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Our Digital Club, Part 8 - Backing up Photos for Free

posted Jun 24, 2016, 7:20 PM by RotaryofNorristown   [ updated Feb 17, 2017, 10:44 AM ]
Social media requires lots of digital pictures or photos, and eventually you run out of space storing them all.  You need them backed up in a safe place where you can get to them.  Which begs the question, why not store them in the cloud?  There are several paid cloud storage solutions for pictures if you are a professional photographer but there are some pretty good free ones for amateurs also.  Google+ Photos, Flickr and Amazon Prime all offer free picture storage with significant amount of space, some unlimited.

Flickr is a good example (owned by Yahoo).  All you have to do is set up a Free Flickr account creating a Yahoo email as ID.  To begin, go to the Flickr website  Create an account and log in.  There you can drag and drop import your photos right into the library.  Flickr also allows you to create folders called categories (where Google does not).  There’s even a built in photo editor on the website where you can remove red eye, brighten and crop etc.  There is a free app (for PC & Mac) which can automatically sync the photos on your computer right into the cloud library (even from Apple Photos).  And if you take pictures on your phone, there’s a mobile app which will automatically sync new pictures into the cloud library.  Flickr’s only restriction is 1 Terabyte of storage free, and photos may be 200mb or 1gb video max but thats many, manny years worth of pictures.  They will store videos also. Once it says all your photos are synced, you can delete them from your phone to save space if you like.
Google+ Photos is another alternative.  It has all of the capabilities of Flickr except it doesn’t have categories.  But it does have an awfully powerful shape/image recognition engine built into search.  For example if you type in car, it will find and display all the photos containing a car automatically without tagging.  Storage is unlimited but the photo maximum picture size is 16mb or 1080HD video.  That’s pretty large though and would work for most people unless you are shooting 4K video. Then you can upgrade the plan.
LYVE is still another hardware based approach.  Suppose you want to store your pictures locally (in your home) but you are willing to use the internet to sync them for convenience in one place.  Lyve makes a product (3”x3”x5” cube with an LCD face panel) which is a mini 2 terabyte server.  Once you install their computer based and mobile based software, it will sync your pictures to the little cube automatically via wifi. And they will scrolling display on the face panel with a little clock like a desktop picture cube.  And you can view any photo or video from any device configured to sync to the common account (like a an entire household).  No actual photos are kept in the cloud only meta data for syncing purposes.  These are available on Amazon for about $100

UPDATE:  The manufacturer Lyve Inc was purchased by Seagate who made a decision to shut down these web services on Dec 31,2016 which rendered these devices useless.

There are three great ways to backup (and share with others) your photos so there is no excuse for losing them.

Our Digital Club is a collection of Rotary social media and computing topics published at the Rotary Club of Norristown website