Google photos vs Flickr Pro for my image backup

Speeding car

It all started when I came back from Tokyo to find my Spideroak storage full. I decided a terabyte of photos which are hardly private in a super secure storage is a little crazy and its time to put them somewhere else so I can make use of the secure storage better.

Originally I did look at using Amazon Glacier but quickly found out that its really not for general use in any shape. I looked at trove again to find trovebox has been shutdown…  but there is a Github community project for those wanting to keep developing.

We’ll be shutting down the hosted Trovebox service on March 31, 2015. We may extend this deadline to help accomodate customers to obtain archives of their photos.

A few of my friends said why don’t I use Flickr, especially since I’m already a pro member and have been since 2004!

I thought about it, because I tend to use Flickr to only upload photos I actively want to share rather than a place to upload all my photos. Basically I never really trust the privacy options and only upload things which I’m happy being public. It was time to trust Flickr’s privacy model but to be fair I’m still only uploading stuff which it doesn’t matter too much if its public.

Started doing that then Google announced at IO 2015, a revamped photo service with unlimited storage (if you are happy with them converting them down a bit).

This has got me wondering, if I should switch?

Flickr Pro is $ 24.99 a year but Google is $1.99 a month for 100gig,

Economically it makes sense to stay with Flickr as its unlimited even on high resolution photos and I have most of my good photos already there (incumbency advantage). But the google space purchase would only be used for photos over 2048x2048px big. Which I guess is quite a few as I switched to 5mpx and above very early on . I guess there’s the option of trusting googles image compression. I guess having the extra space in google drive would be useful but its not a big deal yet.

I’m going to keep uploading the photos and let google photo shake out a little. When the next year of Flickr comes up, I’ll decide then. Even made a google task to remind me. Hopefully there will be flickr to google drive exports or I’ll have gigabit internet and can upload the lot super fast.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

3 thoughts on “Google photos vs Flickr Pro for my image backup”

  1. If you pay for Google Photos, it doesn’t compress the photos. If you use the unlimited free space, it looks as though that if you take less than 16MP photographs, it doesn’t really compress (an 8MB picture I took this afternoon is 1.7MB originally, and 1.7MB when downloaded from Google Photos).

    I plan to use both: Flickr and Google Photos. You don’t need to be ‘pro’ on Flickr any more (it doesn’t offer much benefit) and get a terabyte of storage: no photo compression and good for sharing with others. Google Photos gives unlimited storage and some incredible search options by the looks of it. I just typed “beer in Toronto” and it’s given me three pictures of beer I took in Toronto. None of them have any metadata saying that it was beer.

  2. I have been wondering about the same question. Having traditionally used Dropbox which isn’t really an efficient solution. I would say that following on from James’s comment and the intelligent search that Google offers, I will resurrect my Flickr account

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