The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Online Backup for Photos

Table of contents
The Importance of Online Backup for Photos
Benefits of Using Cloud Storage Space for Photos
Exploring the Best Online and Cloud Storage Services for Photos
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office vs. iDrive Photos vs. Backblaze vs. Dropbox: Comparison
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Storage Solution for Photos
Tips for Choosing the Best-Priced Cloud Backup for Photos Plan
Ensuring Data Security with Online Image Backup
Security features of Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office: Smart protection for your photos
Best Practices for Backup Images Online
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
formerly Acronis True Image

The art of taking photos has evolved significantly in the last couple of decades. The personal camera has become a smartphone, and the cumbersome film development process has become an instant result on your phone screen. Extensive albums filled with cherished memories are now folders with various labels on a device that fits in your pocket.

Whether Instagram enthusiasts, hobbyists, or professional photographers, all of us can capture the world around us and save the picture to share and look at later. Be it a memorable vacation, a special family occasion, or just a moment of inspiration in your daily life, photos can carry immense sentimental value. As such, they deserve to be protected so you can access them whenever you wish.

This article will explore the importance of online photo backup storage, effective backup strategies, and the best cloud storage services to ensure the safety and integrity of your photos.

The Importance of Online Backup for Photos

Mobile devices let us capture whatever we deem interesting - from a good-looking meal to stunning natural views. We can create and store photos as long as we have storage space on our phones. However, those photos can be lost due to various data loss scenarios unless we ensure their integrity. Let's explore the most common ones below and how a robust cloud backup system can help counter all of them.

Accidental deletion

Accidental deletion is among the most common causes of data loss. Anyone can mark an important file for deletion and send it to the Recycle Bin, whether due to a misclick or a momentary distraction. While Recycle Bin recovery is quick and easy, erasure can lead to permanent data loss.

Regular image backups to reliable cloud storage services can enable efficient recovery of all accidentally deleted photos. Moreover, dedicated cloud storage for photos and videos can also ease the burden on your primary device's hard drive by optimizing storage space usage. For professional photographers (or even hobbyists with extensive data on their devices), this can maximize device performance and speed up their photo processing.

Hardware failure

Hardware failure can occur without notice. Physical damage, wear and tear, liquid spilling, overheating, etc., can compromise your primary device. Hard drive crashes, SD card corruption, and smartphone damage can happen without warning, rendering your photos inaccessible or erased for good.

Regular, continuous backups of your photos to different storage media - local storage space (external hard drive, USB flash drives) and a cloud storage service - can ensure your images are readily available for recovery whenever needed.

Device theft and natural disasters

Natural disasters like flooding or fire can severely damage your primary devices and hardware storage media. Sometimes, such events can render data inaccessible or delete it permanently. Moreover, if you lose your device or it gets stolen, you won't be able to access any data on it unless you have a reliable backup to restore essential photos.

To ensure data access in such a case, it's best to store photos on a cloud storage system. This ensures that even if your physical devices are compromised, you can access your photos from any device, anywhere with an internet connection.


Viruses and malware can strike your home or business network, spreading malicious code across all your devices. During a ransomware attack, for example, all your photos and other critical data can be encrypted and "held hostage" until you pay a ransom to the attackers.

On the other hand, having all essential photos stored with a cloud storage provider ensures quick access and easy recovery whenever needed.

Risks of Relying Solely on Local Storage

The point of this article is not to point away entirely from physical storage. External hard drives and flash drives are helpful for any sensible data backup and recovery strategy. However, while convenient, physical data storage is liable to physical damage, system crashes, and hardware failure. As discussed, external hard drives can become damaged for various reasons - overheating, prolonged use, liquid spilling - and render data on them corrupt or inaccessible.

This is why relying solely on physical storage media can compromise your photos. To ensure their safety, integrity, and availability, it is best to combine local storage with a great cloud storage solution. In doing so, you can satisfy the 3-2-1 Rule of Backup to ensure you have at least three active backup copies stored on two (or more) locations, with at least one location off-site. Such an approach will drastically minimize the risk of data loss and ensure quick data recovery should you need it.

Benefits of Using Cloud Storage Space for Photos

In addition to countering various data loss scenarios, cloud storage systems offer numerous other crucial benefits. Let's explore some of those below.

Continuous access and usability

Robust cloud storage providers focus on usability and accessibility. The best cloud photo storage services offer an easy-to-use interface and intuitive data access features so users of all expertise levels can operate them.

Reliable cloud storage options allow you to easily upload and restore backups from and to any device with a stable internet connection, regardless of location.

Enhanced data protection

While free storage cloud options (Google Drive, Dropbox) can be convenient, they lack the data security features of dedicated cloud storage providers. Such providers store your photos across redundant servers to ensure that even if a data center suffers an outage, your data will be managed by other available data centers. In such a case, you can lose your data only if all data centers suffer a failure - an improbable event, as robust providers employ thousands of data centers to ensure data integrity and availability.

Secure cloud storage platforms can copy your photo backup across multiple data centers. This way, even if one of the backups is somehow compromised, it can be restored to all preferred locations immediately.

Efficient sharing and organization

The best cloud backup for pictures offers various file-sharing features, so you can easily share your photos across all your devices or with other users.

You can send a file to a specific recipient or allow multi-user access to the particular file in cloud storage. An advanced cloud storage platform allows cross-platform file-sharing to support hybrid work environments.

Reduced storage costs and optimization

A flexible cloud storage service can reduce storage expenses. The cloud offers virtually unlimited storage space, so users and businesses won't need to employ complex local storage infrastructure. (however, this doesn't mean you should exclude physical storage options from your backup strategy)

While you can manage your local storage space, the cloud storage service will handle all backup and storage processes in the cloud. Moreover, many cloud storage providers offer customizable pricing plans. Users and businesses can only pay for the storage space they use. You can scale up or down whenever needed based on your data-creation needs to optimize expenditure.

Intuitive disaster recovery

Cloud storage is arguably the most proficient disaster recovery and business continuity solution. Paid cloud storage services offer built-in disaster recovery features, meaning businesses won't have to operate a separate DR solution. Individual users can use a cloud backup solution as an all-in-one data protection option. From encrypted backup to instantaneous recovery, you can manage the system with just a few clicks whenever needed.

Virtually unlimited photo storage

Unlimited cloud storage provides flexibility and scalability to both users and businesses. You can calculate how much cloud storage you need for the current period and customize your offering to pay only for the storage space used. You can upgrade your plan and add extra storage space if you need to store photos in larger volumes (or large files).

The good thing is that cloud storage can be scaled up or down, unlike physical storage. If you keep only a smaller volume of photos in the cloud, you can scale down and optimize the storage capacity and costs. If you decide to do the same while maintaining only local storage, you'd need to resell your unused media or find a place to store it, even though you're not using it.

Exploring the Best Online and Cloud Storage Services for Photos

The best cloud storage services rank highly in the primary aspects of a robust solution - available storage capacity, user experience, platform compatibility, and pricing. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, iDrive Photos, Backblaze, Dropbox, and Google Photos are stellar examples of reliable services.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office for Cloud Photo Storage

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is the only photo backup solution integrating enhanced data protection and cybersecurity in a single, easy-to-pilot agent.

The software enables you to automatically back up photos and videos, regardless of their count or volume - to local storage (external hard drive, NAS) and the cloud. Once uploaded to the secure cloud, you can access your images anytime, anywhere, from a computer or mobile device.

Secure photo migration

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office offers quick and secure migration to a new machine to transfer unique photos and videos. You can also migrate your entire system (regardless of operating system) to ensure complete device protection. Moreover, you can manage all backups from the easy-to-use console without running multiple complicated tools to ensure your photos are safe.

Protected file sharing

You can also securely share backed-up photo folders from the cloud with anyone via a password-protected link. Furthermore, you can safeguard your photos against personal property theft via an advanced blockchain technology that ensures the authenticity of all backup data. (including your unique images)

Advanced cybersecurity features

Unlike many cloud storage solutions, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office offers integrated secure backup, protected by antivirus and anti-malware, to ensure no cyber threat can affect your photos before, during, or after transfer.

Photo backup flexibility

The solution offers extensive backup and storage flexibility and scalability. You can store your photos locally (on an external hard drive, network folder, or NAS) and off-site in the cloud. You can also combine both approaches to ensure ultimate protection. Moreover, you can approve specific Wi-Fi networks for data transfer to counter potential connectivity or cyber threat issues.

User-friendly experience

While Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office provides advanced backup and data security features, it also focuses on the visual aspect of the data protection processes. All notifications are pushed to your desktop tray to keep you in the loop, with the dashboard displaying photo file sizes, scan statuses, backup speeds, files checked, and prevented threats.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office vs. iDrive Photos vs. Backblaze vs. Dropbox: Comparison

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
iDrive Photos
·Fast setup and ease of use·Intuitive, all-in-one, interface·Advanced data protection and cybersecurity features·Advanced backup and data recovery features·Cloud backup automation·       Flexible pricing
·Unlimited photo storage·Photo upload automation·       Very low introductory price
·Unlimited cloud storage·Straightforward to operate·No file size limits·Multiple photo recovery options·       Affordable
·Easy to use·Supports comprehensive file-sharing features·Supports advanced selective sync options·2GB free cloud storage·       An intuitive mobile app
·       You must take the time to choose a suitable pricing model to fit your exact needs
·Doesn’t offer built-in photo editing tools·       Lacks advanced data protection features
·Only supports one computer per license·Doesn’t support full disk image backups·Basic web interface·Doesn’t support network drives·       Doesn’t support file sync between different computers
·Doesn’t support full device backups·Can be costly·Limited free cloud storage space·       Doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Storage Solution for Photos

Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional photographer, protecting your photos requires a reliable cloud backup system. Knowing your photos are securely stored in protected storage is well worth researching for the right solution.

Several crucial factors must be considered when choosing the best cloud backup for photos. Let's explore them below.

Data security

Whether you store personal photos or client images after a professional shoot, you most likely want those securely stored. To ensure the integrity of your photo backups, it is best to choose a solution that offers comprehensive data protection features, such as two-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, data integrity verification, zero-knowledge encryption, and ransomware protection.

Ease of use

Reliable cloud photo storage services should be easy to use by people of all expertise levels. A robust solution can offer features like an intuitive folder system, gallery-sharing features, backup scheduling, backup automation, individual file recovery, etc.

Highly customizable features can enable you to set up the backup agent precisely as you want it and leave the rest to the software, knowing your data is securely stored on a dedicated cloud as soon as it's created. This way, you will have more time to take photos rather than spend it manually backing up every single image.


Pricing is another factor to consider when choosing an online photo storage service. Options range from free storage offerings to subscription-based and one-time purchases. However efficient it may seem, free storage limits the protection features on your cloud data, as such platforms are typically focused on file-sharing and accessibility rather than true backup.

For paid versions, it is best to look for a solution offering flexible subscription rates. Such an option will enable you to scale up or down based on your data-creation needs, thus optimizing your storage space usage and expenditure.

Storage capacity

While in the past, photo creation was limited by film capacity, today, people can take hundreds (or even thousands) of pictures a day with just their smartphone. Storage capacity is critical to ensure all essential data is stored safely post-creation.

One solution can offer unlimited storage space, while a different cloud storage platform can provide tiered storage plans, ranging from free storage to a subscription-based specific amount (typically, in the terabytes). It is important to explore the options available (free and paid) and make an informed decision based on your photo storage needs and their potential to grow (or shrink) in the future.

Device compatibility

Device compatibility is critical for a robust cloud storage solution. Many services are designed with a specific OS in mind, making them better suited for either Android or iOS devices. However, some cloud storage options are compatible with both, making them ideal for hybrid home or business networks. This way, even if your family or staff uses both Android and iOS devices, all their photos can be securely stored under the same subscription.

It is important to note that even if multiple devices use the same online cloud storage, a dedicated cloud backup solution can provide individual accounts for every user to ensure privacy and data integrity across all backups.

Multi-device compatibility is essential to ensure convenience and optimize cloud storage costs and recovery efficiency. Instead of needing two separate subscriptions for Android and iOS devices, you could use one that supports both. Relying on a backup service that enables multi-device backup and recovery to dissimilar hardware (and software) also means you won't need to worry about sticking to the same OS only to keep using your chosen cloud backup solution.

Tips for Choosing the Best-Priced Cloud Backup for Photos Plan

Pricing plans and cost vs. benefit are critical factors when choosing cloud storage for photos. Below, we will explore the primary things to consider during pricing plan evaluation.

Evaluating free storage options

Many cloud storage platforms offer free storage options with limited storage and functionality capabilities. You can evaluate those to understand the baseline for expected features and available storage space. If the free storage plan meets your immediate needs, you can use it as a reliable trial to assess if the solution suits you.

Evaluating paid plans and available features

You can also explore the paid plans offered by different cloud storage providers. The primary factors here are features and storage capacity. Paid plans usually provide more extensive cloud storage, collaboration and file management tools, and enhanced security features.

Cost vs. Benefits evaluation

After the initial research, you can assess the cost-effectiveness of various paid plans by exploring the available benefits. You can calculate how the pricing of a specific plan aligns with the available file storage space, the security features provided, and the list of additional features you'd be able to access. (should you commit to the paid plan)

You should also consider the scalability potential of the plan to ensure your future storage needs are met. Such an evaluation process can guarantee that you're investing your money into a reliable plan that will serve you today, tomorrow, and for years to come.

Promotional offers

It is also an excellent practice to look out for promotional offers, bundled services, or discounts offered by cloud storage providers. Some services can offer special benefits for annual subscriptions (more storage space, unlimited backup) or promotions, including various additional services, to potentially maximize the value of your purchase.

Ensuring Data Security with Online Image Backup

Data backups are a pivotal element of adequate data security. However, improperly managed backups can raise severe security threats to your photos and other data.

Suppose you keep your photos online, on a public cloud, under a free plan that doesn't offer advanced data protection features. Every time you upload a backup to the cloud, you are exposing your personal photos to interception by malicious parties. If your transfer connection isn't encrypted, a malware attack can strike and hijack all of your photos. It can then hold them for ransom or permanently erase them.

For professional photographers, storing client photos on an unprotected cloud can have financial, legal, and image ramifications. Losing access to your clients' cherished pictures will not only distress them but also raise issues regarding your work conduct, data safety habits, and business continuity.

To avoid such unpleasant scenarios, you must take the time to explore available options and choose a reliable, secure cloud storage solution. This way, you can ensure the integrity and availability of all your photos in the long run.

Security features of Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office: Smart protection for your photos

Military-grade encryption

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office provides end-to-end encryption, powered by AES-256 data encryption, to ensure all data, at rest and in transit, is protected at all times. This means that only you will be able to access your photos before, during, and after a successful backup to cloud storage.

Ransomware protection

ACPHO relies on award-winning anti-ransomware technology powered by AI-based static and behavior anti-malware analysis to counter advanced cyber threats, such as zero-day attacks. The built-in automatic recovery from ransomware ensures that even if an attack bypasses your defenses, your photos will be protected and accessible.

Moreover, the anti-ransomware features expand to your photo backups, providing immutable storage to ensure photos in cloud storage can't be deleted or encrypted by malicious software.

Data integrity verification

Acronis Cyber Notary Cloud is a one-of-a-kind feature that detects and prevents advanced malware to offer remediation and investigation capabilities. It provides total data protection by ensuring data has remained unchanged while in cloud backup via behavioral and signature-based anti-malware. It also packs endpoint protection management, backup, and DR in one solution.

While a robust cloud storage solution is critical to protect your photos, several best practices can be used to further fortify your data. Those can include the following:

  • Keep your devices and software updated with the latest security patches; otherwise, you risk leaving known vulnerabilities within your system, which cyber attackers can exploit to access your information.
  • Assign access privileges to essential photos so that only you can access them. You can also implement multi-factor authentication to ensure only you can access your photos on primary devices and in cloud storage.
  • Implement available encryption features to safeguard data at rest and in transit. This way, even if a malware attack targets a photo backup, threat actors won't be able to access your images.

Best Practices for Backup Images Online

Below, we will explore some tips and best practices for managing your photo collection efficiently, ensuring long-term accessibility and quick recovery (whenever needed).

Create a Master Collection

Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, there's a good chance your photos reside on different devices. Some (or most) may be on your smartphone, while others may be on a digital camera or your PC. To ensure all photos you've taken are protected, it's best to take the time to gather them in a single location. This doesn't mean erasing them from all other devices just yet. You can copy all images from multiple devices and store them on the device designated for your backup-creation machine.

The gathering part may take some time, but it will give you a chance to review all the images again. Moreover, it will put them in a single place, thus easing editing and organization. Once that's done, you can move on to the next step.

Edit and organize all your photos

Now that you have copied all images to a single location, you can sort, edit, and organize them. You can delete the ones you don't need to thin out the collection volume and proceed to editing and organization. If you want to keep all photos, even without editing them, that's totally up to you.

In such a case, organizing them by events, date, or other tags you deem appropriate is best. You can create separate folders for different images and spread your collection across them. This way, you will ease up photo recovery in the future. It will also enable easy access to specific photos, even if you only want to browse and look at them again. (for example, you can store RAW files in subfolders within the folder storing edited photo versions)

Label all photos

Labeling all photos complements the last step we discussed. Correctly naming different folders containing various photos will ease browsing and photo access in the future. Moreover, with a solution that enables individual file recovery (such as ACPHO), you will be able to quickly pinpoint the image you need to restore and recover it.

Set a sensible backup schedule

Once you have organized all the photos in the Master collection, you can create a backup and store it in several locations: an external hard drive, a USB flash drive, and the cloud. You can use encryption to ensure only you can access all backup copies.

However impressive, a Master backup will only protect the photos you have already taken. It is best to set up a regular, continuous backup plan to safeguard future images. This way, you can upload images to cloud storage as soon as they're taken. With a robust solution, you can set up a flexible schedule to ensure all photos are protected without using all of the free space left on the cloud according to your subscription plan. To complement that last point, you can regularly audit your cloud photo library and only keep the necessary backups.

Automate backups

Suppose you take hundreds of photos during a festive event. You go home and upload RAW files to your computer but want to take a moment to relax and do something around the house. You then get carried away and forget to transfer said files to online storage. The following day, your hard drive crashes, leaving you locked out of the photos you took yesterday. If you haven't reformatted the memory card on your digital camera, you can restore the images from there. But if you have, you'd need professional data recovery services to recover the photos.

Now, let's say you had automated your backup solution to copy and transfer photos to the cloud as soon as they were uploaded to your computer. You would find all the images in secure cloud storage without needing to revive your hard drive or pay for a professional data extraction service.

Robust cloud backup solutions, such as Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, let you automate backups according to your specific needs and preferences. You must only set up the backup process from your desktop app once. Afterward, the solution will take care of the backup process independently. You can rest assured your photos are regularly uploaded to the cloud without the need to initiate the process manually.

That said, it's sensible to browse your cloud backups occasionally to audit them and optimize storage space. You can also set retention rates to let the solution know when to dispose of obsolete backups to clear space for new ones.


Whether you're a casual or a professional photographer, your photos deserve adequate protection. Be it accidental deletion, hardware failure, or cyberattacks, your images can be deleted, altered, or made inaccessible following a data loss event.

To counter such a scenario, it's essential to employ sensible backup. While physical backups are a fundamental element of data protection strategies, you can also upload photos to secure cloud storage to diversify your backups and ensure image integrity and accessibility.

Some cloud backup platforms offer free storage space with limited features, while other cloud storage options provide unlimited storage, advanced file-sharing features, and enhanced cybersecurity. Selecting the most suitable cloud storage solution for your needs is crucial to safeguard your photos while optimizing storage space costs.

While pricing, ease of use, and platform compatibility are important, data protection features are arguably the most critical element in a robust cloud storage service. If done manually, protecting your photos from system crashes and malicious attacks can be overwhelming. Still, with the help of a reliable service, such as Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, you can fortify your photo collection against viruses, malware attacks, accidental deletion, and natural disasters.

ACPHO lets you schedule and automate cloud backups while ensuring end-to-end encryption for all photos before, during, and after cloud storage migration. This ensures that only you have access to your images.

If you want to leverage a user-friendly, secure, and reliable cloud backup solution, try Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
For Home Office

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About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.

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