The day of reckoning is finally here. Google Photos is ending support for unlimited free storage from June 01, 2021, as per a policy change announced six months ago. And as such, from here on, any new photo or video that gets backed up to Google Photos will be counted towards the free 15GB storage that you get with your Google Account, or any extra storage space you’ve subscribed to. So, now you are left with the option of either buying additional storage from Google, if and when required, or else, switch to alternatives.
Best Google Photos Alternatives
If you’re wondering, what you can instead of Google Photos, here, we will be looking at some of the generally trusted (for security) and relatively affordable Google Photos alternatives available in the market.
1. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft’s pitch for Onedrive is “Save your files and photos to OneDrive and access them from any device, anywhere”. You get 5GB of free space with Onedrive registration. Now since there is no standalone app called Onedrive Photos or anything, the solution is little-known. Nonetheless, Onedrive Cloud Storage is a strong alternative to Google Photos. It offers organization tools like gallery view for the stored media, photo search, automatic tags, and album creation. This is besides the various Microsoft services like Office and the collaboration options. In fact, one of the reasons to place it as the top contender is the similarity between Google Workspace and Microsoft’s solution. Now to avail the services, you just have to download the Onedrive Mobile app, which might be already present on your PC, if you happen to run Windows 10.
Here, you can find more details on the Onedrive Plans and Pricing, along with the features under each tier.
A key reason to consider: Besides backup, you also get access to MS Office and collaboration tools in select plans.
This is an indigenous storage solution, that was launched by Niti Aayog in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and data localization initiatives. You get 20GB of free cloud storage on an Indian server. And at just ₹30, you can get a whopping 100GB additional space. The company asserts itself as a ‘Make in India, Store in India’ solution using multiple Indian Data Centres. Digiboxx offers end-to-end encryption, Gmail integration, unlimited external collaborations, smart tags, and efficient organization techniques.
Here, you can find more details on the Digiboxx Plans and Pricing, along with features under each tier.
A key reason to consider: Economical, Made in India, and your data is claimed to be locally stored.
With around 50 crores of registered users, including 1.19 crore paid subscribers, Dropbox is a leading name in the cloud storage space. You can start with 2GB of free storage and upgrade to higher plans. You can automatically store, access, and share photos, videos, documents, and other files across a variety of platforms. Dropbox is equipped with common collaborative tools, file recovery measures, store passwords, a Vault for your sensitive files, etc.
Here, you can find more details on the Dropbox Plans and Pricing, along with features under each tier.
A key reason to consider: Fast file sharing and syncing
4. Apple One/ iCloud Storage
If you are an iPhone/iPad/Mac user or are a part of the Apple ecosystem, this is a no-brainer solution and you are probably using this already instead of Google Photos. But, if you aren’t then, you have two options to choose from: You can either opt the iCloud storage or get Apple One.
iCloud storage, post-registration, offers 5GB of free space and if you need more, pick a larger plan. Even if you are on Windows, you can install iCloud for Windows, and cross-sync new photos and videos between your Windows PC and the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and on iCloud.com. You get to download, edit, organize this content.
Then there is Apple One which is an all-in-one subscription to a comprehensive package of multiple Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and iCloud.
A key reason to consider: If you are into the Apple ecosystem and are concerned about the privacy and safety of your data.
5. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe is synonymous with creative professionals. Well, even if you are not, you might have heard of Photoshop, its flagship product. Now, to use Adobe cloud storage, you must have a Creative Cloud (a suite of apps and services provided by Adobe) account. And then a subscription to premium/pro membership of apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. You get up to 100 GB of cloud storage and access to edit, design, collaborate, and various digital assets.
You can also go with the Photography plan, which consists of Lightroom and Photoshop, and a storage option between 20 GB and 1 TB.
Here, you can find more details on the Adobe Creative Cloud Plans and Pricing, along with features under each plan.
A key reason to consider: If you are a creative professional or somebody who edits/design or are a power user of Photoshop, Lightroom and other Adobe apps.
Google Photos and Cloud Storage FAQ Answered
Q. Is Amazon Prime photos available in India?
A. No, Amazon Photos is yet to launch in India under the Prime services.
Q. Is Flickr a good alternative to Google Photos?
A. Flickr has been around for years. You may know it as a platform where professionals host their creative photographs. But, even regular users can upload up to 1000 images and videos for free, albeit with ads. Now, you can get the premium plans and get rid of ads, as well as upgrade to unlimited full-resolution storage. This is coupled with automatic backups, Advanced Stats, Stats on your photo views, and various promotional tools. Flickr is currently owned by SmugMug, Inc.
Q. How to get Apple One?
A. Go to the Settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap on your name, then Subscriptions, and within which you’ll find, ‘Get Apple One’ option. Tap on it and pick a plan. Now, if you are an existing subscriber to Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, or Apple TV+, you don’t need to stop those subscriptions. Once you start Apple One, the standalone subscriptions will be automatically canceled.
Q. Is Digiboxx owned by Government of India?
A. DigiBoxx is a startup promoted by Arnab Mitra, MD, LIQVD ASIA along with Ashish Jalan and Vivek Suchanti, Concept Group. It was launched virtually by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog on December 22, 2020.
Q. Will my photos in Google photos be deleted?
A. No, your existing High quality photos and videos won’t be deleted. They are safe and free to stay. Only photos or videos backed up in High quality from June 1, 2021, will count toward your Google Account storage.
Q. How long would your Google storage last?
A. Google says that it will send you an alert email if and when your storage nears the 15GB limit. Note that besides photos, “Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files” will also exhaust your free storage quota. You can visit the Quota Management section of Google Photos to know an estimate of your currently used space, how long till the free storage fills up, review the media (based on size, blurriness, and type), and delete the unwanted files.
Q. Should you stop using Google Photos?
A. In its official blog, Google states the new storage policy will allow it “to keep pace with the growing demand for storage”.
Now whatever be the case, you may stick to Google Photos or ditch it depending on how involved you are in the Google ecosystem, your budget, and your personal requirements. If you just use the service for backup, then you can always export Google Photos and bulk delete the cloud backup. Then, try any other services listed above. But, if you feel Google Photos is a lot more than just cloud storage, and you are used to its smart search, edits, collab and organization options, automatically created Memories, GIFs, Google Lens integration, etc, then they might be hard to find elsewhere.
If that’s the case, you may check out the various Google One Plans available in India for that extra storage you need.