ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Online Storage for Images and Photos

Updated on December 31, 2012

Having thousands of photographs is not unusual even for the casual photographer, and as we know backing up your images is very important. Hard Drives are destined to crash, and you need to have a system whereby you either transfer your images or have duplicates on some other medium. An external hard drive is recommended for this, but you may want to have universal access to your images, and online storage has become very popular for this. Online storage doesn’t necessarily mean that your images are for the world to see, but can just be a secure and reliable medium to keep your photo files.

Certain basic assurances you ought to look for are that your files and folders are:

  1. never deleted (unless by you).
  2. secure from unauthorized access.
  3. universally accessible across several platforms including Windows, Apple and Android.

Storing Photos in Email and Cloud Storage Platforms

Major email providers are providing a decent amount of storage space for free that you can take advantage of. If you wish more storage then you can pay a monthly or annual fee to access more gigabytes of space. The major drawback to these options is that they lack particular features that Cloud Storage facilities have. However, some of these very email providers have Cloud Storage applications as well, which may be linked to your regular inbox storage including Google Drive and Microsoft’s Skydrive. Other advantages include a non-restriction on the size of file upload, as regular emails do. A further advantage is that you can upload RAW files!

There are companies that specialize in delivering these only these services. Again, many of them provide a minimum threshold of free storage space with the option to upgrade for more space. Other popular cloud storage providers include: Box, Dropbox, justcloud, SugarSync among a number of others.

Some Important Features of Cloud Storage:

  • Automated synchronization
  • Scheduled Backups
  • Encryption
  • File and Folder Sharing
  • web albums

Storing Photos on Image/Gallery Websites

It may seem as if certain popular image/gallery sites are great places to store and showcase your photos including Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa. The latter may be true (for showcasing images), but in terms of storing (JPEG) images it may not be so. Image sites may have particular algorithms that compress and tweak your photos a bit such as sharpening. Furthermore, not many photo sites have allowance for storing RAW files. Maybe when there’s a more universal RAW file type, this may become more common. The automatic compression and tweaking may be up to your taste, but the fact is that the image has been changed somewhat, and the nature of JPEGs is that they are ‘damaged’ with each edit. Furthermore, unless there’s a guarantee that your images may be secure and accessible as in at least the first 2 important features of online storage (as stated earlier), then it may not be a medium to store your valuable images. A big advantage of storing your images on these kinds of websites is the social media integration features, which could be a key feature. You may wish to choose what images you want to share and whom to share them with without having to reupload elsewhere.

Valuable RAW and JPEG files that you may not have use for right now may come in handy in the future. RAW files which have massive amount of image data that in times to come can be manipulated with greater ease with the ever increasing sophistication of software applications.

If you really serious about saving your photo files, then you may need to invest in premium cloud storage services with loads of space and security.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • photographyadvice profile image

      photographyadvice 4 years ago from UK

      Personally I just use standard hard drives with a SATA hot-swap bay on my PC. I keep two backups of all my photos, so even if my main hard-drive and a backup fail, I still have another backup I can use.

      Online backup certainly has its place (the main benefit being that even if your house burns down, all your photos will be stored safely in the cloud), but upload speeds are just too slow for me.

      If I had a fast enough internet connection I'd probably look at something like Amazon S3 Glacier for online backup - cost from $0.01 per month and 99.999999999% durability!

    • Amaryllis profile image

      Lesley Charalambides 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks for an interesting hub. I use cloud storage a lot as I tend to switch from a small notebook computer to a desktop and work in collaboration with other members of my family, so it's good to have space we can share. One additional advantage of online storage is the some programs can be installed in the cloud, making them easy to use from different machines. I have Scrivener, writing software, installed in a Dropbox account which means that I get all the benefits of the software from whichever computer I'm using.

    • theblackedition profile image

      Shane Brown-Daniels 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Woo, over 3 TB worth images is a ton-load and a different medium would be better to consider than online storage. It does take a heck of a long time to upload even on a high speed internet connection. It's usually better to use an FTP client of some sort to transfer to a remote server which is what I do. You definitely will have to leave your comp. on for a while though!

      Thanks for your input -- quite insightful! Question though -- How do you store your images?... or what other medium do you recommend?

    • photographyadvice profile image

      photographyadvice 4 years ago from UK

      The main problem with online photo storing services is that it takes a long time to upload photos to them. I have 3.29TB of photos, to upload this would take 3½ years of constant uploading with my internet connection!

      Even a 4GB memory card would take over 15 hours to upload with an upload speed of 595 kilobits/s (which I think is around the average upload speed in the US).

      In my opinion online storage is really only useful for those that shoot JPEG and don't take a lot of photos, or have a fast upload speed.