The cloud is no longer the somewhat empty buzzword it used to be during its infancy. Cloud is now used as the backbone of large corporations, state governments, and digital lives of individual users, who use it to store data, manage their finance, and do countless other useful things.
Among them is also the option to use cloud storage as a reliable and simple way how to backup photos and videos from your Android device. All you need is a cloud storage Android app and a user account with the particular cloud storage provider. While there are many cloud storage apps out there, these 5 stand out as the best cloud storage apps for Android for photo and video backup.
Why You Should Store Your Photos and Video in the Cloud
If you are still backing up your photos and videos the old fashion way – by connecting your device via USB to your computer and manually transferring the files – you are placing yourself at risk of data loss. You never know when your memory card or built-in storage space might become corrupted, and when it happens, it’s often too late to do anything about it.
Not only that, but having to sit in front of a computer and manually transfer the pictures and videos you want to backup takes a lot of time. Modern cloud storage Android apps for photo and video backup can do a much better job much quicker. Here are just some of their main advantages:
- Simplicity: using cloud storage apps for photo and video backup usually requires just two steps: first you need to create an account with the provider, and then you need to activate the cloud backup feature. From there, the app will automatically monitor your device and look for any new pictures and videos. It will then upload them to the cloud, which can happen either only when you are on Wi-Fi or whenever you have any internet connection at all, depending on your configuration.
- Reliability: storing your photos and videos in the cloud is much safer than just keeping them on your hard disk or, even worse, not backing them up at all. Cloud storage providers, such as Amazon, Flickr, and Dropbox, have huge data centers with extremely reliable data loss protection measures in place. Chances that you lose your data from the cloud are very close to zero.
- Security: thousands of new types of malware are released every single day. You as an end user can only hope that your antivirus will be updated quickly enough to keep you secure. Cloud storage providers, on the other hand, have entire teams of security professionals dedicated to keeping your files secure.
- Sharing: with your files stored in the cloud, you can share them with your friends and family members with a single mouse click or tap on the screen. Compare this to the standard way of opening your email, searching for the photo on your hard disk, selecting it, and, finally, sending the email with the photo included as an attachment.
- Convenience: by having your photos and videos in the cloud, you can access them from any place with an internet connection. You will never say, “I wish I had taken it with me,” ever again.
1) Amazon Cloud Drive
The Amazon Cloud Drive app is a gateway into Amazon Drive, an unlimited secure storage from Amazon that costs just $11.99 per year and additionally includes 5 GB for videos and files. If that doesn’t sound like a good enough deal, you can choose the “Unlimited Everything” plan for $59.99 per year. The best part about Amazon Cloud Drive is that Amazon Prime members get unlimited storage for photos!
The app itself is very intuitive, allowing you to preview photos, documents, spreadsheets and presentations; play videos and music stored on Amazon Drive; upload photos, videos and files from your smartphone, create and edit text files; or share your files as links and attachments through email, text message and other apps, according to the official description on the Play Store.
It has so far earned a rating of 4.4 stars from more than 10,000 users who have left their feedback. Users praise how effortless it is to use the app and how it doesn’t get in their way when they use their devices for other purposes.
Flickr is loved by photographers from all around the world, and their Android app and 1000 GB cloud storage solution make a very compelling argument as to why anyone with a smartphone camera should consider giving their services a try.
To use it, you will need to have a Yahoo account, which you can create for free by clicking on this link. With your newly created account, you can download the app and activate the automatic cloud backup feature. What’s great about the Flickr app is that it goes beyond a simple photo and video storage. The app lets you organize your pictures based on various criteria, tweak how they look by adding creative filters, and it also gives you access to Flickr’s huge community of enthusiastic users, who are always happy to answer any questions.
Dropbox is often considered to be the pioneer of personal cloud backup services. Their mature solution is available on all major platforms and supported by countless third-party applications and web services. Its biggest limitation is that it comes with just 2 GB of free storage space. You can get more space by inviting others to use the service or by taking advantage of various promotional deals, but it’s safe to say that you will inevitably run out of storage space, which may never happen with Amazon or Flickr.
But aside from the space, the app itself is a pleasure to use. The user interface is polished, photos and videos are automatically backed up as soon as they are saved on your device, and you can even edit Microsoft Office files from your phone or tablet.
4) Google Drive
Google and their vast range of cloud services probably don’t require any introduction. Google Drive is their online storage service, which gives users 15 GB of free space and allows them to purchase extra 100 GB for $1.99 per month or 1 TB for $9.99 a month.
Just like other cloud storage apps on this list, Google Drive safely stores your photos and videos in the cloud, allowing you to access them from anywhere. The app is tightly integrated with Google Docs, Google’s suite of office apps, and has a very handy feature for turning paper documents into digital scans using your device camera.
5) Microsoft OneDrive
To compete with Google and other big players in the cloud hosting game, Microsoft has come up with an excellent online storage solution, called OneDrive, with 5 GB of free space and 1 TB of storage for customers who purchase their OneDrive + Office 365 plans, which start at $6.99/month.
The OneDrive app helps users be more productive by giving them an easy access to Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Employees can sign in to OneDrive for Business and continue working even while on the go. Important files can be accessed even when offline, and, unless the feature is turned off, all pictures are automatically tagged with appropriate information for effortless organization.
If you are unsure which app is right for you, consider whether you are already using any other products from the company behind it. Gmail users can easily try out Google Drive, people shopping on Amazon and reading on the Kindle have already one foot in Amazon’s ecosystem, and just about everyone nowadays has an account with Microsoft.
But don’t think that you need to limit yourself to a single app, either. Unlike with antivirus software, two or more cloud backup apps can happily live next to one another without causing any issues. So don’t be afraid to experiment to see which app suits you the most. After all, you can always uninstall it.