Google Workspace is replacing G Suite, and anyone interested in the new features can sign up or switch over to the service right now (unless they're managing an Education or Non-profit organization). But if you're one of the many people relying on G Suite's $12/month unlimited storage "hack," you might be better off sticking to your current G Suite plan — if you want unlimited storage on the new Workspace tiers, it will cost you at least $20 a month.
If you're a G Suite Business subscriber (which is the case for many individuals who are just looking to get more benefits and fewer ads, even if they don't own a business), you have access to unlimited Drive storage for only $12 a month. While Google notes that plans with four or fewer individual users are only eligible for 1TB, our testing and a look around the web make clear that Google has never enforced this limit.
This is changing with Google Workspace. There's a hard limit of 2TB for individual Business users and 5TB per person on the new Business Plus plan. It's still plenty for most people, but at some point, you'll run into limitations. However, once you subscribe to one of the three new Workspace tiers, you're able to switch to the Enterprise tier (you don't need to contact sales, even though Google states as much on its pricing page). It'll cost you $20 a month (or $30 in the case of Enterprise Plus) and will provide "as much storage as you need." Google confirmed to us that the company will offer as much storage as customers need "without additional costs."
If you're on one of the old unlimited plans, you'll be able to enjoy the cheaper price for a while going forward, but as a Google email to existing G Suite customers suggests, you'll have to transition eventually. A Google spokesperson told us, "Each customer will have their own path to the subscription that best supports the ways they need to work. If a customer is not ready to transition now, our team will be sharing additional information over the coming months to identify a transition path that best suits their needs." It looks like you might be able to strike some deals, but the language around the transition is nebulous for now.
Previously, a Google spokesperson told us that "these changes will not impact current contracts. Existing G Suite licenses and related services will continue to function as they do today, until a customer transitions." We initially understood that this would mean that the old plans were available indefinitely, but that isn't the case.
The spokesperson also explained why the company decided to scrap unlimited storage for the cheaper plans:
A relatively small number of organizations in a few specific industries actually realize the full benefit of unlimited storage. With the new editions, we’re providing more value with features that are useful to more customers, like Meet recordings in the new Business Standard edition, while maintaining pricing and plentiful storage. And with the Enterprise editions, available to customers of all sizes, more storage can be requested if needed.
If you own a business and use G Suite for work, take a very good look at Google's G Suite vs. Google Workspace comparison. Once you have to switch, you'll gain a few new features, but depending on your plan, you'll lose access to things you might have come to rely on for work, like Google Vault, custom templates for Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites, and the option to turn off external file and people sharing. You'll also be limited to 300 users. Most of these limitations can be alleviated through the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus plans, but at $20 and $30 per month per user, they're more expensive than the older options.
Should you consider switching to a Google Workspace account for personal use, keep in mind that you can't easily transition back to a free account — be prepared to pay Google money for your account indefinitely if you make a full switch. You might also not receive a few consumer features, like some Google Assistant functions such as reminders.
The article previously stated that unlimited Drive plans were going away with Workspace altogether. We've updated it to add that it's possible to retain unlimited Drive storage when you sign up for the more expensive Enterprise or Enterprise Plus plans.
We've also updated the article with new information regarding the transition from G Suite to Google Workspace. It looks like G Suite subscribers won't be grandfathered in, they'll have to transition at some point.
Alternate Title: Area Man Brutally Forced to Pay for Service That Was Once Free Following Years of Misuse*
*Yes, this is inaccurate, but a fun headline nonetheless.