10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs

Storing your photographs is one of the biggest hassles – anyone who has any interest in photography knows that. 

A lot of the times the biggest hassle is the hidden catches a lot of the  “free” photo storage services have. 

So check out these ten – they are the best free cloud storage services for photographs as it stands right now. And when I say free, I do mean free.

10 of the best options for free cloud photo storage – list:

  1. Google photos – 15gb / Unlimited (up to 16mb resolution)
  2. Canon Irista – 15gb
  3. Shoebox – Unlimited (up to 10.6mb resolution)
  4. Box – 10gb
  5. 500px – 7 photos in a week
  6. Photobucket – 2gb
  7. Dropbox – 2gb
  8. iCloud – 5gb
  9. Microsoft OneDrive – 5gb
  10. Flickr – 1000 photographs

Read on for details on each free cloud photo storage service, as well as their pros and cons.

1. Google photos

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Google photo
Space offered for free: 15gb / Unlimited (if optimised)
Pros: Solid service, offers the most amount of storage for free, can get unlimited storage if you don’t mind your photos being optimised, easy to use, offers automated upload of photos from your phone, anyone with a Gmail account gets one automatically, easy to share with others but at the same time can keep them as private as you want.
Cons: Can’t really think of any. Google photos is by far the best genuinely free cloud photo storage service
Notes: You can store up to 15gb, original file size. Unlimited space if files are optimised as per their specifications, which is basically that your photos limited to a resolution of up to 16mb. So you can only use the unlimited feature if you don’t mind your photographs being optimized. Not for photographers who want RAW format or HD. But it is still great, even if you do only want to store your photos in the original format and resolution as 15gb is the highest on offer and not to be sneezed at.

2. Canon Irista 

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Canon Irista
Space offered for free: 15gb
Pros: A large amount of space that’s totally free, can upload from any device,  smart search option makes looking for stored photos easier, reputable company.
Cons: Haven’t come across any.
Notes: Canon is one of the behemoths in photography, and this is one of their newer services – a great way for them to get into the whole cloud storage space. This is one of the free photo storage services we are most excited about. But it is still fairly new, so do let us know if you have any experience with them.

3. Shoebox

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Shoebox
Space offered for free: Unlimited (but only up to 10.6mp photos)
Pros: Unlimited photo backup!! This is by far the best reason to use them if massive storage is really what you are after.  As well as that, they are also easy to use, can be used from your phone as well as your laptop/desktop, is secure and reliable.
Cons: 10.6mp maximum resolution
Notes: Shoebox is mostly known as a light version of google photos – their unlimited option is more restrictive than Google’s in that Google offers 16mp of max resolution whereas Shoebox offers up to 10.6mp. Still not bad though. But if you already have a google account, and don’t mind the fact that you can’t store photographs in their original resolution, then google is really a much better option when it comes to taking advantage of unlimited photo backup.

4. Box

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Box
Space offered for free: 10gb
Pros: Decent amount of space offered totally free, no catch, solid service.
Cons: 250mb upload limit.
Notes: Box has long been one of the most popular cloud storage solutions, and is easily Dropbox’s main contender in this space. The service is secure and easy to use, but it’s more geared for general storage (documents etc) than photos. Still not bad though if you just want a place to store your photos securely.

5. 500px 

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - 500px
Space offered for free: 7 photos in a week
Pros: Massive community of photographers so it’s a great place for showcasing your work
Cons: Tiny storage
Notes: 500px is more than just a photo storage site, it’s a virtual art gallery for amateur and professional photographers. It’s a great place if you want to not just store but also showcases your photographs. The storage option is seriously limited (basically 1 photo a day), can still be worth looking into for the showcasing features.

6. Photobucket 

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Photobucket
Space offered for free: 2gb
Pros: Free 2gb space, free editing tools
Cons: Only 2gb space
Notes: Photobucket is a specialist photo storage service, and as such offers tools for photos like photo editing tools, as well as several options for organising your photographs. 

7. Dropbox

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Dropbox
Space offered for free: 2gb
Pros: Solid service, secure, easy to use, backs up data across multiple devices.
Cons: Only 2gb storage.
Notes: Dropbox has been around since 2008 and is the most popular cloud storage solution. The amount of storage they offer isn’t the best, but their services – like auto syncing, security, etc do all go a long way towards making it a solid option. Like Box, it’s more geared towards general storage but recently has been focusing more on photos and media storage. It’s a solid option if you don’t have a lot of photos to store.

8. iCloud

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Apple icloud
Space offered for free: 5gb
Pros: Reliable and secure service (it’s by Apple, after all, the first trillion dollar business in the world).
Cons: Only for Apple/iPhone users
Notes: If you are an iPhone user, you will get free access to Apple’s iCloud. The service is user-friendly and you can tag your photos with names and locations to find them easily. Like nearly every one of the services mentioned on this list, you can get more storage if you pay.

9. Microsoft OneDrive 

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Microsoft Onedrive
Space offered for free: 5gb. If you’re a student, however, you can get 1tb for free!
Pros: Reliable and secure service, easy to use.
Cons: None really.
Notes: Microsoft’s foray into the cloud storage space brings you OneDrive, which is mainly geared towards general storage like Dropbox and Box. It’s simple to use, and the interface is the same as Windows 10. 

10. Flickr 

10 of the Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Photographs - Flickr
Space offered for free: 1000 photographs
Pros: It is one of the most reputable services around – and have been around for a long time. So they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Cons: Only 1000 photographs can be stored.
Notes: Flickr used to be the best free cloud storage option for photographers, but recently they have changed their policy and free storage offer drastically. Now you can only store up to 1000 photographs for free. If you do small amounts of photography here and there, it can still be a decent option. But if you’re prolific and takes hundreds of photographs every time, this is not the option for you.

Last words

How much storage you will need will depend on how prolific you are with your photography. If you are really prolific, then purely a cloud-based option might not be the best route for you. Think about combining it with hard storage solutions like external hard drives.

But if you are more of a casual photographer, or are very selective in terms of the photos you choose to keep, you can go with any one of the above, especially Google photos

That said, let us know what experience has been with cloud photo storage. Which of these have you used? 

Let us know in the comments what you think and if you have any additional tips.

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