Storing your files in this day and age has become more and more complicated, let's bring it back to the basics.
At the core of file storage is hardware, the physical device that stores your data, no matter what you use to store your data, say google drive, dropbox, etc... somewhere your files are stored on a physical device.
Moving one layer above the hardware, we conceptual can store data in files and folders, folders allow for a hierarchy to be created which can allow us the ability to organize our files and specify files we need, for example, suppose we have the following structure:
A B C hi.txt
With this structure we can specify the file
hi.txt with the path
Public and Private Data
With most hosting services by default all your data is private and so there is no way for a user to simply just type in
/A/B/C/hi.txt to find your file if this were the case, then it would be possible for someone to guess random paths and then steal your data.
Additionally since hosting services don't allow for paths to be used, when you share a file a unique id is created that you can share with others that links to the specific file. Now suppose that you want to embed this file on a website, then by using these links the hosting provider makes you even more dependent on their service as if you have embedded these files in many places across the internet emails and other locations, then if you ever decide to delete your account all this information is lost and these links are broken.
Personally I want to be able to look back at messages I've sent to people in the past and still be able to view the content whether or not I have a google drive account.
Let's Not Mix
One simple solution that cna be thought of is simply not mixing public and private data together, under this assumption, there is no need to hide paths, and sharing files could be as easy as using the path
/A/B/C/hi.txt, this simple change allows us to not care about ID's anymore and has many good implications.
One implementation of this is a webserver which contains these files, then given the ip address of this computer we can access the file by going on any browser and typing
IPADDRESS/A/B/C/D/hi.txt to access the file.
Now for our private files we can continue using any other service of our choosing.
A Persistent File Structure
Throughout the years, as the number of files you've shared increases, you'll want to organize your files, but if we change the file strucutre it might break links to other files we've had in the past