Photo hosting/cloud storage options?

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by mhedges, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    What does everyone use for photo hosting or cloud storage? I have been using iCloud, and I'm perfectly happy with the ease of use but I can't deal with the lack of folders much longer. I've just got too many images to have them all in one directory.
     

     

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  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Since I'm an Office365 subscriber, I have 1TB of storage on OneDrive. My phone automatically backs up to it when I connect to WiFi. It also may have some photo display options but I have not yet tried that feature. It definitely has folders though, and I can create unlimited subfolders as needed.
     
  3. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    DropBox lets you use folders. Not the cheapest, but good. Google Drive is handy as well. There are others of course. For short term (and sharing) wetransfer.com is also an option. Be aware, some only let you save .jpeg. If you want to go .tiff people like DropBox and Google are good.

    I also use actual hard drives, all files on two drives at two different locations. External drives are cheap these days
     
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  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    :thumbsup:

    If I set up my Synology NAS to do so, I can actually sync folders on the NAS to my OneDrive (or any other cloud service) automatically. That is more of a backup situation than anything else, though (not for display, in other words.) I had considered Amazon Glacier but don't want to get involved that deeply at the moment.
     
  5. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Can you get 1 TB Onedrive storage without the Office subscription? I get office through my work anyway so I don't need it.
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I poked around a bit--they do have a $60/year business plan with 1TB of storage space. $5/month is pretty cheap for backup IMHO. Visit this page, and click the "Business" tab. The storage for personal use is strangely a lot more money (50GB for $1.99/month). Just to see what the process is like, I signed up for a 1TB business trial account (30 days), and it worked. It only required a text message to verify I'm not a "robot." I did not have to use a credit card for the trial.

    From the looks of it, my trial business account can have up to 25 licenses, and 24 of 25 are available. What I would think happens is that if I assign another license, that is a second 1TB OneDrive instance, and if it were a billed account, I would probably owe them another $60/year for that additional license.

    upload_2018-3-19_16-3-4.png

    I lucked out in that I picked up Office 365 back in Feb. 2014 while I was still taking courses at a nearby college. The license was $79 for four years. I bought another license, intending to have someone else in the family use it, but that fell through and I had an extra license. So when my first license expired, I was able to enter the code from that license and extended my subscription for four more years. (The terms allow one four-year extension while under the Student plan.) In essence, I am paying less than $20/year for Office 365... ;) (And it's one perk from still having my .edu email address.)

    OneDrive does have the folders, plus it also has Photos and Albums features so photos can be organized and shared.

    And anything can be backed up to OneDrive--it takes any kind of file. So it is not limited to only media and photos.
     

     

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  7. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Thanks yeah it looks like that is probably the cheapest offering, even though I would technically be paying for stuff I don't need. Google wants $10 a month just for storage. Not sure about Dropbox prices but I don't want to use it anyway since it is blocked at my work.
     
  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    It's really not a bad deal compared to others. The fee is mainly for the storage--the photo organizing part is just something extra they do in software, which is what the other cloud subscriptions offer. There are no Office apps included in the subscription, although OneDrive is managed through the Office site. (It took me a minute of poking around the dashboard to see exactly what I had for the trial.)

    I used to use Dropbox (I earned a lot of free storage over the years), but have pretty much abandoned it now that I have a larger OneDrive. My Google Drive is mainly filled with automatic backups from my phones and tablet, and I rarely ever access it.
     
  9. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Do the files uploaded to one drive also take up space on your hard drive? I was going to give Apple iCloud Drive a try because I already had a 50 gb subscription but found out the hard way that it always keeps a local copy so you can’t really save any space with it. Actually you wind up using 2x the space unless you are brave enough to delete the original after copying over to the iCloud Drive.
     
  10. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

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    I have unlimited space on Photobucket. I am one of the first user on Photobucket and for this reason they give me unlimited space on its servers. Also I have a BOX account with 50GB free space where I put other files.
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    It depends. Windows 10 has OneDrive integration to where I can decide if I want the file (or folder) to be "online only," in which case the file entry in Explorer is more like a shortcut to the file, so it is only still a click or two away if needed. Prior to that, I would simply choose not to sync a folder to the computer...but it was more difficult to add or access files because it was not listed in Explorer.

    The other option is to use OneDrive via the web only, in which case it doesn't even touch the drive. It's just a matter of dragging files or folders to the open OneDrive browser window and letting it run.
     
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  12. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Thanks again. Looks like iCloud Drive can do the same - if I don’t sync the drive and just use the website it won’t take up space. But you can’t copy whole folders, which is a PITA. And there are no thumbnails so image browsing is a chore at best. Does onedrive do thumbnails?

    I’m getting the feeling cloud storage is still maturing and isn’t quite ready for prime time. Now that I understand it better I’m wondering what the point is of these very large capacity plans. Very few people would be able to sync at 500gb+. Even though storage is cheap in general hardware is moving away from high capacity local storage.
     
  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    For viewing files, there are these options when you are within a folder:

    upload_2018-3-26_16-51-45.png

    Tiles gives you a view like this:

    upload_2018-3-26_16-52-49.png

    If you click on an individual photo, you can view them one by one, add to an album, share, order prints, etc. Hard to see all the options here:

    upload_2018-3-26_16-58-3.png

    Using "Photos" from that menu simply gives a larger tiled view of the photos.

    The way I normally would sync a folder would be to drag it over to my OneDrive in Windows Explorer, then change the folder so it is available only online. (I made a mistake in a post earlier--the option is now called "Free up space" in the Explorer right-click menu, to make a file or folder online only.) But I can also drag a folder to the web interface and it will upload the folder and the files within it, with no other action needed on my part.

    You can share individual files or entire folders. One "gotcha," though--make sure you untick the "allow edits" box when sharing. That is used more for collaborating on files when in an office environment, but if sharing for any other reason, there is no need for anyone else to be able to edit a file or folder in your account.

    As for cloud hosting in general, it's misleading the way many of the marketing companies use the term "cloud." In essence, it is simply a virtual machine, or virtual storage space, within a large array of computers. You're not actually uploading to a specific server, but a cloud service which stores your data "all over" (I won't get into the technical end of it), as opposed to hosting it on one particular storage device, whether that be memory or a spinning hard disk. Redundancy is a benefit, as a failure of a single hard disk unit will not affect anyone's data.

    It's interfacing with the cloud that needs some work. OneDrive seems to have it fairly well implemented, as do a few others, and every so often I find little improvements. I know they all need to listen to their users more, however. Windows and OneDrive had removed the "offline only" support for at least a year, and only re-introduced it as the "Free up space" option just recently. I'd say the cloud services right now are varying degrees of "good" but not yet "excellent." Each one probably lacks a major feature or two we'd all want to have.
     
  14. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    My confusion wasn’t the technical details exactly. At least, that’s not how I would describe it. I had considered cloud drives as basically no different than a normal networked drive, which of course does not take up storage space on the client machine. But really they are more like mirrors. At least with the standard current implementation.

    I think a lot of people feel the same as I do. If you do searches for this you get tons of hits about it. People think that cloud service means they don’t need a lot of local storage but that’s not the case with the default settings for the two largest OEM providers.
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I guess it depends on how they are used. Accessed by a web interface, they can be used simply for additional file storage space. Once you tie it into the OS, and depending on how it is set up, you can sync all folders to the cloud (the "mirroring" in other words), choose only selected folders to sync or, like I do, set the files and/or folders for online only access, where the "file" shown in Explorer really is just a shortcut to the file hosted remotely. So at least with OneDrive it is like a mix of mirroring and extra drive space. While I can't exactly map it as a "drive" per se, it does show up as an additional destination in Explorer.

    I have a rather large portion of the drive with currently about 270GB of files on it. On the laptop I don't sync this folder, but on my main desktop computer, I set them to "Free up space" (aka online only) so it doesn't eat up valuable space on the SSD.

    The mirror aspect is very handy, though--my important documents are saved to OneDrive and therefore available on any device use, and synced on the desktop and laptop. I always have a current copy available that way.

    "Cloud" computing, though, is more about the underlying technology than the type of service being offered, whether it be file hosting, server hosting, archival storage, etc. It's the marketing departments that warped it to mean "remote storage."
     

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