Comparison of FREE Image Hosting Services


Was thinking of starting a travel blog, and travel blogs being image-heavy (what kind of travel blogs/books would feature lots of text but few pictures? Oh ya, Lonely Planet guidebooks… hahaha), I would need to find a suitable FREE image hosting service.

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I’m not familiar with image hosting services, so I did a quick research and have narrowed my search to the following 4 image hosting services:

  1. Picasa Web (picasaweb.google.com)
  2. Facebook Photos (www.facebook.com)
  3. Flickr (www.flickr.com)
  4. Photobucket (photobucket.com)

Evaluation:

I’ve evaluated the above 4 services based on:

  1. Free storage space
  2. Max image resolution/size
  3. Download Bandwidth
  4. Max video length/size*

*Note that I’ve added video length/size to complete the picture (pun intended).

Criteria Comparisons
Free storage space
Picasa 1024 MB. However, because photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won’t count towards your free storage, the amount of free storage can be unlimited if you adhere to the above limits.
Facebook Unlimited
Flickr Unlimited, but restricted to 300 MB photo upload per month.
Photobucket 2 GB
Max Image Resolution/Size
Picasa Unlimited
Facebook 2048 x 2048
Flickr 30MB per photo
Photobucket Up to 5 MB each or 2048 x 1536
Download Bandwidth
Picasa Unlimited
Facebook Unlimited
Flickr Unlimited
Photobucket 10GB per month
Max Video Length/Size
Picasa Unlimited. Note that videos up to 15 minutes won’t count towards your free storage.
Facebook 200MB/10min
Flickr 150MB/90sec. 2 video uploads per month.
Photobucket 500MB/10min

Verdict

I’ve eliminated Photobucket because of its storage and download bandwidth limitations.
To a lesser extent, Flickr, even though it provides unlimited storage, it restricts the amount of photos that I can upload per month, so I dismissed it as well.

This left me with either Picasa or Facebook.
Either one of the two could have suffice, but I chose to go with Picasa as I find Facebook a little too personal (it’s psychological ;) ).

How about imgur, ImageShack, and TinyPic?

I had not included services such as imgur, ImageShack, and TinyPic, as these services are more inclined toward “fire-and-forget” type of image hosting, and provide little in the way of ownership, or photos organization. Their main strength lies in their fuss-free image uploading and sharing – most of these services don’t even require you to sign up with them – and are therefore perfect for the occasional sharing of a funny picture on a forum, but falls short if you require more control over your images.

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- Lem

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