Online photo storage

Digital photos are very popular nowadays, hence the need for online storage comes. It would be much safer than to store in a SD card or an USB stick, or even a computer hard-disk. And the sharing purpose is even more in demand, not only in emails like before, but also in social network sites, and in local Intranet of enterprises/companies.

To share is human nature, after all.

(and Facebook proved that we have some need to share about ourselves ;-) )


Without further ado, here comes my list of online storage services (which supports well the sharing features such as privacy/permission control and permanent links ) .


Picasa Web (Google)

This has been a nice feature of Google. After the acquisition, the features of Picasa is still great. I used it mostly as normal host site, kind of uploaded from personal computer and feel good enough. But as time goes by, it got even better: mobile support (i.e. Android and the like) , BlogSpot integration (the Blogger, another acquisition of Google),  Plus integration (especially the “Instant upload” feature, which cause some pressure for Facebook to acquire Instagram, I guess) .

One more point I like about PicasaWeb (now Google Plus albums), we can easily use a different size/resolution for the uploaded photo: just insert size “/sNNNN/” , or width and height “/wXXX-hYYY/” to the original URL.

Example: We have the ‘no size specified’ picture URL like this:

==> We can link to a “different size” picture of that just by simply change the URL:

Size 800 (max width or height 800 pixels):

Width 842px height 653px (auto fit the original aspect):


Facebook (Akamai CDN)

Since Facebook surpassed MySpace to become the most popular social network site, it has tons of pictures uploaded for sharing, and quickly overloaded.

Akamai came to the rescue, but it seems even Akamai has trouble with hosting so many photos (although they all have been resized to max 1024 x 768). There were a few outage, as far as I know. It seems stable now, but from my experience it still has a few issues with permanent links. Some of my saved links has been changed, i.e. broken links after a while.
Maybe it’s just me.

Recently FBCDN Akamai has also supported “size param URL”: (but a bit limited)

==> Pixels 600×600 :

The picture file name will be hashed, not original as uploaded. IMO that’s a drawback of the service.


Flickr (Yahoo)

Was prolly the pioneer of such online service . But for now, the way to organize photos and to share is a bit old, from my point of view.

(to be updated)


SnapFish (HP)

Pretty good at printing.

Free accounts has some limitations per uploaded picture: size (5MB) and resolution (2048×1500) .

(to be updated)


iCloud Photostream (Apple)

(to be updated)



That’s the top five in my list. There are other startups which support public sharing photos (such as PhotoBucket, ImageShackShutterFly, SmugMug or PhanFare), but I’m not sure if they can stay relevant in the long run, though.

Some general file hosting services like DropBox, SugarSync, MediaFire, Box, SkyDrive, etc… can also host photos, but I think they are suitable for private (and small size) pictures. Therefore I won’t count them here.

Besides, there is another funfact: Code hosting sites such as GitHub, BitBucket, GoogleCode, … can host pictures pretty well ! If you know how to use version control tools like Subversion or Git , you can use them to upload your files there (usually as a backup) . Yet they are not easy for non-tech people though, and may have a risk of losing backup in the future since hosting photos is not the official service there.




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6 Responses to Online photo storage

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  3. It’s amazing designed for me to have a web site, which
    is useful for my knowledge. thanks admin

  4. As of Google Photos release (2015 June), the URLs of Google photos has been encoded so that they are not simply “album” and “picture” names anymore.

    You can still access via Google Photos and Google Get, also can apply the “s=NNNN” trick or “wXXX-hYYY” trick, but the URL is much longer and the original file name is not displayed, so it’s not good to share/send to other ppl.

    For example, the URL in the article:


    We can change “=w823-h638” into “=s1024” or “=s800” , but the URL is still too long (AND uglyyyyyy).

    And we may not be able to embed into some other websites, as the link does not end with “.jpg” or “.png”.
    Fortunately, there is some work-arounds:
    + adding “?.jpg” to the end of the link

    + adding “-tmp.jpg” to the end of the link

    (Sometimes .png works likewise, but the .jpg works in general)

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