What Is G Suite?

What you need to know about Google's apps for business

Google G Suite is a powerful set of applications that combines email, cloud storage, productivity software, calendars, and more. It offers all of these solutions at an affordable price, making it a go-to tool for everyone, not just business people.

G Suite was previously called Google Apps for Work and, before that, Google Apps for Your Domain.

What Is G Suite?

G Suite is Google's office suite of intelligent office and productivity apps. Most people know Google has email (Gmail) and cloud storage (Google Drive) and those two apps are included in G Suite, but it's so much more.

Google Suite apps on four different computers
Lifewire / Marina Li 

Based on the G Suite plan you choose, you'll have access to all of the G Suite apps and different levels of advanced functionality for those apps. The biggest difference is in the storage capacity of Google Drive — 30GB for Basic and unlimited for more than 5 users (1TB for less than 5 users on these upper plans) — and more advanced search and security options. 

Everyone benefits from Google's security and alert features, but with the upper plans you can customize security alerts and use G Suite's centralized security platform; the lower plans require you to call their 24/7 support team to get the advanced help.

Apps Available in Google Suite

All the apps available in G Suite

All G Suite plans have the following apps available:

  • Gmail: An enhanced, ad-free version of Gmail using a custom domain (a non-gmail.com address).
  • Google Drive: Save documents, images, spreadsheets, and more to a secure cloud account with Drive. Depending on your G Suite plan, you'll have access to different storage levels.
  • Google Docs/Sheets/Slides: Each plan gives access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides through Drive where you can create and share files and documents easily. 
  • Google Calendar: An enhanced, ad-free version of Calendar that integrates seamlessly with Gmail to let you respond to events; Drive to attach files easily; and Hangouts Meet to set up and have video conferences.
  • Hangouts Meet: Create and host video and voice conferencing for people on your custom domain (other G Suite users), but also those outside your domain. This is especially handy for small business owners using G Suite who want to host client calls. Depending on your G Suite plan, you can even record the call for future use.
  • Hangouts Chat: Chat securely with the rest of your domain's users with Hangouts Chat. You can add outside users to Chat as well, by starting a conversation with them and inviting them to the Chat. They'll have to accept the invitation, then you're all set.

How G Suite Is Different From Free Google Apps

Most people have a Gmail email address, which gives you access to Drive and free versions of the productivity apps. Why should you pay for G Suite when you can have access to Docs, Sheets, and Gmail for free? 

G Suite is designed for business since these apps are really more of a business suite of applications. In fact, the full name of Google Apps was Google Apps for Business. By paying for a subscription to Google Apps, users get access to what used to be considered enterprise features such as a custom email domain, unlimited cloud storage, 24/7 support, additional admin and marketing tools, and no ads while using the services.

Now that many people have a custom domain for their small business or personal use, Google started rolling out Google Apps to everyone and rebranded to Google Apps, then finally, G Suite. 

Why Google Office Suite Is Different

The main differences between the free version and the paid G Suite version are:

  • Free users see ads while using the apps, paid users do not.
  • Google uses the information stored in the apps of free users for advertising but doesn't for paid users.
  • Paid users can add custom domains to their G Suite accounts and use custom email addresses such as me@mydomain.com. No more me@ gmail.com accounts.
  • Paid users have higher cloud storage limits in their Drive (including unlimited storage for some of the higher paid plans). 
  • Paid users get custom administration tools for their G Suite account, like adding new users, manage devices that are connected to G Suite accounts, add two-factor authentication to user accounts, and more. 
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