5 Online Backup For Photos

In 2011, over 80 billion photos were taken by Americans. Yes, only by Americans. We haven’t brought in the rest of the world into the equation yet.

largest_photo_librariesThere are around 6 billion photos being uploaded to Facebook every month. And that statistic was in 2011 January. By now? We don’t know the actual figure of how many photos are on Facebook but probably over 100 billions (it was 90 billions in 2011, January). Flickr has about 6 to 7 billions. Instagram has hundreds of millions.

This growth could be attributed to prolific growth of camera smartphones. Before them, there were featured phones with cameras although they weren’t that widely used as cameras on them were usually subpar, and people couldn’t upload directly online either. Now, there are around 1.08 billion smartphone users in the world. So that explains A LOT on why we are seeing huge growth of photos taken every single day.

Managing Photos

We are sure that all of us are in the category of “take as many pics as we can, anywhere we go, even if they don’t make sense”. Touché. Guilty as charged. All of us have Facebook accounts. Many, if not most, of us are on Instagram. And there is no doubt that we all own smartphones with really good cameras. Result? Image record of everything we do.

So with that many photos we are taking, how exactly are we managing it? For many of us, those photos just stay in our phones if we are using smartphones to take photos. Good ones among many will be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and Flickr to show off to the world, that’s for sure. If we use digital cameras, either point and shoots or DSLRs, we are definitely going to copy them into our computers or external hard drives. For some exceptionally lazy folks, they will even keep photos on SD cards, relying on buying new memory cards whenever space runs out on existing ones!

As a vast majority of people will be transferring the photos they take onto computers, the safety of those photos become an essential issue.

And by safety, we are talking about not losing your precious photos. We aren’t talking about someone hacking into your computer and stealing photos of you playing with your dog. Imagine losing all your photos – memories of past events and your daily life that you just can’t recreate. Sure, it is not going to be painful to lose photos of your breakfast from a year ago. But losing photos of your newborn baby? Or your graduation photos? That sure as hell hurts.

Hard Drives Do Die

Google did a massive research on hard drives, and they found out that 6% of hard drives die in their first year. Without any warning whatsoever, mind you. We will never know if our hard drives, both external and in our computers, belong to those 6%. If and when they die, we will lose all our photos.

Then there are other ways to lose photos too. Dropping your laptop to the floor is surefire way to kill your hard drive. Or spilling coffee on it. Having your computers stolen is also another one. Heck, even power surges could kill your hard drive and along with it, all your data. Do you seriously want to risk that?

How Do We Prevent That Then?

We are so glad you asked! Okay, that question must have popped up in your head after reading what we said. The only way to prevent this is by backing up your data. But for most people, backup means copying files to an external hard drive. If they are particularly cautious, they will copy onto multiple hard drives.

When hard drives have tendency to crash and die, do you think it is such a good idea to rely only on hard drives as backup?

They are fast and easily accessible, so it is not wrong to backup to hard drives but it is fatal to use only them. You need redundancy, and you need multiple copies. By multiple copies, we mean multiple copies on different media and also offsite – somewhere not at your place.

Cloud backups are perfect for that. You can just run the software, and it will backup all your data to a data center in secured location. You can still do backups to external hard drives to have your photos in accessible location. But when all your hard drives, including backup ones, fail, cloud backups will save your memories.

So here are 5 best online backup for photos. Check them out right after the break.


Rank Provider Starting Price Review
1 Logo

$3.96/mo Read Review Visit Site
2 Logo $4.95/mo Read Review Visit Site
3 zipcloudlogo $1.66/mo Read Review Visit Site
4 $5/mo Read Review Visit Site
5 livedrive-logo_478x174 $6/mo  Read Review Visit Site

Winner – Backblaze – From $3.96/month

We love Backblaze. That’s a well-known fact around here. Backblaze is the only company we have seen that offer affordability, elegance and awesomeness all at the same time. Developed by ex-Apple employees, Backblaze is everything you would expect if Apple ever considered building an online backup solution. And no, iCloud isn’t a proper online backup so it doesn’t count. It is highly polished, very elegant and simple yet really powerful cloud backup solution. Oh and if you are concerned about platform compatibility because we mentioned Apple, don’t worry as it runs on Windows beautifully too.

The desktop client app is really simple, easy to use and straightforward. But if you think they have skimped on advanced features, you are dead wrong. Backblaze manages to pull off really good balance between simplicity and power features, while many other companies have tendency to stick to either “simple” or “advanced and complicated”. It is a refreshing welcome since it is very difficult to keep things simple while still offering advance features. However, we have to say that the available advance features likely won’t satisfy some power users who prefer absolute control over every aspects (CrashPlan is perfect for that, by the way). Yet in its own right, Backblaze is a perfect harmony of both features and simplicity.

Speaking of simplicity, we can see that being reflected in pricing plans too. There is no need to pick, as you have only one plan with Backblaze. If you choose to pay with monthly payment, it is just $5 a month and if you pay in advance for 2 years, it will set you back for just $3.96 a month. The price is absolutely a steal as it costs nothing more than a cup of coffee. For protecting your precious photos against losses, we would say that this price is really nothing. Even if we aren’t considering the benefits Backblaze gives us, it’s still nothing. For just $5 orr $3.96 a month, you are going to get unlimited cloud backup storage and super fast speed. And as Backblaze doesn’t set any individual file size limit, you can fully utilize the unlimited storage it offers. Oh and external hard drives can be backed up too. Here is our comprehensive review on Backblaze.

Visit BackBlaze

2. CrashPlan – From $5.99 Per Month

While Backblaze offers simplicity, CrashPlan is the dream of every power users, offering full power, flexibility and control at your fingertips when it comes to backup. It has far more power user features than Backblaze, and it may be daunting at first. All the dazzling features will make your jaws drop.

You can get unlimited storage cloud backup for one computer at just $5.99 a month. Unlike some other companies, CrashPlan’s unlimited is really unlimited. You don’t get things like limited versioning history or limit on individual file sizes. With CrashPlan, everything is truly unlimited. Yes, that includes versioning history. Oh and you can backup external hard drives too. All of that for $5.99 a month. Actually, even CrashPlan desktop client app alone is worth that price, which you get for free actually. The software is quite advanced and let you do a lot of things in regards to backup. And when you subscribe to CrashPlan, you are also getting solid customer support, amazing technology and team behind it.

As we mentioned, using CrashPlan desktop client app is free. The monthly fee is only for its online backup service. The client software doubles as a local backup software and do pretty damn good job at that, so you actually won’t need another backup software to create a failsafe backuo plan. You can use the desktop client software to do local backups to external hard drives or NAS devices, or even do remote backups to another PC running CrashPlan. Remote computer can be on same network as you or even across the Internet. You don’t have to use any other extra software. Plus, you can perform backups to multiple destinations, so if you want one backup set to go to NAS, remote computer and CrashPlan online storage, you can do that. You can also choose as you want. Essentially, the software empowers you so much that you can implement the 3-2-1 backup plan using just CrashPlan software and nothing else.

One thing though. CrashPlan is meant for power users so there is not really a lot of hand holding. The interface isn’t complicated or anything, but available functions and features can be intimidating at first. You can always use the wizard built-in to perform backups but the real power lies in its uber flexibility so you should dive in and start fiddling around. But after awhile, you will get used to it and you won’t be able to live without CrashPlan. So the choice is simple: Backblaze for simplicity, and CrashPlan for its uber awesome flexibility and sheer power. You can read how much we love them in our review on CrashPlan here.

Visit Crashplan

3. Zipcloud – $6.95 Per Month


There is an alternative to Backblaze if you are a fan of simplicity. ZipCloud is another straightforward and simple cloud backup solution. So if power features from CrashPlan aren’t your thing, then you may want to try this one out. We warn you though. ZipCloud’s simplicity can be a double-edged sword. Sure, it is super simple and straightforward. Everything is automated too. But the simplicity also means that you have almost no control over the software. You can’t change a lot of settings and adjustments. That’s the problem with its sheer simplicity.

There isn’t a lot to do with ZipCloud. Download the software, install it and run it. As soon as you login, you can pick what folders you want to backup. Then the desktop client app will start working on its own quietly in the background. It’s totally no-frill solution. You won’t even know that it’s running. It’s all automated. However, it doesn’t perform real-time backup and it’s mainly scheduled thing. You can schedule it to as frequent as hourly, but that’s it. You can get ZipCloud starter plan for just $4.95 a month and it will give you 75GB of online backup storage. It’s not unlimited and your photos maybe a lot more than 75GB. So for unlimited storage, $6.95 a month will get you that. This is not really for people who love to tweak around and fiddle with settings. But you can always try out their 14-day trial and see if you will love ZipCloud. You can read our full review on ZipCloud to learn more details.

Visit ZipCloud

4. Carbonite – From $59/Year

A pioneer in consumer-level cloud backup service (which kicks ass), backed by world class customer service, and one of the world’s most reputed in the industry. That’s the company you will be paying $59 a year to get your data protected. That’s Carbonite. Okay, now we are sounding too much like a TV commercial but all we said are facts. Nothing more. Nothing less. Carbonite is truly awesome.

$59 for a year is just around $4.916 a month, so the price is on par with other companies in the industry. For that price, you are going to get unlimited cloud backup storage. However, the reason Carbonite is ranking at #4 is basically because of their stupid client app for Mac. Carbonite desktop software for Windows is all fine and mighty, and have all the advanced features theyo ffer. But Mac version? It is lacking so many features you can find in Windows version. Carbonite team, not all customers use Windows, by the way.

Carbonite tends to throttle upload bandwidth to around 1GB to 2GB a day. They don’t officially state it but it happens to be the experience of many people. But still, it is unlimited backup and their top notch customer support team will be right with you whenever you need them so it’s still worth it. However, if you want to backup external hard drives, you have to opt for $99 a year plan instead. Here is our review on them and how to use Carbonite.

Visit Carbonite

5. Livedrive – From $6/month


If you are looking for an online backup solution that also offers syncing, then Livedrive is your choice. With others, you will have to rely on syncing services like Dropbox, SugarSync of Copy. However, with Livedrive, you can get a bundle at a price that will blow you away. It is like a match made in heaven for you if you like unlimited storage backup and terabytes of syncing storage.

Basic backup plan with unlimited storage for one computer costs just $6 a month. For syncing, Briefcase plan costs you $12 a month for 2TB of data for syncing among unlimited devices. Yes, 2TB. Dropbox charges $9.99 a month for 100GB, for instance. A bundle package which includes 5TB of syncing and unlimited cloud backup for 5 computers will cost only $19 a month for you. That’s absolutely a steal. And Livedrive offers many advanced features that only CrashPlan could rival (although Livedrive’s desktop client software holds no candle to CrashPlan). There are a lot of features you will love at Livedrive – stuffs that will make people wish to have in their chosen cloud backup service. You may also want to check out our review on Livedrive before buying it though.

Visit Livedrive


Rank Provider Starting Price Review
1 Logo

$3.96/mo Read Review Visit Site
2 Logo $4.95/mo Read Review Visit Site
3 zipcloudlogo $1.66/mo Read Review Visit Site
4 $5/mo Read Review Visit Site
5 livedrive-logo_478x174 $6/mo  Read Review Visit Site

Published 2013-09-08
Written by Pete Zaborszky

Pete runs Best Backups and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+

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