Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Cloud storage for photos: comparison of offers


Nothing better than Cloud storage for making backups of your photos. This is ideal if your smartphone or PC is running out of memory or if you want to avoid losing your photos. An online photo storage space should in any case offer the following basic functions: a large, scalable online storage space, photo sharing and exchange, editing and display functions, reliable encryption and data security.

We present to you the five best free and paid Clouds which will allow you to store and share photos in the Cloud simply and quickly.

Do you want to save photos from WhatsApp or your smartphone? Do you need large storage space and numerous sharing and editing functions for professional reasons? In this case, it is recommended to call on suppliers offering attractive prices like HiDrive from IONOS, pCloud, Google Drive or Google One. If you’re looking for a free solution, Filen (10 GB free storage) or Google Drive (15 GB free storage) are interesting providers.

The 5 Best Free Photo Storage Services

The most important thing with a free cloud storage solution: simple registration, transparent data protection and sufficient storage space to meet individual needs. We present five of the best free providers for cloud photo sharing and storage.

Free photo cloud “Free” storage space Maximum file size Benefits Disadvantages
Filen 10 GB 512 MB (expandable) ✔ Viewing photos as a gallery or list
✔ Sharing photos via share links
✔ Servers located in Germany and meeting European data protection standards
✘ No download links available for other users
✘ Limited functionality (non-existent team and editing functions)
Google Drive / Google Photos 15 GB 200 MB (photos), 10 GB (videos) ✔ Large free storage space in the Cloud
✔ Includes all major Google services
✔ Suitable for teamwork thanks to sharing options
✔ Convenient search for images by keywords and sort images by location
✘ Lack of transparency in data protection or transmission
✘ No zero-knowledge encryption
Dropbox / Dropbox Transfer 2 GB (100 MB free for download links) 50 GB (on, no limit for desktop/mobile app ✔ Automatic integration and synchronization
✔ Apps available for Android, iOS, Windows and maxOS as well as web app for browser use
✔ Photo sharing by download link or via social networks
✔ Easy sharing and syncing photos across devices and systems
✘ Lack of office and teamwork functions like Google Drive or iCloud
Icedrive 10 GB No limits ✔ Large free storage space ✔ Reliable data protection and high security thanks to TSL and encrypted partitions (paid: zero-knowledge encryption, Twofish encryption)
✔ Clear and modern layout, including gallery display
✔ Fast data transfer, share and download links
✘ Few collaborative features available
✘ App only available in English
✘ No sync options yet in apps for Mac and Linux
Mega 20 GB No limits ✔ One of the largest free online storage spaces on the market ✔ Flexible device/folder synchronization
✔ Zero-knowledge encryption
✔ Easy sharing of photos via share link
✘ Support/service only in English
✘ Less than optimal loading speeds

Data update: December 2022

Those looking for free cloud storage for photos with particularly large volumes stick to Google Drive’s 15 GB or Mega’s 20 GB. Google Drive integratesother Google services like Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Sheets or Google Slides. Mega, for its part, offers reliable zero-knowledge encryption for photos stored in the Cloud.

Those who attach importance to data protection in Europe can turn to the relatively new cloud provider Filen, which offers 10 GB of free storage, as well as photo gallery access and sharing links. Collaborative features, however, are limited or even non-existent. Among the classics, we find Dropbox, one of the best-known Cloud providers. The disadvantage is that Dropbox only offers 2 GB of free memory. You must therefore opt for the paid version to take advantage of the storage, sharing and photo editing tools offered by Dropbox. With 10 GB, Icedrive certainly offers more memory, but also rather limited collaborative features.

Do you want to send large files securely, quickly and for free? Use HiDrive from IONOS and share files for free with a download link.

The 5 best Clouds for photos with good value for money

If you decide to pay for a Cloud service, you will benefit from comprehensive photo functions, large storage capacity and flawless data protection. The location of the server is particularly important, as is reliable data encryption. Prefer a server located in Europe that complies with the GDPR. Other important features are sharing and upload/download links, auto-sync, access to all devices, and flexible pricing.

Paid photo cloud Price (from 100 GB to 2000 GB) Benefits Disadvantages
IONOS HiDrive 100 GB: €1 per month 1,000 GB: €5 per month ✔ Excellent value for money with plenty of storage capacity for a low cost
✔ European data protection standard with highly secure European data centers
✔ Automatic real-time sync and access to all stored photos and files, regardless of device/location.
✔ Easy sharing of files with other authorized users or via HiDrive Share with download link
pCloud 500 GB: €50 per year
2,000 GB: €100 per year
Free: 10 GB Lifetime storage: optional and with one-time payment for 500 GB or 2,000 GB for life
✔ Generous storage space for photos
✔ Display photos as gallery, list or integrated slideshow and configurable photo display
✔ Photo sharing via download links or the possibility of having galleries completed by others via a download link.
✔ Very good automatic synchronization, Swiss data protection and zero-knowledge encryption by crypto-folder
✘ Ramdisk can be a bit complex for beginners
✘ 2TB relatively expensive compared to other providers
iCloud 100 GB: €2 per month 2,000 GB: €9.99 per month Free: 5 GB ✔ Automatic sync and access to photos across devices
✔ Direct download of media libraries from Mac to Cloud, offline storage on iPhone/iPad or use via app on Windows devices
✔ Editing options with the macOS Web Photo app, including auto-updating edited photos across devices
✔ Convenient integration, as included by default in the iOS software pack
✘ Servers are not exclusively located in Europe
✘ Transmission of data to authorities or third parties possible
✘ Partially linked to dedicated Apple standards and software
Mega 400 GB: €4.99 per month
2,000 GB: €9.99 per month
Free: 20 GB
✔ Very large storage space at great prices, including 20 GB free (+ temporary and optional free expansion to 50 GB for 365 days)
✔ Data protected with zero-knowledge encryption
✔ Flexible timing functions
✔ Clear gallery view and photo sharing via share links
✘ Service pages available only in English
✘ Performance speed not always optimal
✘ Non-optimal data protection/encryption
Google One / Google Photos 100 GB: €1.99 per month
2,000 GB: €9.99 per month
✔ Cloud service for backup and synchronization in one product
✔ With Google One subscription, ideal for teamwork and joint editing thanks to Drive sharing
✔ Managing and editing photos with the integrated Google Photos service (practical: search for images with corresponding keywords)
✘ Data protection or data transmission not very transparent
✘ Rather non-existent personalized support

Data update: December 2022

People looking for paid cloud providers usually want to store a lot of photos in the cloud and therefore need a lot of online storage space. It is also important to have photo sharing and editing functions as well as high data protection. Finally, a good value for money is essential. Top providers include pCloud and IONOS HiDrive, which meet all data protection standards. pCloud offers Swiss data protection and European server sites. HiDrive from IONOS guarantees optimal data security with highly secure European data centersrespecting the GDPR and including geo-redundancy and ISO certification.

When it comes to value for money, HiDrive is clearly ahead: with 100 GB for €1 and 1,000 GB for €5 per month, you can’t go wrong. pCloud is significantly more expensive at €100 per year for 2,000 GB. Classics like Google One, Google Drive, or iCloud have the advantage of containing large online storage spaces for photos, thanks to Google applications or services. Apple, as well as practical office functions.

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