This morning, Google Drive finally launched, and for about 30 minutes the pricing structure inconsistencies had me scratching my head. The blog post mentioned a new pricing scheme, with "25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month" and yet the storage upgrade page continued to list old prices - +20GB for $5 a year, and so on, which was much cheaper than the new offerings.

I quickly jumped into the $5 plan to see if it works on Google Drive storage limits, and to my surprise it did (hat tip to @LiamJohnson_95):

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Now I was completely confused. Is the blog post wrong? Is Google lagging with an update to the storage plan page? Thankfully, after another 30 minutes, I got everything cleared up. Here's what's going on.

Grandfathered Plans

Grandfathered upgrades, which were offered at substantially lower rates will remain in effect, and unless you decide to upgrade or cancel will be allowed to renew indefinitely. This is detailed here:

How to keep your old plan

Google storage plans have changed, but you can stay on your current plan as long as you:

  • Keep your account active
  • Keep payment information in Google Wallet accurate and up-to-date
  • Don’t cancel or upgrade your current plan

If your account lapses, your credit card is declined, or you choose to change your storage plan in any way (upgrade or downgrade), you’ll be switched to the new Google storage plan.

You’ll access your account information in a new place, even if you choose to keep your current plan. The new place to access and manage your account information is www.google.com/settings/storage.

What happens when you switch to a new plan

When you change your current storage plan or if your payment information lapses, you’ll move onto the new system for storage plans. Once you choose a new plan, you'll no longer be able to switch back to old one.

Indeed, my "old" plan, which I managed to snag after Drive launched, is no longer available and is now marked as such (note "Your current plan is no longer offered" on the bottom there):

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It's worth pointing out that my old plan included a bump in Picasa (to 21GB) and Gmail storage. The new plan also includes Picasa and Gmail, though the fine details are very subtly different:

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Sweet deal for anyone who upgraded in the past, though now it makes me wish I pulled the trigger on the 200GB plan instead. Oh hindsight...

New VS Old VS Dropbox

So, just how much did the prices go up? Let's take a look and compare them to Dropbox while we're at it.

Note: Not all plans have matching space allotments, but they're displayed as close as possible to their equivalents on all three services.

New

Old

Dropbox

5GB - free 1GB - free 2GB - free (+ bonuses)
25GB - $2.49/mo 20GB - $0.42/mo 50GB - $9.99/mo
100GB - $4.99/mo 80GB - $1.67/mo 100GB - $19.99/mo
200GB - $9.99/mo 200GB - $4.17/mo  
400GB - $19.99/mo 400GB - $8.33/mo  
1TB - $49.99/mo 1TB - $21.33/mo 1TB for Teams - starting at $66.25/mo
2TB - $99.99/mo 2TB - $42.67/mo  
4TB - $199.99/mo 4TB - $85.33/mo  
8TB - $399.99/mo 8TB - $170.67/mo  
16TB - $799.99/mo 16TB - $341.33/mo  

As you can see, the old plans offered the best bang for the buck, so everyone who is grandfathered is going to want to hang on to those for a while.

It's also worth pointing out just how much more expensive Dropbox is now in comparison - roughly 4x. I sincerely hope they're going to update their pricing structure soon, as I love the company and the product, along with all the free space they've given out over the years.

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Which one should I use now? Hrm... Both!

I hope this clears up some of the questions you may have had. If not, feel free to ask away down below.