Google Photos has been one of the reference points for backing up photos and videos to the Cloud for years. But things are about to change. There are some more or less valid alternatives to which you can turn your attention. But first, let’s remember what happens to start from June 1st 2021, to the Google home service.
The cheapest paid plan, which many users already use, costs € 1.99 per month to bring the total storage space to 100 GB. For many, it may be challenging to do without the comforts of Google Photos: automatic backup of photos and videos, advanced search tools (after all, we are talking about Google), editing tools, suggestions, memories and much more. However, let’s see which alternatives could be suitable for you.
It is one of the most popular alternatives, and the reason is soon said: it is included in the subscription to Amazon Prime. At the moment, Prime costs € 36 a year, perhaps one of the cheapest solutions among those we are going to see. With this expense, you can make an unlimited backup of photos on the Cloud and then quickly consult them from the application or web browser. The application is available for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows.
In terms of operation, it is probably the one most similar to Google Photos. As the application’s name suggests, it is software solely for backing up photos. For classic storage, there’s Amazon Drive, which offers 5GB of online storage for Prime subscribers. Attention, though: The backup of the videos affects the space of 5 GB of Amazon Drive. Given the weight of the videos captured on current generation smartphones, the space must be exhausted within a short time. If you want more storage space, you pay an additional amount:
- € 1.99 per month – 100 GB of space – About 14 hours of 1080p video
- € 9.99 per month – 1 TB of space – About 140 hours of 1080p video
- € 19.99 per month – 2 TB – Approximately 280 hours of 1080p video
For photos, on the other hand, as already specified, there is no limit to the amount that can be saved on the Cloud. The images are held in the original format in which they are loaded, thus respecting the actual size and aspect ratio. The image search engine may be disabled by default. You must go to the settings and activate the flag “Find people, places and things”. This way, the search bar will appear on both the applications and browser versions. It is also possible to organize the media by albums, dates and the like. In the search menu, the photos are already grouped by “Things” (i.e. type art, animal, food and the like), by date, and by type of file.
- € 36 per year
- Unlimited photo space
- 5 GB for videos (or files), € 1.99 per month to add 100 GB
Dropbox is an excellent cloud file backup service, unlike Google Photos or Amazon Photos, which specializes in saving images. It is also probably one of the most expensive (and least flexible) of those mentioned in this article. With the free account, Dropbox gives you 2GB of cloud space. You will receive extra space by completing the so-called Dropbox Introductory Checklist, inviting friends and colleagues to join, and even making contributions to the community forum. Still, it will never be enough for a full backup of all your photos. As a result, turning to premium plans is mandatory, as mentioned, expensive. It starts immediately with 2 TB of cloud space, without any cheaper intermediate solutions.
- Single User (2 TB) – € 9.99 per month billed annually | € 11.99 per month billed monthly
- Family (2 TB), up to 6 users – € 16.99 per month with annual billing | € 19.99 per month billed monthly
It is not worthwhile to bring up the Business plans, which are even more expensive (even if in the face of more space). If nothing else, the service works very well. The backup of photos and videos is automatic, and you can decide which folders to back up. The files are full-size. However, the consultation of photos saved on the Cloud from mobile devices is certainly not the best. The image viewer is essential, and no search system allows you to filter them in any way.
To highlight the possibility of recovering files deleted or modified by mistake thanks to a particular section that collects all files deleted up to 30 days before. With Dropbox Professional, that threshold increases to 180 days. Dropbox is available as a desktop app for macOS and Windows and as a mobile app for Android and iOS.
- 2 GB free to test the service
- Minimum € 119.88 per year
- 2 TB of space for files, photos, videos
OneDrive from Microsoft is an exciting solution. It would be a backup service more like Dropbox and the like on paper. The significant advantage is that with a price similar to that of other competitors, it offers not only 1 TB of cloud space (which is quite a lot) but also the included Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) with the possibility to install them on a total of 5 PCs or Macs (as well as mobile devices). The primary account, or that of Microsoft, offers 5 GB of free space on the Cloud, which is also valid only for testing the service and the various applications. In case you want to unlock the previously listed benefits, there are several plans:
- 2 € per month – OneDrive Standalone (no Office) with 100 GB of space
- € 69 per year (or € 7 / month) – Microsoft 365 Personal with 1 TB of space and Office on five devices
- € 99 per year (or € 10 / month) – Microsoft 360 Family with 6 TB of space (up to 1 TB for six people) and Office for six people on five devices each
The Family plan also includes a one-month free trial. In reality, by downloading the OneDrive app on a smartphone and going to the section to purchase premium features, it turns out that Microsoft 365 Personal also includes a free month. As seen in the bulleted list, there is also the possibility to buy the classic 100 GB of cloud space without Office. Except that the price is identical to that applied by Google Photos.
The smartphone app provides automatic camera upload, and a section dedicated entirely to Photos loads images and videos quite quickly. You can also create specific Albums to collect photos and videos. However, a Google Photos-style search tool is missing. As a result, either the images are sensibly renamed, or you find what you are looking for without fail. Small positive note: Microsoft recently introduced support for content casting.
- 5 GB free to try the service
- Minimum € 24 per year (approx.)
- 100 GB of space or, for € 69 a year, 1 TB
- Subscription plans with Office included
iCloud (Apple Photos)
If you eat bread and the Apple ecosystem for breakfast, you will know well what it is, and you probably won’t even need this article too much. But suppose you used Google Photos precisely because of the free unlimited backup on your Apple devices and are looking for a paid alternative. In that case, iCloud is probably the most sensible choice. On the one hand, putting all your photos on Apple’s Cloud could “force” you to stick with Apple in the future. On the other hand, it is also true that iCloud integrates so well with the whole ecosystem that, more than a constraint, it will seem good and right.
ICloud offers all its users 5GB of storage. The service has many branches, including Photos, Drive, and Messages. In general, it takes care of synchronizing all your applications’ data constantly to have them available on Mac, iPhone and iPad. Also, in this case, therefore, we are not dealing with something conceived solely for managing images. The interface allows you to consult the albums, divided by type of multimedia file, all the images or the so-called “Moments”, which is nothing more than a recorded subdivision of what has been uploaded to iCloud. The service is also accessible from a browser, but it is from the macOS Photos app or the iOS app that the search for images gives its best: it is possible, along the lines of Google Photos, to search by subjects (cat, sea, lamp), by faces or by places.
So we come to the prices. The basic plan is probably the most popular and unpopular at the same time. From a cost point of view, it is the cheapest around: with € 11.88 a year, you have 50 GB of space on Apple’s Cloud. The problem is that 50 gigabytes is very little. They can be enough if you use them to synchronize vital files always to have them available on the ecosystem. If you start using them for photos, you will see them evaporate in a short time, especially if you start uploading videos as well. What alternatives are there? Two more floors:
- € 0.99 per month – 50 GB of cloud space
- € 2.99 per month – 200 GB of cloud space
- € 9.99 per month – 2 TB of cloud space
There are no discounts for annual billing. The prices are not that bad in the end and are more or less in line with those charged by Google. There is also the possibility of activating “Family Sharing” to share iCloud space with family members. The Apple One subscription might also be worth considering, which includes access to Music, TV +, Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud. Important note: iCloud is practically the only service on iOS that also backs up in the background.
- 5 GB free to try the service
- Minimum 12 € per year (for a few GB)
- Approximately € 36 for 200 GB per month
- Synchronization across the entire Apple ecosystem
In your Internet raids, you may have come across Flickr. On the other hand, we are talking about a service that has been in circulation for more than 17 years. In this case, it is specialized solely in photograph management. However, its functioning is more similar to that of a social network. The idea would be to share your shots with other Flickr users to collect views or, in any case, be discovered thanks to what is produced with the cameras. Nothing prevents you from privately uploading videos and photos, but there are still other “obstacles” that make it very different from Google Photos and colleagues.
The free account allows you to upload up to 1,000 files. As we said, if you want to create a backup of personal files not to be shown to the general public, you will have to upload them privately with the “Only you” flag. Not bad: if you are trying to understand if Flickr is for you, you can also do some tests from your smartphone, perhaps remembering to insert the images in specific albums or write tags to help you find them. However, the search functionality will show you your results and those publicly uploaded by other users.
Then, an option for auto-uploading images from smartphones is missing for the free account. It would help if you, therefore, turned your attention to Flickr Pro, which unlocks, among other things, auto-upload, no advertising (because there is also one in the app) and, above all, unlimited space for photos and videos. Let’s see the prices:
- € 7.49 per month – Monthly plan – Unlimited space and auto-upload
- € 65.88 per year (€ 5.49 / month) – Annual plan – Unlimited space, auto-upload and exclusive discounts
- € 19.99 every three months – Quarterly Plan – Unlimited space and auto-upload
It is undoubtedly one of the most expensive solutions among those seen, but the fact that the space is unlimited makes it particularly greedy. There is a limitation on the size of photos and videos: each image cannot occupy more than 200MB, and videos are only allowed up to 1GB each. Here you will find all the details on the restrictions imposed by Flickr. Auto upload also works from the desktop. There is an application for Windows and macOS and a mobile counterpart for Android and iOS. Nothing prevents you from managing everything from the browser. In short, it is an exceptional service. Suggesting it to those used to the automatisms of Google Photos and its features is not so trivial.
- Upload 1,000 free photos/videos to test (partially) the service)
- € 65.88 per year for unlimited photos/videos, it is the cheapest choice
- Maximum video size limitation
Also Read: How To Change Your Netflix Password