24 answers

How to Store Digital Photo's in a Safe Place

hi mom's,

we have a million digital pictures. we store them on our home computer and back them up w/ an external hard drive. the problem i thought of is.......what happens if there is a fire (or something) and the computer and external hard drive are damaged??? any ideas of a good website to store photo's on or other things that the photo's can be uploaded to and then put in a fireproof safe? (we tried to do cd's but we seriously have too many photo's) any thoughts and advice are appreciated! thank you!

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I use Snapfish.com. They seem to have unlimited storage because I have THOUSANDS of pics uploaded to them and there is no space issue. If anything ever happens, you can order new ones.

Why not keep the external drive in a fireproof box or safety deposit box that you access once a month or so to update the information, some of those external drives are pretty small and are easily carried.

I've also heard commercials for online ways to back up. I think one is called Mozy or something like that. I think it sounded pretty inexpensive but I haven't looked into it.

Try Phanfare, it's a great site, easy to use, not that expensive and if there is a fire it retains www.Phanfare.com

More Answers

We've started going through our photos and erasing some, for starters. Like those not-so-precious blurry photos of our baby in the hospital. We have so many good ones, why clog up our memory with the bad ones?

Then we have burned them onto DVD, one or two DVDs per year. I take a lot of photos, and they usually fit. Now that we have a DSLR that has bigger files, they may not fit anymore.

Then we made two extra copies of the DVDs and sent one copy to my parents and one to my inlaws. We all live in different states. They love having access to our photos, and if all our homes are destroyed simultaneously, we'll have a nuclear holocaust on our hands, and we won't be worrying about our photos!

My husband considered storing an extra set of DVD's at work, also assuming that his office and our home would never be destroyed simultaneously.

If the thought of DVDs makes you cringe, you could buy a second external hard drive to store in a remote location. Every once-in-a-while, switch the hard drives' location so you're updating both.

BIG CAUTION about using Snapfish or Picasa or anything like that. They often do NOT retain the photo's initial size and quality. My SIL lives overseas, and when I downloaded photos from her Picasa online album (using the correct procedure) to add to a family calendar, they weren't big enough to print any bigger than a 4x6. Snapfish and Shutterfly reduce the file size automatically, too, unless you check a box that says you want to save it at full size.

These are NOT a way to back up your photos! It is only for online photo sharing and small-print ordering!

Another caution about online storage...you never know when they might go out of business! Yahoo cut its photo sharing and I had to re-upload all my pictures. That wasn't a big deal, really, because it wasn't a back-up for me, but it reminded me of the transient nature of online companies, even well-established ones like Yahoo, MSN, and Google.

Snapfish.com
I have been storing photos there for 5 years and never a problem. No limit. Plus you have th option to create very cute things from the website if you want.

Why not keep the external drive in a fireproof box or safety deposit box that you access once a month or so to update the information, some of those external drives are pretty small and are easily carried.

I've also heard commercials for online ways to back up. I think one is called Mozy or something like that. I think it sounded pretty inexpensive but I haven't looked into it.

We have our entire hard drive backed up on Carbonite.com. It's $50 a year and can hold as much as you have at an external place. It automatically backs up everything every time your computer is on. It is the only way I really feel safe.

Walmart has fireproof lock boxes in all diffrent sizes i got one to put my picture CDs in and our birth certificates and ss cards

Try Phanfare, it's a great site, easy to use, not that expensive and if there is a fire it retains www.Phanfare.com

we are using mozy.com recommended by my parents. . . it's $5/month and it backs up as often as you like, the initial back up can take a few days or a few weeks depending on how much you have on your computer and external and how fast or slow your computer is. . . .good luck! i am always worried about those things too!

I store our photos on an external hard drive and at photobucket.com. I have recently starting using Picasa (google photo storing/sharing) and I like that site too. I have used photobucket pro and love that they have FTP to upload and download photos, but I am not currently a pro member since money is tight.

Mozy.com is a wonderful sight where you can store all you data, including pictures, just in case.

I have photos "stored" on both WalMart and Snapfish websites. They both used to be free, but now WalMart requires a purchase each year to keep your photos (but your purchase only needs to be one photo). With Snapfish, for a yearly fee, you can also store video on your account. The really nice thing with WalMart is if you take your digital cards there to have the photo CD's made or photos printed, you can have them upload your photos to your account automatically.

I use Snapfish.com. They seem to have unlimited storage because I have THOUSANDS of pics uploaded to them and there is no space issue. If anything ever happens, you can order new ones.

There is a local company here called Diamondback Data (www.diamondbackdata.com) and they will store your important info offsite for about $75 a year. It's so worth it to know your photos, music files and other data is safe if anything were to happen. Automatic and easy. Tell Brian S. sent you.

Have you tried USB drives? They can hold much more than a cd and are much smaller.

Make it a GREAT week!

S.

How big is your hard drive? We back our pictures up to Western Digital MyBook external hard drive, then stick the whole thing in our fireproof safe. We seriously have a lot of pictures too, and I don't think any one website would hold all of them.

Hope that helps.

flickr.com it's a free site and you can make it public or private and only allow those that you invite to view your photos. You can upload as many pics as you want, but you can only upload xxx per month (i don't remember exactly how many). You could also get a fire/water proof safe and keep them on something stored in there... IMO flickr is easier though, and probably costs the same. Plus its great to just upload the pics and let friends and family look there instead of emailing them out all the time.

Several people have suggested using online services. One cautionary tale. I had a kodakgallery account with 1000s of pics but it hadn't been used for 8 or so months. All the albums I uploaded(many dozens of hours) were gone and I couldn't recover them. I still have all the pics on my computer and external hard drive but would have liked a source outside my home as well. Kodakgallery started requiring that users spend $5 a year to maintain the acct but I had no warning and cust svc said they're gone. So...I'd suggest avoiding kodakgallery.

Try photomax.com it is great. I use it all the time.

I store photos that I use for sharing in different places on photobucket. I know that snapfish and tiny pic are good too.
What I would actually do is store them on a zip drive and than place that into a fireproof box or a bank deposit box. This way you also have a place to store important papers such as your wills, mortgage papers, pay offs of any credit cards that let you settle for a lesser amount than what is owed-lots of people are having to do that these days, birth certificates, social security cards, a small amount of cash (what I have seen recommended is 100 dollars in 20 dollar bills, and 20 dollars in quarters-though since they also recommend putting a credit card that you don't normally use I would personally put 2-3 hundred in 20's in the box so that if I had to get a motel and it was the weekend I could till I could get to the bank. Worst case being hotel is needed on Friday night after the bank is closed and Monday is a holiday so it's Tuesday before any more money can be accessed).
From what I have heard for pictures the 4 giga bite memory sticks with using the 2 giga bite ones for text documents though if you have a lot you could go higher or do several. Personally I would do several just because it makes it easier to find things For example you could have March 08-June 08 on one, July 08-Sept 08 on another and so on (of course dates would be on how much you space you use on each one).

T.

C.: i use mozyhome online backup. it's $4.95/month and you can store lots and lots (I can't remember all the GB you can store there) but i have 2 yrs of photos plus all of my files for my business. it's great because you can set it up to backup automatically and you never have to remember to do it yourself. good luck!

There is an online backup program that you can use. There are several different services available, but we use Mozy for our client photos, as well as personal. We love it!

We use Mosy not only for all our pictures and video, but for tax returns and other important data that we have on our computers.

You are more organized than I am. We tried CD's too and now have filled the small SD cards and keep our photos on there. WE stock up on SD's cards when they are $10 to $20. They take up much less space & write on plastic covers with Sharpie.

I have all of my pictures stored on an external hard drive. If my computer ever crashes I know that my pictures will be safe. I also download all of my pictures to Snapfish.com and so if my computer ever burned down I could access my pictures from the web on any else's computer. Also, I have the negatives from my wedding stored in a fire proof safe. I hope to have all my bases covered!

Hi C.,
As far as fireproof safes go, make sure and do some research on the brand/type that you want. Some are only rated for a few minutes at high temps. Also, some are not rated for flooding. After doing a lot of research 6 years ago, I opted to get a safety deposit box at my bank. It is only $15 a year and it is rated for extreme fire and flood conditions. As far as storing the pictures, we have some on cds, but most are on USB drives. You can get 4GBs which hold tons of pics for $20+. Besides, the USBs take up a lot less space. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

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