Google Workspace Review: Is it worth it?

This review of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) explains the offerings, its ranking against competing brands, and how an account could potentially help you bring your business online. Read on to find out our answer to the question: Is it worth it?

Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is a set of integrated powerful cloud tools intended for corporations, businesses, and other institutions. It is a subscription-based service and an excellent choice for small organizations and online workflows. Google Workspace consists of all Google services you might have already been familiar with; Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Meet and Chat for communication, as well as additional management functions tailored for corporates.

Features/Pricing

Google Workspace provides a wide variety of plans and options. The Business Starter edition is priced at $6/user/month and offers 100 participant video meetings, 30 GB cloud storage per user, and standard support (more on that later).

The Business Standard edition, priced at $12/user/month, offers 150 participant video meetings + recording, 2 TB cloud storage per user, and standard support (paid upgrade to Enhanced Support).

The Business Plus edition, priced at $18/user/month, offers 250 participant video meetings + recording, attendance tracking, 5 TB cloud storage per user, and enhanced security and management controls, including Vault and advanced endpoint management.

There is also an Enterprise edition for organizations with special requirements. It offers even more with unlimited users per account and unlimited storage per user, but they require you to contact the company’s sales department for custom pricing.

In addition to the features above, each edition includes custom and secure business email, meaning that you can use your own domain with Gmail.

Offline Productivity

When opting for Google Workspace, you’re making a major decision to rely on data and apps that live almost entirely in the cloud. This is because Google Workspace does not offer offline desktop applications, unlike Microsoft 365, a competing brand. It is accessible only from a browser or a mobile device. This may be a huge drawback to some, although, for 99% of people, it really shouldn’t be a problem, considering that you have a reliable network connection.

To edit documents in a Wi-Fi challenged area, some preliminary actions must be taken. You might be interested to know that offline editing for Google products is available. I can say from personal experience that this feature comes in handy countless times. To enable offline editing in the Chrome browser, go to drive.google.com/drive/settings. Check the box next to “Create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline.”

This should automatically install the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension. Offline access can also be enabled from Docs, Sheets, or Slides settings. If you turn on offline access for Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Drive, then the rest will also be available offline.

Editing a Google Docs File Offline

Gmail

Gmail: email that’s intuitive, efficient, useful, and simply just works. It is probably the most used feature throughout Google Workspace and mainly why people opt to purchase a plan. Gmail can be used with an existing domain you might have, allowing for a professional email address, like [email protected] and [email protected] You can also create group mailing lists, like [email protected] Connecting with coworkers via Google Meet/Chat, sending an invite in Calendar, adding an action to your task list, can all be done without leaving Gmail.

Gmail also features advanced spam filters to keep junk mail away from your primary inbox section. It uses an algorithm to sort emails into different categories based on their nature automatically. Moreover, email can be viewed offline with Gmail. That way, when internet access is unavailable, users can still read, write, search, delete, and label email messages. Gmail is available on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, unlike Roundcube Webmail, for example, which we used before Gmail. It was such a hassle to get set up, with configuration issues arising all the time.

Admin Console

Google Admin Console is a dashboard provided to organizations to manage their Google Workspace service. It is very intuitive and a breeze to use. I was able to do everything from adding new users and groups, managing devices, configuring security settings (like 2-factor authentication), and adding new custom domains which can be used for Gmail. Google really nailed it here; I wouldn’t ask for anything more. Everything I would ever need is included right here in this neat and concise dashboard.

Google Workspace Admin Console

Most, if not all of the features in Google Workspace have to be enabled by the administrator to be used. Some of these are also only available in higher plans. If a feature is not enabled and users try to access it, they’ll see a message informing them that the service is turned off/inaccessible (as seen below).

Gmail not available (when disabled by admin)

Support

Google Workspace Support is provided via mediums of phone, chat, and email. The phone support service is available in 14 different languages. A community forum is also accessible to all paid users.

As mentioned earlier in the Features/Pricing section of the article, the Business Starter, Standard, and Plus editions come with Standard Support by default. Business Standard and Plus, however, offer a paid upgrade to Enhanced Support.

My experience with support has been stellar; I’ve been in contact via chat, and with response times under 60 seconds, all my inquiries were answered quickly. As the administrator for TechsCurrent’s Google Workspace services, I had a problem applying the MX records to make Gmail work. With less than 5 chat messages, the agent discovered the exact issue and helped me get Gmail set up.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a simple yet robust productivity suite to take your business online, you should definitely consider Google Workspace. Although it may not be as capable as Microsoft 365, it still manages to excel its feature-packed competitor when it comes to collaboration, simplicity, and functionality.

At TechsCurrent, all our authors/contributors are provided with a Google Workspace account on the Business Plus edition. Quite frankly, it’s the best smart online productivity suite on the market right now. Not to mention the other features that it comes with, such as Google Drive storage and tools such as Google Docs and Google Sheets, which we regularly use for collaborations.

In short: we think Google Workspace holds its own against comparable solutions and could be a good fit if your team is on the small-to-medium side. To try it out for free for 14 days, click here.

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