Is google photos safe or not

Google Photos in the test 2021: Infinite storage space is a thing of the past


Google Photos offers impressive features for automated image management. You can read in the test report from 2021 whether the service is the best photo management in the cloud.

Google Photos in the test

Editor's rating 7.9, reader ratings
Storage capacity and upgrades


Google Photos impressed with sophisticated functions of automatic image analysis in the test. Only Apple users will find an alternative in iCloud that works even more smoothly and also brings fewer privacy concerns.

We liked that

  • Image analysis
  • Easy sharing

We didn't like that

  • Upload hooks on iOS
  • Google could gain a lot of (personal) data from image analysis

The best online storage in the test

Which online storage has the most storage space, and where does file upload work most reliably? We'll tell you in our cloud storage comparison and tell you which provider we particularly recommend. »For a detailed online storage comparison

current news

  1. Independent part of Google Drive
  2. Compressed image quality
  3. Outstanding photo management
  4. Fast upload, convenient sharing
  5. Photo books directly from the app
  6. Google Photos Cost: Subscriptions and Pricing
  7. How to cancel your subscription
  8. Conclusion & alternatives

With Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Amazon and Google, many cloud storage systems now offer dedicated photo applications. The services not only make it easy to share images, but also impress with powerful automated management options for large image collections. You can read below how well Google Photos does in this regard.

Google Photos in the test: a separate part of Google Drive

Google's photos solution is part of the Google Drive cloud storage system, but it still works independently. Google Photos has its own app for Android and iOS. From here, the cloud is fed with new photo and video recordings. Access is then possible from all devices with the Photos app as well as on the web at

A combined uploader for Google Drive and Photos is available for Windows and macOS computers, but no management software in the sense of the Photos app for mobile devices. The website must be sufficient for this - and it fulfills this purpose adequately thanks to fast response times and a good overview.

Google Photos in the test: Compressed image quality

Formerly, Google offered all users unlimited free photo storage. From June 2021, this will unfortunately only be the case for users of a Pixel smartphone. For all others, the storage space occupied by photos and videos in the cloud is offset against the regular Google Drive storage quota. Here you get 15 GB for free at the start.

If you want, you can activate automatic image compression when uploading. This significantly reduces the storage space required for photos and videos in the cloud, but without any noticeable loss of quality.

In the case of the 12 megapixel images of an iPhone 8, we cannot see any differences between the original and Google-compressed photo versions: the 12 MP resolution remains, and Google also leaves the JPG file format unchanged. Metadata is also retained. The image size is still reduced from around 6 to around 3 megabytes. You can find sample images in the gallery below.

Anyone who uploads photos taken with professional equipment could come across different results. In view of the fact that Google Photos is mostly supplied with smartphone photos, the compression can convince us overall. If you are looking for a cross-platform service that does not compress images and also offers unlimited photo storage, you should try Amazon Photos in conjunction with a Prime subscription.

Google Photos put to the test: Outstanding photo management

Once Google has been supplied with your pictures, the core of the service can be found in the automated photo management functions. Because a highly developed algorithm analyzes your images and categorizes them according to motifs, activities, people and places. Grouped accordingly, these can then be viewed on Google. In the grouping, Google proves to be very differentiated, so the service even reliably differentiates in the test between similar categories such as "lake", "sea", "glacier" and "sailing".

Sort by people

In Germany, the sorting of the photo collection according to photographed people is not yet available. Here, Google recognizes faces very reliably and provides them in their own albums. The recognition cannot be deterred by sunglasses and the like. Here you can read how face recognition can also be activated in Germany.

For instructions

Google can really impress with the search function, which is directly connected to the automated image recognition: Here, more complex queries can be made, such as "Boats in New York 2020" or "Lunch in Hamburg" - Google always delivers the right results. Impressive: even if (older) photos do not have any location information in the metadata, Google recognizes well-known motifs or regions. What is missing, however, is the practical representation distributed by location directly on a map, such as is available from Apple.

Anyone who manages large photo collections can benefit enormously from all of these features. While Apple also offers powerful image recognition and management functions, Google's features prove to be even more delicate in this regard. However: Apple promises to carry out the image analysis completely device-based and to only save encrypted data in the cloud.

Meanwhile, Google carries out a cloud-based analysis, which consequently requires (automated) access to data in the cloud by Google. In accordance with the terms of use, Google guarantees that it will only use the relevant access to provide the service. Nevertheless: without wanting to accuse the company of unfair behavior, the idea of ​​how much information could be drawn from thousands of private photos taken over the years and analyzed by Google down to the last detail leaves a bad feeling in the test.

Google Photos: Originals and compressed images in comparison

Look at the Google Photos interface

Google Photos in the test: usable across platforms

The upload speed for new content via the Google Photos app is very good in the test. If you upload a lot of files, you still have to be prepared for longer loading times. While the upload under Android works perfectly in the background in the test, we unfortunately have to open the iOS app regularly in order to continuously upload images. This is annoying, especially with larger upload volumes.

Photo scanner from Google Photos

With Google's photo scanner, you can easily scan your old analog photos with your Android or iOS device and import them into your Google photo library.

Individual photos or complete albums can be easily shared on Google via a link and then accessed in any browser, regardless of the Google account or operating system. It is also possible to share it with existing Google users, which then enables them to work together on albums. Photo sharing is comparably easy only with Apple and Amazon - services from Huawei and Samsung, for example, proved to be too system-bound in this regard in the test.

Google Photos in the test: Photo books directly from the app

If you want, you can order printed photo books directly from the Google Photos interface. This works either on the basis of suggestions for albums created automatically by Google or on the basis of manually created albums. For prices starting at 12.99 euros, either softcover books, in which photos are printed with a diagonal of 18 centimeters, or hardcover books, whose photos measure 22 centimeters and which cost at least 22.99 euros, are available.

The greatest strength of this offer is its seamless integration into the photos interface and the associated extremely simple and quick operation. However, at similar prices, dedicated online photo services have deals that offer more customization options.

Google Photos Cost: Subscriptions and Pricing

Since Google Photos is part of Google One, the pricing is the same as the company's Drive storage. Specifically, the following packages are available to you to choose from:

  • 15 GB - permanently free
  • 100 GB - 1.99 euros per month
  • 100 GB - 19.99 euros per year - corresponding to 1.67 euros per month
  • 200 GB - 2.99 euros per month
  • 200 GB - 29.99 euros per year - corresponding to 2.50 euros per month
  • 2 TB - 9.99 euros per month
  • 2 TB - 99.99 euros per year - corresponding to 8.33 euros per month

If you want to take out a subscription for Google Drive anyway and also use image compression, the Google One packages are a good price-performance ratio. If you are an Amazon Prime customer, you will find a good alternative for storing large collections of images in the cloud in Amazon Photos: Prime customers receive unlimited free photo storage space at Amazon. Due to the seamless integration in iOS, we also advise iPhone users to use iCloud.

Google Photos: How to cancel your subscription

You can cancel your paid storage space on Google Photos as part of your entire Google One / Google Drive subscription. If you no longer need the corresponding capacity, it is important that you actually end the subscription before it expires - otherwise it will be extended automatically. How exactly the termination succeeds, Google explains on its own website.

Google photos

Editor's rating 7.9, reader ratings
Storage capacity and upgrades

Google Photos: The Best Alternatives

Don't you agree? Are you looking for suitable alternatives? Below are the best Google Photos alternatives.

We also recommend you take a look at our cloud storage leaderboards. You can find comparable products, for example, in the leaderboards "Online storage compared (2021): 13 cloud services tested" or "Comparison of free online storage: 10 free services tested (2021)"

Google Photos: data sheet

Here you can find the technical data for Google Photos. You can easily compare size, weight and other properties with other products.

Storage in the free version 15 GB
Package with the largest storage space 1 TB / 9.99 euros per month (without compression)
Collaborative work✘ No.
Photo management tools ✔ Yes
Data encryption on the transmission path✔ Yes
Data encryption on server Not specified