In simple terms my testing of the free generic cloud services as a places to save a copy of an archive photo collection are going well. I have dropped drop box. There is nothing wrong with drop box as a backup system, in fact it is so simple to set up, its drag & drop feature on a PC really nce and sharing photos (privately) across the web it could be a winner for most folk. The limitation I see is it relies on the photos being nicely sorted (say into albums before you upload). If your photo collection is a big mass of stuff all over the place (aka a Mess) the backup will be a mess also.
So Sorry Drop Box your the first elimination.
OneDrive was the real surprise. I must admit I have one drive on a couple of machines (not all) and used it occasionally. Setting up the windows 10 OneDive app and phone apps and rebuilding the local OneDrive folder I saw all the right ingredients to build a rigorous and truly “set and forget” way to synch the photos I wish to upload (not everything vacuum cleaner style). The secret is in using the new format OneDrive folder (in Windows 10) on any of your machines (their doesn’t need to be a master catalogue or piece of software, another nail in your coffin lightroom) You just need to export your finished photos (I’m sticking with jpeg for this test) into the appropriate folder.
The One Drive folders are just like of folders in Explorer, with the exception that when you right click the mouse to get a options menu you’ll also see the options that control the display of the status icon beside any file or folder, (these are highlighted with the pink dotted box). The best option for my archive is free up space which change the icon to an open cloud and often leaves the files in place for a little while but seems to always upload them (during this process the status icon become an animated pair of arrow spinning and clears the space, then what you see is a thumbnail of the photos or icons of file types. If you want to bring the image back you just click on it and providing you have a web connection it downloads seamlessly. If you always what the local folder synched with a given folder (or file) you can select always keep on this device, and the status icon becomes an infilled green circle with a white tick. Files/photos loaded from other computers sharing the same One Drive will automatically appear this type of folder.
Google Drive (aka Backup and Sync from Google) is a Meehhhh! It worked the first time automatically, just like a vacuum cleaner and hasn’t work automatically since (I can restart it manually, it works once and stops). Not sure if this is yet another Windows 10 upgrade problem but I’ll preservere for the rest of the month and see if I can find the issue. Once uploaded you need to access google photos to see the on-line collection and there are plenty of tools, However it is so mobile phone centric I’m not a fan, even the great snapseed style tools they used to have are missing. I’m not sure what going on in there. Anyway I’ll keep testing.
I’m showing a flickr logo now and while I haven’t actually started using to build an cloud based photo collection archive (I’ll defer that until I understand better what Smug Mug is likely to do with the free !TB storage limits. What flickr offeres is some great and well proven ways to organize and share your on-line photo collection over and above the cloud storage, it could be the real winner of the free social media systems