Best Google Photos alternatives
The Pixel exception
Well, if you’re one of those proud Google Pixel phone owners, the above shouldn’t concern you, as Google has confirmed that Pixel users will continue to benefit from unlimited free photo backups at ‘high quality’ beyond June 1, 2021. Just make sure to check your quality settings in the Photos app by going to back up & sync in Settings on your Pixel device.
What will happen with my current albums?
Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward the 15GB free storage quota. This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021 will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit.
So, yeah - you could back up everything before that date but this doesn’t solve the problem with any future uploads and backups. You won’t suddenly stop taking photos and videos, right? And to make matters worse, the 15GB free storage is shared with all other Google services, including your Gmail account. To put it bluntly, you’ll be out of storage pretty soon.
Let’s explore the alternatives then and help you choose the best solution beforehand. There are many cloud storage services available, some of which offer great features. Here’s our list of best Google Photos alternatives.
You’re probably gritting your teeth right now. Why play by Google’s rules and start coughing out money right away? The sole reason Google is ending unlimited photos is to promote its Google One service, right? Calm down, there are certain benefits in opting for Google’s premium storage service.
The biggest one is that you won’t need to worry about signing up for a new service, transferring photos, creating new backup rules - basically setting up the service from scratch. The obvious caveat is that you’ll be paying for shared storage - your Gmail and Google Drive files will count toward your quota.
The pricing is also very reasonable - you can get 100GB of storage for $2/mo or $20 if you decide to pay annually. Most people will be perfectly fine with this storage capacity but if you’re trigger-happy with your 4K videos and hi-res pictures, there are other tiers right up to 20TB of space. Google also offers benefits to family members - you can share your subscription with 5 additional family members. So, it’s up to you if you decide to stay in the Google ecosystem or try to find your cloud happiness somewhere else.
Amazon Photos is a great option if you use Amazon services. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get unlimited storage for your photos and 5GB for videos. If you’re new to Amazon, the 5GB limit applies to photos as well. Just like Google One, Amazon Photos offers a 100GB storage plan for $1.99/mo, and also the same option to share your storage with five family members.
If you need more storage, there’s a 1TB option that will cost you $6.99/mo. Using the Amazon Photos app, you can view your photos and videos on all your devices and easily set a cool personal wallpaper on your Fire TV or tablet. It’s down to personal preference as both Google One and Amazon Photos offer similar plans and features. It all boils down to that Amazon Prime membership in the end.
Let’s not forget Apple’s own cloud storage service - iCloud. Almost half of the US population uses an iPhone or other iOS device, so it’s a no-brainer. Opting to stay in the ecosystem will save you some troubles too. There’s an entry tier 50GB option for just $0.99/mo, so you can try this one out before you go all-in. iCloud will back up almost everything you do on your iPhone and sync your data across your devices.
The pricing is similar to other services like Google One and Amazon Photos, although with iCloud you’re getting 200GB for $2.99/mo, which is a better deal at this tier. You can also get 2TB for $9.99/mo - matching the Google One price tag at this storage capacity. Again, if you’re an iPhone user, this Google Photos alternative might be the best option for you.
pCloud is a really interesting service as it offers what Google Photos has taken away - lifetime storage. For $175 you get 500GB of storage that won’t expire over time - it’s a one-time payment and 500GB should last quite a while if you’re only backing up photos.
If you’re willing to pay $350, you’ll get four times the storage - 2TB. There’s also a free option, of course, but it’s limited to 10GB. There are annual plans but they’re not worth it at $47/year, especially if you decide to commit for the long run.
pCloud can automatically upload your files to the cloud, and sync your devices. The service offers a very solid 256-bit encryption to all the stored files, so that’s a cool bonus. And you can export/import files from other services such as DropBox, Facebook, Instagram, OneDrive, and Google Drive, making backups a tad easier.
Download the pCloud app:
Dropbox is another very popular cloud storage option but it is a bit pricier than other services and less flexible in the lower tier. The “basic” storage option starts at 2TB and costs $11.99/mo or $9.99/mo if billed annually. In the upper tiers, things go to 5TB and if you’re a business user or a company, you can even buy unlimited storage for $15/mo per user (3+ users required).
Dropbox might not be as well integrated with other services and devices as Google One or iCloud but it offers some powerful features. It can scan documents, automatically backup photos and videos, share large files with others, use a password vault, and more. If you want to stray away from big companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple, this is your option.