Backing Up Pictures Online


For many home users, their family and ancestral pictures are the most precious data they have on their computer.  If anything took away those photos – a corrupted hard drive, a natural disaster, a glass of water spilled on the keyboard – they’d be devastated.

That’s why you should consider online backup is so important for photos. Sites that let you share photos – Facebook, flickr, photobucket – have been around for a while. While Facebook lets you upload your pictures for free, just as you upload your posts, digital-photo experts say the quality of the pictures isn’t top-grade because Facebook usually compresses them to take up less room on their servers. So if you lose your pictures on your hard drive and download them from Facebook, you might find that those images don’t match the quality of your originals. With other photo-sharing sites, like flickr and photobucket, the quality of your pictures will be better, but those sites allow only about 200 photos for free. After that, the pricing is about $25 a year, though it’s best to check the site for up-to-the-minute pricing.

If you’re an amateur photographer and take thousands of photos, you might also consider one of the digital backup services like Mozy and Carbonite. First, you’ll have to figure out if that’s enough for all your photos. The amount of space a photo takes up depends on its resolution, so bigger pictures will need more room. Most services offer 5G of free storage, but beyond that, you’ll need to pay. In any case, it’s probably better to overestimate the space you’ll need.

Downloading the software needed for the digital-backup program is easy, but sending the pictures could take a bit of time, depending on how many pictures you send and the speed of your internet connection. The good thing, though, is that the uploading program runs in the background while you’re doing something else, and you’re under no pressure to upload at lightning speed (unlike, say, a user who needs to digitally back up files for an urgent work-related project.) One more thing needs to be considered before you start digitally backing up your photos: How many do you really need? Ancestral photos are usually one of a kind, but we’ve all come home from a vacation with, say, ten picture of the same beach scene. Decide which you want to back up and which you don’t.  You’ll end up paying less—and having a much better-looking collection.
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