Best photo saving devices?

Looking for a photo saver stick or similar to collect, delete repeats, and save by date photos from computer or phone. There are many on the market, but not all of them show exactly what they do and I can find no recommendations. The prices are spread widely but no there’s real clue as to the actual experience of using them. Help!! We need info!

Our workflow at home is this:

For my wife’s phone, automatically upload the photos to Dropbox, just as a staging area, though you could keep them there.

Download the a few times a year or after vacations to the home computer, then copy them to a generic USB storage device. Also backup to Google Drive (the cloud).

My phone I let upload to Google Photos, but select photos I put on Google Drive.

My Nikon camera has a memory chip, I copy the contents to the home computer, USB drive, and Google Cloud.

The USB drive lives in a super tough safe at home.

The house could be blown away by a tornado, the computer or USB could break or be stolen or become obsolete, and our photos would still exist.

We share our photos and home videos with our kids who live far away. One of them is designated to inherit the Google Drive after we pass away. We have 25000+ photos. We have scanned images going back 90 years to family origin in Cuba and China.

This is a treasure trove, it’s a life’s work, and it’s secure as it could be.

I think the key is to remove the device dependency. We’ve seen many generations of storage devices come and go. Big floppy disks, small ones, zip cartridges, digital tape, USB, now USB-C. Putting it all on the Cloud puts an end to that. Give the hardware task to the Cloud provider, we pay a few dollars a year for 200 GB of storage.

I have thousands of photos and many duplicates.

I started out with the free cloud storage including Dropbox, Google, Amazon and Mega.NZ.

I also have multiple external drives, but all local. At one point I had external NAS drives that connected to my main computer via LAN. Currently I have the online capacity of 7 terabytes because I do a lot web design and storage of old websites of customers. I also have rebuilt and recovered data for neighbors and have copies of some of that stored.

One thing I did was stop buying disk drives (perhaps a bit too late :slight_smile: and I went with an online storage that does unlimited backup space for one computer for about $70 a year. That saved buying drives at $100 at Costco. However I have 3 computers and a cellphone and camera. So how do I back it all up.

So I found a program that works similar to Dropbox but is free. It will connect to most of my devices (remote computers and cellphone) and copy files to a different location. I have all those connections come to my main computer, which is the one with the constant upload to the cloud. If I take a photo on my cellphone and I am within data or wifi range of an internet connection, it is sent to that home computer in seconds to minutes. That means if I lost the cellphone, I still automatically have the photos. It also means that if someone stole my cellphone and took a photo, I would have that photo sent to me automatically too. This differs from Dropbox or other services in that my storage space is only limited to the amount of disk space I have on the receiving computer and not some limit imposed by some company. Since my main computer is also backed up to the cloud, each night (although I could do it continuously) I am backed up there too.

With the program I could have all my computers back up critical documents instantly to my main computer and have them all backed up online too.

An interesting sidenote is that I could have a family member share a folder with my home computer and if that folder contents change, the files would be duplicated on the relatives computer (just like Dropbox). Instead of emailing photos they could just appear there. The same thing could happen with the cellphone. Rather than copy the files to just my home computer, I could say to copy them there AND my relatives or a friends computer.

The free software is called SYNCTHING ( It works on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OpenBSD, and many others. Every device is identified by a strong cryptographic certificate. Only devices you have explicitly allowed can connect to your other devices.

Ok, thank you for all the technical answers! Now, I want you to try one more time and realize you are talking to a elderly grandmother who did very little with computers. I was thinking of something to plug into my phone and old computer to copy, delete the extras, put them into year by year order and keep them for me safely away from phones, clouds and computers!
I do have pictures saved on iCloud and Google and have no idea how to access either one of those. I don’t have that many pictures, either.
Thank you all for your responses!

Task one of your grandchildren with this activity!