The Ultimate Google Photos Alternative

Google photos are changing their storage options, starting from June 1st 2021, any photos you upload to Google photos will use up some of your storage in your Google account. 

The Google photos service has actually been very generous, allowing unlimited backups at high quality, however unfortunately storage is not free and with so many people taking advantage of Google's amazing photos service, they have clearly needed to restructure their product offering.

So you may be looking at alternatives to backup your photos with, there are many other services available for backing up photos however there is one service that no one else is considering at the moment.

Plex is a self hosted service allowing anyone to create their own media server to view and manage their own media. Think of it like your own personal Google Photos website hosted on your own computer. This puts you in control of your own data and allows you to manage your own storage requirements, and remove the limitation of storing photos at reduced quality.

You can also use it to manage your other media such as music and movies. If you are comfortable setting up your own Plex server then this may be the solution for you. I have setup a new photos library in Plex with some photos to demonstrate.

The Plex app shows your photos with four different sections, Recommended, Timeline, Library, and Playlists. Recommended shows you photos you've added recently, or photos from the past.

Recommended view in the Plex app shows recently added photos and photos from the past.

The timeline view is similar to what you would have used in Google photos, it shows all your photos in chronological order by date, and you can scroll back through time to see previous photos, comparing this interface with Google Photos the two are very similar.

Plex timeline pictured on the left, Google Photos timeline on the right.

Additionally you can organise your photos into albums, or as Plex calls them, Playlists, the idea being you create a playlist to share on a TV for example. Playlists allow you to organise your photos into different collections.

Playlists feature in Plex allows you to organise your photos into collections or albums.

Plex can also automatically tag your photos with searchable descriptions such as tree, person, beach .etc, and show you photos based on geotagged locations. The Plex mobile app also allows you to setup automatic or manual transfers of new photos from your phone, to your Plex server. These features do require a monthly or lifetime Plex Pass subscription.

You can also browse your photos on Plex through your computer web browser using your local server URL, the interface is easy to use and its easy to view your photos and see the metadata and tags.

Plex through a web browser, the information panel on the right shows the photos metadata including the tags Plex has added to it.

Let me know in the comments what you think and if you've moved your media from Google Photos to Plex, I'm keen to hear what your experience has been like.

Thinking of moving from Google Photos? We developed a tool to help you update the metadata in your images, check out Google Photos Metadata Repair.

Was this helpful?

Yes No