We’re all familiar with Google, but if you’re a business user, you’ve probably also come across Google G Suite at some stage.
What is G Suite, exactly?
G Suite is Google’s range of cloud-based office productivity tools. It initially only included Gmail, Docs, and Sheets, but in recent years, Google have also added tools like Google Drive and Hangouts (among many others).
Typically, G Suite was seen as the cheaper option for business productivity tools, especially in relation to its biggest rival, Microsoft Office 365 (read our detailed review of the Office 365 suite here).
This has made it popular with millions of small-to-medium businesses worldwide. Higher-level plans offering advanced archiving, security and administrative features have also made it an attractive choice for larger enterprises.
But a recent price rise (the first in G Suite’s history) has left many potential new customers wondering: is G Suite still an affordable option? What exactly do you get in return, and is the new pricing justified?
Find out as we take you through everything you need to know about the new G Suite pricing, to help you make a decision.
G Suite offers three main plans: Basic, which costs $6/user/month and comes with 30GB of Google Drive storage; Business, which costs $12/user/month and provides unlimited storage and extra security and admin controls; and Enterprise, with unlimited storage and advanced controls, which costs $25/user/month.
This represents an increase of $1/user/month from the original pricing for the Basic plan, and $2/user/month on the Business plan.
This might be manageable if you’re a smaller business with just a handful of users.
But it could sting a little if you’re a mid-large sized business, running your entire team’s email, storage and productivity tools out of G Suite.
Still, you might find it’s worth it, if what you’re getting for that price meets your business’s requirements. So let’s take a look at what tools and features you get access to on each G Suite plan.
Each plan will give you access to your own email account and all the G Suite productivity and collaboration tools. The main differences lie in storage allowance, security features, and the level of administrative control you have over the products.
|G Suite Basic||G Suite Business||G Suite Enterprise|
|Professional email (using your own domain)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|G Suite Products (Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Hangouts, Forms, Sites)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Max. number of Hangouts participants||25||50||100|
|Ability to record and save Hangouts meetings||No||No||Yes|
|Live streaming on Hangouts||No||No||Yes|
|Cloud Search (advanced enterprise-wide search through Gmail, Drive, Docs etc)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced enterprise controls (data loss prevention, security center, security key management etc)||No||No||Yes|
|Alerts for changes to Drive documents||No||Yes||Yes|
|Google Vault security (archiving for mail and chat messages, export features etc)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to set rules for device management||No||No||Yes|
* Unlimited storage on the Business plan is available if you have 5 or more users; otherwise, you'll get 1TB of storage per user
This plan would be a good option if:
However, if you have a bigger team and/or don’t think the 30GB of personal storage will cut it, then it’s worth considering one of the higher plans.
The $6/user/month price difference between G Suite Basic and Business means that the Business plan may not be a realistic option for some businesses. However, we’d recommend this plan if:
Of course, if you need even greater control and more advanced security features, then Enterprise would be the way to go.
Again, there’s a huge price jump between the Business and Enterprise plans – from $12/user/month to $25/user/month.
This is ideal for businesses and enterprises that need the features offered by G Suite Business, but also:
The good thing is that you can purchase different plans for different users within your business. For example, if you only want Enterprise for some of your users, you don’t have to commit your entire team to it. This could help you reduce your monthly cost significantly.
There are also special plans available for schools (G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education), and nonprofits (G Suite for Nonprofits, which is free of charge).
Plans can be billed monthly or annually. Discounts may also apply to annual plans, but generally only if you sign up through a Google representative (for example, on the Business plan, discounts aren't available if you sign up online).
After taking this all in, you might be wondering, is G Suite worth it?
Well, there are a few things to consider here. Firstly, even with the new pricing, G Suite Basic and Business are still more affordable than comparable plans for Microsoft Office 365.
Plus, you’re looking at a fairly complete suite of office productivity applications and email, plus some generous storage allowances (especially on G Suite Business).
As you’ve seen, there are a range of plans catering to different budgets and requirements, meaning that you have a good chance of finding one that’s right for you.
Sure, we wouldn’t recommend it if you were only looking for an email hosting solution for your business (there are other providers that are much cheaper, e.g. Namecheap).
But in our view, you get a decent amount for what you’re paying – enough to be able to comfortably run many of your business’s key functions through G Suite. And if your budget allows (and you have 5 or more users), it’s definitely worth upgrading to G Suite Business in order to get unlimited storage so you don’t have to worry about running out at some point.
Still have questions about G Suite? Or want to share your experience with it? Leave us a comment below.