I like to have control of my files, but at the same time I want them to be easily available — everywhere. I’ve been struggling with finding the golden path between accessibility, convenience, privacy and safety. This is what I have come up with (so far).
My mobile phone automatically backs up to Google Photos. I’ve been searching high and low for a replacement, but have come up short. Convenience wins here. Google Photos make it very easy for my wife and I to share and collaborate on family photos and albums, and to share these with other family members.
I don’t have to be involved at all for my wife to upload, organize and share photos from her phone, or any of our digital cameras. That is an enormous win.
Photos of family, the house, or generally anything that both my wife and me collaborate on — stays on Google Photos… But for my homelab, home office, projects, etc — I download them locally, organize them into my folder structure and delete some of them them off Google Photos. I then use rclone to sync my local photos folder to Google Drive. Meaning that I have a convenient way of viewing these from my phone, or share them, while still having the actual image file locally.
While I don’t see encryption as a necessity for photos, it is an absolute requirement for documents and sensitive files. For that purpose I use Tresorit. I sync my document archive using their Linux client. This means that I have access to all my entire document archive on my phone. Since Tresorit is end-to-end encrypted I can feel safe that my files are protected from prying eyes, while still having the convenience of having them available on my phone.
I tried to use Tresorit for photos as well, but it just didn’t work. It was too slow and lacking features like auto rotating images according to EXIF data. Probably due to the end-to-end encryption.
- Google Photos
- Family photos, and temporary personal storage.
- Google Drive
- Clone of local photo folder, for web access and sharing.
- Documents and sensitive information.
I have stopped deleting photos off Google Photos, and uploading them to Google Drive. I do still download photos for specific projects, but keep the rest on Google Photos. It’s just so easy to upload, view and share.