Precious memories can be tough to come by, with a majority of these fleeting moments even tougher to photograph. Luckily, with the proliferation of smartphones and other quick-grab mobile devices, we all have access to some kind of camera and capturing an image takes no time at all. And whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned photographer, our phones and tablets have a number of photo-editing tools (opens in new tab) to make those near-and-dear moments truly shine.
But what do you do when you’ve run through all the internal memory available on your go-to picture-taking gadget? For those of us looking to house our photos and videos in a safe, secure, and easily accessible digital space, cloud storage (opens in new tab) is the modern answer to backing up files.
- Interested in IDrive Photos? Check out the website here (opens in new tab)
IDrive Photos (opens in new tab), an extension of the umbrella IDrive (opens in new tab) cloud storage service, is a mobile app built for iOS and Android devices that allows you to house the pictures on your phone in a protective cloud, allowing you to free up memory on your device. We spent some time with the IDrive Photos app and have our own thoughts to share (mostly great ones) on this photo backup tool.
- Also check out our complete list of the best cloud storage for photos (opens in new tab)
iDrive Photos is packed with plenty of perks for the average picture-taker, as well as photographic connoisseurs. For starters, all of your images are backed up to the IDrive cloud in their original resolution. This is especially great for those snapping pictures with premium settings like HDR enabled.
Conveniently, IDrive allows access to your backup gallery by simply signing into your iDrive Photos account from whatever device you’re using. You’ll also be able to download photos straight from the gallery to whatever phone or tablet you’re logged in with -- even if it’s not the device you backed up.
In terms of pricing you can’t do much better than IDrive Photos, where your entire first year will only run you $0.99 for unlimited storage. Compare that to $36/year with 200GB for iCloud for Photos (opens in new tab) or $24/year with 100GB for Google Photos (opens in new tab). While the significant discount only applies to your first year with iDrive, you’ll only pay $10/year when your second year of storage begins. You also get 1TB PC/Mac Backup as a free bonus.
When you transfer files of any kind to a backup cloud space, it’s imperative that the media you’re sharing is safely uploaded and protected during both the actual transfer and once the file is successfully stored.
We tested the IDrive Photos app using an iPhone 12. Once the app is downloaded and launched, you’ll be prompted to sign in with your IDrive login if you’ve already made one. If not, there are links to create an account or to sign in using your Apple ID or Google login.
The first stop on the IDrive journey is the app’s home screen. Here you’ll find all of the photos and videos that you’ve backed up, listed in order from the date they were taken.
When you tap a photo or video, you’ll be taken to a separate screen where the image is displayed.
Below your picture, you’ll find quick links to download the photo, add it to your favorites screen, and the option to delete it from your IDrive gallery. Swiping left and right will take you one picture forward or backward in your gallery.
There’s also a share button that uses your device’s built-in share module to send the photo to your mobile contacts or to post it to social media.
Unfortunately, you won’t find any kind of photo editing suite built into the IDrive app. While you can certainly employ your own device’s photo tools to edit individual photos before they’re uploaded to the club, having even the most basic of adjustments built into the app (brightness, contrast, color grading, sharpness, etc.) would be a nice add-on.
IDrive Photos is available for iOS and Android devices. When you want to access your gallery, and you don’t have a mobile device nearby, you can use any major web browser to log into your IDrive account through the IDrive website (opens in new tab).
IDrive (opens in new tab), the app's parent cloud provider, can be used for all kinds of file types, not just images and videos. While a free plan will only net you 5GB of storage, you can upgrade to a premium account, giving you 5TB worth of storage for $79.50/year.
Another contender is Backblaze (opens in new tab). Similar to IDrive Photos, Backblaze provides unlimited storage for all your photos for only $6/month. The service has no limits on file size and automated backups of your pictures, but there are a few drawbacks, too. For one, there’s no way to share your photos with your contacts or across social media channels. You also can’t share your subscription across multiple computers (no mobile support at all), meaning if you have pictures on a second PC, you’ll need a second Backblaze account to back these secondary pics up.
Then there’s Dropbox (opens in new tab) and Google Photos (opens in new tab), featuring both free and paid backup plans for desktop and mobile platforms. Google Photos once offered unlimited storage but has since removed this tier of service in favor of a pay-walled Google One membership that removes limitations on file size and adds extra storage space to your account.
IDrive Photos may not offer the most exciting user interface or photo editing tools, but when it comes to the safe and secure storage of your treasured photos and videos, it’s one of the safest and certainly most limitless cloud backup services out there.
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