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Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream

Both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream are sync tools of Google. You may wonder which one is better and which one to choose. Then, you can read this post from MiniTool to get the details about Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream.

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When accessing Google Drive data on your computer, you have several options - Google Backup and Sync, Google Drive File Stream, web browser, etc. Even though Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream are both published by Google, they are quite different. This post focuses on Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream.

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Overview of Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream

Backup and Sync

Backup and Sync is an application for Mac and PC that can safely back up files and photos in Google Drive and Google Photos. You can use it to upload and store files from any folder on the computer, camera, and SD card in the cloud.

Drive File Stream

Drive File Stream is a desktop application that allows you to access Google Drive directly like any other local or network drive. With Google Drive File Stream, your files will be stored in the cloud instead of your computer. Besides, the changes you make will be automatically synchronized with the cloud and you can quickly and easily access them from anywhere on the Internet.

Backup and Sync VS Drive File Stream

This part gives details about Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream.


The similarities between Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream are as follows:

  1. Both of them are created by Google.
  2. Both of them can be used to back up files to Google Drive.
  3. Both of them can be used on Windows and Mac.


Here are the main differences between Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream.

  1. Backup and Sync is more like Dropbox-synced folders, while Google File Stream is like an additional hard drive, which exists in the cloud.
  2. With Backup and Sync, all content is stored on the local computer. However, with Drive File Stream, your files are stored in the cloud, not on your computer.
  3. Backup and Sync is more suitable for personal use, while Google Drive File Stream is for business.
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Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream: Features

Backup and Sync Drive File Stream
Sync only selected folders in My Drive
Sync only individual files in My Drive ×
Use native apps, like Microsoft Office & Photoshop
See who's editing with real-time presence in Microsoft Office ×
Integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Meet scheduling ×
Sync other folders, like Documents or Desktop ×
Use with your personal Google Account ×
Use with your work or school Google Account
Upload photos and videos to Google Photos ×

Google Drive File Stream vs Backup and Sync: Advantages

Backup and Sync Drive File Stream
  • It can reduce synchronization time and free up disk space and network bandwidth.
  • You can quickly view all Google Drive files in File Explorer.
  • You can browse and organize Google Drive files directly without downloading all files to your computer.

Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream: Price

Backup and Sync

Storage Price
15GB free
100GB $15/month; $150/year
200GB $23/month; $230/yrar
2TB $79/month; $799/year

Drive File Stream

Edition Price
Business Starter $6/month
Business Standard $12/month
Business Plus $18/month
Enterprise Contact sales for pricing

Which One to Choose

After getting information about Drive File Stream vs Backup and Sync, you may wonder when to choose Drive File Stream and when to choose Backup and Sync.

In fact, choosing Drive File Stream or Backup and Sync depends on whether you want consistent local access to the entire contents of Google Drive, or just pick a few folders to back up to the cloud. If you want to do the former, you had better choose Drive File Stream, while if you want to do the latter, you can choose Backup and Sync.

“Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream: which one is better? You can find the answer after reading this post. Also, you can share it with your friends on Twitter to help more people.”Click to tweet

How to Use Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream

Then, let’s see how to use Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream to sync files.

Backup and Sync

Here is how to sync files to Google Drive with Backup and Sync.

Step 1: Download and install Backup and Sync on your PC. After launching it, click GET STARTED.

Step 2: Enter your Google account and click Next. In the next interface, enter the password and click Next.

Google Drive File Stream vs Backup and Sync

Step 3: This program selects Desktop, Documents, Pictures by default. You can click CHOOSE FOLDERS to choose files that you want to sync to Google Drive. Then, click NEXT.

choose files to back up to Google Drive

Step 4: You can choose Sync everything in My Drive or Sync these folders only. Then, click START to start the sync process.

click START to start the sync process

Tip: The free Edition of Backup and Sync only provides 15GB storage for you. If you want more storage, you can consider upgrading to the advanced package.

Drive File Stream

Then, we will introduce how to use Drive File Stream.

Step 1: Download and install Drive File Stream on your PC.

Note: Please make sure you have uninstalled the PC/Mac version of Google Drive. It is not recommended to run Drive File Stream with other applications that are similar to Drive File Stream.

Step 2: Log in to the Google account. Then, you can access Google Drive through the Drive File Stream network location in File Explorer.

Tip: You can’t use Drive File Stream with your personal account. It’s recommended to use a work or school account.

Drive File Stream network location in File Explorer

Step 3: You can move files from your other disks to the Google Drive File Stream.

Try the Great Alternative - MiniTool ShadowMaker

However, when you use Backup and Sync or Drive File Stream, you may encounter some issues, such as Google Backup and Sync not working, Google Drive File Stream not working, Google Drive not syncing. Then, you may fail to work when you want to sync files to the cloud.

So, besides syncing files to the cloud, you can also choose another file sync software to sync files to another drive or another location to keep data safe. In this way, to sync files to another local drive, you can choose the professional backup and sync software – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

MiniTool ShadowMaker allows you to back up and restore files &folders and the system you need. Thus it can help you protect your important data and perform disaster data recovery. Other functions are also available, such as clone disk and create bootable media to boot the computer.

This free backup software offers a Trial Edition that allows a 30-day free trial for all sync features. Now you can download and try it.

Free Download

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker

  1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker.
  2. Click Keep Trial to continue.

Step 2Specify Folders and Path to Sync

  1. Go to the Sync page and click it in the toolbar.
  2. Specify the source and destination for file sync.

What to Sync

  • Go to the Source section.
  • Under the Source tab, three paths are available – Administrator, Libraries, and Computer. You can choose a source to select files. Then, click OK to continue.

choose a source to select files

Where to save synchronized folders

  • Under the Destination tab, there are four paths available: Administrator, Libraries, Computer, and Shared.
  • To sync files among multiple computers, choose Shared, type PathUsername, and Password in sequence and click OK to finish.
Tip: After you select Shared, you can directly sync files to the computer you select on the same LAN.

Step 3: Start to Sync Files to Another Computer

Please go to Sync.

You can click Sync Now to perform file sync immediately or click Sync Later to postpone it. Besides, you can continue this sync task on the Manage page.

click Sync Now or Sync Later

If you want to sync files automatically, here are four schedule settings available: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and On Event. You can choose one to set up a time point and click the OK button to confirm the setting for automatic file sync.

choose one to set up a time point

Then you have done the sync operation successfully.

In addition to the above way, MiniTool ShadowMaker provides another feature for you to keep data safe. That is the Backup feature.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and click Keep Trial to continue.

Step 2: After you enter its main interface, go to the Backup page.

Step 3: Then, you can choose the back source and destination.

Step 4: Go to the Backup page. Click Back up Now to start the backup process.

Step 5: Wait for MiniTool ShadowMaker to finish backing up your data.

Bottom Line

In this post, we show you some information on Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream and you can know which one to choose. Besides, an alternative is given to you to sync files. Whether you want to use it for personal or commercial use, MiniTool ShadowMaker is a great choice.

If you have any other ideas or questions when using our software, don’t hesitate to tell us by leaving a comment below or contacting our support team via the email [email protected]. We will reply to you as soon as possible.

Backup and Sync VS Drive File Stream FAQ

What is the difference between backup and sync?
Backup refers to copying files from one location to another manually or automatically. Sync refers to manually or automatically copying or deleting files as needed to ensure that the two locations have the same set of files.
How do I know if Google Drive is syncing?
  • Check Backup and Sync's tray icon.
  • Check the local synchronization log file.
  • Check file synchronization activity on the Google Drive website.
Why is backup and sync not working?

There are some reasons for the “backup and sync not working” issue:

  • The file name contains are more than 255 characters.
  • The backup and sync account is incorrect.
  • The "Backup and Sync" application lacks administrative rights.
  • The firewall may prevent the application from running.
Will uninstalling Google Drive delete my files?
No, uninstalling Google Drive will not delete your files. Removing the Google Drive application just prevents your files from syncing, but it doesn't delete your existing files.
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