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Free Photo Storage Offers
There are a lot of different photo backup solutions that are free to use on a computer, Android phone or an iPhone. I use a few of them myself. However, a word of caution is in order as free is never "free." The services below can change their terms and offerings at any time. Some companies actually include in their terms, that you must agree to in order to use the service, that they can use your photos for their own use. That's crazy!! They can also stop their service at any time leaving you to find another service quickly before they delete your files.
Before using a service, always read the fine print and don't agree to anything if you don't feel comfortable with it. There are always pay solutions available that are safer and you won't give up or hand over your rights or photos to some powerful corporation.
That being said, here is a list of photo backup solutions you might want to consider for your personal use.
Google Photos: You can automatically have your photos backed up from your Android smartphone, iPhone or tablet to avoid any loss of photos due to accidental deletions, a lost or stolen mobile device or your phone or tablet goes bonkers and you lose everything. You can upload/download photos as well as using your computer. Google Photos' search capabilities are beyond compare. You can enter a search term such as "mountain" and all your photos that contain mountains will display with incredible accuracy. This capability could help in organizing your photo collection.
One drawback for me is that you can't upload from your computer using folders. So if you have your photos organized by person, decade, event, etc., you can't upload a complete folder. This is a deal-breaker for me. I still use it to back up my pictures from my phone, but I couldn't use it for a mirror backup of what's on my computer.
Additionally, Google Photos has two ways to store your photos: original quality (full resolution) or high quality (slightly reduced resolution). With original quality and the often high file size, it means that you might max out your free storage limit fairly quickly. If you agree to allow them to reduce the quality a bit, which in turn reduces the file size, you can have unlimited storage. You might not want your backup to be of lesser quality. So choose carefully.
There are a lot of features Google Photos offers including sharing with others. So be sure to check out all the options.
Google Photos has made some major changes in June and July 2019 (including syncing with Google Drive) so it's always important to stay up-to-date with all the changes to avoid lost photos or space issues. You can keep current by checking out the Google Photos Official Blog.
UPDATE: Google has a major change regarding storage limits coming to Google Photos and Drive which goes into effect on June 1, 2021. You can learn more about it here.
Amazon Photos: Prime Members enjoy unlimited photo storage in original, full-resolution quality. You can save and share your photos on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Like Google Photos, you can have your photos automatically backed up from your mobile device. You can delete your photos on your phone as needed to free up space while they are still backed up in the cloud. The Amazon Photos desktop app lets you upload/download via your computer also. You can access your photos anywhere using a computer, phone, and tablet.
A cool feature they offer is being able to share your unlimited storage with up to 5 people, Prime Member or not. Of course, that's what it is today. That can always change.
If you're a Prime Member, or want to be, definitely check out their service.
OneDrive comes with Microsoft Windows computers and provides a small amount of backup storage for free. If you purchase Office 365, you get 1TB of cloud storage per user. That's a lot of storage space for your photos, which is what I use it for. You can also share your photos or other files with anyone you choose. It's easy to use and convenient.
This small, portable solid-state external drive is perfect for backing up your photos--quickly! I use a 500 GB drive for backing up my all my business files in addition to using Backblaze and a cloud service for my customers' scans. I always like to have a local copy handy as recommended using the 3-2-1 backup method.
(I’ll receive a small commission (I like to call them “donut bucks”) if you click from here and decide to purchase after the free trial. Won’t you help me buy a jelly donut or two? A cookie (not the eating kind, sorry) will be placed on your computer for only 30 days when you click a link or the graphic. That’s what helps me buy my favorite food.)
For only $6 a month or $60 a year, after a 15-day free trial, you can have an unlimited amount of photos and other data backed up automatically (I love that word) to the cloud every day. This is the service I trust for my business and personal photos and other important files. It’s so easy to set up and use. You can even access your files and photos on the go using the Android, iPad or iPhone app.
All the products listed below are ones that I personally use, enjoy and with which I have had great success. I urge you to consider these solutions as well. I can't guarantee you'll have the same success as I have had because everyone's experience is different, but I can definitely speak to my wonderful experience with these products and companies. They've helped me and my clients tremendously in keeping my print and digital photos organized, backed up and safe.
Good intentions won’t save your files. If something were to happen to your photos or other documents today, what would you lose? How valuable are they to you?
Hard drives, whether internal or external, will eventually crash, get damaged or even be stolen. So if you’re not in the habit of regularly backing up your photos or you have never backed up your photos (it happens to the best of us), then now is the time to take action.
What the experts recommend
Experts recommend following the 3-2-1 backup rule.
Backing up photos example:
And of course, for all your print photos and historical documents and memoirs, you'll want to have them scanned and then properly and safely stored in archival quality boxes and albums.