Google Photos alternatives: Some of the best free options

Google Photos alternatives: Some of the best free options

Now that Google Photos no longer offers free unlimited storage for your images and videos, you might be on the lookout for an alternative. After trialing a number of options, here is our shortlist of the best free Google Photos alternatives.

The biggest downside is that if you’re hoping for an alternative that offers anything close to the seamless Google Photos experience without any sort of cost, then prepare to have your expectations tempered. While we’ve been spoiled simply by how good Google Photos is, in reality, it probably couldn’t have stayed free forever.

A simple solution to your problem is to just bite the bullet and opt for the 100GB Google One plan and ensure you don’t have to switch. Google One offers some neat benefits, including smartphone backups and even some perks from time to time — like a free Nest Mini or YouTube Premium subscription.

If you don’t want to part with any cash, then we’ve done our very best to find some alternative solutions. Be warned, the 15GB of free storage that comes with a Google account still trumps many of these alternatives, and to get the most from the rival services you might need to hand over money in much the same way as with the Google One service.

Note: Pricing and storage information correct as of July 2021.

Video — Some of the best free Google Photos alternatives

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Amazon Photos

The only outright replacement for Google Photos relies heavily on a yearly subscription. However, if you are already subscribed to Amazon Prime, then Amazon Photos is the way to go. In a similar vein to that of a Google One subscription plan, you’re not just getting a place to store all of your photos, the perks of Amazon Prime are also a big reason that you might want to check this out if you haven’t done so already.

One major sore point is that while photo storage is technically unlimited, cloud storage for video is capped at just 5GB. If you record at full HD resolution or above, you might run into problems, which means that this Google Photos alternative is best for people only wanting to store photos rather than mixed media. Should you end your Amazon Prime subscription, you’ll also need to find an alternate place to store all of your media too. That said, all accounts can take advantage of 5GB of free storage.

A big bonus is that you can use the Amazon Photos app on your Android or iOS to automatically back up your camera roll in much the same way as the Google Photos app. It goes a step further by allowing you to connect your PC or Mac, too, making it even easier to back things up to the cloud.

OneDrive

  • 5GB free to all users
  • 100GB priced at $1.99/month

If you’re a Windows 10 user, then you might already use OneDrive. Every account gets 5GB of free storage right out of the gate. Sure, it’s not exactly the greatest, but it’s a way to backup and even transfer files between your devices without too much hassle.

5GB is not very much, but it’s a starting point and another option to choose from when you want to store some of the files on your smartphone. Being able to sync directly with Windows 10 thanks to the OS integration, Microsoft’s service is a very good option that actually performs really well.

Kudos to Microsoft on the quality of the OneDrive Android app too. It’s slick, clean, and provides a sensible layout for your files with added features like an encrypted Vault for any of your important files. The integration with other Microsoft suite products is also another key reason that OneDrive stacks up as a Google Photos alternative.

Flickr

  • Free storage for 1,000 photos for all users
  • Unlimited storage priced at $60/year

Flickr’s 1,000 photo free storage tier doesn’t sound like much compared to the original 1TB of free storage that ended in 2019. It might just be enough for sporadic photographers who just want a place to store your full-resolution images. The impressive sharing capabilities is one of the core reasons why you might choose to store some of your best images on Flickr rather than Google Photos.

The company claims that around 97% of its users have less than 1,000 photos on Flickr. A Pro tier allows you to have unlimited storage for $60 per year, which is the outright best deal for hardcore photographers as Flickr does not place limits on image file size.

Adobe Creative Cloud

  • 100GB free to Creative Cloud subscribers
  • 1TB storage with Lightroom priced at $9.99/month

Another option that, like Amazon Prime, might be useful if you already subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud or a specific application package. Make no mistake, Adobe’s cloud storage platform is very expensive if you do not use any of the extensive suite of applications as part of the Creative Cloud plan.

As just an alternative Google Photos option that you can access and haven’t already tried or used your free 100GB cloud locker. That sizeable allowance is only available as part of the $52.99-per-month plan that includes all Adobe software.

Dropbox

  • 2GB free to all users
  • 2TB storage priced at $9.99/month

One of the very earliest free cloud storage options from way back in the early 2000s and while it still has a place, the free account now feels very, very stingy with a 2GB cap. If you’re not willing to spend any money, then Dropbox isn’t a great competitor to Google Photos.

That said, while a paltry allowance by 2021 standards, 2GB for free, is still 2GB of space to slap a few hundred photos. The Dropbox app includes some neat features like a PDF/document scanner. Unfortunately, some features including the password sync and password protected storage requires a Pro or premium account.

For $9.99 per month, you do gain 2TB of cloud storage and those aforementioned features. That is quite a substantial amount of online storage for $120 per year.

Degoo

  • 100GB free to all users
  • 500GB storage priced at $2.99/month

A slightly lesser-known alternative to Google Photos with a sizeable free storage option is Degoo. 100GB is a very good allowance for all of your photo storage needs and it lets you sign in to your Google account – which is a nice bonus.

The app isn’t that great, but Degoo offers unlimited file size uploads with no quality reduction. Here’s a big bonus, for every single friend you refer, you’ll get an extra 5GB of free storage up to 500GB. A downside is that there are intermittent ads, plus you’re limited to three devices and your account can be closed after 90 days of inactivity, which might be enough of a compromise for people wanting an extra free photo and file storage option.

500GB of monthly storage is cheap at just $2.99 per month. That paltry pricing removes ads, increases referral bonuses to 10GB per friend who joins up to 1,000GB, and ends the 90-day login requirement.

Mega

Mega - Google Photos alternatives
  • 20GB free to all users w/ 5GB sign-up bonus
  • 400GB storage priced at $5.89/month

Regardless of your thoughts of the people behind Mega, the fact is that it usurps the free storage with a Google account by 5GB. 20GB (upped to 25GB with a sign-up bonus) of storage is available to all users, but there is some other features that simply don’t exist on the other Google Photos alternatives.

An encrypted messenger is included, with file sharing and collaboration tools available that might prove useful – if a little out of place. Mega is better suited to people wanting to share their files with friends and colleagues but does provide plenty of space to store your Google Photos library of photos and videos.

TeraBox

TeraBox - Google Photos alternatives
  • 1TB free to all users
  • 2TB storage priced at $3.99/month

TeraBox is an outside option for online storage but touts a frankly questionable 1TB of free online storage for your photos and files. This does fire off some “security concerns” areas in our minds, but the app may be using this as a way to pick up Google Photos users looking for an alternative place to store massive libraries. 1024GB of online space is likely going to be enough to keep people happy for a long, long time.

While the storage allowance is fairly sizeable, we would not suggest putting sensitive files or important files on TeraBox servers. The upload speeds are fine, but download speeds are fairly slow and sometimes a little shaky. Even so, we didn’t want to gloss over TeraBox as it might provide people with a high-volume free Google Photos alternative — with some caveats.

Local storage

  • 1TB storage starts at $50

Do you already have a hard drive laying around or plenty of space on your PC or laptop? Well, if you do, kiss the cloud goodbye and get back into local backups. In all honesty, this might be the best idea if you have thousands upon thousands of images and videos. The upside is that you can expand your storage at any point, the downside is that this comes with an associated cost.

However, a 4TB external drive can be picked up for under $100 and will provide more than enough space for thousands of high-resolution images and even hundreds of 4K UHD video clips and files. The process is a little slower and requires a PC or laptop for the transfer procedure, but provided you keep your drives offline, it’s actually one of the safest ways to store all of your personal memories and files.

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