Cloud computing is a popular term these days. It refers to using a service where resources are accessed remotely from a computer over the internet. The storage and processing is done across the internet instead of locally on the user’s personal computer. In the area of sharing photos with friends and family this takes place when the pictures are stored remotely and then can be accessed from any web browser at will. While there are many different companies that provide cloud based photo sharing the most popular are Flickr, Picasa and PhotoBucket.
With all three of these companies’ services you have the ability to upload your digital photos to their servers. This is done through either their website or a standalone application. After the photos have been uploaded and saved on their systems you can then access them from any computer. Not only can you access them yourself but you have options to share them via email or Facebook as well as to place them in a blog post. Beyond simply sharing single photos you can setup albums or slide shows, and then share these with friends or family as well. There are also options to organize and categorize your photos to make it easier to find or sort through them. You can even edit the photos by correcting red eye, coloring, lighting, cropping and rotating on the web based interface for these cloud computing services.
All three of these cloud based photo sharing sites can be used at no cost. Each of them has a free account that has a set amount of storage you can use. However, both Flickr and PhotoBucket also have Premium accounts that cost about $25 a year and give you unlimited storage space. For most casual users the free accounts will be more than sufficient, but for photography enthusiasts the premium accounts add additional features like statistics tracking with the extra storage space. Picasa does not have an option for a premium account but they do allow you to pay for additional storage space if you need more than their default accounts provide. The cost for the additional storage depends on how much you need, but the amounts start at 20 gigabytes for just $5 a year.
By using a cloud computing services to share your photos with your friends and family you get the benefit of having a backup copy of your photos in case your computer quits working or get destroyed. It also allows for you to quickly and easily share photos without leaving your computer running all the time or setting up your own server to host them. Photo sharing is one of the most common uses of cloud computing because it provides so many benefits without any drawbacks.