Google can now upload your USB pen drives to the cloud

USB Flash Drive

Google wants to make it easier to upload data from physical drives to its cloud by providing an expanded mail-in service for importing data.

First reported by TechCrunch, the new Offline Media Import/Export offering allows developers to send physical media including hard drives, tapes and USB flash drives to Google's partners before it is then uploaded to the relevant level of cloud storage you've signed up for.

Google has run a preview of the service since 2013 that allowed hard drives to be sent through for uploading and the expansion is being assisted by Iron Mountain, who will be handling the delivery part of the package in North America.

The reason for offering this service is simple: speed. Google explains that uploading a terabyte of data over a standard DSL line takes around 100 days and even if you've got a blisteringly fast connection, Google's power will be quicker.

Google isn't alone

As for pricing, during the preview it charged $80 (£around £50, or AU$110) per disk regardless of the amount of data store on each one and both Google and Iron Mountain have failed to clarify how much will be charged for this new level of service.

Amazon's AWS Import/Export and Microsoft's Azure Import/Export do both offer similar services at almost the same price as Google and the latter confirmed that its offering will be reaching Europe at a later date.