Photo backup solution, pt. 2: Flickr!

As I posted recently, I was getting frustrated with iCloud. I have various solutions for storing photos, so all I really wanted iCloud for was as a backup for my phone, but I had started using it for photos, and of course it quickly filled up. I was going to need to spend more money per month to make it big enough. (I hear $20/month gets you 2TB.)

So, I asked for input, and heard various great ideas from friends. (One of them might work for you! See that last post for more details.)

Then, I realized I have long had a paid Flickr account, did some research, and discovered that Flickr now offers 1TB FOR FREE, along with a nifty Flickr Uploadr ( that basically functions as a backup for photos, i.e., you just set it and forget on your various devices to back up photos from whatever folder you want (on iOS, you do this through the general Flickr app), and it automatically does so, with all such additions defaulted to “private.”

Unfortunately, this only works on a desktop if you have a paid account (that is, even though you can get the 1TB of storage for free, you can only get the “Flickr Uploadr” for your computer if you pay the $49/year membership, and that’s really the only way it works as a set-it-and-forget-it backup solution—on a desktop).

I have long had a paid Flickr membership and don’t mind keeping it, so that works for me, for now.

But even if I didn’t have that paid membership, it seems to me that Flickr would be a good photo backup solution for one’s phone. You can access the automatic/default-to-private upload function through the iPhone or Android app even without a paid “Pro” account, and you still get that 1TB of storage. (For reference, having just completed the approximately one-week-long process of backing up every single photo in my Photos library, dating back to 2004, I am now using only about 62GB for my library of more than 25,000 photos(!).) This wouldn’t back up the photos on your desktop machine, but presumably you have those backed up elsewhere (several elsewhere, one hopes).

Caveat: Flickr disappointed many people earlier this year when it made the Uploadr a pro-only feature after letting people use it for free, along with those 1,000 free GB of storage, for about a year. This article even compared Yahoo’s action in this regard to “ransomware.”

Fair enough.

But since all of my photos are backed up to (1) an AirPort Time Capsule, (2) to a periodically connected local external hard drive, and (3) Carbonite, I’m not too worried about the safety of my overall historical photo library. The acute need that Flick solves for me is, really, automatic uploads from my phone, as a backup, for free, without filling up the space on iCloud that I’m using to back up other important items on my phone. So I could even see letting my Pro account lapse at some point and just using the iPhone app for backups of my latest selfies. We shall see!

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