Looking for the best cloud storage for your photos? If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you may already have it. Amazon Photos is an often overlooked cloud storage service that includes unlimited storage for Prime members. You can upload both high-resolution images and RAW files.
In our Amazon Photos review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this cloud storage platform.
- Our guide to the best cloud storage
Plans and pricing
Amazon Photos offers unlimited photo and RAW file storage plus 5GB of video storage for Amazon Prime members. Prime itself costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year. Considering that Prime also comes with free one-day shipping on Amazon purchases and Prime Video, this is an incredible deal.
Even if you’re not ready to sign up for Prime, you can still use Amazon Photos. The service offers 5GB of photo and video storage for free with every Amazon account. You can upgrade to 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month or 1TB of storage for $6.99 per month.
By comparison, Google charges $1.99 per month for 100GB of cloud storage or $9.99 per month for 2TB of storage space (and you’re not limited to photo and video files).
Value for money: A
These ratings work on an A-C basis, with A being the best.
Amazon Photos is primarily a cloud storage service. This service also integrates with the rest of the Amazon ecosystem.
The main reason to use Amazon Photos is that it’s cheap, effective cloud storage. With this service, you can store high-resolution photos along with RAW files. Amazon Photos also stores most common audio and video file formats, although video storage isn’t unlimited.
You can access your photos from your computer, mobile device, or any Amazon device. You also have the option to organize your photos into albums and to create shared groups with family and friends. Groups can contain individual images or multiple albums, and invitees don’t need an Amazon account to view your photos.
Amazon Photos integrates seamlessly with Amazon devices like Echo Spot and Fire Tablet. You can easily set your photos to display as the background or lock screen image for these devices, or play a slideshow of your albums. If you use Fire TV, you can also cast photos onto your television.
One of the neat things about this integration is that you can use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to display your photos. For example, you can ask Alexa to show you all photos from last year or from a particular location and cast them to one of your Amazon devices. If you have Amazon devices in your office, this can be a neat way to wow clients and bring up examples of your work in real time.
Amazon Photos also integrates with the eCommerce giant’s print services. You can easily order prints or photo gifts using any images in your cloud library. That said, it isn’t necessary to use Amazon Photos to order prints through Amazon, as you can always upload images during the order process.
Amazon Photos is relatively barebones, which makes it simple to navigate. You can upload photos through your browser simply by dragging and dropping them into your storage space. If you use the Amazon Photos apps for iOS or Android, you can select images to upload directly from your camera roll.
One of the downsides to this simple interface, though, is that it can be hard to organize your library. Amazon Photos enables you to arrange photos into albums, but you cannot add meta descriptions or tags. In fact, there’s no way to search for specific photos except by album. If you have a large photo library spanning years’ worth of work, this can be problematic.
Amazon Photos isn’t as secure as some other cloud storage platforms. Your images aren’t encrypted during upload or download, which means they could be vulnerable to theft. Amazon also does not specify whether your images are stored on a single server or backed up on multiple servers. If they are only stored on a single server, there’s a chance you could lose your images if that server fails unexpectedly.
That said, Amazon does offer two-factor authentication when you log into your account. This requires you to enter a security code that is texted to your phone, which makes it much harder for someone to break into your Amazon account.
Amazon offers 24/7 support through a chatbot or over the phone. However, you can’t just call in to support. You need to request a call, and then an Amazon representative will get in touch with you sometime in the next few hours. Thankfully, you can also find basic troubleshooting solutions in Amazon’s online support center.
Cloud storage for Amazon Prime members
If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, using Amazon Photos is a no-brainer. It’s effectively free, unlimited cloud storage for your high-resolution photos and RAW files. While Amazon Photos doesn’t have many features for organizing, tagging, and searching your images, the fact that it’s included with Prime is hard to beat.
However, if you don’t already have Prime, Amazon Photos might not be worth it. Alternative cloud storage services are similarly priced and let you store all types of files, not just photos and videos. Many can also integrate with Amazon devices, negating Amazon Photos’ edge for Echo and Fire device users.