Pictures, whether they be personal, work related or simply old memories, are among the most important data types that exist today. Which is why losing them sucks major balls, and since we here at Cloudwards.net hate sucking, we’d like you to check out our five best cloud backup services for photos. With so many cloud backup services on the market right now, and each one offering an impressive array of features, it can be difficult to choose a perfect one for backing up photos.
Also, we can’t stress this point enough –- there is no one perfect cloud backup service for photos, everything depends on personal preferences and needs. Whether you want options such as auto-uploading, editing pictures, storing meta-data and sharing photos.
Every service has its set of uniquely blended features. That’s a major reason why this list includes five options, instead of just one or two. We’re trying to cover as many bases as possible here. On a side note, if you only want to store pictures somewhere off-site, we’ve carefully curated and tested the five best online storage services for photos too — so don’t forget to check that out.
Before ripping into the meat of this article, let’s first take a moment to see what’s up here. What we’ve got here, is a summarized rundown of our top five cloud backup services for photos, accompanied by a small snippet explaining what’s totally awesome about each of the services — titled “Why We Like It.”
This article is not a full review of each service; it’s more like five mini-reviews in one article. However, we do have full, in-depth reviews of each service linked via the “Read review” button, so please feel free to make full use of it — to get a better overview of any one service.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let us proceed.
Providing great cross-platform support thanks to its Java client, and sporting good backup speeds, CrashPlan has a near perfect balance between ease-of-use and features. CrashPlan automatically detects personal files and moves them to the “My Documents” folder, though it’s important to review and select photos separately for backup.
File versions in selected folders get checked every 15 minutes and blackout times can also be specified, based on your requirements and Internet usage limitations. Another important feature we all look for while uploading personal pictures to the cloud is security. CrashPlan encrypts data on its servers using the 448-Blowfish algorithm. While the account’s password gets used as an encryption key, users can also specify a custom key, which even CrashPlan can’t access.
Unfortunately, CrashPlan does not have sharing and syncing options. While the desktop software is full of features, the web and mobile apps are missing just a few. In fact, the mobile app does not have an automatic photo backup option — which sucks. But CrashPlan still is an excellent photo backup service on PC, which is fully automated, extremely reliable and secure.
Other Reasons Why We Like CrashPlan
CrashPlan offers unlimited space at fixed monthly or yearly rates; and the service provides a 30-day free trial period, (no credit card required), which is an excellent way to test it out. After which, unlimited plans start at $5.99 per month.
Cooler yet, CrashPlan has apps for Windows, Mac, and even Linux! Users can also backup for free to a local HDD. Plus, seeded backup is on board too. And then, it’s a set-and-forget affair for virtually backing everything.
A better solution for Windows users, Carbonite offers unlimited online backup. It’s suited for people with small to average backup needs and works best as a robust business solution. Carbonite is a cloud backup service that offers unlimited space for $5 per month, though it lacks monthly payment plans.
Users instead have to sign up for yearly plans, the cheapest of which is $59.99.
Apart from that, the service also provides file versioning, keeping data backup versions of the last 90-days. It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android, but they don’t have all of the desktop app’s features, though you can backup photos on an iPhone.
Other Reasons Why We Like Carbonite
We loved Carbonite’s handy color coding feature for files. All uploaded files have a green dot next to them, while a yellow dot indicates the file is yet to be uploaded to their servers.
A gray dot means files haven’t been selected for backup yet. When it comes to security, Carbonite uses 128-bit Blowfish and can also manage a personal encryption key, which doesn’t get saved on Carbonite’s servers.
The easiest to use online backup service on the market by far. Backblaze is an excellent unlimited backup option that’s well suited to backing up photos. Backblaze is a sleek cloud backup service which does what it claims, nothing less and nothing more. While other cloud backup services offer different kinds of pricing plans,
Backblaze only has one, which starts at $5 per month for unlimited storage.
But in case you want to strictly backup photos, simply go over to Settings, and deselect folders that you don’t want to be backed up. When it comes to security, Backblaze uses 128-bit AES encryption, and it also lets users choose a personal key for it.
Other Reasons Why We Like Backblaze
Installing Backblaze is incredibly comfortable both on Mac and Windows. Users can also preview photos and also play videos in Backblaze’s iOS and Android apps.
Upon sign in, Backblaze automatically starts uploading files and folders from your drive. Which is a classic example of Backblaze’s simplicity, but it can prove to be frustrating for tech aficionados who prefer more control.
Probably the best option here for pure photo storage, especially for adherents of the Amazon ecosystem, Amazon Cloud Drive isn’t a very good overall cloud backup service.
Amazon Cloud Drive was initially launched as a photo storage cloud app only, but later expanded, and now it’s a “legit” cloud backup solution.
It’s on our list because Amazon Prime customers get free, unlimited photo storage. And since the primary focus was on photos when it started, Amazon cloud drive has features like image previews and slideshows. However, there are no collaboration features, but pictures are shareable.
The catch? You can only share 25 files in one go, and there’s no folder sharing.
Other Reasons Why We Like Amazon Cloud Drive
You can also download the Amazon Instant Video app, which connects a SmartTV to Amazon cloud drive. So that users can see photos on a big screen.
All in all, Amazon Cloud Drive is a great option if you already have an Amazon Prime account. But otherwise, not so much. Though Amazon does have 256-bit encryption, the service keeps all encryption keys with it, which can be disclosed to the government if needed.
One of the fastest services during our tests, SOS Online Backup comes with a lot of fresh and unique features but is let down by its crappy customer support. SOS Online Backup is a great option to backup a lot of photos, quickly, since it’s one of the fastest online backup services on our list.\
And the encryption SOS provides is fantastic: it gives two options when choosing an encryption key – UltraSafe and UltraSafe Max.
While in both cases, SOS employees don’t have access to your key, but with UltraSafe Max, a separate password is required to login. And as a plus for Facebook users, photos from the site and other account data is safely uploaded. Coming to its web interface, SOS can share files through email. But, photos or videos can’t get previewed through its Internet app.
Same goes for the iOS and Android mobile apps. Though images cannot get previewed, you can backup mobile data to the cloud server.
Other Reasons Why We Like SOS Online Backup
The best feature of SOS Online Backup has to be the unlimited file versioning. Once a file is uploaded to its server, whether it gets modified or deleted, it will still always be there. Everything gets scanned and uploaded to your SOS account.
Which probably isn’t such a great option for tech guys, but I know my mother would love the simplicity. She’d also love SOS’s Scan-To-Cloud service, which digitally uploads vintage photos and films for $99.
All of the services mentioned above are good in their ways, and the right one will depend on personal requirements–as referred to in the article’s beginning. With so many options, try and switch between services to see which one works best for you.
Of course, most of them have free trial periods or money back guarantees, so test driving a service out before putting down cash isn’t a bad idea at all. Thanks for sticking around till the end, and don’t forget to share any thoughts or opinions you may have, with us, in the comments section below.
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