I spent a good portion of my life trying to figure out the best way to store my photos.
It all started with shoe boxes, then it moved to hard drives, and then it all went to the Cloud.
Now we're lucky enough to live in a time where there's so many options when it comes to storing our photos online.
But on the other hand, with so many options out there how do you pick the right one?
I'm going to give you some advice on choosing the right cloud photo storage solution that works for you.
First off you want to think long term.
The reason so many companies offer you free storage for your photos is because they know how difficult it can be to switch services down the line.
So you want to think about a company that will be around for the next ten, 20, 50 years.
But if this is my going to be my main backup for a lifetime of photos, I don't trust a few young guys won't go under in the next ten years or be sold to another company.
So that leaves us with the big boys you got; Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and to some extent Dropbox.
So I have a hard time believing they won't get snatched up eventually.
Let's boot up Apple and Amazon right off the bat.
iCloud only works with Apple devices and it doesn't handle video so boo.
And then Amazon's cloud drive is just too basic.
So let's go through the rest.
Google's photo services called Google Plus Photos.
You get 15 gigs of free storage but you have to share those gigabytes with your Gmail and Google Drive.
It also works with your browser or you can auto-upload from the Android or IOS app.
Now if you need more storage, you can pay for it.
Up to 16 terabytes.
Downside is it's tied to Google Plus, Google's answer to Facebook.
You can set photos to private, but ultimately Google is dangling the service out there to get people to use their network and share photos.
More people, more photos, more stuff to sell at the round which is really what Google is all about.
For something a little more cut and dry, you can try Microsoft OneDrive, formerly Microsoft SkyDrive.
It works with Android and IOS, and also Windows and Windows phone.
Comes with 50 gigs of free storage.
Plus, you can buy more.
The clean layout includes detailed information on your photos, including excess data.
My only worry here is, as the recent name change implies, is that I don't feel Microsoft has totally ironed this thing out.
I mean, Microsoft as a company is gonna be around a long time, but I feel like maybe this time next year, Microsoft will call this thing Super Xbox Live Photos, or something else.
I mean, it's still a great solid option, especially if you're a Windows user.
You have a Windows phone.
But if you're not there's some other options to explore.
Next up: Dropbox.
Almost identical to One Drive, it's an online file locker with a very clean look and apps for every platform including Windows.
They have a mobile app called Carousel that does an excellent job of letting you quickly browse through your photo collection with a timeline bar at the bottom of the app.
The downside here is that you only get 5 gigs of free storage before you have to start paying.
Unlike Microsoft or Google, online storage is Dropbox's entire business and they don't make up the difference on online advertising.
Finally, there's Flickr by Yahoo.
And full disclosure, I've used Flickr for years so I'm a little biased.
It works on every platform, even Windows Phone.
There are useful privacy controls, there's a huge community of users and the best part is, there's one terabyte of free storage.
You'll get some ads, but a full terabyte should be enough to back up your average photo library.
Also video support is limited to one gigabyte per video, so you have to backup longer clips to YouTube or do the world a favor and shoot shorter vacation videos.
So there you go.
That's my best advice for where to go to store your photos in the cloud.