How to Back up and Share Your Digital Photos

January 25, 2009

in photos and video

by Tina Gasperson

If you’re like many home computer users, one of the things you use your computer for is to store your digital photographs. Device manufacturers know that photos take up a lot of space – several MBs each – so they keep making hard drives larger and larger to accommodate all the digital media people are storing on their desktop systems. Still, many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of having all their precious photographic memories stored on a hard drive that could fail at any moment. One way to help insure you won’t lose your digital images is to save them on a back-up hard drive. Another way is to upload them to an online digital image storage service.

Most online services are free, making them an attractive option for many people. However, before you upload your photos, make sure that your selected service stores the photographs in their original state, and find out the terms for downloading these full-size files. If your service automatically decreases the file size and it is your only backup, you will be disappointed if your hard drive fails and you can’t print your photos properly because the backup files are too small. If your main concern is backup storage for your digital images and other media files, consider using a nonfree service such as Windows Live OneCare photo backup service. It costs $50 annually and provides 50 gigabytes of storage space, with automatic backups every six hours. Another service, called, provides tiered storage options beginning at $1.99 per month.

If you already have a backup solution for your digital images and you’re just looking for a place to display your photos and share them with other people, then there’s no need to worry about file sizes. Now, display options and ease-of-use features come to the forefront, and a couple of free services really shine: Picasa and Flickr.

Picasa by Google is the online version of Google’s popular Picasa photo-editing software. It comes with one gigabyte of storage for free, and for a fee, you can upgrade to as much as 400 gigabytes of space. Picasa offers many options for configuring your photo display and privacy levels, and it is integrated with the desktop photo editing application by the same name. is another popular photo-sharing service that is free to use for 100 megabytes of uploads each month. For an annual fee of $25, the upload restriction is removed and users can have unlimited space for photos and some videos.

With the above-mentioned services, you can backup and share your digital photos easily.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.

{ 1 comment }

Jennifer 01.26.09 at 2:07 am

I saw your note about and tried it out – great tip! Thank you for turning me onto that website. I am using them now for both my online backups and file sharing. Love the site.

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