Understand the difference between BACK UP and SYNC

Understand the difference between BACK UP and SYNC

Is SYNC just another four-letter word to you?  Your photos are syncing to the cloud and you think that means they are safe… you could be wrong.

Let’s clarify this once and for all:


  • This is what happens when you have a device connected to a cloud service e.g. your Samsung Phone and Google Photos or an iPhone and iCloud
  • Data goes BOTH ways i.e. it is a two-way street!
  • If you take a photo on your device (and it is connected to the internet) it goes to the cloud
  • If you delete the photo from your device, it is also removed from the cloud
  • Ergo if you are using SYNC system you can consider that you only have ONE copy of your photo
  • Sync works fine, if used IN CONJUCTION with a backup system. That’s right, a sync is not a backup.


  • This is what happens when you mirror a collection of photos, usually this is a manual and intentional COPY process but things like Time Machine on a MAC or Windows Backup and Restore Utility, also do this automatically (when set up correctly)
  • Data only goes ONE way – from one physical device to another physical device or to a cloud storage platform
  • You take a photo, you create a backup and is STAYS put, regardless of what you do with photo on the original device.

If you are a ‘syncer’ do you feel secure with only one copy of your photos? Or do you need to consider creating a backup system?

If you are relying solely on SYNC for your photos, it’s important to understand that it’s not a foolproof backup solution. SYNC is great for keeping your files updated across devices, but it’s not a substitute for a proper backup system.

When you SYNC your photos to the cloud, you essentially have just one copy stored there. So, if something were to happen to that copy, such as accidental deletion or a system failure, you risk losing your precious memories.

This is where BACKUP comes into play. A backup involves creating a duplicate set of your photos, either manually or automatically, on another physical device or in the cloud. With a backup system in place, you can rest assured that your photos are safely stored in multiple locations.

So, if you’re a dedicated ‘syncer,’ it might be time to consider setting up a backup system as well. By combining SYNC and BACKUP, you can ensure that your photos are not only up to date but also securely preserved for the long term.

Learn more about how to set up a proper back up from our friends at Photography Concentrate.*

*Affiliate partner, this means if you purchase using this link we get some play money, enough for cake with our coffee (not a pony) and with no extra cost to youThank you so much to everyone who purchases through our links, we really appreciate it.


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