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Which Cloud Storage Option is Right for Me? – Backing Up Your RAW Photos

In the world of photography, RAW photos are a must. They provide more detail and allow you to get the most out of your camera without being limited by software. The only problem is that these files are huge! And if you shoot in RAW + JPEG, then they’re even bigger. How do you back up your precious memories? This post will discuss different ways to securely store all of your valuable photo files so that nobody can ever take them away from you again…

Option 1: Storing RAW Photos On A Hard Drive

With this option, you’ll purchase a large external hard drive and store all of your RAW photo files there. You can use an online backup service that will automatically copy the new versions to the cloud every time you save them on your computer or just have it plugged into your router so it backs up automatically whenever you’re connected to wifi.

Types Of Hard Drives

There are two different types of external hard drives you can purchase, and we’ll discuss the differences below:

HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

This is the traditional spinning disk that has been around for years. They’re relatively inexpensive, but they are very slow and not recommended for storing RAW photo files due to their size (the amount of time it would take to copy them over).

SSD (Solid State Drive)

A newer technology that is much faster and more durable than a traditional HDD. They’re also typically more expensive, but they are perfect for large files like RAW photos since the transfer speed is not an issue. The only downside is with some brands you’ll get less storage space than their equivalent HDD counterpart (the price/GB ratio).

Option 2: Storing RAW Photos In Cloud

The other alternative for storing your RAW files is through cloud storage. There are many different online storage services available, but they all work the same way. You upload your RAW photos to their servers and access them from anywhere through an app or web browser at any time.

The main advantage of this option is that you don’t have to buy a physical external hard drive because it’s always with you regardless if there is wifi available or not (assuming you have mobile data on your phone). The downside of course is that some cloud providers can be expensive depending on how much space you need, so cost definitely needs to be taken into consideration when picking one out.

Cloud Services That Accept RAW photo storage

Below are several cloud services options that accept RAW file storage:

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is one of the most popular cloud storage services around because it’s included with every Microsoft account. It also has some nice built-in features like automatically uploading photos and videos to create a “OneDrive Moments” album in your profile, so you never have to worry about forgetting to back things up again!

You can easily purchase more space if needed through their website or mobile app (they even offer special discounts for students).

Their personal plan starts at $69.99 per year, but they also offer a standalone 100GB option for $1.99 per month, or a free 5GB plan.

Google Drive

If you’re already invested in the Google ecosystem and have a Gmail account, then this is another great option that has some nice features like an automatic photo backup for all your photos (similar to what we just discussed with OneDrive). You can also access them from anywhere through their website or mobile app.

Google Drive offers free storage for 15GB, or $9.99 per month for 1TB.


This is a nice, cost effective solution for smaller file storage needs. They have several different plans so you can pick what fits your requirements/budget the best.

Carbonite starts at $6 per month to support 1-3 computers.


This is another popular cloud storage service that has a nice free option to store unlimited files for your personal use. They also have very competitive pricing plans, and they even allow you to back up other computers on your network! This can be especially helpful if you own several devices like laptops or desktops since it will automatically upload any new photos/videos when there’s an internet connection available (much like with OneDrive & Google Drive).

CrashPlan costs $10 per month per computer it’s used on.

iCloud Photo Library

This is a built-in option on any Apple devices, so you won’t have to worry about setting anything up. Your photos automatically upload when they’re taken and are saved in iCloud for anytime access across all your mobile devices (up to at least 30 days).

iCloud’s storage starts at 50GB for $1 per month.


This is another popular cloud storage service that is geared more towards professional photographers. It has some nice additional features like automatically rotating your RAW photos based on the EXIF/XMP data, plus it’s fully integrated with Adobe Lightroom! So if you’re looking for a one-stop shop solution to back up and organize your photo library (RAW files included) this could be worth checking out.

Photoshelter starts at $9.99 per month for 4GB, or $25 per month for 100GB.


This is another nice option for smaller storage needs. It also offers unlimited photo/video backup, but it’s only good for personal use (not great if you’re a professional photographer). You can easily purchase more space by the month or year with their website or mobile app.

Backblaze starts at $7 per month.


This is another very popular cloud storage service. It has a nice user-friendly interface and works well with their mobile app, plus it’s integrated into many other services like Adobe Lightroom for easy photo importing/backup (similar to what we just discussed with iPhoto).

Dropbox offers a free plan with 2GB of storage, or $10 per month for 2TB of storage.


So now you should be fully equipped to make an informed decision on which cloud storage option is best for your unique needs. In terms of price, the average plan cost around $100 per year (give or take). So if you’re looking for a solution with more features and/or higher storage capabilities, expect to pay closer to about $200-300 per year depending on what’s included.

These services have many other useful features outside just photo backup as well. For example OneDrive has built in sharing functionality so it can easily double as a collaborative work space! Google Drive also offers document editing within their online interface. This makes these types of solutions great all-in-one options that go beyond photo backup since they have nice collaboration tools, built in sharing, and more.

There are many other cloud storage services available as well that we didn’t mention here (e.g., Amazon Drive). Just remember to carefully consider all of your unique needs when selecting a service so you get the best solution for you!