With Google Photos becoming less free, Amazon’s an alternative if you already pay for Prime

A while back Google announced that later this year (June 1st,) photos uploaded to Google Photos will now count against your drive storage quota. This is a tad concerning for those of us who might want to look back at our history in the proper resolution, but for most people it should be most concerning because your computer is going to get hacked, destroyed, and all your data deleted at some point and you’re going to need to restore from somewhere.

It’s not a question of if, it’s just how long until all your digital data goes away because you’re a victim of malware, a zero day exploit, or an abusive ex?

Got an external drive? You sure you weren’t infected earlier and everything on it compromised? Fire? Tornado? Cat peeing on it?

Yeah… your photos will be destroyed. Your documents raided by scammers. That’s about the only certain thing about computers these days is that you’re going to be hit and you’ll have a message from a criminal sitting on your desktop while your Antivirus/protection software notifies you it’s time to renew your protection.

I personally use a variety of backup options. I’ll be downsizing my Google Photos uploads after the date passes (May 2021?,) and letting AWS (along with a couple of other places just for safe measure,) store the majority of the content I’ve produced digitally over the past 23 years.

Amazon’s pushing this as “free for Prime members,” but it should really be thought more in terms of “I signed up for Prime when it was $79 and now it’s $100 more I’ve already paid for this”.

Images are “free,” (as in don’t cost above Prime pricing) and appear to include PSDs, PDFs, JPGs and bitmaps (why do I have bitmaps?) so work on photoshop looks like it’s going to be preserved.

Currently uploading at about 6.8 megabytes per sec, 270 gigabytes to go

The phone app went through and backed up my S21 in 30 seconds, primarily due to the fact that the phone is about 10 days old. The Windows app went through and claimed to back up my pictures in about two minutes. Having 263 gigabytes of pictures and only a 1 gig connection I realized the Windows app does not search for media, unlike the Android app. So make sure to define where your photos are.

Undoubtedly if you’re planning on massive criminal activity or believe that Amazon doesn’t already know what you look like from the driver’s license database they have access to, you probably will want to distrust their terms of service saying they won’t use the data for personal gain. Your TOS links are here, here, here, here, and I’m betting I missed a couple.

Video storage can be purchased at rates comparable to Google. There are no guarantees anywhere that the full high resolution video backup will be part of Prime forever, so there’s a good chance a couple of years down the road after you’ve migrated from The Great Goog over to the Echoverse you find that they’re going to count it against storage because they just can’t keep up with your new 500 gigapixel camera that produces 27.3 gigabyte photos.

Back up everything, back it up multiple places, I cannot stress that enough multiple places.

“Paul,” you say, “you’re being a tad paranoid on these backups.” – Let me quickly tell you of Pocketables. I had updraftplus, I had VaultPress, and I had Site5 all claiming to have updated. Back at the beginning of last year we had a zero day wordpress hack. Site5 had not backup and claimed that was just a courtesy and not a guarantee. While working trying to recover the site they destroyed the only recent updraftplus backup. VaultPress identified an issue with our site that caused them to not notify us that backups hadn’t happened in a few weeks (programmers were involved in fixing this.)

Had I not had backup #4 which was through sheer paranoia copying it to my computer weekly, we would have lost 2020 and a chunk of 2019. Oh wow, 2020 really started out sucky for us.

Your backup will fail. Your backups backup will fail. Keep your memories safe. Put it on your calendar to ensure that your stuff is actually backing up.

Also if you’re considering Prime Photos as you already have a Prime account, head on over to any of their advertisements for this and check out the nonstop thread wars about what people think censorship is, how Amazon Photos is involved. It’s a clarion call for education reform in the United States.

Side note, change concurrent uploads to 8 and you’ll see a performance boost if you’re on a high speed connection (getting 13MB per second now).

Download: Google Play | Windows/Mac/iOS

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts