Since May 2015, Google has offered free, unlimited Google Drive storage for photos and videos thanks to the generous free tier of Google Photos. From June 1 2021, this Google Drive unlimited storage price will be going away, to the disappointment of over 1 billion (yes, you read that right) Google Photos users. So the question is, with users now only offered 15GB of storage for everything from emails to files to photos to videos, what options are there to avoid the hefty monthly fees and get back the benefits of Google’s Google Drive unlimited storage price?
In this article, we break down your three options to retain the benefits of unlimited Google Drive storage of photos and videos and give our take on which gets the closest. For full disclosure, we are including our own product in this list, so don’t take our word for it and try out the services for yourself!
File storage sites
Like Google Drive, file storage sites such as Dropbox, Microsoft Onedrive and iCloud offer surprisingly similar offerings. Typically ranging between 5GB and 15GB of free storage, the services offer an enticing way to rapidly store photos, videos and just about any other file format. For photo and video storage, that is about where their appeal ends though. That is because unlike with Google Photos, they don’t offer effective, visual-focused viewing, instead grouping photos and videos into folders as if they were any other file.
For those looking to quickly share a few photos with friends, file storage sites do the job, but don’t come close to the unlimited Google Drive storage price you’re used to. A closer candidate is arguably Amazon Photos. Amazon offers Prime subscribers unlimited free photo storage, but caps videos at just 5GB. This offer is on the surface pretty enticing, but there is a pretty huge caveat: if you cancel your membership, Amazon could delete all your photos without warning. Here’s what they’ve said on the matter:
If you exceed your Service Plan’s storage limit, including by downgrading or not renewing your Service Plan or no longer qualifying for an Additional Benefit, we may delete or restrict access to Your Files. We may impose other restrictions on use of the Service.Amazon
For this reason alone, we can’t recommend Amazon Photos as a place to safely store your photos and so we are not calling it as a candidate to rival that glorious Google Drive unlimited storage price of free.
Chances are that before unlimited Google Drive storage was a thing, you were storing your photos and videos on your computer. Whether you were the type to neatly organise each set of photos into different folders by event, people or time, hard drive storage was simple, and best of all, free.
We predict a lot of people will go back to this approach one the unique Google Drive unlimited storage price of free is no longer so free. It will, however, be a compromise that many will struggle to fathom. One of Google Photos’ biggest appeals was its ability for users to search for not just the name of the photo, but its location and even objects or people in the photo. These benefits simply aren’t a thing in your file browser and that is one thing that’s unlikely to change…except, perhaps, for option 3…
Smart hard drives
Haven’t heard of smart hard drives before? We don’t blame you (mainly because we coined the phrase!). Hard drives are great and doing what they do best, being free storage, but fail spectacularly at being easy to access, thanks to them being on one device and not carrying with them the benefits of photo search that Google Photos has so eloquently given us.
Phostow is the only mover in this space right now and is offering the benefits of easy photo and video access without the hefty monthly cost of Google Drive. They are doing this by providing a super easy-to-use mobile and desktop app with all the key features of Google Photos such as object search and the ability to access your library from anywhere. How are they doing this you ask? Through a super-smart method of intelligently storing your photos on whatever device has the most space, meaning you never need to worry about balancing your storage and avoiding your phone getting too full. This also means you don’t need to pay Google’s hefty Google Drive unlimited storage price.
Option 3 is the clear winner
Rivalling unlimited Google Drive storage for free is tough by any books, but smart hard drives provide the best route to reliable, long-term photo storage you can count on. With Phostow being the only player in this space offering a robust and beautiful product, they’re our top choice.
Phostow is currently in closed beta and you can join the waitlist here.
Which is better Google Photos or Amazon Photos?
After summing it up, the Google Photos vs. Amazon Photos fight is a fierce one, however Amazon Photos provides the better overall package thanks to its free unlimited photo storage for Prime members. With Google Photos, you’d need to pay Google’s hefty Google Drive unlimited storage price. So if you are looking for free unlimited photo and video storage without any strings attached, you’ll need to look for an alternative.
Can Amazon Photos access Google Photos?
No, Amazon Photos cannot access photos on Google Photos. Both do however offer bulk export options.
What happens to Amazon photos if I cancel Prime?
If you decide you want to stop your Prime membership though, watch out, as Amazon reserves the right to delete your memories without warning.
Is Google’s Google Drive unlimited storage price worth it?
With only 15GB of free storage shared across all your Google services, you’ll need to pay an increasinly large monthly fee for every file and photo you add to Google Drive. So for most users, we can’t recommend to pay Google’s hefty Google Drive unlimited storage price.