Icloud photo.please help. I'm confused

I want a way to back up my photos. I do a full back up on an external drive, but while I'm travelling, I download them to my macbook, and don't take my external HD.

There seems to be two options. icloud photo stream, or icloud photo sharing. I'm currently using photo stream. does this mean that if my macbook dies, then my photos on it are stored on the icloud, and I can still access the full res photo?

I have never paid for extra storage, and I have more than 10,000 photos and videos on my mac. I can't imagine that there is less than 5gb worth of photos, and that is all icloud allows unless you upgrade.

Any help/advice gratefully received.

geek_jimbob37, Jul 4, 2:18 pm

maybe your photos aren't valuable if don't want to spend $1.29 a month for an extra 20 GB on iCloud.

geek_gibler, Jul 4, 3:02 pm

OK so from what I understand photostream only stores your photos for 30 days, it is supposed to be enough time for all your devices to get copies downloaded. The photos have to live on your mac / iphone and it's up to you to back them up.

iCloud Photo Library stores your full res photo on the cloud and either keeps a full copy on your mac or a reduced size thumbnail and then downloads as required if you choose the Optimize Storage option.

Note that if you use iCloud Photo Library you don't want to do the usual thing and delete photos to save space, unlike with Photostream they will disappear everywhere. I have my mac set to optimize storage as I have a small drive and don't want to lug an external drive around with me, it will keep full size files until your drive gets full then get rid of the full size off your drive and leave the thumbnail in it's place but will download the full size photo if you try to view it.

geek_piperguy, Jul 4, 3:19 pm

Awesome, thanks piperguy. that makes more sense now.

Gibler. I have never bothered with the icloud storage because I back up on external hard drive. Currently that is not an option, hence me asking the question.

geek_jimbob37, Jul 4, 3:54 pm

If you upgrade to Yosemite 10.10.3 (or 4) you will have the option of replacing iPhoto with Photos. Photos will back up your entire library to iCloud and you can access them on any device via www.icloud.com on your browser - plus of course via the Photos app on iPhone and iPad. You'll need an iCloud plan with enough space but personally I think it's worth it

geek_squirrel99, Jun 23, 10:56 pm

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