Apps & Software Photography & Video

Best Ways To Store Your Photos Online For Free

How often do you back-up your photos? Here are some of the easiest and best ways to store your photos online for free.

How many photos do you take every week? How about every month?

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that number is a lot — so what are you doing to keep those photos safe?

It’s genuinely baffling to me just how many people take hundreds or thousands of photos, but do nothing to keep them backed up. The last thing you want is for your phone to give in one day and take all of those precious memories along with it, so I can’t emphasise this enough: backups, backups, backups!

True story: my cousin lost over 4000 photos dating back years, all because his photos weren’t backed up. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, so if you’re ready to keep all your photos nice and safe read on my friend, and I’ll highlight some insanely easy ways to store all of your photos online for free.

Google Photos

Google Photo Library

One of my favourite apps! Google Photos is an app available on iOS and Android, and it basically takes all of your photos and uploads them to Google’s servers. That means whenever you sign into your Google account on an Android or iOS device, you’ll be able to access your photos again. No data transfers or long set-ups required.

Convenient, isn’t it?

Assuming you’re uploading ‘high quality’ versions the app is totally free to use and you can upload an unlimited number of photos. If you prefer to upload your files in their ‘original’ or full resolution, you’ll need to purchase additional Google Drive storage. Google Photos automatically backs up your entire library in the background, so there’s no manual input required from you. Just make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network and let it do its thing.

Oh, and one more awesome feature: Google Photos takes videos you’ve made and automatically creates short videos with a soundtrack and filters to go with it. In my case, it made a bunch of videos from my time in Naples (Italy) and Vienna (Austria) without me even asking, which I found very cool!

iCloud Photo Library

iCloud Photo Library

Being an owner of an iPhone, iPad and Mac, Apple’s iCloud Photo Library is my default photo app. It’s free if you stay on the 5GB tier, otherwise it’ll cost you 50GB for £0.79 or 200GB for £2.49 — but if you’re invested in Apple’s ecosystem and have a large photo library it’s worth considering the upgrade.

As with Google Photos, any photo you take on your devices will automatically be backed up and available on any device you’re signed into.

Rather than leaving your photos files on the device itself, iCloud Photo Library optimises your device’s storage by uploading most of the files to the cloud — leaving only the recent or most used files behind. So you’re not only getting the backups, but you also save storage on your iPhone or iPad.


Flickr Photo Library

I only started using Flickr for my secondary backups recently, but with 1 terabyte of free storage up for grabs, it’s a no-brainer option. The app auto-uploads your photos in their original resolution — not a compressed variation — onto their servers so there’s little you have to do.

External hard drive

OK so this one isn’t online, but it was worth adding anyway because it’s always worth having a physical version of your photos on an external hard drive or NAS (Network Attached Storage) device like this. The cool thing about using a NAS drive in particular is that most of them come with accompanying apps that allow you to access your photos remotely anyway.

How you transfer the photos will depend on the phone you use, but for the most part it should just be a case of connecting your phone to your computer with a cable, and transferring the files over to your hard drive or NAS drive.

Start backing up!

So there you have it: those are my suggestions for ways to store your photos online for free. I personally use all of these methods myself which is why I’m recommending them.

If this article has been useful, be awesome and share it along with your friends and family too — they’ll thank you later.

By Fabio Virgi

I'm the Founder & Editor of Let's Talk Tech and a travel blog called Fab Meets World. Some people call me a geek, I think they're probably right. I'm fascinated by technology and innovation, love good design and own way too many gadgets for my own good. Want to connect? Get in touch on Twitter and Instagram.