Guide to Photo Storage Sites; Protect your work!
If you're ever permanently lost images that you thought were safe, you know what a horrible feeling it is.
One of our friends, who is a hobby photographer, lost hundreds of images on her laptop that she had not backed up. She now backs up her pictures to two places. What can you do to make sure you don't ever lose images?
Your options are numerous: photo hosting sites, desktop and mobile apps that automatically upload your photos, and cloud photo storage services. Below is a guide to backup your images using an app so you can avoid our friend's fate.
Best Photo Storage Apps
Below are some popular and reliable photo storage apps. You can use them to upload photos and manage backups from your phone )or desktop), which make them especially appealing as well as convenient.
Mac users can use Apple's handy iCloud app, which is standard on iPhones and iPads. It's an easy set-up (click a few buttons in Settings), and it's off and running for you, backing up images as you work and across multiple devices. The iCloud app provides 5 GB of free cloud storage for photos, and upgrading starts at $0.99 a month for 50 GB.
In addition to the Google Photos site, there's the Google Photos App with free unlimited storage. It can automatically upload images from your phone. Set it up and forget about it since you have all that unlimited storage - as long as the images are 16 megapixels or smaller! Keep in mind that it has the same photo size limits as the Google Photo site.
While Dropbox is not exclusively a photography storage site, it's a reputable site for file sharing and storage popular with office professionals. However, it's also a good option for photographers to use as an online photo backup for both desktop and mobile devices.
It can be set to upload any photos taken on your phone automatically. Two big positives of Dropbox is that you can upload any kind of file, including Lightroom presets and it has a Rewind feature for the previous 30 days. Its free version offers 2 GB of storage, but you can upgrade to a Dropbox Plus account with 2 TB of space for $15.99 per month.
Free Photo Storage Sites
These online sites offer free storage.
Flickr, known for mostly as a photo-sharing platform, also offers free storage for up to 1,000 photos. That means that it's the number of pictures rather than their size. No compression needed or automatically done to your images. You can make your images public or keep them private if you prefer. For a mere $50 a year, you can upgrade your account for unlimited storage.
Google offers free unlimited photo storage through its Google Photos. It's easy enough to set up so that it automatically uploads your images. You will need a Google account. One of the issues with using Google Photos, however, is that your images cannot exceed 16 megapixels. If you upload anything larger, it will automatically reduce them.
The only way to upload images larger than 16 megapixels is to store them in your Google account. The free storage allows you to store up to 15GB, including everything you might have stored in your Google accounts such as your Gmail, Google Drive, and photos. Anything more than that, and you will have to upgrade your account.
This free photo storage site created by Canon also offers 15GB. Just like Google, you'll be able to play around with it. It offers extras such as albums, social media sharing, and photo tagging. If you're using a Canon camera, you'll be able to upload images straight from your camera to the site.
Fee-based Photo Storage Sites
If you can pay for storage, you can consider these, as they offer a few extras.
Microsoft OneDrive isn't designed especially for photography, but it can be used for storing images. The downside to that is that you won't be able to create the same attractive galleries you could with photo-specific storage sites. However, there are some good reasons to use Microsoft OneDrive. At $6.99 per month, its 1 TB storage plan is a good value.
It also includes its Office 365 package, which gives you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote on your phone, tablet, and computer. An extra measure of security (and peace of mind) is its File Restore feature. It lets you restore your OneDrive to a point within the previous 30 days.
Adobe's Creative Cloud photo storage supports RAW file formats, and you can easily organize photos into attractive image galleries. You can also share your images by creating Group Libraries.
For Lightroom and Photoshop users, their storage integrates easily with the software. You'll be able to make edits to your stored images. Adobe Creative Cloud is $9.99 per month for 20 GB of cloud photo storage space with Lightroom and Photoshop included.
If you're a professional photographer who wants years of image storage, pCloud might be your best bet. While its pricing seems steep compared to its competitors, it could be well worth the investment! Most people love pCloud for the fact that it offers lifetime storage subscriptions.
That means you pay once to get permanent access to up to 2 TB of online storage space. There's also a 500 GB lifetime plan that's available for a one-time payment of $175; its 2 TB lifetime plan costs $350. The features you get include its browser extension (lets you save images from websites directly to your pCloud account). It also supports RAW files.