5 Remote Backup Services For Your Photos

obr2By Claire Broadley — Last Updated: 27 Oct'17 2013-07-25T09:01:59+00:00Google+

Dropbox recently announced that it’s done away with its Photos folder. In its place, Dropbox has rolled out a new feature – the Photos page – which gives you an overview of all the photos uploaded to your account. This got us thinking: is Dropbox really the best place for photo backups now that CDs and DVDs are outdated? Or is there a more convenient, or more affordable, alternative for remote file backup?

In this article, I’ll rank five competitors in terms of their photo storage capabilities. Some are remote backup services; some are cloud photo storage sites. In all cases, I’ll highlight whether the service has an automatic backup feature for mobile devices (similar to Dropbox’s Camera Upload). 

Google Photos

I’ve always felt that Google Photos is neglected compared to some of Google’s other products, which is a shame, since it’s very useful, and its online file storage is very affordable too. The downside is that Google can use any of your photos for their own marketing purposes without paying you a penny.

Briefly, Google Photos is a photo organization application, first and foremost. But users can use Google Photos to upload photographs to an online photo storage and sharing service know as Google Drive.

How Much Does Google Photos Cost?

Price Plan
$ 1 99monthly
$ 9 99monthly
$ 19 99monthly
$ 99 99monthly
$ 199 99monthly
$ 299 99monthly
Storage 15 100 1000 2000 10000 20000 30000

Free plan.

Annual Discount: 16%

Annual Discount: 17%

Annual Discount: n/a

Annual Discount: n/a

Annual Discount: n/a

Annual Discount: n/a

In order to create true backups, users must ensure that they change the settings in the Google Photos software to preserve the original quality of their files. Otherwise, they’ll be compressed. Yes. If you use the Google+ app, you can set it to backup your device’s photos automatically.

Having said that, it isn’t perfect. On iOS, pictures are resized to 2048 pixels on the longest side. On Android, you can’t opt for full resolution uploads.


Flickr Review - Photo Sharing

Thanks to a recent revamp, Flickr is back in the game. Its storage limit has been increased to a generous 1TB, and the old monthly upload limits have been removed, making Flickr a far more realistic option for remote backup.

Flickr is, first and foremost, a gallery site. Photos are uploaded to Flickr using a desktop application, primarily. There are also plugins for other applications, such as iPhoto, which offer one-way transfers.

How Much Does Flickr Cost?

Flickr offers 1TB storage free. Even better, you don’t need to pay to access your original, full-quality files any more. But you will need a third party app to download all of your files at once. Flickr does not provide batch downloads by default. You could try something like FlickandShare, Bulkr or FrostBox.

It’s perhaps not the most convenient photo backup solution in our list, but that massive storage limit is one of the best we found for remove photo backup.


OneDrive is a remote file backup service suitable for any content you happen to want to store, sync or share. But it’s made our top 5 because it recently opened up its full-resolution photo backup of Windows Phone for users in all countries. That makes OneDrive one of the easiest solutions for storing your Windows Phone pictures in the cloud.

OneDrive is a remote file backup and sync service, much like Dropbox or Copy. Set it up and it’ll backup and sync your files in the background. I really like the way OneDrive displays photos in its web interface – it’s one of the more attractive layouts from a cloud backup service, and it gives it the edge over other comparable services.

How Much Does OneDrive Cost?

PlanFree50GB1TB5TBOneDrive BusinessOneDrive Business AdvancedOneDrive Business All-In-One
Price Plan
$ 1 99monthly
$ 23 88yearly
$ 6 99monthly
$ 69 99yearly
$ 9 99monthly
$ 99 99yearly
$ 60 00yearly
$ 120 00yearly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 150 00yearly
Storage 5 50 1000 5000 1000 Unlimited 1000

Comes with Office 365 Personal.

Comes with Office 365 Home.

Microsoft phone & email support .

Unlimited OneDrive storage.

Comes with full Office 365 suite.

OneDrive offers 5GB of free storage, which isn’t bad, but it’s up against some pretty tough competition in our list. Unfortunately OneDrive did cut its free storage quite significantly when it started to gain traction. Only on Windows Mobile devices, although Microsoft could expand this in future. I’m fairly sure it won’t, but you never know.


SugarSync Business Review

SugarSync is a little more comprehensive than some of the other remote file backup solutions in the list. And, generally, it goes a good job of covering all bases. It manages photos well without restricting users to a single set of functions.

Like OneDrive, SugarSync lays out photos in an attractive gallery interface. It creates albums automatically, and users can choose to share albums as photo content or as plain files. That gives you the best of both worlds. The folder sharing option effectively makes SugarSync collaborative; your contacts can contribute pictures as well as viewing yours. Read more about it here.

How Much Does SugarSync Cost?

Plan100GB250GB500GB1TB for Business
Price Plan
$ 7 49monthly
$ 74 99yearly
$ 9 99monthly
$ 99 99yearly
$ 18 95monthly
$ 189 50yearly
$ 55 00monthly
Storage 100 250 500 500

Contact SugarSync for annual pricing

SugarSync impressed us because of its cross platform upload from smartphones and tablets: it works with iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry is often neglected, so it’s good to see some coverage here.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive is angled towards amateur photographers that want convenient photo backups; it specifically mentions giving users space to store up to 2,000 shots without payment, although these would need to be fairly low-res to fit in the cloud storage space you’re given for free.

It’s a sync service, much like Dropbox. But Cloud Drive is focused on mobile rather than serious backup, and we found its features quite limiting. If you just need a ‘set and forget’ mobile solution, it’d work fine, but pro photographers would quickly run out of space anyway.

How Much Does Amazon Cloud Drive Cost?

Plan5GB100GB Plan1TB Plan2TB Plan3TB Plan4TB Plan5TB Plan6TB Plan7TB Plan8TB Plan9TB Plan10TB Plan20TB Plan30TB Plan
Price Plan
$ 12 0011 months
$ 60 00yearly
$ 120 00yearly
$ 180 00yearly
$ 240 00yearly
$ 300 00yearly
$ 360 00yearly
$ 420 00yearly
$ 480 00yearly
$ 540 00yearly
$ 600 00yearly
$ 1200 00yearly
$ 1800 00yearly
Storage 5 100 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 20000 30000

Free plan

Yes – that seems to be its primary focus. Amazon Cloud Drive can sync from Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android; files can be viewed on all of these devices, plus Amazon’s own Kindle Fire tablets. (Remember: only the Kindle Fire HD has a camera, and it’s a fairly poor front-facing model).

Our Verdict

While all of these remote backup services are adequate for cloud photo storage, there are two clear winners. For space, it has to be Flickr; no other service comes close to providing the same capacity.

But for features, and convenience, we’d recommend SugarSync is a well-rounded, affordable photo backup solution.

One thought on “5 Remote Backup Services For Your Photos”

  1. Hi.
    Do you know of a back up service that comes to your house and backs up all photos and videos to a drive?

    Preferably want the drive stored Offsite in a fireproof /water proof locale. Access needed intermittently.

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