Google Apps for Work (G Suite) 2016 review

Can Google's online offering deliver the tools you need to get things done?

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Setup

The sign-up process takes mere seconds and once you've created your account you'll be taken to the Admin Console. This has eight key options: users, company profile, billing, reports, apps, device management, security and support.

It's possible to add users in two ways – manually, or by uploading a CSV file containing multiple user details. Once you've done that you can then specify which apps they can use, so for example you might want to let users access email but not Google Hangouts. You can also disable unwanted apps globally.

One of the most interesting sections here is Mobile Device Management, which enables you to mandate passwords and Google Sync on user devices, to encrypt data, configure Wi-Fi and to enable or disable automatic syncing and the device's camera.

You can also remotely wipe devices either manually or automatically if they haven't been synchronised for a specified period.

Sheets

Sheets is Google's equivalent of Excel

The Admin Console also contains some additional tools: group creation, third-party apps, domain management and settings for other free Google services such as Google Analytics, AdWords, Google+ and Google App Engine.

The optional Vault, which doubles the per-user price from £3.30 ($5.66) per month to £6.60 ($11.32), is designed for organisations that need to retain email and chat data and other digital information for regulatory compliance.

You can set data retention options globally or based on particular dates, groups or search terms, search the archive using the familiar Google search field, and you can audit the data and export it for further analysis. It doesn't store all communications, however – any chats marked off the record aren't stored.

If you're not sure whether you require Vault or if it isn't currently necessary, it's possible to upgrade to the with-Vault version from within your Google Apps for Work (G Suite) Admin Console.