File Stream vs Google Drive
In short, File Stream is part of Google Drive just like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are part of Google Drive. File Stream is the new name for the Google Drive application installed on your PC or Mac. File Stream is the application that syncs your computer to Google Drive.
File Stream brings fantastic capabilities
Drive File Stream is a new way to access all of your organization’s Google Drive files,including Team Drives, directly from your Mac or PC, without taking up space on your hard drive. Drive File Stream doesn’t require you to download your files first in order to access them from your computer. Instead, when you need to view or edit a file, it automatically streams from the cloud, on-demand.
Drive File Stream enables:
- Access, search and manage files on-demand from your computer in seconds.
- Get just the files you need and make certain files available for offline use later.
- Access your work even quicker, as your most-used files become available in the background intelligently.
- Avoid the risk of users downloading all of your company data to their hard drives.
Compare Backup and Sync & Drive File Stream
- Backup and Sync syncs and stores Drive content locally on your computer.
- Drive File Stream streams all files and folders from the cloud.
See differences between Backup and Sync & Drive File Stream
|Backup and Sync||Drive File Stream|
|Use files in My Drive||Yes||Yes|
|Use files in Team Drives||No||Yes|
|Sync only selected folders in My Drive||Yes||Yes|
|Sync only individual files in My Drive||No||Yes|
|Use native apps, like Microsoft Office & Photoshop||Yes||Yes|
|Sync other folders, like Documents or Desktop||Yes||No|
|Use with your personal Google Account||Yes||No|
|Use with your work or school Google Account, like firstname.lastname@example.org||Maybe||Yes|
|Upload photos and videos to Google Photos||Yes||No|
For larger organizations, you can install File Stream in Silent Mode via Group Policy. For smaller organizations, you can allow your Users to download and install File Stream themselves. (remember to switch the google account into your OGP account)
What about the current Drive application? Before installing File Stream, Google recommends removing the current Drive folder. For ease of use, we think it’s best to uninstall the current Drive client.