Friends came to visit me recently and they told me about how they keep all their photos and videos on their computer or phone and don’t even make regular local backups to USB drives or external hard drives. This is definitely risky, so I find it important to keep a collection of all your photos and videos online in the cloud.
Uploading photos to the cloud has several advantages over storing them locally:
1. You can easily share albums with others
2. You can access photos and videos at any time and usually on other devices if you have an Internet connection
3. You have a backup of all your photos in case something happens to your local copy
I always have a local copy of my images and then multiple copies are stored in the cloud. Depending on what services you currently use, the best solution for different people may differ. In this article, I’ll try to highlight some of the main ways to store your photos and videos in the cloud.
Before getting into the details, I would like to talk about the source of all these photos and videos. In my case, I photograph in three ways:
1. From your smartphone
2.From my DSLR camera
3. With my digital point and shoot cameras
Photos and videos from smartphones
Storing photos and videos taken from your smartphone in the cloud is pretty easy, and there are many options. On Android or iOS devices, you can use various apps or built-in functions to upload photos and videos to the cloud, usually automatically.
Apple has an iCloud Photo Library and it works pretty well in most cases. I have been using it for a few years now and have not encountered any major issues. All you have to do is purchase additional iCloud storage and your media will be downloaded automatically after enabling the feature.
For non-Apple users, there are several options. The most popular options here are Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Flickr. My favorite is the Google Photos app, and I use it besides buying iCloud storage.
If you don’t use Google Photos, Picasa, etc., you can also use Dropbox. Dropbox is a service that allows you to easily â€œdumpâ€ files into the Trash, which is then available on any device or computer that has Dropbox installed. Dropbox has an app for every platform including Linux, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, and more.
Dropbox also has an automatic upload feature called Camera Upload, which does the same thing as the Google Photos app. Any photo you take will be automatically uploaded to your Dropbox account when you open the app. OneDrive works the same way.
Thus, these apps can take care of all your photos from any of your smartphones. They work on tablets, smartphones, desktops, and many more devices.
If you install the desktop program on your Mac or PC, it will automatically sync all those photos and videos with your computer, so you have an extra backup on your hard drive just in case.
There are other apps like Facebook, but they don’t support automatic upload of photos and videos. However, I upload photos to Facebook all the time, but I use Google Photos and Dropbox to store all my photos, whereas I only upload a few good ones to Facebook. Facebook is not intended to be used as a backup for all of your photos and videos.
Photos and videos from digital cameras
Moving photos from your digital camera to the cloud is a little different, but also not very difficult. You have almost all of the same options as those mentioned above. The only problem with SLR is that files can be huge, especially for things like 4K video.
If you have a high speed internet connection that is not monitored, you can simply drag and drop all files into one of the cloud synced folders and everything will be downloaded. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, you’ll need to use the Photos app on OS X to import media into your iCloud Photo Library. However, large video files quickly take up disk space.
The best option for large RAW images and ultra-high definition videos is external or locally connected NAS. I previously wrote about setting up your own cloud storage using a NAS device With this setup, you don’t need to download anything, but you can access your media from anywhere.
Personally, I’ve found that using some of these services in combination gives the best results. On my phone, I use Google Photos and iCloud Photo Library to upload my photos and videos.
For RAW images and 4K footage from my digital cameras, I usually back up to a large external hard drive and my Synology NAS. However, both of these copies are local, and I would lose everything if the house burned down. To counter this, I created an Amazon AWS account and backed up really huge files to Amazon Glacier, which is really cheap. I have over 2TB of data stored, and I only pay about $ 10 a month. It’s worth it.
Another useful feature of a service like Amazon Glacier is that you can save a few terabytes of data on an external hard drive and send it to Amazon. They will copy the data to their server locally, saving you the trouble of downloading all of that data over your home Internet connection.
Overall, it’s a good idea to store your photos and videos in the cloud along with a local backup. If you are still confused or need other help, feel free to leave comments and I will try to help. Enjoy!