Backing Up, Managing and Sharing Your Photos

April 30, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 8 Comments | |
Backing Up, Managing and Sharing Your Photos Image

Online Web Based Solutions

Ideally, utilizing both an online backup storage and sharing solution with a local NAS would give the best possible scenario for recovery of data should something happen to the local NAS.

Here's a roundup of some of the top web sites that offer sharing for your photos. An important thing to note is that only one of these sites, Flickr, allows for unlimited photo storage. The other sites are mainly for sharing your photos and are not viable backup options.

Flickr has become somewhat of the standard for online web albums and sharing photos.  They've made it so easy a grandmother can upload photos, yet still utilize advanced features such as commenting and tagging, along with the ability to create custom photo streams to appeal to everyone. Groups created inside Flickr share photos, critiques and ideas and this is all offered free. A paid account with Flickr opens up the upload and storage limits to be unlimited and gives access to advanced statistics. There is no built in photo editor on Flickr, though.

MyPhotoAlbum has one of the most attractive web interfaces for sharing photos of the bunch. They offer 1,000's of different templates and designs to create a very personalized, fun web album of images. They don't limit the number of photos or albums you can host and offer privacy settings that enable you to control who can and can't see your images. MyPhotoAlbum also stores the full, high-resolution images on their server with no editing needed. Another interesting feature they offer is a personalized domain,, allowing you to create an easy-to-remember address to email your friends and family.

Pbase has been one of the largest photographer image sharing communities online for the last few years. With forums for chatting and albums galore, it's become one of the premier places to show off your photography skills. Advanced amateurs and professionals alike use this service to showcase their best photos, learn from others and get inspired. Pbase is a paid service, unlike most of the others listed, but for that you are also getting advice from other photographers. It's probably not a site you'd want to use to just upload photos from your last vacation to share with the parents.

All of these sites offer basically one thing: online storage of your images. The advantages to this are plenty:

  • Easily share with friends and family by simply emailing a link. No need to attach files to emails one at a time.
  • Commenting and tagging in albums allows you to quickly and easily identify and find photos.
  • Some offer automatic backup solutions, great in the case of a hard drive failure, corrupt operating system or home invasion / flood / fire.

Backing up online should be done in addition to localized storage, not instead of, just to have a fail-safe.

Got any backup, management or sharing tips of your own? Leave a comment below...

Win a HP StorageWorks RDX Removable Disk Backup System worth £235!

Entry Tags

photos, how to, manage, backup, share, online, local

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Your Comments

8 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Edward Janes

I’m looking into Amazon S3 as a backup solution for my images. It is not a sharing site but is totally secured and pretty reasonable at around 10p per GB per month.

1:12 pm - Thursday, April 30, 2009

#2 Dean

What about Picasa? Amazing management and simple editing software with very easy to use uploading to their online albums. Then the S3/Jungledisk combination of affordable and secure off-site backup & storage? offers an online editor and storage space/albums area.
The most complicated aspect for me is keeping laptop/NAS and offline site (Jungledisk) synchronised.

4:13 pm - Thursday, April 30, 2009

#3 Kin

what about Nokia OVI.. unlimited upload with original image size as well… does it work??

5:02 pm - Saturday, May 2, 2009

#4 Television Spy

flickr, mozy or tinypic

10:47 am - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

#5 Barry T

I entirely agree that secure and accessible backups are essential.

Unfortunately, unlike its other products, the WD MyBook World edition is not the tool.

Slow data transfer speeds from pc or net, erratic connections with the Mionet software and complicated procedures just to access the unit as a network drive.

I got so fed up with waiting for mine to do the job I eventually took the hard drive out of the unit and installed it in my PC as a backup store.

I would like to know if anybody has used the MyBook studio with two 1tb drives and cloned backups on each? That is local network drive and sounds much more useful for the job.



6:25 pm - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

#6 Richard Dameron

I prefer the combination of a NAS + an off-site solution. The NAS for fast recovery and the off-site solution for peace of mind.

5:23 pm - Wednesday, May 6, 2009

#7 Steve

In response to Barry T’s post:

I work for WD and want to express our concern about the problems you had with the My Book World Edition. It sounds like you may have experienced an earlier verion of My Book World Edition; the newly available product is much faster and easier to set up.

I hope we can better suit your needs in the future.


2:12 am - Saturday, May 9, 2009

#8 Barryt

Thanks for you comments Steve - you sound much more helpful than the WD Customer Service department.

The difficulty with large storage volumes which may be faulty or have bugs with switches, indicator lights, software etc is that WD asks for them to be returned for inspection and replacement.

What then happens to the huge amount of data that you have already transferred to the drive and for which you bought it for in the first place?

The data normally exceeds your other storage capacity - hence the need for the drive - and cannot be taken off the suspect drive for it to be returned.

WD doesn’t provide a temporary alternative storage volume so basically you have to live with whatever the problem is.

The hard drives in these units are excellent, always have been, but the units themselves sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

Returns policy needs to be looked at to provide customers somewhere to put their data when a unit has to go back.



10:22 am - Saturday, May 9, 2009