In today’s digital age, photos and videos are essential to our lives. We capture memories of special moments, events, and experiences, and we want to be able to access and preserve them for years to come. However, with the increasing volume of digital photos and videos, it can be a challenge to store and manage them all, so for many of us, this is where online photo storage options become a lifesaver.
Photo and video storage is more important than many of us realise – that is, until our images are one day lost and we find that we cannot retrieve them.
We save and cherish all our most precious memories in small, treasured, photographed moments. They deserve the best storage and backup technology that we can give them.
With the right online storage service, you can safely and easily store, organise, and share your photos and videos from any device, anywhere in the world. In this article, we will first list the key criteria for selecting the best option for your needs, and then give you the rundown of the top 10 online photo storage options available in 2023.
Finally, at the end, we’ve summarised all the plans and costs in a handy comparison chart.
Criteria for selecting the best online photo storage options
When selecting the best online photo storage options, there are a few key criteria to keep in mind. These are all important considerations, but depending on your individual needs, some may weigh more heavily on your decision than others. For example, for some applications, security is of optimal importance, whereas for others, it may be the ability to store photographs and videos without loss of quality.
Ideally, we want the best of both worlds – a service that offers the best of everything and for the lowest price (ideally, free).
For evaluations, you must consider, as a minimum, these four key criteria:
- The amount of storage you need. This will vary depending on the number of photos and videos you have, their quality and their resolution.
- The level of security offered by the storage option, including encryption and other measures to protect your data.
- Accessibility includes viewing, editing, and sharing your photos and videos across multiple devices and platforms.
- Cost and value of the photo storage option, including any additional features or benefits that may be included in the pricing.
By evaluating these criteria, and the differences between the various options available, you will be able to find the online photo storage option that best meets your needs and preferences.
Top 10 online photo storage options
SplentoApp is a photo storage app that offers many of the benefits of the other services mentioned below, yet is completely free. The strong list of features below makes it the most powerful and versatile of the photo storage and sharing apps.
With SplentoApp, you can create albums and share them privately, and it stores all your images at their original quality, with no loss of resolution, even with large file sizes. Lossless storage is just one of SplentoApp’s prize features.
And now, there are no storage limits.
That’s right – SplentoApp is completely free to use and now gives you unlimited storage. It is the only app on this list which offers this for zero cost.
The album creation and sharing features are incredibly easy to use, and you can even view your photos the way you want to as the Splento App allows you to view photos in four different timelines, with its powerful sorting algorithms. These allow you to sort by either date created or uploaded, and arrange these in the order that suits you best. This, combined with the ability to create as many albums as you wish, gives you incredibly powerful sorting and organising abilities.
Additionally, one of the best standout features of SplentoApp is the ability to share albums privately by generating a link that takes your friends and family directly to the photo album, without the need to download the photos to their phones. Albums can be viewed by anyone with the link, even if they do not have a SplentoApp account themselves. You can also choose whether to allow viewers to download the images or not.
Additionally, as the account owner, you also have the option to add various powerful collaboration features to each album you choose to share. These include:
- View photos and videos only
- View, like, and comment (ie. like Instagram)
- Collaborate (add photos to the album)
This last feature is perfect for events and groups, such as weddings or a day out, as it means that everybody can upload their photos to one shared, collaborative album. This saves everyone from having to individually share their photos around the group through endless WhatsApp messages. One simple upload and everyone can enjoy all the images of the day that everyone took, in one easy-to-access album.
SplentoApp is also incredibly safe and secure, as all data and images are encrypted, and will never be sold or shared with third parties.
Try the SplentoApp today as your image storage for the best photo-storing experience yet.
2. Google Photos
Google Photos is one of the most popular online photo storage solutions given that many Android mobile devices come with pre-installed Google apps, including this one. Google Photos is a user-friendly and versatile app, given that it offers both photo storage and basic editing options.
Google Photos also allows users to create albums, but the downside is that albums cannot be shared privately. Google users can share their albums privately only with other Google users; if they wish to share with non-Google account holders, then they have to share their albums publicly.
One of the biggest advantages of Google Photos is the unlimited photo storage, making Google Photos very attractive for free online photo storage. This being said, although Google Photos allows you to store unlimited numbers of photos for free, this is limited to a maximum storage size of 15GB. To store more, you must opt for one of their pay-monthly plans (prices below).
3. iCloud Photos
Similar to Google Photos, iCloud Photos is another popular photo storage option, as it is Apple’s file storage service. Although it is designed for Apple Photos on Macs and iPhones, Windows users can use it too.
Using iCloud you can upload photos online and display them in a photostream. Once you upload your photos, you can geo-tag them, and other iCloud users can contribute to the stream by adding their photos, making it a collaborative experience.
Unlike Google Photos, iCloud Photo users have access to 5GB of storage for free, but then have to pay monthly to access more storage (prices below).
Dropbox is widely considered to be one of the best apps to store data, and it’s no surprise given its user-friendly interface and cloud infrastructure. Dropbox offers the ability to organise photos and other digital files into folders, which users can then share with others. Dropbox is also available for both iOS and Android, making it available to all mobile users as well.
Dropbox offers both free and premium services; you can opt for a free Dropbox account with a limited 2GB of storage, or you can pay for Dropbox Plus (2TB) or Dropbox Professional (3TB).
While Dropbox is arguably one of the best-designed photo storage solutions, its paid plans are prohibitively expensive for many users.
5. Amazon Photos
Amazon Photos is a good digital photo storage option for Amazon Prime members, who will be able to access unlimited photo storage for free as part of their Prime Membership. Amazon Photos also allows you to order photo prints, cards, and calendars. Amazon Photos also has a Family Vault feature, which allows up to five people to store unlimited photos together.
While this has some great benefits, it may not be the best storage device if you are purely looking for a photo storage solution, as the free storage space is limited to just 5GB; anything more requires a paid plan.
6. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud-based storage service that allows users to store and share files, including photos and videos, from any device with internet access. With OneDrive, users can easily access their files from anywhere and collaborate with others in real time. OneDrive offers several useful features, including automatic photo backup, file sharing and syncing, and integration with Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. OneDrive also offers different pricing plans, ranging from a free basic plan with limited storage (5GB) to premium plans with more storage and advanced features. Overall, Microsoft OneDrive is a versatile and reliable cloud storage solution for personal use, but a majority of users tend to come from business communities.
With Flickr, users can upload only 1,000 items for free, and you’ll need to upgrade to Flickr Pro if you need unlimited storage. The free version does also come with the inconvenience of unwanted advertisements.
Like iCloud, Flickr displays your pictures in a photostream. On Flickr, people can follow you, comment and like your photos, which is a nice touch for photo sharing. On that note – Flickr does have a variety of sharing controls, which allows you to mark photos as private, share them with family or friends, or make them public (for the whole Flickr community). It is important to remember to set the right level of privacy for each photo, or you may inadvertently end up sharing private images with the world!
SmugMug is another great photo storage offering as it provides unlimited photo storage, and also allows users to create a personalised website, with their own web address and access to photo editing tools. SmugMug also keeps images at their original high resolution, unlike many of the other photo storage solutions that are available.
The biggest challenge for SmugMug is that it operates as a premium service only; users have to pay a subscription to make use of even the most basic plan, although this does include unlimited storage and a professional photography website.
Although they describe the Power Plan as ideal for sharing photos with family and friends, SmugMug is more geared towards providing services to professional photographers, and this is reflected in their pricing plans.
9. Adobe Creative Cloud
Users of Adobe’s Creative Cloud software have various options to save their images. A subscription to Adobe’s image editing software comes with a variety of packages and these offer either 20GB or 1TB of storage, depending on which one you subscribe to. The apps can be used across your devices.
While this is a great option for storing photos, it is targeted towards professional photographers with professional photo editing needs (and those who need to build portfolios) as well as other Creative Cloud users. These are mostly professionals in design, photography and publishing.
You can only access image portfolios as a user of Creative Cloud; this makes it a good option for (paying) users of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, but perhaps less attractive to the general public.
Photobucket is a photo storage site with integrated photo editing tools. With Photobucket, users can organise their photos into albums, making it one of the most convenient storage solutions.
Whether you are a professional photographer or just someone who likes to take photos and store them, there is an online photo storage solution that will meet your needs. The best option for you will depend on your storage needs, the features you require, and your budget.
With the information above, you should be able to make an informed decision about which online photo storage option is right for you. Keep in mind that while many of these services offer free storage, it is often limited, and if you need more storage, you may need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Also be aware that not all platforms store photos in their original quality, so if you are looking for a backup solution and find that you need to restore your images later (after losing a phone, or a computer crash, for example), it is important to understand that restoring from some of these platforms means you will have a lower quality image than the original.
Regardless of your choice, make sure you take advantage of the benefits of online photo storage to keep your precious memories safe, easily accessible and sharable.