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How do I Choose the Best Online Digital Photo Storage?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are four things to consider when looking for the best online digital photo storage: data ownership, access, capacity, and format. The successful transition to digital photography has created a need for a series of complementary products and services. By storing photos online, professional and amateur photographers can upload their photos to the Internet and make them available to others.

For a professional photographer, there are several benefits to storing digital photos online. After the photo shoot, the photographer can publish the edited photos for the client to review. The client can indicate which one he wants, allowing the photographer to finish the order much faster. This tool can also be used to publish a portfolio of work on a website, as potential clients can see examples of previous work and determine if they want to hire the photographer.

Amateur photographers can also benefit from this type of storage. It is a great way to store family photos accumulated over the years. The images can be viewed by select users, and it is a very cost effective way to share digital photos with family and friends located in different countries.

The first thing to check when looking at different online digital photo storage sites is who retains ownership of the data or photos. This is a very important consideration, since if the storage company gets ownership, any uploaded photos and videos can be sold to media outlets and advertising firms. Ask for detailed information about where the storage facilities are located and check the contract text to ensure that ownership rights are exclusively retained by the account holder.

Access rights to the storage tools are typically managed through unique user names and passwords. Some of the more sophisticated sites have different roles available, ranging from administrator to viewer. The person who is uploading the files can provide viewing rights to specific images, or extend uploading access to other people. This functionality increases the ability to share files and create an online archive.

Look at the total storage capacity provided with the different online digital photo storage sites. Image files are typically quite large and require significant storage space. Many storage sites offer a specific amount of space for free, and then have additional space available for a price. Think about your current photo storage requirements and estimate your needs in three to five years.

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Discussion Comments
By anon262204 — On Apr 18, 2012

There are lots of free online storage. But I think we should find the best that offers a huge amount of storage.

By gimbell — On Apr 23, 2011

@Hawthorne: If you resize too small or in a raster bitmap program like MS Paint, yes, shrinking the photos can damage the quality. They don't have to be anywhere nearly as big as a 4 MB file size to be perfectly viewable, though. Unless your family and friends are planning on making photo prints out of them by downloading them from your gallery, resizing them to 1000 pixels at the longest side makes them plenty large enough to view on a monitor while still looking great.

By Hawthorne — On Apr 23, 2011

I noticed that the original photo files right off of my digital camera card are pretty giant -- like 4 MB each -- and I was wondering, do they really need to be that big? If I put them online anywhere with limited storage space, it would fill up fast. On the other hand, doesn't shrinking them damage the quality and make them look worse to the people I'm sharing them with?

By Malka — On Apr 20, 2011

I love using free online photo storage sites as a way to show my friends and family pictures from my vacations, birthday parties and such, but I always make sure to keep backup copies of everything on my hard drive as well. This way, if my computer crashes I still have the online copies, and if anything ever happened to the online photo site, I would have my hard drive copies.

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