Modern technology has completely transformed the way we use and store photos. In addition to all the cool, accessible editing software now available, viewing and storing photos has gone fully digital. It’s where it’s at.
With the digital way of doing things, completely different risks arise. You’re probably storing your photos on your computer, phone/tablet, camera, and so on. The problem here is that a simple malfunction can lead to loss of content.
Enter Cloud technology. With internet access, you can store all your photos in a single online safe space. Whatever happens with your device is completely independent from your storage. Here are some of the best free photo storage options.
To kick things off, let’s start with Google. One of the world’s most popular search engines has branched out and now offers a vast array of other quality services. One of which is Google Photos. If you choose to do so, you can make your device automatically back up every single photo to your Google account using the Google Photos service.
This is all done for free and you get unlimited storage options. Cracking stuff. But what’s the catch? Well, it’s the photo quality. Every photo that Google Photos uploads to its Cloud space will be decreased to 16MB. The 4K videos will get reduced to Full HD 1080p. Now, this isn’t ideal if you’re aiming for better quality, but the offer is still decent.
If you’d like a photo to be uploaded with its original quality, it can be done. However, full quality is limited to 15GB storage. Albeit far from unlimited, it’s still generous for most everyday users.
If you’re a professional photographer, you won’t be amazed by this offer. If you’re an everyday user satisfied with the quality on offer, you’ll be more than happy. If you happen to need a better photo quality or a video in 4K, you can always make the most out of the 15GB storage. Even more so because Google Photos actually provides a variety of onboard algorithms for auto-enhancing, auto-tagging, face-recognition, etc.
You may not be aware of it, but Flickr has been around since 2004. In that time, this platform has undergone many changes and upgrades. However, it has managed to retain its retro design. More than a decade since its inception, Flickr remains photography-centric. A cool feature here is that the platform offers EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) metadata for your uploaded images. This includes shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. You can also download your images in various resolutions.
One of the best things with Flickr is that it offers uploading photos in their original resolutions, with a storage limit of 1TB. This may be just enough for some professional photographers. Of course, there’s a paid plan if you want to upload more than a terabyte-worth of photos in their original resolutions.
The free version of Flickr isn’t your typical Cloud backup service that you need to sync with various devices. It’s a photo-sharing and management platform, meaning that it’s way, way more than a Cloud service.
Now, the main downside here is that you have to do a lot of micromanagement. You need to select each file or folder for uploading. In essence, the free version of Flickr is missing a good auto-uploader solution. Of course, for $5.99 per month, you get the proper auto-uploader, which isn’t a lot of money for a professional photographer looking for ease of use.
For $49.99 a year, you get Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop, and Lightroom discounts, and other cool perks.
Flickr is a brilliant free solution for the professional photographer who doesn’t need more than 1TB of Cloud space.
Used by a wide variety of professional and recreational users, Dropbox is one of the world’s most popular Cloud storage options. In the main, this is due to its simplicity, especially when it comes to storing your photos.
If you prefer storing all your photos within folders on your computer, Dropbox will help you keep it that way. It actually works from your desktop, by making the designated Dropbox folder auto-sync with its Cloud service. When synchronized, the files are securely uploaded, while maintaining the folder experience.
Being able to drag-and-drop photo files to the Dropbox folder and create the Cloud-connected folders within Windows Explorer is a great feature for photographers. To view the uploaded photos and files from your pocket device, download the Dropbox app and browse. It also comes with a camera upload option, which allows you to instantly and automatically upload all the photos that you take using a device.
But what’s the catch? Well, it’s a big one. Free users only get a measly 2GB worth of online storage. This isn’t enough for most casual users, let alone professional photographers.
However, the bright side here is the fact that you can use Dropbox for uploading your spontaneous photography files to the Cloud. Then, after a good day’s shooting, select the photos that you want to keep and transfer them to another Cloud platform. This is particularly useful, as Dropbox allows you to upload photos and videos in their original quality.
Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately; if you’re the type of photographer who can’t delete old photo files and likes to hoard their photos, you aren’t going to like this photo Cloud platform.
If you’re someone who likes to get rid of all the clutter, however, leaving only the cream of their best photos, 500px is a brilliant solution for you.
The best part about 500px is that it’s actually a community of around 13 million worldwide photographers from almost 200 countries. Oh, and 500px is all about quality, not quantity. It’s devised as a sharing platform that also stores some of your best photographic work. Unlike the other options featured here, you can get feedback from other photographers that browse through your content, which is an entirely different experience.
The downside with 500px is that it allows no more than seven uploads over a seven-day period. Not only that, but you can’t store more than 2,000 photos in total. So, you wouldn’t want to auto-upload photos to this platform, unless you upgrade to the $3,99/month payment plan, for unlimited uploads.
For $4.99, you get the Pro plan, which allows you to showcase the business side of your photography business. With Pro + Adobe plan, an Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan is added to the equation, which is pretty great.
Oh, and you can license your photos, even with the free plan. This is something that most other Cloud photography platforms don’t offer.
iDrive is yet another online feature for general storing and backup. However, with a free plan that gives you a measly 5GB of storage, you won’t be incredibly satisfied. If you choose to store only photos, however, it may end up satisfying your basic Cloud storage needs.
A cool thing about iDrive is that it allows you to back up an unlimited number of photos, all to a single account. You also get the Auto Camera option, which lets your devices automatically upload the photo and video content to the iDrive account. You’re given an option to retain the image quality, or to select automatic compression, so you can choose which photos you want backed up in original quality, and which ones you want compressed. This may just about compensate for the 5GB storage.
For $52.12 per month, you get 2TB of storage, while $74.62 per month gives you 5TB. These price tags aren’t too comfortable, but here’s a feature that may persuade you to get into this platform, even at the 5GB limit. You get a fantastic facial recognition feature that will automatically categorize the photos in accordance with who appears in the pictures themselves. They’ll also be automatically synced across all the devices that you’ve linked to your iDrive account.
It’s worth mentioning that the service is renowned for its impenetrable security and very straightforward and simple interface. In short, you won’t have to spend hours to get used to iDrive.
Unlimited Photo Cloud Storage Options
Each of the five mentioned Cloud photo storage options have their unique features to choose from. They do have different target groups, though, so trying them all and then making a decision would be the best way to go here.
The best thing about these platforms is that they offer free access. Instead of paying up for a single exclusive platform, consider using multiple Cloud photo storing services from the list. By combining a few, you can create a photo storing pattern that suits your needs.
Which of the mentioned platforms do you like the best? Have you tried any of these? Go ahead and give them a run, and let us know what you think about them in the comments section below. Oh, and don’t be afraid to fire away with any questions you have, either.