitations.
Google One provides access to technical support experts for various Google products. It’s a valuable feature given that Google is infamous for having lax customer support for consumer-facing services. Usually the only support Google users get is through forums and FAQs, but no direct contact with support agents, but Google One avoids that.
Google One subscribers can access phone and chat support. You can log in to the web interface or the mobile app. You chat with a customer support representative or request a call back from a support agent at your mobile number. If you choose the callback option, you must provide the specific phone number where you want to be called. The app supports over a hundred country codes.
The operation of chatL’tion is also simple. The app connects you with a support agent who can answer your questions about Google products. After each chat session, you will see an optional satisfaction survey form to fill out. This form provides feedback to Google about its customer support service. You will also see a recording of your conversation at the bottom of the support page after the session ends.
Google Photos Benefits
The Google One subscription plan includes additional features when using the Google Photos app. It offers additional editing features, such as AI-powered filters like Radiant, Airy, Luminous, Ember, Portrait Blur, Portrait Light, and Color Pop.
Google One subscribers also get the High Dynamic Range (HDR) capture feature on Google Photos. Overall, you can do a lot more with Google Photos as a Google One subscriber compared to a regular user.
Google Store Rewards
Google One subscribers also get up to 10% store credit when they purchase devices such as a Pixel smartphone, Nest Thermostat or Google Nest Mini. Keep in mind that rewards vary by plan.
Interface and in use
Usability is one area where Google products score well, and Google One is no exception. We found it easy to subscribe and access. Just pay directly on the official Google One website, and you’re good to go.
You can access Google One directly on the web or download the mobile app from the Google Play Store. The web interface is simple to use and navigate, and the mobile app is simpler. Features are separated into different menu bars and easily accessible, including VPN service.
Google One’s VPN service is simple but lacks many features common to rival commercial VPNs. It’s a single switch to enable or disable the VPN. You cannot change the settings like you will with other VPNs. For example, you cannot choose the location of the VPN server. You also cannot select the specific VPN protocol to use.
Some features are available on the Google One app but not on the web interface, such as Google Photos filters.
Google One provides adequate customer support as part of the subscription package. It includes support for various Google products that regular users don’t have access to. You can contact support via live chat or request a call back to a specific mobile number.
Support response time was also quite fast in our testing.
Google One has many competitors in the cloud storage space, including Dropbox (in English), Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud. Some offer more storage value for less cost than a Google One subscription. For example, $100 per year on OneDrive gets you 6TB of storage, while a similar package from Google One only offers 2TB.
Dropbox also offers up to 5TB of storage, while Google One is capped at 2TB. On the other hand, iCloud has nearly identical storage plans to Google One. Its highest plan is 2TB of storage for $10 per month, just like Google One.
Alternatives like Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox offer more value for less money than Google One. However, we can argue that Google One is still worth it because of the added functionality for products within the Google ecosystem.
Google One VPN service has many rivals such as NordVPN, ExpressVPNet Windscribe. Virtually all commercial VPNs offer better features than Google’s.
Google One is a valuable tool for every user in the Google ecosystem, offering many features that a regular Google user would not get. Its cloud storage plan is suitable for individual or family use. The VPN feature is ideal for everyday internet users. Customer support is excellent, and the additional features of Google Photos are useful for people who love their camera.
However, if cloud storage is the only feature you need, alternatives like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive offer better value for money. Many other commercial VPN services also offer superior features to Google’s.
Google One best serves ardent users of Google products.