Google Photos Alternatives: Free Unlimited Storage Ends June 1, How to Backup and Set Up a Self-Hosted Service

Google Photos Alternatives: Free Unlimited Storage Ends June 1, How to Backup and Set Up a Self-Hosted Service
As Google is set to end its unlimited free storage on Google Photos, we look at several alternatives if users will choose to switch. Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images

Google Photos is set to cease unlimited free storage starting June 1, and this left users somewhat in a limbo: do we shell out cash to continue enjoying the service or do we look for alternatives?

Google Photos has always been the default photo storage for many users since the tech giant offered the free service since 2015, and surely they have been satisfied with it, unless they decide to pick a nifty cloud service to migrate all their precious snaps, Laptopmag.com noted.

But, before you make that decision, Google made it clear that nothing will happen to your photos or videos uploaded to Photos up to June 1. It will safely remain in the Google servers until what the company calls their "heat death" or when they start charging.

Google Photos Back-Up: Sticking with Google a Good Option

Yet, the most important task on every user's minds right now is backing up those photos, and this is a logical step for users deciding to switch, and we're sure that's a lot. Why not use an external drive for that and that's easy to do with a simple drag and drop on the interface.

Sticking with Google is still a good option, with $1.99 for every 100GB for the Google One Cloud service to back up and view your photos, with higher capacities, such as a 2TB plan would be reasonably priced at $9.99. To those who have stored their entire collection within Google servers, they will definitely find it difficult to search for a cheaper option. Of course, the time, effort, and bandwidth needed to download and transfer these files would be a hassle to say the least.

Read Also: Say Goodbye to Google Photos Free Unlimited Storage

Google Photos Alternative Cloud Services

But of course, if users insist on switching, there are several alternatives when you do finally make that switch, as News18.com noted. Such services are Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Photos, Dropbox, and Apple Photos. In these services, there are free storage options that users can look into. Amazon offers unlimited storage for full-resolution photos, letting users share with up to five family members and is bundled with its Prime Video streaming service.

Apple Photos, on the other hand, provides free service up to 5GB for Apple users with seamless integration over the entire Apple ecosystem carrying robust AI features, and editing tools. Dropbox is known for cloud-based handling of different kinds of files with cross-platform compatibility, and offers only up to 2GB of free service.

Microsoft OneDrive, meanwhile, is considered the best alternative to Google Photos, offering access to several other Microsoft services with automatic image tagging and a gallery view for photo storage. It offers free storage for up to 5GB.

Google Photos Alternative: Setting Up Self-Hosted Service

If you are really serious at making a sophisticated photo storage system and not pay enormous monthly fees for a cloud service, a good alternative is setting up your own self-hosted service, Android Police revealed. All it takes is an investment of around $300 for a server setup. Synology, maker of home NAS servers, offers photo management for free, and according to current users, it is as close as Google Photos as you can get in terms of interface. However, as noted, you need to purchase one of its DiskStations first. Synology offers facial recognition, grouping by places, search capabilities, and a flurry of filters.

Once you already own a DiskStation server, another catch is joining the DSM 7.0 Beta program and have the server run the beta software to get the new Google Photos-like Synology Photos experience. Setting this up, current users said, has been a breeze, with no issues encountered.

While you may have to spend a lot for one-time purchase of hardware plus joining the beta software program, the very clear advantage is that you have your own at-home network storage, wherein you can keep not only photos or videos, but other documents and multimedia files. You will also have full control over it, even adding tough security features, or make it accessible for remote access. It's like having your own Google Photos service offering private storage for close friends or family for their own pics and videos.

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