Best Online Backup for Photos

It’s estimated that around 1.2 billion photos were taken in 2017, around 85 percent of which were taken with smartphones. That kind of demand drives technology forward, and smartphones now have separate cameras for different uses and improved lenses. Because of that, we have higher-quality photos, but they use more storage space.

That can lead you to amass a huge photo collection, which will be easier to preserve than analog photos, but it’ll be easier to lose, too, because someone might steal your phone or it could break.

Saving photos on your computer isn’t reliable, either, because it’s hard drive could crash, a software glitch could make you lose your files, an act of nature could destroy the computer or you could accidentally delete your photos. The best data recovery software isn’t 100 percent sure and solid-state drives aren’t dependable because they experience more data errors.

If you want to be sure your photos will be safe, you should back them up to the cloud in addition to backing them up locally. That’s the 3-2-1 rule for keeping your data safe. To help you choose the right cloud backup provider, we’ve created a list of the best online backup for photos.

We assessed providers in our best online backup comparison to find the most suited to image files. Before we get to the list of providers, though, we’re going to talk about the factors we considered while making it.

Best Online Backup for Photos 2019

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What Makes the Best Online Backup for Photos

Value is going to be our top criteria because it’s best if you can backup a lot of photos for cheap. Plan flexibility, meaning you can pick a plan that’s most suited to your needs, is also preferable. Plus, it’s great if the provider offers a free plan or free trial because that lets you test the service before deciding to pay with your hard-earned money.

Next, we’re going to look at which backup features are available and whether any are tailored specifically for photos.

The service shouldn’t be complex to use. Most users who want to backup photos probably need to do so and go on their way. To achieve that, the service should have a straightforward and enjoyable user experience. It should also work on most operating systems and make it easy to backup and restore files.

Transferring photos might take a long time, but how long depends on your bandwidth, how close you are to a server and the backup service. It’s best if the service has a global network of servers because that increases your chances of being close to one. It’s also great if you can use all the available bandwidth for your backup and the block-level copying algorithm.

Best Online Backup for Photos: IDrive

IDrive is a veteran service which sits at the top of our best online backup comparison list. It has competitive prices, strong backup features, photo preview and decent speeds.

IDrive has two plans fit for personal users looking to backup a lot of photos. The first plan provides 2TB of backup space for $52.12 per year and the second provides 5TB for $74.62 per year. Both plans are currently discounted 50 percent, but you have to pay for one or two years in advance. You can use either to backup an unlimited number of devices.

On top of the backup space, IDrive provides 2TB or 5TB of sync space. That makes for a total of 4TB or 10TB of space to work with.

IDrive, unlike most backup services, offers a free 5GB plan. You probably won’t be able to backup all your photos using it, but it’s enough to give the service a try.

To make use of IDrive’s sync space, you need to turn sync on. After you do, IDrive will create a sync folder on your hard drive, and any file it or changes to those files will be synced to the cloud and your connected devices. You can also share your photos and set permissions for access via email.

If you already have a lot of photos on your Facebook and Instagram accounts, you can breathe easily because IDrive can also back them up.

IDrive lets you backup unlimited external devices. You can also backup your photos to local devices such as network-attached storage or external drives. That strategy is called hybrid backup. Using it will help you implement the 3-2-1 backup rule.

The “true archiving” feature is particularly useful because it can keep your photos in the cloud even if you delete them from your computer.

The “timeline” is another useful feature. It shows your backed up photos in the web client. It works like it’s supposed to when you turn on automatic photo upload on your phone. If you do, all your photos and videos, including new captures, will be backed up to the cloud.

Other Reasons We Like IDrive

The web client is simple and intuitive. The start page shows your sync folder, shares, backup, and weblogs. You can also preview your connected devices. Photo preview is available, too.

It works on Windows and macOS, but not Linux. If you need that, read our best online backup for Linux. That said, Linux users who prefer IDrive can use scripts or the web client to use the service.

The mobile app is straightforward and enjoyable. You can use it to access your photo timeline, backup and use its facial recognition feature to find individuals in your photos. Plus, it can backup your smartphone data. That helped it make our best online backup for mobile list.

IDrive isn’t fast on initial uploads, but subsequent ones are much faster thanks to block-level backup. In addition, you can use a courier service called IDrive Express to recover your files. It’s free once per year for personal users. If you want to learn the details, read our IDrive review.

We’ve placed IDrive at the top thanks to its cheap plans that offer a lot of backup space, unlimited external drive backup, mobile app that can automatically backup your photos, social media backup and photo timeline features.

Pros:

  • Sync capabilities
  • Automatic photo backup on mobile
  • Can backup photos from Facebook & Instagram

Cons:

  • Complex
  • No multi-threaded backup
  • Can’t backup by file type
Starts from $ 434 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

Backblaze

Backblaze has been part of the backup market since 2007 and is second on our online backup reviews list. Major contributors to that are its ease of use, cheap pricing scheme and unlimited backup space.

There’s only one plan for personal backup, and it costs $6 per month and provides unlimited storage. Unlike most backup services, Backblaze lets you pay per month instead of per year. If you pay for a year in advance, you can lower the price to $5 per month or even less if you pay for two. Plus, you can test Backblaze before subscribing by using its free 15-day trial.

Backblaze doesn’t have features geared toward photos, but its main advantage, simple and straightforward unlimited backup, still applies. Thanks to it, it’s at the top of our best unlimited online backup list.

Backblaze lets you share your photos by generating a link. You can backup your backup by using Bacbklaze’s option to inherit backup states. You can also use the web client to locate your computer if someone steals it. Other features include versioning, continuous and external drive backup.

Other Reasons We Like Backblaze

The desktop client makes it easy to create a backup plan because you don’t have to manage what you’re backing up. That said, you can exclude files that aren’t photos or folders that don’t contain them from the exclusion tab of the settings menu. Backblaze’s desktop client works on Windows and macOS.

The web client is also simple to use. You can use it to access your backed up files, restore them, see what you’ve shared and locate your computer. The mobile app is straightforward, too, and has the same design principles. You can use it to browse your backup and see what you’ve restored from the cloud, but it can’t automatically backup your photos.

The closer you are to California and Arizona, where Backblaze keeps its servers, the better your speeds will be. Backblaze has a prediction tool that tells us Backblaze is as fast as most services. That said, you should read our Backblaze review for the details about the transfer speed.

Pros:

  • Low cost
  • Easy to use
  • Sharing capabilities

Cons:

  • Limited device backup
  • No photo preview
  • No automatic photo backup on mobile
Starts from $ 458 per month for Unlimited GB
Save 24 %

Jottacloud

Jottacloud is a Norway-based cloud backup service that also has characteristics of cloud storage services. It features a dedicated Photos app, and it’s cheap, too.

Jottacloud’s Personal plan provides unlimited backup space. It’s $7.92 per month, but the price drops to $6.59 per month if you pay for the year which is $79.19. That’s a decent price, but it’s more expensive than what you need to pay if you use Carbonite or Backblaze.

If you need a plan for multiple users, the Family plan will fit the bill. It can accommodate five users with 5TB of backup space. It’s $11.36 per month or $9.46 per month if you pay for a year which is $113.61. Before subscribing, you can use the 5GB free plan to try Jottacloud.

The Jottacloud Photos app lets you upload and manage photos in a manner tailored for media files. Plus, the app doesn’t compress your photos. It also supports many formats, including RAW. Jottacloud Photos enables you to create albums and share your directly to Facebook or Twitter, too.

Jottacloud provides an online archive, as well, so you can move photos to it if you need to free space on your hard drive. If you don’t need to clear space, you can move photos to Jottacloud’s sync folder to sync them to your other devices.

Other Reasons We Like Jottacloud

Jottacloud’s desktop client works on Windows and macOS, but not Linux. It’s not pretty, but it’s straightforward and clear. Still, it makes you select files for backup by going through your file system or dragging and dropping them.

The web client is a different matter because it’s fast and more user-friendly. That goes for the mobile app, as well. You can use it to automatically backup photos but not your mobile data. That said, it can make photos available for offline use, sync them to your devices and free space by archiving them in the cloud.

Jottacloud’s data centers are in Norway, so your speed will depend on how close you are to them. We were close, and that was reflected in our Jottacloud review. You can speed up your transfers if you enable multi-threaded backup, but block-level copying is missing.

Pros:

  • Unlimited backup
  • Photos app
  • Automatic photo backup on mobile

Cons:

  • Backup by folder only
  • Can’t backup locally
  • Can’t backup by file type
Starts from $ 660 per month for Unlimited GB
Free plan available Save 17 %

Zoolz Home Cloud Backup

Zoolz Home Cloud Backup is a product by Genie9, a UK-based company. It’s great for home users, but it’s cheap subscription plans and photo features make it especially good for photo backup.

Zoolz Home Cloud Backup has two plans to choose from: Family and Heavy. Prices have been discounted for a while. With the discount, the Family plan is $39.95 per year and provides 1TB of backup space for five computers and users. The Heavy plan lets you do the same, but increases the backup space to 4TB. It’s $99.95 per year.

If you’re not sure whether Zoolz Home Cloud Backup is a good fit, you can use its free 14-day trial, which comes with 50GB of storage to test the service.

Zoolz Home Cloud Backup can also backup RAW formats and generate image previews in its web client. You can use “vaults” to upload photos to your Zoolz account. Uploading to a “vault” will move your photos to the cloud, which saves you hard drive space. That said, adding a “vault” is $400 per year. You can also share your photos with others.

Other Reasons We Like Zoolz Home Cloud Backup

Zoolz Home Cloud Backup’s web client is straightforward. The dashboard view shows your active computers, account status, how much storage you’re using and system alerts. If you want to preview your photos, you can do so from the “my computer” tab.

If you’re on the go, you can access your backup by using a smartphone app for Android or iOS.

The app is confusing because its home screen doesn’t show the backup options or an option to start the backup. That said, it’s not difficult to use and it lets you set up automatic backup for your photos. It doesn’t backup your photos as you take them, though, which is weird.

Zoolz Home Cloud Backup uses Amazon’s S3’s global network of servers. If you don’t know what that service is, read our Amazon S3 review. Still, Zoolz Home Cloud Backup has average upload speeds and slow download speeds.

That said, multi-threaded backup and a block-level transfer algorithm are available to speed it up. If you want to learn more about Zoolz Home Cloud Backup, read our Zoolz Home Cloud Backup review.

Pros:

  • Good pricing
  • Photo preview
  • File sharing

Cons:

  • Average upload speed
  • No immediate upload for smartphone photos
  • Slow download speed
Starts from $ 583 per month for 1000 GB

BigMIND Home

BigMIND Home is a new online backup service from the company that created Zoolz Home Cloud Backup. It has features the older service doesn’t, and many of them revolve around photos. BigMIND Home’s pricing plans don’t have great value, but they’re fine if you don’t need to backup a huge number of photos and need to backup multiple devices.

Before paying, though, you can use the free plan to see what BigMIND Home is all about. It provides 5GB of backup space which you can use to backup one computer, one external drive and two mobile devices.

If you decide BigMIND Home is a good option, you can choose between three premium plans. They all require you to pay for a year in advance. The Personal plan will set you back $35.88 per year, which comes down to $2.99 per month, for 100GB of backup space for one user, three computers and three mobile devices.

The Family plan is $6.99 per month and increases the backup space to 500GB for three users, nine computers and six mobile devices. It can also backup unlimited external drives. It’s a solid deal, but it could be cheaper.

If you need more space, you can subscribe to the Family Plus plan, which nets you 1TB. Again, there are cheaper deals for that amount of space. The plan supports up to five users, and they can backup 15 computers and unlimited external drives and mobile devices.

What redeems BigMIND Home’s steep prices is its multimedia features. If you have a lot of photos, you won’t have issues finding a specific one because BigMIND Home extracts their metadata, which allows you to narrow search results by extension, dominant color, dimensions, date taken, tags, file size and more.

Plus, BigMIND Home’s AI-powered features scan your photos and let you search them for text, faces or things. When it finds people or things, it lets you attach a name to them. You can do the same on mobile.

You can also generate an image description using BigMIND Home’s AI. That’ll allow you to search your images based on the description. It’s not always accurate, but it works well enough for simple objects.

BigMIND Home can connect to Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Instagram, Facebook and Box, so you can backup your photos on them.

You can preview your photos online and share them with others. Thanks to all those features, BigMIND Home compares well to the services on our best cloud storage for photos and videos list.

Other Reasons We Like BigMIND Home

BigMIND Home’s desktop client is easy to use, and it lets you select all your photos for backup with a single click.

The web client is clear and intuitive. It shows your connected devices, recently uploaded media, a pie chart detailing your data types and more.

The speed section in our BigMIND Home review shows that the service is faster than average on initial upload. If that’s not enough, you can enable multi-threaded backup. Plus, later uploads will benefit from its block-level file copying algorithm.

Pros:

  • Advanced photo management features
  • Can backup photos from Facebook & Instagram
  • Can backup photos from other storage services

Cons:

  • Only up to 1TB
  • High-definition video only on Family Plus
  • No automatic photo backup on mobile
Starts from $ 299 per month for 100 GB
Free plan available

Final Thoughts

IDrive is our top pick because it’s cheap and provides a lot of storage. It can sync and share photos, preview them with the “timeline” feature, back them up as soon you snap them on mobile and backup unlimited devices.

That said, it doesn’t have Backblaze is a better choice.

If you need a dedicated photo manager and other photo-related options, you can use Jottacloud, which gives you unlimited backup space for a few dollars more than Backblaze.

We’ve emphasized value more than photo features because not everyone will need access to them. That said, if you need them, you should consider using Zoolz Home Cloud Backup or BigMIND Home.

They come from the same company, but Zoolz Home Cloud Backup gives you more space for less. If you need AI-powered features and a lot of photo filtering options, BigMIND Home is the best choice. You can find more about cloud backup and related features in our online backup library.

What do you think about our list?  Do you use a service that’s not on the list for your photos? Tell us in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Starts from $ 458 per month for Unlimited GB
Save 24 %
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