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Options to Back Up Your Photos to the Cloud

by Soo-yeon Hwang

You should always back up important data regularly, including the photos and videos captured on your phone. When your phone crashes and you have to reset/erase everything and start over, when you lose your phone by accident or to a theft, or when your phone is damaged and no longer turns on, the relief from having an off-site backup can be enormous.

Google Photos has been offering free backup storage of compressed photos (called “High Quality”) for years; however, starting June 1, 2021, any photo or video you save to Google Photos, regardless of compressed or original quality, will count against your account quota (15GB for free accounts.) The name for the compressed quality tier will also change to “Storage Saver.”[1]

Your 15GB Google account quota is already filled with Gmail (mails and attachments), Google Drive files, etc. From June 1 on, your uploaded photos and videos will add to the count. Once you fill up the 15GB quota, you must subscribe to the Google One service to increase the storage capacity.[2] Google has a tool to let you know how much time you may have left before you fill up that 15GB quota (an estimate based on your previous usage.)[3] By the way, existing Pixel phone owners can save photos and videos without limits (for now at least; there is no telling when the policy will change.)[4]

There are other options to back up your photos and videos to the cloud as well. Amazon Photos[5] offers unlimited, original quality photo storage and 5GB of video storage for Amazon Prime members. If you do not have Prime, you get 5GB of combined photo and video storage for free. You have option to pay for more storage if needed.[6] There are desktop, Android, and iOS apps.

pCloud[7] is another cloud platform that lets you automatically backup photos and videos from your phone using their app. They have desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) as well as Android and iOS apps. You get up to 10GB of storage for free (to get the full amount, you must refer a few people and they should sign up). What sets this service apart is their lifetime paid plan that gives you plenty of storage space for one-time fee[8] and excellent security.

Flickr[9], a popular social network platform for photographers, also offers unlimited storage and private automatic backup if you are a paid Flickr Pro member, and there are apps for desktop, Android, and iOS.[10]

Degoo[11] offers free 100GB cloud storage (but you have to access your account at least once every 90 days to keep the account alive. This restriction is removed if you subscribe to a paid plan.) There are apps for Android and iOS. In addition to auto backup, it uses an artificial intelligence engine that showcases “life’s best memories.”[12]

We take so many photos and videos on our phone, and these precious memories deserve a good backup plan. Hopefully this month’s article helped you to think about your current backup strategy and select a good service provider.

Copyright 2021 by Soo-yeon Hwang.

About the author: Soo-yeon Hwang is the Web Services Librarian and Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University. She has a PhD in Communication and Information from Rutgers University, and MS in Information from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has professional experience in software development, technical writing, testing, and technical support.

[2] See for Google One pricing information.

[6] See for Amazon Photos pricing information.

[8] See for pCloud pricing information.

[11] (scroll down for Degoo pricing information)