With PhotoBackup, you can easily upload and backup all your photos and videos on your iOS devices to your own computers that run Mac OS X or Linux, without the need to plug iPhone/iPad into the computers via USB, and without the need to install additional software on the computers.
PhotoBackup is very easy to use. You just need to select the computer from a list of available computers (alternatively you can enter directly the host name of the IP address of the computer), type in the username and password for logging into the computer , and then select the folder to backup to using a built-in remote folder browser. Once it is configured, all you need to do is to tap the green button to start the backup. On subsequent backups, only new photos and videos since last backup will be uploaded.
There is no need to hand pick photos or videos one by one. PhotoBackup will backup everything in the Camera Roll, which includes those taken by the camera, those imported from a SD card, and those saved by other apps. This ensures that every photo and video will get backed up.
Under the hood, PhotoBackup uses the rsync protocol to upload photos and videos. The rsync protocol is fast, efficient, and smart enough to skip photos and videos that exist on the computer. Unlike other popular file transfer protocols like ftp or sftp, the rsync protocol is to only one that verifies every transferred file with a checksum, thus file corruption can never happen.
PhotoBackup also provides several very useful options for advanced users:
• Select any number of photos and videos to backup instead of all photos and videos
• Backup the current, rendered version if the photos have been edited. By default, PhotoBackup will always upload the original, highest quality version (for instance, RAW files if they are imported). If you like to edit photos on your iOS devices, this option should be turned on.
• By default PhotoBackup skips photos and videos that have been uploaded before. So if some photos and videos are deleted on the computer, PhotoBackup will not attempt to upload them again. If you never delete photos or videos backed up to the computer, you may disable this option.
• Create Time Machine style snapshots. With this option on, for every backup PhotoBackup will create an incremental snapshot on the computer that shares the same copies of old photos and videos existing in previous snapshots. Only new photos and videos will take up space.
• How to connect to the computer. The default is rsync over ssh, but PhotoBackup can also connect to an rsync daemon directly. The port number is configurable as well. Public key authentication for ssh login is also supported.
PhotoBackup works with most Mac or Linux computers, or Network Attached Storage devices like those made by QNAP and Synology. There is no need to install special software on these computers. For Mac computers, ‘Remote Login’ must be turned on. If it is not on already, simply open ‘System Preferences’, and then choose the ‘Sharing’ preferences, and you will see the option for ‘Remote Login’.
For PhotoBackup to work with Windows computers, installing cygwin is recommended. The two required cygwin packages are openssh and rsync.
PhotoBackup also officially supports online storage providers such as HiDrive, rsync.net, and Strongspace.
The rsync client library used by PhotoBackup was built from scratch and recently released as an open-source project.
• Fixed a bug that caused photos and videos to be uploaded again after having been marked as favorites.
Ratings and Reviews
Great app, needs a ‘Skip corrupt files’ option
Super useful app!
I ran into a situation where it couldn’t read a movie file and rather then skip it it would just stop at the file.
It’s really hard to find this file as the iOS photo app won’t give you file names.
The only way I could do it was by attaching files to an email then I would get the number of the file and narrow it down.
Once I deleted the file the app could continue backing up.
It’d be great if we could get that automated somehow.
Fast simple and works
This is the best backup option for simplicity and ease when you want to backup to your personal servers over SSH. My use case involves backups of my photos, from multiple iPhones, to my personal servers to avoid third party servers such as Apple Google etc. The app uses rsync which is fabulous, and it is a one way sync which is even better.
- Simple: set up your SSH connection and then simply click one button.
- Effective: all new or changed photos are pushed from your phone to your server using rsync. This is a one way sync which is the best simple backup approach. This app purposely does not do a two way sync but that is perfect for the backup model — two way sync can cause inadvertent mis-sync and file loss if you aren’t careful. The one way sync approach is preferable for simple push from phone to storage server.
- Secure and Easy: supports encrypted private key authentication or password authentication.
- Great support: the developer is very active on their support forum and I’ve received quick responses to my questions.
If you prefer simplicity, speed of performance, ease of use, and you are maintaining your own servers because you prefer complete control over your digital assets, then this is a highly recommended app for photo backup.
Works, no nonsense. For advanced users.
If you don’t know what rsync is and a google search leaves you more confused, this isn’t the right app for you. Otherwise it works great. Microsoft’s USB sync gives up while this app keeps running and trying.
I didn’t get the ssh key download to work so I don’t know if ssh works. But the rsync protocol works. If you’re having trouble check the logs on the server.
The only thing on my wishlist is multiple profiles to allow easy syncing to more than one server.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.