Cloud-based photo sharing apps are a whole world of their own and there are as many opinions as there are options. At this point, here some of are our favorites and their costs as of January 2019.
Note - You will need to first organize your photo Albums or Galleries in at least one of these sites ("best practices" would advise using primarily one site for your organization of photos and perhaps a second site for videos - see video options in next help topic) before "linking" them to Collectionaire. You may then wonder what value Collectionaire serves.. Well, many people find the graphic tree interface preferable to "nested folders", the visual presentation of Album thumbnails in each person and family collection, and ability to use multiple cloud sites to be some of the differentiators. In addition, only Google Drive of those sites shown below allows links to a direct starting point in a video, so these sites may not be best for both photos and videos.
Best Photo-Centric Sites (prices are per month)
SmugMug - This is currently our favorite photo site for several reasons. One can easily "mimick" their nested folder structure found on a computer or hard drive by simply dragging folders into the Upload area. It is very easy to creatte Galleries (their term for Albums or Shared Albums) and link these albums to Collectionaire. YOu can also easily move or copy images from one Gallery to another. And there are many other great features.
iCloud - iCloud is a great place to backup and manage your photos, especially current photos and digital photos with date information after about the year 2000. It allows the creation and sharing of photos, digital albums and even short movies/slide shows. The only drawback is that if you have previously organized your photos into folders on a Windows computer, especially older photos without date stamps or in custom assortments, iCloud will not easily allow you to store and share these albums. In these cases, you may wish to use Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud site for these albums and iCloud for newer albums. Cost: 5GB free. 50GB: $0.99. 200GB: $2.99. 2TB: $9.99. (Great for photos and short videos. Not sure about long-form home movies but doubt it at this point.)
Google Photos - Similar to iCloud Photos, this is a great place to backup and manage your photos, especially current photos and digital photos with date information after about the year 2000. It also allows the creation and sharing of photos, digital albums and even short movies/slide shows, though iCloud's movie/slide shows are a bit better due to elegant presentation that includes "Ken Burns" panning and music. Like iCloud, the one drawback with Google Photos is that if you have previously organized your photos into folders on a Windows computer, especially older photos without date stamps or in custom assortments, Google Photos will not easily allow you to store and share these albums. In these cases, you may wish to use Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud site for these albums and iCloud for newer albums. One final negative, at least as it pertains to Collectionaire, is that users can not automatically generate a preview image for their Linked Albums from Google Drive, whereas they can from Google Photos. Cost: Free, unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution. (Great for photos and short videos. Not sure about long-form home movies but doubt it at this point.)
Google Drive - Drive is not the same as Google Photos, but each has its benefits. Google Drive will also store your photos (but not unlimited for free) and allow photo by photo viewing. Google Photos generally wins as the best overall system and presentation, but you may want to use both services. One good reason to use Google Drive is in the case where you have already pre-sorted photos into folders in a WIndows-based PC, especially photos from multiple dates (such as "best of family photos through the years"). In these cases, the best way we've found to maintain this organization is to upload the pre-sorted files of photos to Google Drive, then getting a share link for that Album. Using Google Drive does not preclude using Google Photos, and we recommend using both.
Flickr - Flickr was once a fantastic free service for amateur photographers, with almost unlimited free photo storage, but they are changing their plans. As of January 9, 2019, users will be allowed only 1000 free photos for storage and management. If they want to store more, they will need to upgrade to a Pro account, which is about $50/year as of this post. Please see this link for more information... https://www.flickr.com/lookingahead
Selected Cloud Storage Cost Info:
Dropbox - 2GB free. 1TB for $10 a month (Great for long-form home movies but likely not made for best photo viewing.)
Google Drive - 15GB free. 100GB for $1.99. 200GB for $2.99. 2TB for $9.99. (Great for long-form home movies IF you're using Chrome or Firefox browers. Not good for Collectionaire use if you're using a Safari browser. Also not best photo viewing.)
Microsoft OneDrive - 5GB free. 50GB for $3. 1TB for $8. 5TB for $11.
Box - 10GB free. 100GB for around $10 a month.
Amazon CloudDrive (TBD)
iCloud - 5GB free. 50GB: $0.99. 200GB: $2.99. 2TB: $9.99.
One has several options here. Please see the Help & Support topics in this Category for options.
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