How Stable Is Your FREE Online Photo Storage?

Being a photographer, I tend to back up my photos in multiple locations. I have them on my laptop, a backup USB drive, then another USB drive that is stored in a safe. I sometimes save my best photos online on Flickr since I have about 2 terabytes in storage, as well as my other online portfolio site of 500px.

All of these locations are part of my process to have some piece of mind if in case something goes wrong. Well today I saw in article on WebDesignLedger where they were claiming that Yahoo is downsizing. You can read the full article here. My concern with this feels falls first to my “free” account with Flickr. Yahoo purchased Flickr in 2005, so about 11 years ago. I won’t go into the changes and improvements of Flickr since, but the ability to store 2tb of photos online is great, I am aware that Yahoo’s financial performance has been declining so how they decide to deal with the picture website will be closely watched.

For those of you like me, it may be a good time to take stock of what you have loaded to Flickr, and be sure you have your originals saved somewhere in your library. If you don’t be sure to download your photos and save them as well as connect with your followers on other means like their other social media websites and online groups.

Here are a list of alternatives you may want to consider should you need another online repository:

Google PhotosGoogle Photos – While this offers unlimited “high quality” photo uploads. Uploading RAW files will count agains a 1.5Gb storage quota.

Amazon StorageAmazon Cloud Storage – Offers unlimited cloud storage for about $60.00 a year. There is an inexpensive option for still unlimited photos, but a 5gb limit on video files. This plan is about $12.00 a year.

DropboxDropbox – While you do get up to 5g of free storage, you will then need to pay for an upgraded annual account. $10 a month for up to 1tb, or $15 a month for unlimited storage and managed file and folder permission controls.

Have more questions on this? Or do you have some great other options for online storage? Let us know in the comments below.


10 Reasons why cloud storage sucks!

So you’ve been hearing a lot, a LOT, about cloud storage of lately. Even with the latest news about Apple’s iCloud system, just about every major name brand has their hand and foot into this arena. By now you should already know all the benefits of cloud storage right? No, let me give you a quick run down:

  • Free storage space
  • Easily accessible from most popular browsers
  • Access via mobile devices
  • Easy to share files and access
  • Synchronization

Now before I give you my reason for why the idea sucks, let me tell you about the one service I use. Dropbox. It’s a great service that offers free accounts that start with 2 gigs of online storage. You can install their free application on mobile devices and your PC or Mac computers. When you add or change a file that’s within your Dropbox folder, it automatically syncs the change across all your devices (so long as they’re powered on and online). Sure there are others out their but between my colleagues and I, we all use this the most if not exclusively.

So why do they suck? Well for one, not many have been around for a really long period of time. Also space is quite limited for the free ones. I remember years ago Yahoo used to have a “Briefcase” feature that offered free space up to a certain amount of megs. It wasn’t much, maybe like 10-50mb in space if I remember right. I stored resumes in there, pictures, and other files. Well a company as big as Yahoo, who would have thought they’ve ever get rid of that. Well they did. That void was quickly solved by thumb drives and portable media. So what if:

  • Your files could be lost if you forget to pay for your online storage
  • Security breaches could leave your secured files vulnerable
  • Must have an internet connection to access your files
  • Could take more time to sync large files than its worth
  • Your files may be subject to the Patriot Act
  • Storage company could fold without warning
  • Servers could go down temporarily or for a long period of time
  • No recycle bin for deleted files
  • Encryption may be limited
  • Lack of available technical support

Again, storing some of your data in the “cloud” is a great benefit. I think eventually it will be a much bigger market as more major brands incorporate storage in their devices and software. Cloud computing is getting bigger by the day and there doesn’t seem to be a ceiling for it as of yet. For me, its like having an old school floppy disk. You can work on your 15 page biology report on it for days at the library and as soon as you take it home to your own computer, the disk is unreadable. And just like that you lost all of your time and effort by relying on one medium for file storage. Use cloud computing and accompany it with your own physical storage device. It may be a bit of a task but you’ll thank me later if/when that online website gives you a 404 error or server not found message.