There are many good choices in the photo backup game these days, but most of them aren’t free. Recently, my Microsoft OneDrive subscription came up for renewal, so I decided to look around at alternatives for backing up my photos as I travel.
I currently travel with two 2TB Transcend StoreJet portable external hard drives. (They’re so good, I’m about to buy a third one, which will be the 4TB model.) I’m really happy to back up my photos to those hard drives as I travel. However, given the ubiquity of free, high-speed internet access, I would prefer to also have an online back-up. Thankfully, backing up to the cloud is no longer the ordeal that it once was.
The big decision is, where to back-up your photos?
After some research, I chose Google Photos for this task.
Primarily, what I like about Google Photos, is that you can store an unlimited amount of photos online uploaded from your mobile device, at their full original resolution, for free. With many other cloud services, either you have to take out a subscription to store your photos, or, like with Box.com, pay to be able to use the automatic camera upload feature in their app. Some other photo storage services change the format of your photos, or have other restrictions that make them less than perfect options for backing up your photos. Of course, companies are charging for their services because they want to be sustainable, and you can’t criticise them for that.
In addition to free and unlimited, there are lots of other things to like about the Google Photos service.
Google Photos now has a relatively full-featured app for both the iPhone and Android. The app has loads of features for editing, organising and sharing your photos. There’s even an option to automatically remove the geolocation on any photos you share. As you’d expect, Google Photos has Chromecast support, and, should you choose, you can view your photos online from anywhere in the world.
It is worth taking some time to explore the Google Photos app to see if there are features that appeal to you. For example, you can automatically delete photos from your camera roll to save storage space on your device.
The major argument for not using Google Photos is probably that you don’t want to store your photos with Google. I think that’s a strong argument, even though by default your photos are not shared publicly.
At the moment though, I’m happy with my choice to back up my photos with Google Photos.