5 Cloud Drives to Securely Store Your Memories

1 June 2020 • Memories

Cloud Storage for Photos

In this day and age, a person takes an average of 150 photos per month, or around 5 pictures a day. Those who take up photography as a hobby shoots even more than that. You can't keep all of those large photo files in your phone or even laptop forever, especially if you have limited memory space. Even if you had the space to store all those pictures, would you really be comfortable keeping all those precious memories in a fragile device like a phone or laptop? Good memories cannot be replicated or replaced, so why risk losing them in a physical device? 

Pioneering companies like Dropbox and Google revolutionized this niche industry by offering cloud storage services, which allows users to store, access, and share files from any device, anywhere in the world. Apple users also have the iCloud integrated into their devices for easy cloud storage. Initially, users utilized cloud drives simply for backup copies or for work files that can easily be shared with colleauges, but eventually people started using these platforms as their primary storage host. 

Let's look at five of the best cloud storage services where you can safely store your invaluable memories, so that you have peace of mind.

Memories

1. Dropbox

As noted earlier, Dropbox was one of the pioneers of cloud storage. Not only is Dropbox user-friendly with its easy navigation and functions, it also allowed users to share files seemlessly. Dropbox can be used on any device, because it syncs the Dropbox app on your smartphone with the desktop app, which you can access through your desktop or laptop. 

Dropbox is a great option to store your "digital memories" because its Dropbox Basic account is free and comes with 2GB of storage space. The basic account is catered to those who only want to use Dropbox for personal files. If you want a larger storage space, like 2 TB, you can open a Plus account for $9.99 per month. This is a better option for those who have numerous large video files that need to be stored. 

However, Dropbox isn't without controversy. In 2011, it had a glitch in which accounts could be accessed without passwords for several hours. In 2014, its encryption system was criticized when passwords for 68 million accounts were leaked. It was also cited in leaked government memos for possible inclusion in the NSA's illegal domestic surveillance program called PRISM. However, Dropbox founders assured customers that it has greatly improved security since then. 

2. Google Photos

Google Photos and Google Drive are also very popular options for cloud storage. This is because many people have Google accounts either through opening a Gmail account, YouTube account, or if their Android phone has Google integrated, such as the Pixel smartphone series. For this reason, many people have access to Google Photos. A few years ago, opening a Google account will automatically give you access to all Google products, such as Photos and Drive. Nowadays, you have the option to choose which Google products you want associated with your account. 

Google Photos, which was used mainly as the default cloud storage for some Android phones, is not as popular as Google Drive. However, it is user-friendly and makes organizing photo files easy. Google Photos also uses a powerful facial recognition software, and picks up the location tags and time stamps. 

Like Dropbox, Google has had numerous controversies with data protection and user privacy. However, the tech giant is constantly improving data security. Google Photos is free to use when you open a Google account. If you already have one, you can just go to any Google product, like Gmail, and go to Google Apps (the grid of dots on the upper-right corner) and go to Google Photos. It's a great option for those who don't want to pay for cloud storage service. 

3. Sync

Sync is a good alternative to Dropbox and Google Photos. It claims to have a much more secure encryption system. Sync, true to its name, backs up your files automatically, so that they're all in one centralized location, and keeps them synced across all of your computers and devices. Sync is available as an app for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and the web.

One of its standout features is the fact that you can send files of any size to anyone, even if they don't have a Sync account. Other apps and platforms have size file limitations, so Sync is a great option for those who like to take photos with their DSLR cameras or record 4K videos. Multiple users can work from the same set of folders, making collaboration easy. This comes in handy if you're doing a family tree or digital memory book project with others. Other features include: file requests, password protection, notifications, expiry dates and permissions.

Sync offers a Starter Plan that is free to use, and comes with all the basic features you need to start hosting and sharing your treasured memories. 

4. Tresorit

Tresorit is quite similar to Sync in that it assures customers that their security system is top-notch. Tresorit helps you store and share files securely in their cloud drive. All files and documents are shared using end-to-end encryption. Tresorit allows you to collaborate with family and friends seamlessly, especially if you're working on an online memorial page or memory scrapbook. It's easy to upload and access your files with zero-knowledge encryption from any desktop and mobile device using Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and from any browser.

You can send files up to 5 GB for free on the Tresorit website itself. As a journalist, I use it to send files to my editors, colleauges, or sources. If it's good enough for an investigative reporter like me, it will definitely be secure enough for you. 

5. pCloud

pCloud is another great alternative for personal use. It claims that if users sign up, they can get 10 GB free cloud storage, and that over 10,000,000 users have switched to pCloud to store all of their files. Like the other progams on this list, users can save their files and have them available on their laptop with pCloud Drive, phone or the web. It also allows users to collaborate and share files easily. Like Sync and Tresorit, pCloud uses an encryption system for securing file transfers and sharing, called pCloud Crypto.

pCloud, although it has limited-function free plans, can be quite costly compared to other cloud storage hosts if you choose their premium plans. These feature-rich plans can cost between $47.88 and $95.88 annually. However, for the common user, these plans won't be necessary unless you're looking to store large photo files or video clips. 

Whatever you choose that you feel is right for your needs, the important thing is that you have a secure and easy-to-use cloud drive to store your valuable, wonderful memories. 

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