How to keep a Photo Storage Service
During 2019, photo storage service Flickr changed its previous policy of allowing 1TB of free storage to its users, limiting free storage to over 1,000 photos preferably. There was, as you could imagine, an enormous outcry from Flickr members. As a result, we published a collection of photo services that our users might need to check out instead.
Well, times change, and now Google, which up to now has allowed unlimited storage for “high quality” (read: compressed) photos — must announce that “unlimited” is being changed to “up to 15GB on your Google account.” In different words, while photo and video storage currently does not include your full 15 free gigs at a Google account, soon, it will along with your Gmail, Google Drive files, and other stored data. And once you hit that 15GB wall, you will have to purchase into the Google One service to increase your storage space.
If you’re a Google Photos user who gets all of this a bit disturbing, you may be thinking of leaving. However, first, it’s a good idea to check out your alternatives. Here are some of the initial photo storage services available to you, along with their necessary fees, so you can calculate out whether you need to switch. (Note: We’ve only included services that are specially prepared for photos, not also general storage services such as OneDrive or Dropbox.)
How to keep a Photo Storage Service
DeviantArt calls itself “the world’s biggest art community” with a social network for visual artists of all kinds. It gives visitors a full range of artist galleries to view, divided into categories such as traditional, animation, and illustrations. DeviantArt (or DA for short) also has its publishing platform called Sta.sh — highlighting the fact that this site, like 500px, is smaller for easy storage and for showing (and selling) your art.
Including a free membership in DeviantArt, there are no limitations on how much you upload for public access, and you get admission into DA’s community of artists and art lovers. Core Members enjoy additional perks. At $3.95 per month or $39.95 a year, you go to sell your art with a 20 percent service charge and a $100 max cost per item, with 20GB of private storage space in Sta.sh. To $7.95 a month or $79.95 a year, you can charge up to $1,000 per item and pay a 12 percent service charge by 30GB of private storage. Lastly, $14.95 a month or $149.95 a year gives you charge up to $10,000 per item, charges you a 10 percent fee per sale, and takes you 50GB of storage.
Google provides all of its accounts with 15GB of free storage. But, for the last few years, photos have been used differently. Below its “high quality” plan, Google stored an unlimited number of photos for free as long as you let them be compressed to 16 megapixels. (According to Google, photos that size can be printed out issue up to 24 x 16 inches.) Videos were held to a maximum of 1080p. (Data such as closed captions could be decreased to save space.) “Original quality” photos — these that were not defeated — were not part of this unlimited plan yet were counted as regular files.
However, all of that is changing. As discussed before, starting on June 1st, 2021, Google will be including original-quality photos in its storage calculations. Once you hit that 15GB cover, you will have to purchase into the Google One service for additional storage space.
Google One currently begins at 100GB of storage for $1.99 a month ($19.99 a year) and continues to 200GB for $2.99 a month ($29.99 a year), and 2TB for $9.99 per month ($99.99 a year). The 2TB plan comes by a VPN for Android phones.
Before you run to spend in Google One, be aware that there are some mitigating factors, Google is giving its users. If the new plan goes into impact, the clock starts; photos you upload before won’t count toward your 15GB limit. Plus, if you’re a Pixel owner before, you can continue to upload high-quality photos without changing your 15GB limit. (Of course, Pixel owners used to take unlimited original quality for free, very than having to upload their photos in “high quality.” It’s something.)
Flickr has a free program as significant, though it’s limited to 1,000 photos — within particular guidelines: photo files are limited to 200MB and video files to 1GB. For unlimited storage without ads, you pay each $6.99 a month and $59.99 annually (plus tax). Other benefits to a paid annual membership include stats about which of your photos are trending and many discounts from several companies, including Adobe and SmugMug (which is now part of Flickr).
If you’re a member of Apple’s ecosystem, you have easy access to iCloud Photos, Apple’s equivalent to Google Photos. iCloud Photos does connect to the Phone app on your Mac and iOS device as a backup for your photos. You automatically get 5GB of storage space compared with your iCloud account; after this, this costs 99 cents per month to 50GB, $2.99 per month for 200GB, and $9.99 per month for 2TB. (This is for the US; different countries have different prices.) Windows users can also access iCloud users by an associated app, and Android users will have to access it using a browser.
Talking of SmugMug, this long-lasting service is also available, offering storage, portfolios, and professionals’ sales opportunities. You can get unlimited uploads and a customizable website for $55 a year or $7 a month. The Power plan ($85 a year, about $11 monthly) adds site customization and your domain name. If you’re seeing a professional photographer, the Portfolio plan adds e-commerce features to $200 a year or $27 per month (you keep 85 percent of the markup). And lastly, the Pro plan lets you create events, cost lists, and branded orders, with other features, for $360 per year or $41.99 per month. If you’re taken in trying it out, you can take a two-week trial.
Canadian company 500px is also for professional photographers than your average snap-and-save picture taker. It gives pros a place to store, exhibit, and license their work. So if you have the passion for starting peddling your photos, 500px may be worth checking out.
The site gives two paid plans. The first, named Awesome, offers unlimited uploads, priority support, no ads, gallery slideshows, a history of “liked” photos, and a profile badge for $59.88 a year or $4.99 monthly. The Pro plan adds a method to display your services and organization tools to $119.88 a year or $9.99 monthly. (You can take a discount on your first year: Excellent prices $47.88 a year or $3.99 monthly, while Pro works for $71.88 a year or $5.99 per month.) And if you need to make a minimum of money, you can submit your photos to be licensed for stock usage through 500px.
There is a free ad-supported plan that provides you seven uploads a week. If you sign up, you can try out the Pro plan for two weeks before doing it yourself.
Photobucket provides a limited free plan, giving you to upload up to 250 photos for open — also a trial plan than anything more. If you like what you view, you can start with the Beginner plan at $5.99 per month or $64.68 annually, which provides you 25GB of storage, along with no ads, password-protected album sharing, and an image editor. For $7.99 per month and $86.28 annually, the Intermediate plan gives 250GB storage and unlimited image hosting. Lastly, for $12.99 per month or $140.28 yearly, the Expert plan allows unlimited storage and no image compression, with other extras.
Amazon gives its Prime members a grab bag of extras along with free shipping. With the video offerings, music streaming, and other goodies, you get unlimited photo storage for $119 a year.
A slight perk is that you can share that unlimited storage with five friends or family members in what is named the Family Vault. Everything there is available to everyone who shares the Vault. “Unlimited,” by the way, does not add videos or other files; for these, Prime members take 5GB of storage, and after this, there is an extensive list of storage plans available starting from $1.99 per month for 100GB.
That’s something to keep in thought if you drop your Prime membership. In this case, according to the Amazon instructions, “the unlimited photo storage benefits connected with the membership ends. Each uploaded photo count toward your Amazon Drive storage limit.” What appears to your photos if you don’t subscribe to Amazon Drive is not defined.