Even if you don’t have a camera or camcorder, most modern mobile phones are capable enough to help you capture prized photo and video memories of your holiday. But once that data is saved to the device’s onboard memory or media card, it’s only as safe as the smartphone itself. The mobile phone can be replaced if someone pinches it or you leave it at the beach, but the photos and video stored on it will be lost forever if they aren’t first duplicated elsewhere. You could simply copy shots on to a portable hard drive or USB stick, but these aren’t your only options. Here, we’ll show you how to back up your media to a free online storage service.
A lost camera can be replaced; what's inside is more valuable
Step 1. Upload photos to Flickr from a netbook or laptop
Sign up for a free account at flickr.com and log in. We’re uploading only photos in this example, but the site also accepts video. If you’ve already copied your media to your portable PC’s hard drive, select the Upload tab, browse to and select the images on your netbook and click Upload. Flickr keeps tabs on how many megabytes of data you’ve uploaded – you can use up to 300MB per month for free. Flickr also lets you add descriptive tags to your photos.
Step 2. Upload photos to Flickr from a smartphone
If you’re taking snaps on a phone and don’t have a separate drive to which you can back up images, use a Flickr mobile app to upload media directly to the site. Grab the compatible app for your mobile platform at m.flickr.com. Use a Wi-Fi rather than 3G connection if you want to avoid a hefty bill. Easier still, set up your handset to email images to Flickr. Flickr will provide an email address for this purpose, and you simply compose the email as you would any other.
Step 3. Access remote storage using Dropbox
Dropbox is a great option for backing up photos on the road. This free solution lets you remotely access files and folders stored on various mobile devices and PC platforms. Its support for large files makes it ideal for photo backups. Create a free account and install Dropbox on your computer. Dropbox appears as a folder on your main hard drive, letting you drag-and-drop images to it. Your photos can then be viewed by anyone you allow access to.
Step 4. Set up Dropbox photos
Go to your Dropbox folder and create a folder called Photos. Add your holiday snaps to the folder and, given your permission to make them publicly accessible, Dropbox will also display them online as a viewable gallery. If you want to add more than one photo at a time or include high-resolution shots, expect to see a loading icon as the upload is processed. When an item has been uploaded, this icon will change to a green tick.