Google Cloud Storage: The Most Secure Way to Store Your Data in the Cloud

Google Cloud Storage has become one of the most convenient and efficient sources of storing and securing your data online. 

This article will discuss why Google Cloud Storage is considered the most secure source to save your data and how you can do so. 

What is Google Cloud Storage?

Google Cloud Storages is a service that stores and retrieves your data or files in Google Cloud. 

These objects are then stored in containers, called buckets, and all these buckets are linked with a project, and you can group these projects under an organization. 

How does Google Cloud Storage work?

Google Cloud Storage uses remote servers to save data, which users upload to servers using an active internet connection. 

The data is then saved to a virtual machine on a physical server. Users can access their data through an internet connection and software like web portals, browsers, or mobile applications via an application programming interface(API). 

Cloud Storage is available in four unique models:

  1. 1


    The Public Cloud Storage model stores the data in a service provider’s data centers that other companies also use. The data stored can be scaled up or down according to the organization's needs.

  2. 2


    The Private Cloud Storage model uses its servers and data centers to store the data within their network. This model offers dedicated servers and private connections not shared with other organizations. 

  3. 3


    Hybrid Cloud Storage is a mixture of Public and Private models. It allows users to decide which data they want to store in the cloud; if it’s confidential, they can opt for a private cloud or else the public one. 

  4. 4


    A Multi-cloud Storage model is when a company sets up numerous cloud models from multiple service providers, private or public. This model offers users flexibility and redundancy.   

Why is it important to store and secure your Cloud Data?

  • Protection against Viruses and Hackers

    Saving your data on a cloud system protects the data from cyber-attacks and data loss, especially if you are running a business. You can even encrypt your data before or after uploading it to the cloud. 

  • Great Backup and Cost-Efficient

    Extra copies always come in handy in case of hardware failures, technical glitches or data loss. And you only pay for how much storage you want, as cloud technologies offer minimum storage costs. 

  • Easier to Share, Access and Organize the Files

    Within the cloud, you can create folders to organize the files, making your work much more efficient. And, instead of sharing bulky files on the mail, simply share the link of your file/folder with others. 

What are the essential features of Google Cloud Storage?

  • Storage and Durability

    Google Cloud Storage offers low latency and high durability. And there’s unlimited storage with no minimum object size. 

  • Multiple Redundancy Options

    Google Cloud Storage has an evolving list of storage bucket locations where users can save their data with multiple redundancy options. 

  • Reliable and Easy to Use

    It’s the most reliable and secure cloud storage for users, and they can easily upload and share their data with others. 

  • Object Lifecycle Management

    Users can define and assign conditions to the bucket that could help trigger data deletions or transfer it to a less costly storage class. 

  • Object Versioning

    You can keep track of the objects in the cloud and access them even if they are deleted or overwritten. It does increase storage costs. However, Object Lifecycle Management can be used to remove older versions of the object. 

What are the primary use cases of Google Cloud Storage?

  1. 1

    Backups and Archives

    Google Cloud Storage offers low-cost, fast, and highly durable storage services for your data with quick uploads and retrievals of your data. The cost of backups and archives is even relatively low. 

  2. 2

    Integrated Repositories for Analytics and Machine Learning 

    Google Cloud Storage, offers top-level availability and performance within a single region, ideal for computation, analytics, and machine learning workloads in a particular area.  

  3. 3

    Media Content Storage and Delivery

    The Cloud Storage service offers the availability and throughput required to stream audio and videos directly to apps or websites. 

What are the different storage options available?

Before deciding which storage option suits your requirements the best, find out what type of data you want stored. There are two different types of data available-

  • Structured Data includes general information that can be categorized and related, like name, address, and phone number. 
  • Unstructured Data includes your documents and pdf files like videos, audio, and static files.

1. Storage Database Options for Structured Data

  • Google Cloud SQL- It’s a fully-managed, relational database service offering MySQL, Postgresql and MS SQL servers.

  • Cloud Spanner- It’s also a fully-managed, relational database service for regional and global application data with horizontal scaling capabilities. 

  • BigQuery- It’s a fully-managed, serverless Enterprise-grade data warehouse. It is a petabyte-scale data warehouse with built-in capabilities of Machine Learning and GIS. 

  • Cloud Bigtable- It provides a NoSQL wide-column database for storing extensive data with low latency. 

  • Memory Store- It offers an in-memory data storage service for Redis and Memcache for quicker data processing. 

  • Firestore and Firestore Realtime Database- Firestore provides a NoSQL document database for mobile and web application data. In contrast, Firestore Real Time offers a NoSQL cloud database for saving and syncing data in real-time. 

2. Storage Database Options for Unstructured Data

  • Cloud Storage- It’s an object storage where you can save static data like images, videos, files and more. Cloud Storage is divided into four storage classes for different Use Cases. 

    • Standard Class Storage is optimized for high-frequency access and performance. 

    • Nearline Class Storage is a fast and highly-durable depository for data accessed less than once a month.  

    • Coldline Class Storage is similar to Nearline, except with data accessed less than once a quarter. 

    • Archive Class Storage is designed for cost-effective and long-term preservation of data accessed less than once a year. 

  • Block Storage- Persistent Disk and Local SSD Disk are available in block storage which can be attached to any compute engine instance for general-purpose storage requirements. 

Pricing and support options for Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud’s customer-friendly pricing allows individuals and businesses to pay as they go without charging any termination and upfront costs. 

What are the different pricing models?

Customers can choose one of the following pricing models according to their needs. 

  • Free- Customers only need to pay for how many Google Cloud resources they use, like the cost of running VM instances. 

  • Subscription-based Pricing- Customers pay a standard monthly fee for using your software. 

  • Usage-based Pricing- Customers pay for your software based on your chosen metrics. 

  • Combined Pricing- Customers pay a basic subscription fee for using your software and additional charges based on their cloud usage. 

Which factors affect the pricing?

Google Cloud Storage Pricing relies on these three components-

  • Data Storage- Storage rates vary depending on your data's storage class and your buckets' location. 

  • Data Processing- The processing done by Cloud Storage includes operation charges, any applicable retrieval fees and inter-region applications. 

  • Network Usage- The amount of data read from or moved between your buckets. 

How to choose the right pricing option?

To choose the best-suited pricing option for your requirements-

  • Understand your storage needs, as Google Cloud offers various storage classes with different characteristics and pricing options. 

  • Figuring out which networking resources like VPCs, VPNs, subnets, or firewall rules your business requirements, as there’s an additional cost for accessing such resources. 

  • Computing the cost of the machine types, operating systems, CPU cores, resource usage, and the amount of memory and storage required allows you to choose the perfect pricing model. 

A complete guide on how to get started with Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage allows world-wide storage and retrieval of any data at any given time. This guide will help you set up your Google Cloud Storage quickly.   

How to connect to Google Cloud Storage?

  1. 1

    Start with logging into Looker Studio, a free tool that changes your data into informative, easier-to-read and share, customisable dashboards and reports. 

  2. 2

    Click the ‘+’ sign in the top-left corner, and select Data Source. 

  3. 3

    Select the Google Cloud Storage connector option, and if prompted, AUTHORIZE access to your data. 

    Enter the path to your data with the following steps:

    1. Add the bucket name and any parent folders. 

    2. To choose a single file, enter the file name. 

    3. To choose multiple files, enter the final folder name and select Use all files in path option.

  4. 4

    In the top-right, click CONNECT. The data source panel will appear and is now connected to your data set. 

How to create and manage buckets?

  1. 1

    Go to the Clouds Storage Buckets page in the Google Cloud Console and click Create Bucket. 

  2. 2

    Enter your bucket information on the Create a bucket page and Continue. 

    1. For Name your bucket, enter a suffice name that meets all the requirements. 

    2. For Choose where to store your data, click and select the Location type and Location where the data will be stored permanently. 

    3. For option, Choose a storage class for your data, select the Default storage class or Autoclass for your data’s automatic storage class management. 

    4. For the option, Choose how to control access to objects, decide whether your bucket enforces public access prevention and click on Access Control Model for your bucket’s objects. 

    5. For Choose how to project your object data, configure Protection tools if required, and select a Data Encryption Method.

  3. 3

    At last, click Create. 

How to upload and download your data?

  1. 1

    Uploading Data

    Simply go to the buckets page, use the upload button at the top and upload your files and folders, or drag and drop them in your bucket.  

  2. 2

    Downloading Data

    Go to the Download your Data page, and all the Google products that store your data will be automatically selected.

    If you don’t want to download some specific data, uncheck the box, and click the Next Step, and all your selected data will be downloaded. 

How to create a new report from the data source?

  1. 1

    Create a custom set of data that you can use to create reports. In the Report Designer, repeat sources are called Data Sources. 

  2. 2

    Navigate to All> Reports>Administration>Report Sources. 

    Click New, and fill in the form correctly. 

  3. 3

    Click on the Reports using this report source to view the reports, and click Submit. 

  4. 4

    Use the report source to create Reports. 

How to secure access to your cloud data?

Access your data by visiting the cloud service provider’s website or mobile application. You can use two-factor authentications, strong passwords, or an anti-malware program to make your data more secure. 

How to use Cloud Storage with third-party tools?

There are three approaches that you can use to collaborate with third-party tools-

  1. 1

    Collaborative Support

    Google Cloud works with Tech Partners to create a joint support experience, following workflow processes to resolve technical issues. Tools Example- NetApp Cloud Volumes, IBM Power, Databricks, etc. 

  2. 2

    Workload-Centric Support

    Google Cloud has expertise in various third-party technologies and can assist with setup, configuration, and troubleshooting problems. Tools Example- SAP, Oracle and VMWare. 

  3. 3

    Third-party Vendor Support

    Google Cloud provides reasonable assistance with installing, configuring, and troubleshooting third-party software that can be used on Google Cloud. Tools Example- BYOL, Databases, DevOps Tools and SQL Server.  

List out the benefits and limitations of using Google Cloud Storage

1. Benefits of Google Cloud Storage

  • Remotely Accessible

    You can easily access your stored data in the cloud from anywhere worldwide using Google Web Apps. 

  • Top Security

    With Google and Cloud technology together, it’s needless to say that your cloud data will be highly protected. 

  • Fewer Breaches

    As the platform allows minimum storage of offline data, the chances of breaches reduce significantly. 

  • Flexibility and Control 

    You can choose the tech according to your need and have control over the data in Google Applications. And, if you’d want to opt out, your data can also be easily extracted. 

  • Easier Collaborations

    Google Cloud has smoothened the collaboration process of any project by allowing simultaneous contribution and access. 

2. Limitations of Google Cloud Storage

  • Size Limit 

    Google Cloud Storage supports a maximum single-object of up to 5Terabytes; the transfers fail if you have objects larger than the object. 

  • Object Naming

    Cloud Storage requires an object name for all Storage Transfer Service transfers.  

  • Changed Objects don’t transfer

    Storage Transfer Service does not lock source files during a transfer, meaning if your object is being updated while transferring data, that particular object will not transfer. 

  • Folders

    Cloud Storage doesn’t recreate the folders while performing a Storage Transfer Service.

How to troubleshoot common issues when using Google Cloud Storage?

Here are some standard error codes you may encounter while using Google Cloud Storage with solutions. 

  1. 1

    400: Bad Request

    Issue: While performing a resumable download, you might receive this error and the message Failed to parse Content-Range header. 

    Solution: The value used in your Content-Range header is incorrect. If you encounter this error, your current resumable upload is not active anymore, and you need to start again. 

  2. 2

    401: Unauthorized

    Issue: Requests to a public bucker directly or via Cloud-CDN, failing with a message, Http 401: Unauthorized and Authentication Required reply.

    Solution: Check that your customer or any intermediate proxy is not adding an Authorization header to requests to Cloud Storage.  

  3. 3

    403: Account Disabled

    Issue: Creating a bucket and getting a 403 Account Disabled error. 

    Solution: This error comes when you have not turned on billing for an associate project. Check Enable Billing for a project and follow the steps. 

  4. 4

    409: Conflict

    Issue: Creating a bucket but receiving a 409: Conflict with the message stating, Sorry, that name is unavailable. Please try using a different name. 

    Solution: The bucket name you tried is already taken. Simply choose a different name. 

  5. 5

    429: Too Many Requests

    Issue: Your request is denied with the 429: Too Many Requests response. 

    Solution: You have hit the limit to the number of bids Cloud Storage allows for a given resource. Read the Request rate and access distribution guidelines for best practices or increasing your workload limit.  

Best practices to optimize your usage of Google Cloud Storage

Check out these five significant ways to optimize the use of your Google Cloud Storage:

  • Lifecycle Policies

    With the help of lifecycle policies, one can designate certain items or buckets to automatically remove or change storage classes, lowering the storage cost. 

  • Optimizing Storage Tiers 

    Consider long-term storage as they are less expensive than paying extra to access your data regularly. 

  • Use Free Spaces

    Google Cloud Free-Tier Storage offers up to 5GB of free space that you can utilise however feasible. 

  • Removing Older, Larger Files

    Use lifecycle policies to detect which heavier files have reached their retention period and delete them to make space for newer files. 


In this article, we explored all the concepts one needs to understand to use Google Cloud Storage and why it is the most-used and most-secure cloud storage available nowadays. 

There may be certain disadvantages or some errors you may encounter. However, Google Cloud still has many advantages, solutions to the issues and optimisation techniques so that customers can get the most out of this cloud storage. 


Is it safe to use Google as cloud storage?

When you upload a file to Google Cloud Storage, it is stored securely in Google’s world-class data centers. When transferring and storing, the data is also encrypted for further protection from viruses or hackers. 

How much storage does Google cloud have?

Every Google Account comes with 15GB of storage divided across Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. 

How do I get 100GB free cloud on Google?

There are two very effective ways to get 100GB of free space on Google Cloud: connect multiple cloud drives or start using a Chromebook. 

What happens if I don't pay for Google Cloud Storage?

If you stay inactive or exceed your two-year storage quota without paying for the Google Cloud Storage service, all your content will be removed. 

Is Google Cloud better than OneDrive?

If you are an independent user, Google Cloud is the better option, whereas for businesses or teams doing heavy-duty storage or large-scale syncing, OneDrive is the answer. 

Which is better, iCloud or Google Cloud?

If your preference is security and customer services, in that case, iCloud is the one. In contrast, Google Cloud is preferred if you want more storage for less money and many more business-oriented features. 

What are the alternatives to Google Cloud Storage?

Some of the most preferred alternatives to Google Cloud Storage are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, DigitalOcean Spaces, iDrive and Firebase. 

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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