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Thread: Online Photo Storage

  1. #1
    Member Member 21Kid's Avatar
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    Online Photo Storage

    I had a question about downloading, backup, storage, etc... but figured I'd make a catch-all title, since we don't like creating new threads around here. LOL

    95% of my photos are now taken with my phone and automatically backed up to Google Photos. It's a bit tedious to the download hundreds of photos, only to back them up locally.

    I'm wondering if it's even worth it. I've always been leery about things 'disappearing' or going away from the "cloud"... and previously preferred physical games, hardware, etc...

    But in 2021, is it even worth it to back them up to a local HDD if nearly all of my photos are already on the google photos? I'm guessing if Google ever decides to get rid of photos, they'd give people months (if not more) to download their photos.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Apple user here. I'm leery about Teh Cloud too. I don't even use Flickr any more, since they put in annoying changes that make it harder to share pics on mobile devices.

    Why can't we just have a photo hosting service that lets you easily upload and copy the photo URL on a mobile browser or app for posting on forums like this, huh?

    Anyway, I digress.

    For me, the best thing to do is still to copy over to a computer for long-term storage. I haven't really looked into iCloud either, as you only get 5GB of free storage, with larger capacities being quite expensive to subscribe to and open to vulnerabilities.

  3. #3
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    Since I have started using Picasa and Google Photos to back up photos and videos in the mid-2000s, I have had ~4 computers die/malfunction on me, and probably the same amount of backup hard drives and network attached storage. I've figured out how, from a browser at least, to pretty easily share photos from Google Photos.

    Whenever Google decides to kill/replace something, they give plenty of warning and a tool called Takeout let you download all of your data at any point. Unless you come up with a simple way to do it automatically, I don't see a reason to spend a bunch of money or effort on local backups.

    This did make me curious how much I actually have up on there, since most of it from the last 4 years doesn't count against my data limit since I got the first Pixel. My Google Dashboard tells me that I have almost 300k photos, but I don't see a way to get an accurate data usage count without letting a Takeout export finish.
    Get that weak shit off my track

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it when it comes to the major players like Amazon, Google, Apple, or Microsoft. They're all big enough that they're not going to go out of business without warning, and they all have policies in place for letting you make local backups and warning you if they change their policies about how much you can store or whatever. Those of us who used Google Music just learned that one, but they made it quite easy to download all the music you uploaded to the cloud with months upon months of warning that the end was nearing. They also all have data centers in multiple parts of the world and generally keep backups in at least two physical locations that are far from one another, like Herndon, VA and Sunnyvale, CA. Photos uploaded there are probably about as safe as they can possibly be.

    I've been using Microsoft's OneDrive for my overall storage needs. I pay $70 a year for Microsoft 365 Personal which gets me a license for the office suite and 1 TB of storage on OneDrive, then like Krunch I've got a Pixel and tons of photos stored with Google. I've got zero worries about either of those two being unreliable.

  5. #5
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    I generally agree with Swervo.

    Quote Originally Posted by 21Kid View Post
    But in 2021, is it even worth it to back them up to a local HDD if nearly all of my photos are already on the google photos? I'm guessing if Google ever decides to get rid of photos, they'd give people months (if not more) to download their photos.
    I still keep a local copy of all of my photos, partly because I don't upload my DSLR/Mirrorless photos onto services like Google Photos. I like to have a comprehensive local copy of everything and then do an unlimited backup from that to specialist backup services, just in case.

  6. #6
    Severed Member JoeW's Avatar
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    Just get a couple of 2-4TB drives for cheap. One for all your photos...and the other for all your photos

    Redundancy if you are really serious.

    I do photography as our family money making business and I have about 10 physical drives laying in a drawer with backups of backups.

  7. #7
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    I'd definitely still keep the cloud storage even if you do have the local storage. If it's important enough to back up, it's important enough to back up in more than one physical location. It'd suck to lose all of it to a fire or earthquake or some other disaster. Even if California falls into the sea, at least I know there's another copy in us-east-1 or whatever.

  8. #8
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    OK I am going on a mad train of thought here (bear with me as I have had a Centirizine tablet for hay fever relief and they give you wild dreams at night) but wouldn't going to those lengths to back up your data be a bit extreme?

    There must already be a principle which defines this, kind of like the Anthropic Principle, but unless nobody else has thought of this then I am going to call it the Johnson Principle:

    The Johnson Principle states that if a natural disaster occurs that is so great that a person's data backup could only be retrieved from a completely different region of the planet, then it is highly likely that the person who owns that data backup may have been killed by said natural disaster and unable to make use of it anyway, thus rendering that data backup to be unnecessary.

    Basically I am suggesting that a backup in a drawer at home and a copy of that data kept at work or a friend's house will be more than sufficient, and saves you money. And for those times when there might be a reasonable exception, for instance you might be on holiday when a whole chunk of your home continent sinks into the lower mantle, simply take a copy with you.

    <-- Says a guy who hasn't backed up his data in years.

  9. #9
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    I would say that before ubiquitous cloud storage, you're somewhat right. If it was a matter of storing data on physical media that you control and have to ship to storage that you're paying for, that's likely overkill. That said, if you have a house fire, having things like your financial documents and such safe somewhere else seems useful, and you'll likely survive your house burning down.

    Now, though, like I said - I pay just under $6 a month for a terabyte of data where they handle backing up over multiple physical locations for me, and I get Microsoft Office thrown in. Feels worth it to me.

  10. #10
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    I agree with Swervo.

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