How does Google Drive backup their own data?
First of all, the good news: the greatest reason people and businesses lose data is due to a hardware failure, and most of that is hard drive failures. These services given their size and geographical diversity, have multiple data centres around the world with redundant storage systems. That means that they can almost guarantee that your data is safe, even in the event an entire data centre is lost.
Google Leading causes of data loss
The second leading cause is data loss, and the leading cause of data loss is frankly the you. The polite term is “user error”, which basically means that a user has deleted a file without realizing it, or has deleted data not knowing that they needed to refer to it in the future. According to Google, this causes 63% of data loss experienced.
Fortunately, Google Drive has some level of measure in place to limit the impact of user error by employing a “soft delete” policy.
The means that any time a file that is stored in Google Drive is deleted, Google relegates it to the Google Drive Trash folder. You can recover this information at any time by opening the Trash folder and hit the restore option.
How Google Drive does not back up its own data
If you have emptied your Google Drive Trash however, things become a little more complicated. When you empty your Trash, this becomes a “hard delete” and there is no easy way to restore permanently deleted files. Google does have a rough “25-day grace period” but there are a number of caveats and complications
Unless you are a paid user and contact Google within three and a half weeks or less, you’re more than likely to get some bad news.
Furthermore, there are a number of other ways for you to lose data
- Any item someone shares with you can also be taken away from you, and as you aren’t the owner of the share, Google can’t get “your” data back – because it isn’t yours. Don’t take our word for it; ask Google:
- Anyone deleting a Google Apps account will irretrievably purge all files, messages, calendar and sites with no recovery option (Just ask Forbes magazine’s David Carr.)
- Third party apps with access to you Google Drive account can delete all of your documents and data permanently (Just ask Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.)
If you want guaranteed, always-available access to your Google Drive data—even the items that have been permanently deleted, or the shared items that have been taken away from you—then you need a full-featured third-party Google Drive backup solution.