Finding the right cloud storage solution for your image, video, and other files is a crucial part of keeping them safe and secure at all times. If you work in a creative industry, you will likely already know the importance of using high-quality storage.
Google Photos is clearly among the best cloud storage options for creative content. It’s a powerful platform that comes with a range of advanced features, and it’s used by millions of people across the world. In the rest of this Google Photos review, we look closely at this cloud storage giant to see if it’s as good as its reputation suggests (You may also want to see our list of the best Google Photos alternatives).
- What is cloud storage? Read our guide to find out why it's good for creatives
Plans and pricing
One of our favorite things about Google Photos is the fact that all features are accessible for free. The only thing a premium subscription gives you is more storage space, but the free plan has a lot going for it as well. In fact, a free subscription will give you access to unlimited storage for lower quality media, with a max 16MP for photos and 1080p for video, along with 15GB of premium storage that’s shared across your Google account.
If you do need premium storage, though, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s cheap, even for larger amounts. You can access 100GB for just $1.99 per month, 1TB for $9.99 per month, and 10TB for $99.99 per month with a Google One cloud storage subscription. Even larger plans are available if you need an exceptional amount of storage.
When compared to its main competitors, Google Photos is very affordable. For example, Dropbox provides similar services, and its premium plans start at a more expensive $11.99 per month. But if you’re looking for an even cheaper option that doesn’t have nearly as many advanced features, Flickr Pro (from $6.99 per month) offers unlimited storage.
Value for money: A
These ratings work on an A-C basis, with A being the best.
Google Photos review: Features
For an industry-leading cloud storage platform, Google Photos comes with surprisingly few extra features. It includes the most important tools without cramming the platform with unnecessary elements, which actually made it quite pleasant to use.
One of Google Photos’ stand-out features is its suite of powerful organization tools. Basically, it allows you to add photos to albums, tag them according to anything from location to the people and/or pets who are in them, and organize them accordingly.
What’s more, Google Photos allows you to search for specific visual content. Your photos will be categorized with keywords such as “beach,” “mountain,” and other generic terms, even if you haven’t written any descriptions or tags.
Media creation tools
Google Photos also comes with basic tools to help you create new media content from your photos or videos. Video, animation, and collage creation tools can be accessed via the Utilities tab on your main dashboard. Simply click on the type of content you want to create, and follow the prompts.
Those who use Google Photos will also have access to a great range of editing tools. Although these aren’t advanced or even very complicated, they enable you to adjust various color settings, crop and/or rotate your media, and add any of a range of filters. And the best thing is that these tools are easily accessible every time you click on a photo.
Google Photos review: Interface
If you already have a Google account, setting up Google Photos won’t take you any more than a minute or two. If you don’t, then simply create a new account.
The user interface is very attractive and straightforward on both mobile and desktop. The mobile app allows you to automatically upload content from your mobile device, and it also lets you organize and search for both photo and video content.
The desktop interface is just as good. You will be presented with a preview of your photo library, an access menu on the left of the screen, and various options on the top right. You can easily categorize or edit photos, and rubbish can be deleted with the click of a button.
Google Photos review: Security
In general, the Google network is extremely secure, and Google Photos is no exception. Since it uses cloud storage from the tech giant’s native infrastructure, you can rest assured that your files will be safe and highly secure at all times.
One of the best things about Google Photos is that your photos and videos are automatically set as private when you upload them. You can share them or tag other people in them to make them somewhat public, but that’s about all.
Google Photos review: Support
Google’s support services could certainly be better. For starters, there isn’t any live support whatsoever, which will be a major concern for some.
On the other hand, there is a huge help center containing various resources and how-to guides about getting started with Google Photos. There is also a community forum which appears to be very active and a great place to ask questions.
Google Photos: A powerful cloud storage platform worthy of its reputation
Google Photos certainly has a reputation as a giant in the media cloud storage industry, and it’s well deserved. There’s very little not to like about the platform and the service it offers, especially if you’re not looking for advanced editing or compilation tools. The only downside is the slightly limited video and photo upload quality that comes with a free plan, but this shouldn’t worry anyone other than high-level professionals.
At the end of the day, we’d highly recommend playing around with Google Photos. Its free plan is very powerful, its paid plans are affordable, and overall, it’s a great all-round option for reliable cloud storage.
- Read our guide to the best cloud storage services