Back in April, we posted a similarly titled article; however, today we’ll look at online file sharing options in a bit more detail. Email became the standard for electronic communication in 1993—the problem is that email providers only allow for attachments of very short videos or a limited number of photos. While you may be hesitant to upload your precious photos and videos to the World Wide Web, it is a more reliable place to store them than on a DVD that can be lost, or a computer file that can be corrupted. The Internet is omni-present, and while websites occasionally go down for maintenance, online file sharing sites offer invaluable tools for storing, editing, and sharing photos and videos.
Photo sharing sites
There are hundreds of photo sharing sites, with varying features and communities available. Some are free for the average consumer, some have a monthly membership fee and offer printing services along with editing software. Two of the most popular free photo sharing sites are Flickr and Photobucket. Both sites offer a free account option with a monthly photo upload limit, and a paid “Pro” account for $24.95 a year. The sites make it easy to share your photos—simply email the album link to your contacts, or post it to your Facebook. There are differences between the two sites, and it will come down to personal preference to decide which one is best for you—Flickr is generally considered to be simpler to use, while Photobucket offers more editing options.
Video sharing sites
Although there are dozens of free video hosting websites, the one that usually comes to mind first is Youtube. In fact, nowdays you may be hard-pressed to find someone who can name three video sites other than Youtube. However, Youtube now requires all new users to create a Google account in order to register for the site. For ease of use, Vimeo and Dailymotion have much simpler interfaces and you can create an account in minutes. Vimeo allows you to upload a video file without even having to name it—simply upload and email the link to your family and friends. Both sites also have privacy options that hide your videos from search engines and only allowing access to those that have the link.
Storing your photos online can free up computer space, since you can always download photos from your account when you want to order prints. Video hosting sites sometimes require a certain type of downloading software to download a posted video, so it’s best to keep your videos on a DVD for easy access. There are pros and cons for every image or video hosting site, so ask around for feedback from family or friends. Upload videos, share photos, experiment, and have fun!