5 Best Way to Store Digital Photos Long Term

Photos and videos can now be stored in the digital format, thus negating the need to have actual photographs stacking up at home. This means you have the freedom to print these digital photos anytime, no matter where you are. But if you’re new to storing digital photos, the whole idea of properly storing photos or pictures can be quite complicated.

ProductBrandNamePrice
SeagateSeagate Backup Plus Hub 4TB External Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon
Samsung ElectronicsSamsung 128GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSD EVO Select Memory CardCheck Price on Amazon
Western DigitalWD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon
SP Silicon PowerSilicon Power 64GB 3D NAND High Speed MicroSD Card with AdapterCheck Price on Amazon
PNYPNY Turbo 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - (P-FD128GTBOP-GE)Check Price on Amazon
SanDiskSanDisk 16GB 2.0 Flash Cruzer Glide USB Drive (SDCZ60-016G-B35)Check Price on Amazon
SAMSUNGSamsung BAR Plus 256GB - 300MB/s USB 3.1 Flash Drive Titan Gray (MUF-256BE4/AM)Check Price on Amazon
KingstonKingston Digital 32 GB DataTraveler SE9 G2 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (DTSE9G2/32GB)Check Price on Amazon

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This is why we’ve decided to talk about some of the best options you have at your disposal to store digital photos long term. We’re going to discuss a variety of options from both hardware and software-based solutions, giving you the best possible option available out there. So let’s take a look at our list.

5 Best Way to Store Digital Photos Long Term

External Hard Drives

Well, there are two types of hard drives that most users are aware of – external and internal. While external hard drives are more portable, internal hard drives are pretty restricted in that they need a SATA cable to function. It’s quite clear that external or portable hard drives are a far superior option given that it can be accessed by pretty much anyone with a computer, making it easy to share it with your friends and family. Moreover, external hard drives come in a variety of storage spaces, letting you pick the variant that suits your needs the best.

 

 

Seagate Backup Plus

This is one of the best external hard drives you can get right now, thanks to the storage options it’s available in. Customers can pick from up to 10TB of storage space, which should be plenty for all your digital photos that are worth storing. This hard drive has dual front-facing USB 3.0 ports to allow snappy data transfer on your Mac or PC. Seagate also offers a two-year limited warranty with this product.

 

WD Elements

This is one of the best portable hard drives out there, thanks primarily to its size. It can fit inside your pocket, and all it needs to connect is a USB 3.0 cable (included with the retail packaging). WD Elements is available with up to 5TB of storage. The best part about this hard drive is the fact that it supports both USB 3.0 and older USB 2.0 standards. WD offers a two-year limited warranty with the Elements external hard drive.

Cloud Storage

This has to be one of the most natural choices, although there are plenty of options to pick from. Cloud storage services are available from some of the biggest tech names like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. However, apps like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox are compatible across all platforms, which makes it easier for people to access it, especially if you’re looking to share your photos. Cloud services offer a certain amount of free space, but if you have more than 2GB, you may need to get a paying subscription.

To counter this, customers can check out Google Photos. This app can automatically back up photos from your phone as soon as it’s captured and save it on the cloud. Moreover, Google offers unlimited photo storage to all users regardless of what platform you’re on. This means you can store an infinite number of pictures on Google photos without spending a dime. However, photos will be saved in high quality rather than original quality, with the latter eating into your Google Drive storage (if available). The Photos app also comes with features like searching for people by their name or grouping photos based on facial recognition. Google also offers a web version of Google Photos, which can be accessed with your email address. This is one of our favorite options considering that it offers unlimited photo storage at no cost.

Flash Drives

This is, by far, one of the best ways to store photos in digital format. These are incredibly portable devices that can fit in the palm of your hand, which also makes it quite easy to lose. Thankfully most flash drives also come with a lanyard or a keychain holder, making it easy to keep it with you at all times. These are relatively inexpensive compared to external hard drives, which makes this one of the better-suited options for many people out there. So let’s have a look at some of the best flash drives available in the market today.

 

 

PNY Turbo

PNY is a renowned brand in the portable storage industry, and this offering is one of the best offerings you can get in the market right now. This is a USB 3.0 flash drive, which means it can offer up to 10 times faster transfer speeds compared to conventional USB 2.0 offerings. It comes with a sliding collar design, allowing the USB port to remain safe while not in operation. Despite being a USB 3.0 flash drive, this offering is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

This flash drive works with a wide range of devices out there, including most Windows and Mac computers. The company offers this variant with up to 256GB of storage, which should be ideal for storing all your precious photos.

 

 

SanDisk Flash Cruzer

SanDisk has multiple varieties of flash drives, which can make a choice somewhat confusing. But one of its most recognizable offerings is the Flash Cruzer, which comes in the iconic Red/Black color combination. It has a push mechanism that brings the flash drive out of its silo, something that we’ve seen on SanDisk flash drives in the past. Moreover, SanDisk offers the SecureAccess software with this flash drive, which allows you to encrypt the contents of the device entirely or add a password. You can choose to selectively protect some folders while allowing the viewing of the rest of the files, thus giving the control to the user. SanDisk offers this flash drive in storage variants of up to 256GB. The company’s 2-year warranty backs this product.

 

 

Samsung BAR Plus

There is no doubt that Samsung makes some of the best looking products out there. It seems like this also extends to its flash drives. The Bar Plus is a stylish looking thumb drive that comes with a USB 3.1 connector that can offer file transfer speeds of up to 300MB/s, which should be ideal for large photos or videos. Naturally, this thumb drive is backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices as well. Further, the flash drive is also rated to be waterproof, shockproof, magnet proof, temperature proof, and x-ray proof making it one of the most durable flash drives around.

Samsung offers the flash drive in Gray or Silver colors. This thumb drive is available in storage variants of up to 256GB, which is in line with most flash drives sold in the market today.

 

 

Kingston DataTraveler

This is an extremely portable flash drive, and coming from a company like Kingston, this is no surprise. The company has had years of experience in this business, and each upgrade has offered impressive results. This particular flash drive comes with USB 3.0, but it can also work with USB 2.0 computers or other devices. What’s also worth pointing out here is the addition of a large key ring to ensure this never gets lost. This is quite important given how small this thumb drive is.

The flash drive comes with a premium metal casing while there are no color options with the company offering a standard gold variant as of now. Kingston offers an unprecedented five-year warranty with this product along with free technical support.

MicroSD Cards

This is yet another popular option, primarily because it’s readily available and compatible with most Android smartphones in the market today. Moreover, these can also be used SD card adapters to attach them directly onto your computer or laptop. Another option is to get a dock for your computer that contains a microSD card slot.

MicroSD cards are available in a variety of storage options, ranging from 16GB to 1TB or even more. However, it is essential to note that some of the newer microSD cards do not work with older devices, so it makes sense to check with your device manufacturer before getting a microSD card of the desired storage space. Here are some of the best microSD cards you can get in the industry today.

 

 

Samsung EVO MicroSDXC

This is a super snappy 128GB microSD card that can offer 100MB/s read, and 90MB/s write speeds, making it one of the best performing microSD cards out there. Customers can also choose to get this offering in a 64GB variant if you’re looking for something smaller. The best part about this offering is that it’s compatible with most modern-day Android smartphones and tablets, making it relatively easy to share with your friends and family. Samsung offers a limited 10-year warranty with this microSD card.

 

 

Silicon Power 3D NAND

This is a UHS-1 Class 10 microSD card, which means it can offer read speeds of up to 85MB/s. While this isn’t as fast as the Samsung offering we discussed above, this will undoubtedly get the job done if you’re looking to transfer photos and videos in bulk. This microSD card appears to be available in a 64GB variant with no other options listed at the moment. This storage device is included with a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.

Optical Storage

This pertains to CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs. As you are probably aware, Blu Ray is the most recent, while DVD and CD are relatively older as far as storage formats are concerned. While this isn’t one of the ideal options, it does allow you to share your photos with friends or family just as you would with external hard drives.

CDs and DVDs can be bought in a standard R as well as an RW or rewritable format. Discs of R format can only write data once while RW discs can let you erase and add more files in the future, provided the disc has enough free space.

CDs come with a maximum capacity of 700MB while DVDs offer a capacity of up to 4.7GB. There are high-performance Double-layer DVDs that can hold up to 8.5GB of data, but it’s not relevant given that it doesn’t work with most computers that operate today. Blu-ray discs come with a maximum storage capacity of 25GB. It’s no secret that manufacturers are no longer favoring CDs and DVDs with an increasing number of laptops offering USB 3.0 or USB C slots and nothing else. This suggests that optical storage is certainly not your best option, although it’s good to keep this as an alternative.

ProductBrandNamePrice
SeagateSeagate Backup Plus Hub 4TB External Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon
Samsung ElectronicsSamsung 128GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSD EVO Select Memory CardCheck Price on Amazon
Western DigitalWD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon
SP Silicon PowerSilicon Power 64GB 3D NAND High Speed MicroSD Card with AdapterCheck Price on Amazon
PNYPNY Turbo 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - (P-FD128GTBOP-GE)Check Price on Amazon
SanDiskSanDisk 16GB 2.0 Flash Cruzer Glide USB Drive (SDCZ60-016G-B35)Check Price on Amazon
SAMSUNGSamsung BAR Plus 256GB - 300MB/s USB 3.1 Flash Drive Titan Gray (MUF-256BE4/AM)Check Price on Amazon
KingstonKingston Digital 32 GB DataTraveler SE9 G2 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (DTSE9G2/32GB)Check Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.