Lifestyle

How to Choose the Best Cloud Storage for Photos and Files

By The IFTTT Team

May 10, 2024

How to Choose the Best Cloud Storage for Photos and Files
  • They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Turns out, that downloading and storing an image on a computer or hard drive can take up to hundreds of thousands more precious storage than just plain text.

    In the digital era, photographs transcend mere imagery. They encapsulate memories, freeze fleeting moments, or become assets (we're looking at you, NFTs). But the question remains, where should these files be stored? Plus, what's the best solution on the market today to store and share photos and other downloads?

    The answer lies in cloud storage, a revolutionary method that has transformed how we store and access our photos and files. In this article, we will discuss what cloud storage truly is, the best cloud storage services available today, and how to choose. We'll also touch on how to leverage IFTTT, our free automation service, to maximize your cloud storage.

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    The evolution of storage: why the cloud?

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    Cloud storage provides a remote service model where data is maintained, managed, and backed up, accessible over the internet anytime, anywhere. For photographers, graphic designers, and anyone keen to safeguard their memories, this means being able to view, share, and manage images without consuming local storage. Local storage is the storage built into your computer, with more expensive and high-tech computers boasting increased storage levels.

    But what exactly is cloud storage?

    Imagine having a hard drive that you can access without it physically being on your computer (like virtual drives). That's cloud storage. Your data sits securely in a server possibly hundreds of miles away but is as accessible as if it were on a local device, thanks to the internet.

    Benefits of cloud storage for photos

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    Accessibility

    Above all else, the most significant advantage of cloud storage is the ability to access your photos from anywhere, at any time, provided you have an internet connection. This universal access is particularly beneficial for photographers who need to share their work remotely, whether traveling or collaborating with clients and colleagues. It also means you can view and share memories from any device, be it your phone, tablet, or computer, without needing physical copies or multiple USB drives.

    Automatic backup

    Many cloud storage services offer automatic backup settings, ensuring that your photos are saved to the cloud as soon as they are taken or imported into a connected device. This automatic syncing minimizes the risk of data loss due to device failure, theft, or accidental deletion, and relieves you of the manual task of backing up your images.

    Scalability

    Cloud storage is highly scalable, allowing easy increases in storage space as your photo library expands. This flexibility is especially useful for professional photographers or avid hobbyists who continually accumulate high-resolution images and video content that demand substantial storage capacity.

    Security

    Storing photos in the cloud often includes benefits like encrypted data transfer and storage, secure data centers, and regular security updates that protect against unauthorized access and cyber threats. Furthermore, if your device is compromised, your photos remain safe and untouched in the cloud. In case of physical disasters such as fires, floods, or other emergencies, having photos stored in the cloud means they are not tied to the fate of your physical devices.

    How to select the right cloud storage for your needs

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    Selecting the right cloud storage service involves a careful assessment of your needs and the features offered by potential providers.

    A good start is determining how much storage you'll need, both now and in the future, especially if you work with high-resolution images and videos that require more space. Accessibility is also crucial; ensure the service you choose supports seamless access across all your devices. Most cloud storage services offer this.

    Security is another factor to keep in mind. Look for robust encryption methods, secure data handling practices, and compliance with industry standards to protect your sensitive information.

    Additionally, a good cloud storage service should offer dependable backup and recovery options to safeguard your data against loss from various threats, including technical failures and cyber-attacks.

    Pricing is also essential; examine different plans to find one that fits within your budget while still offering the necessary features. Be mindful of potential hidden costs like retrieval fees. Lastly, consider the service's scalability. As your storage needs grow, upgrading your service should be straightforward and cost-effective.

    By taking into account these aspects—storage needs, accessibility, security, backup and recovery, pricing, and scalability—you can find a cloud storage solution that efficiently meets your current demands and adjusts to future requirements.

    Top cloud storage providers

    Google Drive

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    Renowned for its seamless integration with Google's suite of applications and robust collaboration tools, Google Drive stands out as a top contender in the cloud storage market. It offers users a generous 15GB of free storage space, making it an attractive option for individuals with moderate storage needs.

    For those requiring more storage, Google Drive provides affordable plans starting at $1.99 per month for 100GB of space. Higher-tier plans offer even greater storage capacities at competitive prices, making Google Drive a versatile solution for both personal and professional use.

    Dropbox

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    Widely recognized for its excellent file synchronization capabilities, Dropbox is a popular choice among users seeking reliable cloud storage solutions. While its free tier starts with a modest 2GB of storage, Dropbox offers various paid plans tailored to meet different storage requirements.

    Pricing starts at $9.99 per month for 2TB of space, with options for additional features such as advanced sharing controls and extended version history available in higher-tier plans. Despite its higher starting price compared to some competitors, Dropbox's seamless synchronization and user-friendly interface make it a compelling option for individuals and businesses alike.

    OneDrive

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    Developed by Microsoft, OneDrive offers users exceptional flexibility and deep integration with Microsoft Office applications, making it an attractive choice for individuals and organizations embedded within the Microsoft ecosystem.

    Similar to Google Drive, OneDrive provides users with 5GB of free storage and offers subscription plans starting at $1.99 per month for 100GB of space. Additionally, subscribers to Microsoft 365 bundles may receive additional OneDrive storage as part of their subscription, further enhancing its value for Microsoft users.

    iCloud

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    Catering specifically to Apple users, iCloud seamlessly integrates with iOS and MacOS devices, providing convenient access to files across Apple's ecosystem. While iCloud's free tier offers a modest 5GB of storage, Apple offers subscription plans starting at $0.99 per month for 50GB of space, with options for higher storage capacities available at competitive prices.

    Despite its primary focus on Apple devices, iCloud's user-friendly interface and robust synchronization capabilities make it a compelling choice for Apple enthusiasts seeking seamless file management across their devices.

    Amazon Photos

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    Positioned as a specialized service primarily focused on photo and video storage, Amazon Photos offers Prime members unlimited photo storage as a part of their subscription, making it an attractive option for avid photographers and videographers.

    While its functionality extends beyond traditional cloud storage, Amazon Photos may be less versatile for users seeking a comprehensive file management solution. For Prime members looking to securely store and access their media content, Amazon Photos provides a convenient and cost-effective option included with their Prime membership.

    Better cloud storage with IFTTT

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    Looking for a better way to manage your files while they traverse throughout the cloud? Look no further than IFTTT, (If This Then That), our free web-based service and mobile app designed to boost productivity by automating tasks. It works by creating connections between over 1000 popular apps and services, allowing them to work together seamlessly.

    The basic idea behind IFTTT is to create "applets" or sets of instructions that trigger when certain conditions are met. This can be turning on the lights automatically when you enter your house, for example. It could be syncing your Dropbox files, uploading photos when shared on social media, or even clearing junk from your storage without you pressing a button.

    Founded in 2011, IFTTT has been used by over 25 million individuals to automate both business and home tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It's commonly used to connect disparate services and systems, making all products and services work well together in a way that instills user confidence. Best of all, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up.

    Join IFTTT today for free and see for yourself why we are the most trusted automation platform by professionals and amateurs worldwide.

    Top cloud storage Applets with IFTTT

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    Save photos to Amazon Cloud Drive

    Save new iOS photos to Verizon Cloud

    Share files in Slack from a Dropbox folder

    Sync new files added to Dropbox to OneDrive

    To enable these Applets and millions more (yes, millions), try IFTTT today for free.

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