Best cloud photo storage: 5 apps to safely back up your photos

Find out the best way to back up your photos. Choose the best online photo storage app for your needs!

Progress in hard drive technology over the past few years means that they are now far more stable and reliable than they once were, they are still far from infallible. This means that you should always be careful to back up your sentimental and valuable data to ensure that, if the worst happens, you are protected.

Luckily there are now lots of  great free backup apps for you to choose from. These cloud services not only provide protection for your files, but also let you access them remotely from anywhere. Best of all, you probably already registered to use many of these free services without having realized it.

Android versions comparison

1. Google Drive

A free service that you are probably already registered to use

Google Drive and Doc and Photos

You probably already have a Google account, which means that you already have access to Google Drive. If you use Google Doc, Google Sheets, or any of Google’s other online office apps, then – whether you realize it or not – you are already familiar with the service because it is where all of your documents are stored. Uploading things to Google Drive is as simple as dragging them into the folder on your browser, but the app also lets you set up automatic uploads and syncing between the Google’s free cloud service and your connected devices. On your computer this works as a simple folder where you can just drop files where they are automatically uploaded – do be aware that this takes up hard drive space. For free you get 15GB of storage, with more options available in subscription packages.

Pros

  • Access from multiple account
  • Upload images from phone camera
  • Syncs between devices

Cons

  • There is a learning curve
  • Takes up space locally on PC

Download for

Android
iOS
Mac
Windows

2. Dropbox

A familiar service that is a veteran of cloud storage, but with limited free space

Drop the box

One of Dropbox‘s greatest assets is that is has been around for a long time and a lot of people are comfortable using it. This is particularly useful as it mean that the app’s ability to easily share files and images with other users has become second nature to many. Unfortunately, when you first create your free Dropbox account, you are limited to just 2GB – which is much less than the competition. It does offer the chance to earn more free space through referring friends and other methods, but it is a major limiting factor. Dropbox adds a folder on your desktop that syncs with your online account, this means any changes you make to this local file is reflected in the cloud, and visa-versa.

Pros

  • Easily view files
  • Sharing is simple

Cons

  • No in-app editing
  • Just 2GB storage for free

Download for

Android
iOS
Mac
Windows

3. Shoebox

An amazing photo storage service with a personal touch

Put your photos in a shoebox

Organizing and saving all of your photos to the cloud Shoebox is an exceptional photo-saving app. The service integrates web, desktop, and mobile apps together. This provides easy access to your photos, no matter where you are. One of this cloud service’s greatest advantages is how it organizes images along its timeline, providing it a more personal touch than many of its competitors. Shoebox’s free service provides unlimited storage for all of your photos however – to tempt you into its $5 a month to subscription service – it limits the resolution of your pictures to just 1024 pixels.

Pros

  • Excellent timeline
  • Upload unlimited photos
  • Seamless integration over multiple devices

Cons

  • Free version limits photo quality
  • Photo specific

Download for

Windows
Mac
iOS
Android

4. Box

A cloud alternative that provides lots of storage for free and good upgrade options

What's in the box?

Providing a range of different grades of account – free, paid, and businessBox offers something for everyone. Starting at 10GB of free storage, Box’s base level account compares favourably with services like Dropbox. It does apply a file size limit of 250MB to its free account, however, and this could be off-putting if you regularly work with larger files such as video. But, if you are a regular user looking to share photos, JPGs, and documents, it should be more than enough.

Designers and other people who needs to upload lager files can upgrade to the Box Personal Pro plan at a cost of $10 per month. This lets you upload files of up to 5GB while also expanding your cloud storage space to 100GB.

Pros

  • 10GB of free space
  • Cross-platform

Cons

  • Upload limit
  • No auto upload

Download for

Android
iOS
Mac
Windows

5. iCloud Drive

A simple cloud storage option for less experienced users in the Apple ecosystem

Put it in your iCloud

If you are an Apple users then iCloud Drive is an incredibly intuitive and well integrated cloud storage option that automates much of the uploading and syncing process. While it’s available for Windows, this app is designed to benefit Mac and iOS users with it simple drag-and-drop interface and cross-app editing. Perhaps the only major issue Apple users will discover with iCloud Drive is that its 5GB of free storage is quickly filled once you start syncing everything – especially as it allows you to upload files of any type or size. In fact, in someway, the file size limit of 15 GB feels like a bit of a slap in the face to free users who only have 5GB.

iCloud Drive is best for sharing files and data between you apps and Apple devices. It is also worth noting that if you want to store your music on iCloud Drive then you’ll need iTunes Match ($24.99 a year).

Pros

  • Easy to use control panel for all skill levels
  • Integrated with Windows Explorer

Cons

  • Storage is limited
  • Not as good on Windows machines

Download for

Mac
Windows

More alternatives

Amazon Photos Cloud Drive | AndroidiOSMacWindows

Google Photos | AND iOS

Microsoft OneDrive | AND iOSWIN/WIN10MAC

OneDriveBitcasa | AndroidiOSMacWindowsWindows 8

CloudMe | AndroidiOSMacWindows

SugarSync | ANDWIN MAC

More sync and backup apps here

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