With today’s technology, we’re taking more photos and videos of moments we want to remember than ever before in history. These memories are ones we want to keep and store safely, so what is the best way to do that? Of course, we have hardware that makes it possible for these images to be backed up safely, but if you’re looking for a backup method that is safe, secure, and in many instances automatic (once set up), then online photo storage sites can be a safe bet.
In addition to storing your photos and videos for secure backup, these sites allow users to upload photos, share images, even share entire image galleries, and for free (users might find that there are certain services that are subscription-based; basic services are free).
For example, some of the most popular digital photo sites allow you to not only upload and share your own images, but you can view literally thousands of beautiful photos, all from the comfort of your own chair.
The Web has made it possible for people all over the world to share and store their digital memories; here are a few of the best free online photo album sites on the Web.
- Shutterfly: develop, print and share digital photos. If you decide to become a member, you get more benefits.
- Photobucket: Arguably the most popular image hosting and sharing site on the Web. Users can upload images and videos, copy links, and then post this content on any website or blog. Easy to use and free.
- Flickr: No self-respecting list of photography sites would be complete without Flickr. Quick search tip: type the location you’re thinking of in the search field, and then click “Location” in the drop-down favorite of all free online photo album sites (membership is free, but if you want to upload more than a set number of photos, you’ll need to become a Pro member). One of my favorite things to do is type in a keyword with Flickr and browse through the truly gorgeous photos there.
- WebShots: photo sharing, free wallpaper, and free screensavers here at WebShots; over 300 million photos uploaded at the time of this writing.
- SmugMug: unlimited photo sharing with a free trial, and then you’ll have to sign up. If you’re interested, I would suggest taking the SmugMug tour.
- SnapFish: free online digital photo sharing. You can also create all sorts of fun gifts with your photos; resize your digital photos online for free and then send them to your friends via email.
- Google Photos: Google’s entry into the world of online photo sites. You can use Google Photos to organize, edit, and share your photos; this service also utilizes face recognition technology to automatically tag people in photos so you can search for just the photo you want. Google Photos backs up all your photos safely and automatically, syncing them across different devices. For example, if you take a lot of photos on your phone, you can automatically adjust your settings in Google Photos to upload and store photos every time there is a secure wifi connection (this is so users don’t use up too much mobile data when utilizing this service).
- BeFunky: If you’ve been wondering how to fill that empty wall in your house, wonder no more: just head on over to BeFunky and turn your digital photos into seriously fantastic artwork. You can use BeFunky’s filters to turn your uploaded photos into works of art, via a whole menu of special it works: browse the photos effects to see what you’re in the mood for, browse to the photo you’d like to apply digital effects too, and then play around with the settings.
- TrekEarth features gorgeous photos from all over the world, plus, they have an active Forums section so you can improve your own photography.
- Panoramio lets you play around with Google Earth (no download needed) to see photos that people have tagged locally.
- TrekNature shows you natural wonders from every continent.