The best cloud storage for photos in 2019


Cloud storage is an ideal solution for anyone needing to store lots of large files. Anyone with any kind of photography skills is bound to have at least a very big folder on their drive filled with years of shots, or even an entire hard disk dedicated to photos. It's certainly a lot easier to manage your photos digitally than in the days of film, but for peace of mind – not to mention the ability to instantly share photos with friends or clients – you're probably going to want some cloud storage for your photography portfolio.

There are plenty of cloud storage options available. However, most of them are geared towards general file storage, and if you're looking for the best cloud storage for photos specifically then choices narrow down a lot. 

To help you choose, we've picked out six of the best options available; some are built with photographers and creatives in mind, and the rest are ordinary cloud storage solutions that are worth checking out if you simply want to back up your shots online without the need to present your work in a swish manner. Read on to discover our pick of the best cloud storage for 2019.

The best cloud storage for photos: Flickr

01. Flickr

An all-round great cloud storage option for photography

Plenty of storage for free
Reasonable price
Free version now limited to 1,000 photos
No support for RAW

Flickr's come in for a bit of stick since it decided to reduce its free package from a whopping terabyte to 1,000 photos and videos, with adverts inserted into your stream. Despite this, it's still an excellent destination for anyone who wants to store their photography online, and for it to look good on the screen. Flickr's photostream is all about presenting your photography to best effect, and if you can somehow whittle your portfolio down to your best 1,000 shots then you'd be a fool to turn it down. 

If you need more, for a $6 monthly fee (or just $50 annually) you can have all the storage you want, as well as no ads and, if you opt for the annual fee, discounts on Adobe Creative Cloud, Blurb, Portfoliobox, and Priime. The only slight downside is that as it's geared towards displaying photos rather than storing them, it only accepts JPG, GIF and PNG images; if you're after somewhere to stash your RAW images then you'd be better off elsewhere.

The best cloud storage for photos: Adobe Creative Cloud

02. Adobe Creative Cloud

A pricier solution with different plans to choose from

Photo-oriented storage options
Integrates with CC apps
Supports RAW files
Relatively pricey

There are loads of different Adobe Creative Cloud plans to choose from, but if you're primarily interested in photography there are just three you need to know about. If storage is what matters, Adobe offers two different packages with 1TB of cloud storage thrown in; the full-fat Photography plan will cost you $239.88 per year, with Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC included.

If that's a little steep then you can instead opt for the Lightroom CC plan for $119.88 per year – this just gives you, astonishingly, Lightroom CC. If you're planning to be a little more discriminating with the volume of photos you upload, however, there's a cheaper Photography plan for $119.88 per year. It also comes with Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC, but limits you to 20GB of cloud storage.

Like Flickr, Creative Cloud gives you good-looking image galleries to show your work off to best effect, and unlike Flickr it supports RAW files. It also gives you Group Libraries that friends can add their own photos to, integration with Lightroom and Elements, and it makes it easy to upload whatever your platform, with dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

The best cloud storage for photos: Canon Irista

03. Canon Irista

This gallery-based option lets you tag and organise your photos

Good social media hooks
Great-looking interface
Extra storage will cost you

Another great photography-focused cloud storage option is Canon's Irista. As with Flickr and Creative Cloud it provides you with a gallery-based interface that's all about showcasing your photography rather than mere storage of your files, and it accepts both JPG and RAW file formats. 

If you're picky about how your photos are organised then you'll welcome its ability to arrange your images by camera, lens type, date, tags and even EXIF data, and if you need to know how popular your shots are then you'll be similarly pleased by its social media integration that enables you to share uploaded images to Facebook and Flickr then track likes and comments.

The free Irista plan's a great deal, giving you 15GB of storage to play with, but if you need more then there are six subscription tiers to choose between, starting at 100GB for $2.25 per month and ramping up to a frankly insane 10TB that'll cost you $129.99 per month; that one's only for the serious pro photographers, we reckon.

The best cloud storage for photos: Google Drive

04. Google Drive

The best free cloud storage option if you don't mind how your photos look

Unlimited photo storage
AI photo assistant
Free productivity apps
Not the most intuitive interface

If you're more interested in simply storing your photos online rather than have them organised into attractive galleries then a more general cloud storage solution might be the way to go, and in terms of free storage then you can't really do better than Google Drive. Its free package delivers 15GB of cloud storage as well as use of its online productivity apps, but it also includes Google Photos, which gives you unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels in size and uses machine learning technology to automatically label people in photos and make searching your images easier.

For storing larger images you'll have to make do with Google Drive's general storage. If you burn through the free 15GB then there are plenty of plans to upgrade your capacity, starting at $1.99 per month for 100GB and increasing to $99.99 per month for 10TB.

The best cloud storage for photos: Dropbox

05. Dropbox

A versatile option – but the free version will fill up fast

Supports any file type
Easy to use
Not much free storage

Chances are that you already have a Dropbox account, and if you're using the free version then it's quite likely that you're constantly having to delete old stuff to make room for new files because you're cruising close to your storage limit. Dropbox's 2GB free storage isn't much, and while you can increase it to 16GB by referring friends at an extra 500MB a pop, that's not as easy as it was back in the days when not everyone had an account.

For $9.99 a month or $99 per year you can upgrade to Dropbox Plus, which gives you a terabyte of storage, as well as remote desktop wipe, 30-day version history and priority email upload. That's a pretty sweet deal, and if you're not fussed about gallery presentation for your picture then you'll find that Dropbox is versatile and easy to use, no matter what your platform.

The best cloud storage for photos: Microsoft OneDrive

06. Microsoft OneDrive

Higher tiered plans come bundled with Office 365

Cheapest 1TB option
Productivity apps included
Not very photo-focused

Microsoft's cloud storage isn't dissimilar to Google's, unsurprisingly, but with a look and feel that's the same as Windows 10 it's one that PC users will instantly feel at home with. Like the other two general storage options covered here it's not specifically aimed at photographers, so again, don't go expecting exciting presentation options. However it gives you 5GB of storage for free or 50GB for $1.99 per month, and if you upgrade to one of the higher tiers you'll get Office 365 included, which is always a bonus.

For $6.99 per month or $69.99 yearly you get 1TB and Office 365, and for another $3 per month you'll get even more storage, six Office licences and other features including an hour of Skype credit.

Related articles: