Google One "free" phone backup now a reality, but beware the limits

Google released a phone backup system to Android and iOS users "wherever Google One is available" this week. This system is free, so long as you're using less than the 15GB storage that comes free with a Google Account. You can attain a Google Account for free, and back up your smartphone's data for free, so long as you use less than 15GB to do so.

This service is great for users that don't necessarily snap a billion photos and capture infinite video all day, every day. If you think you've got less than 15GB of data on your phone, you might want to look into getting this automatic backup system ready to roll.

Google One: What is it?

However, if you expect that you've got more than 15GB on your phone, or may have more than 15GB at any given point in the future, there's where Google gets you. Once you're up to or over the 15GB point, you'll have to start paying for more space.

Granted, Google One storage expansion starts at around $2 a month – which isn't terrible.

But assume you've got a Gmail account that you use all the time, and you decide to use this Google One automatic backup system. If you go over your 15GB limit and you want to keep using your Gmail account, you're going to have to pay for storage. That's happened to me more than once with similar situations – like with Google Photos. I have Google Photos backing up my photos and videos now, but I've made sure to avoid hitting the "original size" option that racks up data like nobody's business.

So just... beware of the situation. If you've got the wherewithall to pay attention to how much data you're backing up, and don't reach the 15GB point, you'll have a decent free backup system going for your phone. Otherwise, you might just want to skip it.