Amazon Free Photo Storage

IDrive is yet another online feature for general storing and backup. However, with a free plan. Signing up for Amazon Drive gets you 5GB of storage for free and Prime members will continue to receive free and unlimited photo storage. All other customers get 5 GB photo and video storage. The Amazon Photos app is available on iOS, Android, and Google Play, and available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Once you back up photos to the cloud, your photographs can be safely deleted from your device to free up space. Securely store, print, and share photos on devices like Fire TV, Echo Show, and Amazon Fire tablets to have a virtual photo album at your fingertips. Amazon Prime offers many benefits, but for photographers its unlimited photo storage – which comes free with a Prime membership – is unrivalled in the marketplace. Even Flickr caps its users’ storage at a terabyte. Try Amazon Prime free in the UK; Try Amazon Prime free in the US.

  • January 03, 2021
  • 17 min to read

Finding the best online photo storage site can be tough. With so many options to choose from it’s hard to know which ones are worth trying and which ones you should avoid.

Photo storage sites can be a great way to back up your photos. By uploading your photos online, you have a second version of your photos in case something happens to your computer or hard drive. These sites are also a great way to share photos with friends and family.

So, which site should you choose? Here’s our list of the 15 best photo storage sites to help you find the one that’s right for you.

1. Photobucket

Photobucket is an excellent photo storage site, but it doesn’t stop there. It also features an array of photo editing tools that allow you to edit colour and contrast, resize your photo, fix blemishes, and much more.

The service has a sleek interface and a number of different options for organizing photos. You can put your photos into albums, stories, or arrange them in a scrolling presentation.

A free account gives you 2GB of storage (up to 250 images). Paid accounts range from $5.99 to $12.99 per month, with up to 500 GB of storage available.

2. Adobe Portfolio

If you’re a subscriber of Adobe’s Creative Cloud software, you can take advantage of their Portfolio service. This photo storage platform allows you to create a portfolio of your best work and store it safely online. It also offers a number of different customizable templates to help you organize your photos, and you can also tag and caption your photos.

My Portfolio does not offer a free version. Plans start at $9.99 per month, which gives you 2GB of storage.

3. SmugMug

SmugMug not only offers you online photo storage. It essentially allows you to create your own personalized webpage, with unique designs and even your address (johndoe.smugmug.com). SmugMug plans include unlimited photo storage, as well as a host of photo editing tools.

There are no free plans for SmugMug. Subscriptions range from $5.99 per month to $41.99 per mont

4. Amazon Prime Photos

Amazon has become much more than an online retailer. In addition to their many business ventures, the company also offers a photo storage service.

Amazon Prime Photos is a photo storage service for Amazon’s Prime members. In addition to letting users store unlimited photos, you can also use the service to order photo prints, cards, calendars and more, and get them delivered right to your door. It also has a great feature called Family Vault, which allows up to five people to store unlimited photos together.

An Amazon Prime subscription costs $99 per year and comes with a host of other benefits.

5. Pixpa

Apart from photo storage, Pixpa allows you to build an online portfolio, e-commerce store, and client galleries. You don’t need coding knowledge to make a website and you can choose from their stunning themes to showcase your work. All Pixpa plans have cloud storage space for original files. You will have the option to choose from 10GB up to 10TB of cloud storage space for your original images as per your requirement.

Pixpa is not a free service, but they are offering a 15-day trial period and their pricing starts at $6 a month when billed annually.

6. Flickr

Flickr is quickly growing in popularity, largely because they’re willing to offer 1TB of photo storage absolutely free. Although free users will have to deal with some ads you really can’t beat that deal. Beginning January 8, 2021, Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. If you need unlimited storage, you’ll need to upgrade to Flickr Pro.

As for the service itself, Flickr offers everything standard online photo storage sites do, but with a few added bonuses. The service displays your pictures in an awesome photostream. People are also able to follow you and comment on your shots, making it kind of like a social network, in addition to being a place to store your photos.

7. 500px

500px is another photo storage site that also acts like a social network. While some sites are geared towards casual users, this service is definitely aimed at professional photographers. It’s a great place to store photos and showcase your best work.

500px offers both free and paid accounts. Free accounts have plenty of options but do feature advertising. Paid accounts start at $4.99 per month and give you unlimited uploads, as well as other perks such as your own portfolio and advanced analytics.

8. Canon Irista (is closing down on Jan31 ,2021)

Iconic camera maker Canon has decided to create their own photo storage site. Luckily, you don’t actually have to own a Canon camera to use this great service. Irista is easy to use and offers a number of great features, including photo tagging, album creation, and the ability to share photos to Facebook or Twitter.

Free accounts are available and offer users 15GB of storage. If you want to increase that, you can try the 100G plan which has 100GB of storage. Irista offers storage all the way up to 10TB for $129 per month.

9. Dropbox

Dropbox may very well be the most well-known file hosting service on the internet. Its user-friendly interface and easy to use folder system make it perfect for storing photos and any other digital file online. Dropbox also makes it easy to share photos with friends and colleagues. It works with virtually all operating systems and has apps for both iOS and Android.

A free Dropbox account gives you 2GB of storage, or you can opt for a Dropbox Plus account which gives you 1TB of storage for $9.99 per month.

10. iCloud

iCloud is Apple’s file storage service. While it’s best used as an extension of Apple Photos on Macs an iPhones, it’s also compatible with Windows.

The service allows you to upload photos online and display them in a photostream. Once online, photos can be tagged with names and locations, and other iCloud users can add their own photos to the stream as well.

iCloud offers users 5GB of storage for free. Storage upgrades are available, starting with their 50GB plan for $0.99 per month (USA users).

11. Google Photos

Consumer Google+ Accounts were shut down on April 2nd, 2021.

Over the years Google has enhanced their photo storage service to include a host of features that photographers will love. Google Photos includes a number of editing options, such as colour adjustment, cropping, resizing and more. You can also create albums that can be shared publicly, or privately with specific Google users.

Google Photos gives you unlimited storage at no cost. However, with a free plan your photos can’t have a resolution any more than 16 megapixels. You can store larger photos with a paid plan, which starts at $1.99 per month for 100GB.

12. Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft’s OneDrive is a cloud storage service that is a perfect way to store and back up your photos. It uses the same interface as Windows 10, so users familiar with the popular operating system will feel right at home. Keep in mind that unlike other services, OneDrive is designed for all kinds of files, not just photos. So, you won’t find some of the specialized features that other photo-centric storage sites have to offer.

OneDrive offers 5GB of storage for free. You can get 50GB for $1.99 per month, or 1TB of storage for just $6.99 per month.

13. Imgur

Imgur is a photo storage site that offers quick and easy photo uploads for free. Users don’t even need to register an account to take advantage of the service. Photos can be quickly uploaded and shared online and various social media sites without any reduction in image quality. Imgur also has a mobile app to make using the service on your phone even easier.

Imgur offers users 20GB of storage for no charge, although the site does use advertising to generate revenue.

14. Free Image Hosting

The name of this photo storage site is pretty self-explanatory. Free Image Hosting lets users upload photos for free to their site. You can register for an account, or upload photos without registering at all. Images can then be shared on a number of different sites. The service is best used for quickly posting photos to social media or forums.

Keep in mind that image sizes are restricted to 3000KB per photo.

15. Tiny Pic (Is shutting down)

Tiny Pic is another free photo storage and sharing site. It offers a fast and simple way for users to upload photos and share them on a number of different platforms. An account isn’t required to upload photos, which makes it a great option for people looking to upload and share a photo as quickly as possible.

Photos uploaded to Tiny Pic without an account will remain there for 90 days. After that, they may be removed if they haven’t been viewed. Photos can also be no more than 100MB in size.

16. ImageShack

ImageShack lets users upload photos, organize them, and view photos posted by other users. It has an awesome interface, very similar to Pinterest, which is perfect for showing off your best images. You can easily share your photos and albums with your friends, or you can take advantage of the privacy options if you don’t want your photos to be made public.

ImageShack has basic plan that gives you up to 30GB of storage. They also have paid plans that include increased storage options.

In November 2020, Google killed off its long-standing offer of free, unlimited high-resolution photo storage to anyone with a Gmail account. The new restrictions on Google Photos make a lesser-known competitor, Amazon Photos, suddenly of greater interest.

Amazon Photos is free for anyone with an Amazon account, but without Amazon Prime membership, you're limited to 5GiB. But if you are a Prime member, you get unlimited, original-resolution photo storage at no additional cost. (Videos still have a 5GiB cap.)

There's also one gotcha on how the service can be used—according to the TOS, Amazon Photos is for non-commercial, personal use only. You can take photos, you can share them with your friends and family, and so forth—but you can't run a photography business on the service without violating its terms.

A not-so-new challenger appears

Amazon Photos isn't new—in fact, it launched six years ago, in November 2014. But with both iOS and Android offering cloud photo storage built into the operating system itself, Amazon Photos hasn't been as high-profile. Google's free, unlimited storage particularly made a third competitor seem like a non starter.

However, iCloud and Google both demand subscription fees now for more than a few GiB of storage. In Apple's case, you get 5GiB free; in Google's, 15GiB (including Gmail and Gdrive). While this may be enough for some people, it gives rival Amazon a fresh chance to shine.

Mobile app walkthrough

Amazon Free Photo Storage

I installed Amazon Photos today and took it for a spin. It automatically backed up all 2,000 or so photos (and 4GiB of video) from my Pixel 2XL over the course of the day without any problem. It did not, however, do anything with photos that had been deleted from the phone's local storage but were present on the linked Google Photos account. (If you need to migrate photos directly from Google's cloud to Amazon's, you'll need to do so manually.)

Amazon Photos is available for use immediately, even while it's backing up your device photos in the background. It was quite responsive and functional during the backup and seemed to be indexing photos by image recognition nearly as quickly as they were uploaded.

Amazon Photos desktop app

Why Is Amazon Offering Free Photo Storage

There's also an Amazon Photos desktop app for Windows and macOS. For the most part, the desktop app is just a way to automatically sync photos from your PC just as you would from your phone. While you can use it to browse your photos, almost all actual work you'd do with them—including but not limited to editing—is done in a Web browser window the Photos app launches automatically as and when you need it.

If you don't want to automatically back up photos and videos from your PC, you don't need the desktop app at all—you can just visit Amazon Photos directly from your Web browser itself.

Editing photos

You can edit photos online, or within the Amazon Photos mobile app. (Selecting a photo to edit from the desktop app just launches a browser window.) I found the editor serviceable—it offers most of the same features Google Photos does, and they operate smoothly and quickly.

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There are pros and cons to both Google's and Amazon's online editors, both of which err on the side of simplicity rather than feature-completeness. Amazon Photos, unlike Google, offers automatic cropping to common aspect ratios including square, 4:3, and 16:9. But Amazon's selection of filters seems loaded with not-very-useful crapola, with a significantly clunkier interface than Google's.

Google also gets the win in general image adjustments. Amazon offers adjustments to brightness, saturation, contrast, gamma, clarity, exposure, shadows, and highlights—but they're all manual. There is no counterpart to Google's generally excellent, one-size-fits-all 'auto adjust.'

Amazon offers text captioning in its browser-based editor, which Google does not—but the typeface selection is limited and pretty crappy. The default 'Open Sans' is fine, and Oswald is a perfectly serviceable option if you prefer sarifs—but most of the rest seem like the kind of weird crap you'd find in a 1990s desktop publishing program.

The mobile editor on Android is largely similar to the online version pictured above but with a few more options and a slightly more polished interface. In particular, it offers stickers, overlays, and free-form doodling, none of which are present in the browser version.

Hardcopy, merch, and decor

Amazon Photos Storage Prime Members

Both Amazon and Google offer prints, books, and hangings based on your photos and albums—but I have to hand the decisive win to Amazon in this category on sizes, styles, options—and for the most part, price as well.

When buying photo prints, Google only gives you one choice—the size of the print, which can be 4×6, 5×7, or 8×10 inches. After choosing a size, Google offers you a selection of local photo printing services—all drugstores, in my area—and sends your photo off to the drugstore for you to pick up later.

Amazon offers photo prints in Glossy, Matte, Lustre, or Pearl finishes in sizes ranging from 4×5.3 inches through a whopping 20×30 inches and ships them to you directly—and the prices are better, too. Google charges $2.84, $2.99, or $3.99 for an 8×10 print in my area, depending on which service I choose—Amazon only wants $1.79 for the same print in either matte or glossy finish.

Google also offers a canvas wall hanging print option and a photo book option. Amazon offers both of those—along with photo cards, calendars, wood panels, aluminum prints, mugs, blankets, mousepads, Christmas ornaments, and more.

Of course, you can use independent print-on-demand services no matter who houses your photos.. but if you just want to click in your album and make it happen, Google doesn't even seem to be playing in the same league as Amazon when it comes to physical merch.

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Image recognition assisted search

Amazon's image recognition assisted search works quite well—easily on par with Google's and possibly better, for many categories of object. When searching my photos for 'cat,' each service got some that the other missed—but Amazon detected more of them by far. (Both services also had trouble figuring out the difference between my cats and my dog—but to be fair, the dog herself has the same problem.)

In particular, Amazon's image recognition is almost uncannily good at picking out cats in the background—even when they're very small parts of the image. In the first picture in the gallery above, it found my gray tabby Mouser in the shadows, nested into my clean laundry, much of which is the same color as he is. In the second, it found the creepy, Siamese-cat-shaped 1950s TV lamp on a knick-knack shelf in my office. Google didn't win at 'find the cat' in either case, or in many others.

Amazon Cloud Storage

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When it comes to detecting humans and putting names to them, Google comes in at a huge and unsurprising advantage—it knows who I am, who my wife is, and who my kids are.. all by name. It even knows one of my cats by name, although it doesn't seem to have learned who the other cat or the dog are yet. Amazon doesn't know any of this.. which may be either feature or bug, depending on where your personal privacy<-->convenience slider is set.

Amazon

Should you want Amazon to have a better handle on who your family and friends are, you have the option of applying names to faces in its People dialog, where it will show you a selection of faces it has discovered in your photos. It's still not as good at facial recognition as Google is, though—it only found me in 37 photos and my daughter in seven, while Google found pages upon pages of both of us.

Albums, sharing, and Family Vault

Amazon Photos allows you to organize your photos into albums and to share those albums selectively with friends, family, and/or the entire Internet. Contacts can be organized into Groups, so you don't need to share albums to twenty different people in your family every time—you can make one 'family' group and just give that group access to the albums they should be able to see.

You can also offer group membership by way of a special link, rather than directly by contacts—send somebody the link to join an Amazon Photos group (or publish that link in a blog post) and, presto, they click the link and get immediate access.

There's also a 'Family Vault' whose purpose wasn't spelled out very clearly within the app itself. Basically, the Family Vault is another way to share photos with five of your closest friends and/or family members—you can add any or all photos or albums to the Family Vault, and once added, all up-to-six of you can see them. More importantly, your five friends and family get unlimited Amazon Photos storage of their own by way of your Prime account.

Amazon Storage With Prime

As long as any one of the members of a Family Vault has a Prime account in good standing, all six share unlimited storage for their own photos. All Family Vault members are able to add—or, crucially, not add—their photos to the Family Vault, just like the original member does.

Conclusions

Amazon Acid Free Photo Storage

As a Prime member—and owner of an aging Pixel 2XL that is starting to have its own cloud storage limits imposed—Amazon's offer of free and unlimited photo storage to Prime members caught my eye. I've been using Google Photos as an automatic backup service for the photos I take with my Pixel for a while now, and it performs admirably.. but the new limits make me nervous.

Amazon Unlimited Photo Storage Review

After spending a day playing with it, I can tell you that Amazon Photos works perfectly well for my needs, and I suspect it will work for most Google Photos users' needs as well. It offers simple editing, including cropping, filters, level adjustment, and fairly flexible text captioning. You can organize photos into albums. Image recognition on par with Google's offers photo search capabilities if, for example, you want to find pictures with cats in them. And your mobile browser and social media apps will automatically 'see' your Amazon Photos account as a place to look when uploading photos, just as they do with Google Photos.

If you're a Prime member, you might want to consider Amazon Photos as an additional service, even if you don't plan to replace Google or Apple outright—it gets you a free, easy backup if nothing else. Accidentally deleted files from Google Photos will still be present on Amazon Photos.. and a catastrophic screwup made by the cloud provider itself won't reach across the aisle, either.