23 Best Free Image Hosting Sites (Upload & Share) in 2022
The ubiquity of smartphones with incredible computing power, astonishing camera quality, and superb connectivity has turned us all into mini-photojournalists — for want of a better term — happily snapping away at everything and uploading to the now omnipresent cloud. Naturally, this has led to a boom in the demand for image hosting services.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or hobbyist, artist or media creator, you want to know which providers offer the best service and the best image hosting providers and what features they offer — or you wouldn’t be here now, would you?
So, in this article, we distinguish between image hosting and photo sharing, break down the features of our top 23 image hosting providers, and answer some of your burning questions regarding image hosting. By the end of the post, you should be able to select the best provider for your needs.
Best Free Image Hosting Sites
Best Overall Image Hosting Provider.
IceDrive is a next-gen cloud storage and file sharing service that lets you effortlessly store, access, manage, and update files to the cloud. It allows you to share and showcase your files.
IceDrive takes your security seriously, being the only provider to support Twofish Encryption, encrypting everything client-side with a zero-knowledge architecture.
You can mount Ice Drive with a simple click so there’s no time-consuming syncing between your devices and the cloud.
IceDrive’s file management interface is clean, simple, and easy to use. It provides up to 5 TB of storage, and you can stream media directly from the cloud without having to download anything and share easily with friends.
IceDrive has three plans: Lite, Pro, and Pro+. Billed annually, pricing starts at $1.67/month for 150 GB of storage and 250 GB of bandwidth per month and goes up to $15/month for 5 TB of storage and 8 TB of bandwidth.
- Security is top-notch
- Offered as a virtual drive
- Prices are reasonable
- Virtual drive offering is Windows-only
- Support options are limited
- No collaboration features.
Best Image Hosting/Photo-sharing Site for Professional Photographers.
SmugMug is an online image hosting/photo-sharing service that is popular among professional photographers — and for good reason.
You can upload your proofs and final edits into a gallery that you can send to your clients on this platform. From this gallery, clients can pick the edits they prefer and order prints, if they want. The UI is responsive so it readily adapts to the screen size of whatever device the viewer may be viewing photos on.
SmugMug is a fully-hosted solution with support for unlimited photo and video uploads. You can embed videos and photos on other websites, take advantage of its robust SEO tools — including meta tags and XML sitemaps — to get your site ranking well on search engines, and share photos and perspectives with an engaged community.
After the 14-day free trial, SmugMug offers four plans that range in price from $7/month to $42/month.
Features vary among the plans. All plans come with unlimited photo storage and a personalized photo website, but you get custom domains for your website, theft and misuse protection, photo selling tools, and client and event management features with the more advanced plan.
- High image quality
- Unlimited storage
- Easy to use
- Clients can like or favorite things
- No built-in invoicing
- SmugMug charges a 15% fee on all transactions carried out on the platform
3. Adobe Creative Cloud
Best Image Hosting Site for Those Who Already Use the Adobe Suite.
Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to store, manage, edit, and share photos and images on the cloud without any hassles. You can design web pages, create social graphics, and videos using Adobe Creative Cloud.
This platform offers you up to 1 TB of storage space with the option to easily upgrade your hosting plan. It comes with a website builder to build a fully functional portfolio site. You also get the ability to organize your full resolution with minimal effort, and you can transform your photos with ease.
There are three plans that range in price from $9.99 to $19.99 per month, offering between 20 GB and 1 TB of storage. You can boost your total storage to 2TB, 5TB, or 10TB, starting at US$9.99/month per terabyte.
- Great price, given the features on offer
- Free trial available
- Comes with access to all of Adobe’s apps
- Subscribing to a single app is less cost-effective than getting the whole package
- There’s no option to buy standalone apps outrightly
- An expensive option for non-professionals
- Over-reliant on the web browser
Best Image Hosting Service for Social Media Integration.
With Img.vision, you can host your videos and photos and embed them on your site, online store, or anywhere else you like later.
The platform is simple and reliable, allowing you to drag and drop files from any device or cloud storage solution, including iMac, PC, iOS, Android, Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
There’s support for myriad file formats such as JPG, PNG, and GIF. The vendor ensures speedy performance with high-quality content distribution networks (CDNs) spread across 200 cities in 90 countries across the world. They also invest heavily in optimizing the platform for high speed.
With the customizable HTML5 code for a video player offered by Img.vision, you can easily embed your videos on your website. The image gallery that it provides allows you to showcase all your best products and services on your online store.
You also get industry-standard security protocols to ensure the safety of your images.
On top of all these, Img.vison also lets you share images directly to 18 different social media platforms at the tap of a button. Your images will be fully responsive, automatically resizing to fit the screen of the viewer.
And last but not least, the 100% uptime guarantee that Img.vision gives for its image CDN means that you never have to worry about reliability.
Pricing is based on how many images or videos you want to put online. Packages start at 20 images hosted at absolutely no charge (although your images will be watermarked) to over 7000 images for $21 and up.
For videos, on the lower end, you can host 25 videos for $12 per month, and on the higher end, you can host 400 videos for $192 per month.
There’s a 15-day free trial and several other plans to choose from.
- Fast CDN
- Support for several image file types
- Allows you to embed videos and images on your site
- Share images directly from the platform to 18 social media channels
- Only 20 images offered on the free plan
5. Google Photos
Best Image Hosting Service for both Professionals and Regular Joes Alike.
Google Photos uses shared albums to let you share photos with friends and family — or clients. It’s a great photo upload site that lets you create and share memories. You can backup up to 15 GB of images, photos, and videos for free, and the mobile app can help you manage your phone’s storage.
Naturally, being a Google product, you can access it from any device, including mobile and desktop. The AI platform automatically recognizes people, places, and things in your images and organizes them accordingly. And with a simple gesture, you can navigate a lifetime of pictures.
Google Photos comes with your Google account which offers 15 GB of free cloud storage, and photos uploaded to the platform count towards this quota. Once you exhaust the free 15 GB, you will need to get a paid plan which starts at $2/month for 100 GB of storage or $10/month for 2 TB and up.
- Well designed, ad-free UI
- Great facial recognition
- Well integrated with Android
- No free unlimited storage
- No inbuilt sharing to social platforms
Best Photo Hosting Site for Photo Bloggers.
In the words of the creators, PhotoBlog is an image hosting and sharing platform that “makes it easy to upload & share photos, create stunning stories, and build an audience”. In other words, PhotoBlog is — naturally — an ideal platform for photobloggers.
A photoblog is a way to share images and photos in a blog format. Unlike a regular blog, a photoblog relies heavily on photos rather than text.
Setting up PhotoBlog is easy and only takes a few minutes. It has all the tools you need to set up a successful photo blog, including a responsive design that gives priority to your photos without any distractions and a powerful editor. It’s a code-free platform, so it is a great choice for non-technical users.
PhotoBlog costs $1.75/month.
- Easy to learn
- Fast setup in under 3 minutes
- Built-in audience
- Built-in SEO
- No built-in custom domain functionality
- No customizable themes or plugins
Best Image Hosting Platform for Mac and iOS users.
iCloud is an amazing cloud storage service offered and run by Apple Inc. If you already use Apple products in your work, you might as well take advantage of the sweet, seamless integration that using iCloud provides — although you can use this service on both Mac and PC.
With iCloud, you get 5GB of free storage and a size limit of 15 GB on file uploads. By sending a simple link, you can collaborate with anyone on documents stored on the platform.
iCloud offers three plans: the 50GB plan costs $0.99/month, the 200GB plan costs $2.99/month, and the 2TB plan costs $9.99 per month.
- Superb mobile and desktop integration
- Decent sharing options
- Well designed UI
- No support for Android
- Advanced features are lacking
- Not a great option for power users
8. A2 Hosting
Best Image Hosting Platform for FTP Integration.
A2 Hosting lets you upload photos via an FTP client. You can set up custom permissions for your photo albums, which means that you can limit visitors to specific actions and activities.
As implied by the name, A2 Hosting is a web hosting provider. It provides free SSL certification to keep your website protected and secured.
Additionally, you get 24/7 support via email, live chat, and phone. There’s a wide range of data center locations available and this means that your photos are safe and can still be accessed even if one of the provider’s data centers suffers a catastrophe of some kind.
Visitors can view the images as thumbnails and you can share your photos to social media.
A2 offers four plans that range in price from $8.99/month for 100 GB of SSD storage to $22.09/month for unlimited storage.
- Robust packages
- Terrific uptime
- Excellent customer support
Best Combination Cloud Storage and Image Hosting Service.
Dropbox is a cloud-based file and image hosting service that provides personal cloud, file synchronization, and cloud collaboration tools for businesses and individuals alike. The platform is available on Linux, macOS, and Windows.
It safely syncs all your files and images across all your devices and supports uploads of files up to 50 GB.
The Free Plan offers 2 GB of storage for up to 3 devices and 1 user. The Plus Plan costs $9.99 (annual billing) and offers 2 TB of storage for unlimited devices for 1 user. The Family Plan costs $16.99 (annual billing) and offers 2 TB of storage for unlimited devices for up to 6 users.
- Powerful file sharing features available
- Well executed mobile apps
- Advanced selective sync
- On the pricey side
- Free storage is limited
- No end-to-end encryption
Best Image Hosting Site for Installing Image Upload Functionality on Your Site.
Imgbb allows you to let users upload images to your website. Through the upload plugin offered by Imgbb, users of your website can upload images at the click of a button.
You don’t have to write any code to embed the upload button to your site; you just have to copy-paste the plugin code into your website. The plugin works with any website that supports user-editable/user-generated content and for supported software.
Imgbb is free to use.
- Support for several image formats
- User-friendly interface
- Code-free solution
- Does not support video uploads; so, you’ll have to find a different solution for that
An Image and File Hosting Site with a Good-enough Free Plan.
4shared is a file hosting and sharing platform that offers high-quality service and makes data storage and access easier and more intuitive.
With 4shared, you can allow visitors to download and share your images freely. You get up to 100 GB of storage to use as you like. There’s SSL data encryption to ensure maximum protection of your files, and you can provide direct download links for all your files.
4shared is not just cloud-based; it also offers a downloadable app for desktop called 4shared Desktop that lets you upload multiple files simultaneously. And it works on mobile too, with apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Symbian.
If you need a lot of cloud storage space, you may need to upgrade to a Premium account. Pricing starts at $6.50 per month (billed annually), which grants you 100GB of storage space and allows you to upload files as big as 5GB.
- File sharing is easy
- Plays back audio and video files without forcing download
- UI is text-heavy
Best Free Photo Hosting and Sharing Site for Mobile Integration.
ImageShack lets you sync photos on your Android or iOS device to the cloud. It also syncs with desktop to make uploads automatic and sharing a whole lot easier. Even with the easy sharing, you still get full control of your privacy.
Plans range in price from $3.99 per month to $99.99 per month. All plans offer unlimited storage, direct linking, image analytics, watermarking, automatic backups, and access to the mobile app. The more advanced plans offer dedicated support, a dynamic image resizer, and API access.
- Great mobile integration
Best Alternative to Imgbb for Adding Image Upload Functionality to a Website.
Like Imgbb, ImgShare is an image hosting tool that lets you install image upload functionality on your website, blog, or forum. The plugin can be embedded on your website by simply copy-pasting the code to your website.
Users of your website can easily upload images at the tap of a button. After uploading an image, users can get a short link for the uploaded image.
ImgShare is free to use.
- Limits registered users to 512 MB of storage and guests to 32 MB
A Popular Way to Host and Share Images Online.
Flickr does what it says on the box pretty well — it lets you host and share images. You can store, sort, and search for online videos from several categories, including by name, activity, upload date, etc. You can even find videos according to camera type.
Flickr remains the de facto photo social network of record. Besides uploading, organizing, and backing up all your smartphone and digital camera pictures, you can participate in a huge community of photographers, professionals and amateurs included.
On Flickr, you’ll find photography from major institutions like the White House and British Monarchy.
You get 1 TB of storage free for your photos and technology that automatically tags your photos based on what’s in them.
The Pro account on Flickr costs $6.99/month or $59.99/year and gives you access to a slick desktop auto-loader, an ad-free experience, and unlimited storage.
- Image recognition is top-notch
- 1TB free storage
- Large community
- Geo-tagging, people tagging, and keyword tagging
- The user gets zero control over the layout of the profile page
- Ad-supported free accounts
Best Overall Free Image Hosting Platform.
Among the free image hosting platforms, Imgur reigns supreme. The platform plays host (pun intended) to a plethora of photos from famous and inspirational GIFs to funny memes and many more. It also boasts a passionate and supportive online community.
Imgur works with pretty much any image format, making it hard to beat when it comes to flexibility. It supports non-animated files with a maximum file size of 20 MB size and up to 200 MB for GIFs.
The UI is intuitive with drag-and-drop upload functionality. And for security, it offers phone verification.
Imgur is free to use.
- Free to use
A Great Image Hosting and Stock Image Platform.
Freeimages is a stock image/image hosting platform that allows you to find and download free stock images for both personal and commercial use. It offers several iStock Collection Categories and a well-designed, easy-to-use library.
It is a plugin-driven tool that is not limited to your local PC, offering easy color conversions and common image manipulations through a handy photo editor. You can directly access bitmap bits and palettes. And there’s support for metadata and HDR images.
As the name suggests, Freeimages is free for both personal and commercial use.
- No HD videos
- No audio, music, or vector images
Free and To-the-point Image Hosting Platform.
Imgbox is a free-to-use image hosting platform with a history of more than seven years that allows you to upload, share, and enjoy images online. It plays host to millions of files and hosts videos over on its sister site, Sendvid.
Besides the simply designed and easy-to-use interface, you get a 10 MB maximum file size for uploads, hotlinking, and unlimited free storage spaces for all the images you can upload.
Imgbox is free to use.
- Free to use
- Uploads are limited to 10 MB per file.
Share Images and Albums to Private Groups.
Web-based and easy to access, Cluster is a tool for group-sharing images privately with friends and family. It is a great image-hosting site that will create output classified images and signature files for you.
Cluster lets you make as many albums as you like and invite as many people as you please. The platform lets you know which group members have viewed anything and alerts you when someone adds something new to an album. Only invited users can see and post anything to albums.
Group members can comment and connect away from social media. And you can access Cluster anywhere anytime from the beautifully executed mobile apps.
Cluster is free to use
- Completely free
- The process for downloading images is cumbersome
- You cannot change the display order of photos once uploaded
Best Image Hosting Tool for Sharing Images to Forums.
Simple, fast, and reliable, PostImage is an image hosting tool for sharing images to forums, message boards, and social media. It offers support for JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, PDF, and PSD files.
You can store images without creating an account and you don’t need to log in to upload images. You can upload images from their URLs.
Moreover, you can add image uploading to your message board, blog, or website with the PostImage plugin. The images uploaded via this tool are saved to PostImages’ servers, saving you storage space, bandwidth, and the hassles of configuring your web server.
This plugin is a perfect solution for forums with non-technical forum visitors who may have difficulties uploading images to the internet using traditional methods like [img] bbcodes. PostImages will never take down your images for inactivity.
Finally, PostImages also provides a powerful screen capture tool for Windows that lets you take screenshots of your entire desktop or just a portion of it. After the screen capture is made, you can manually set the area size and save or share the image online directly.
PostImage is free to use.
- Batch upload up to 1000 files simultaneously
- No restriction on how many images you can upload
- The web interface may be confusing for new users
Best Free Stock Image Hosting Site.
Pexels is a stock image site that offers free, high-quality stock photos. Each year, millions of people use Pexels to find great-looking photos for their products, books covers, blogs, or websites.
With Pexels, you can easily create and manage your portfolio and get your images in front of millions of eyeballs and promote your blog, website, or social profiles.
Pexels is a free stock image site.
- Powerful search algorithm
- Over 50,000 images uploaded per month
- Search function includes unique options, such as by color
- The API allows for seamless integration of their images and videos into websites and other visual products
- Being free, the images offered may not be unique
Best Image Hosting and Sharing Platform for Artists.
DeviantArt is currently the largest online social community of artists and art enthusiasts. It provides a place for artists to display and get feedback on their work. With over 10 million incredibly talented members, you could spend weeks browsing the site.
You can post short updates easily and directly. You get a personalized and easily accessible feed of every collection, status update, or journal. And you can compose a status update to initiate conversations and submit art and literature on the platform.
Membership costs $5.00 per month when you purchase a three-month Core Membership at $15.00. Upgrading to a paid membership gives you access to an ad-free experience.
- Plays host to over 10 million members
- Free accounts are ad-supported
A Favorite Among Free Stock Photo Hosting Sites.
Unsplash is a free stock photo site powered by a community of passionate photographers who have uploaded over two million photos to the site. Photos on Unsplash are completely free to use.
But the fact that Unsplash’s images are free does not mean that they are of poor quality. In fact, one of the reasons for its widespread popularity is the high quality of the images they offer for free. Photos submitted to Unsplash have to meet certain stringent criteria before they can be accepted.
Besides offering free stock images for download, Unsplash also offers an iOS app and an API with robust features and support for high-traffic use cases. And with over two million images on offer, you’re highly likely to find what you need.
Unsplash is completely free to use.
- Despite being free, images are still of very high quality
- Like other free stock image sites, images offered may not be the most unique
A Good Image Hosting Platform for Sharing Images and Getting Inspired.
500px is a social media and image licensing platform for photographers with over 15 million users in 195 countries. It offers professional and amateur photographers a place to share their images and license downloads.
Users can discover new images and draw inspiration from other photographers on the platform. And for those without a website, 500px can serve as a display hub for all your photography work.
That said, if you’re looking for a cloud storage option for your work, you’ll have to look elsewhere as that is not what 500px is designed for. It only stores high-quality images for licensing and doesn’t allow you to store RAW files.
The Free plan allows you to upload up to seven images per week. It includes ads and doesn’t offer visitor analytics. The Awesome plan starts at $6.49 per month and offers unlimited uploads, visitor statistics, and the ability to create slideshows from your images.
The Pro plan costs $12.99 per month or $59.94 per year and offers priority positioning for your profile in the 500px directory, plus additional customization options for your profile page.
All plans, including the free plan, allow image licensing.
- Free plan available
- Superb discovery features
- You can’t set custom prices for your images
- Security for images is lacking
Image Hosting vs Photo Sharing
It can be difficult to distinguish between image hosting and photo sharing.
Photo sharing is usually limited to the site to which you uploaded the images. It is usually impossible to embed images from one photo-sharing site to another, or even into your blog or website. And usually, photo sharing is limited to photos, not illustrations, banners, avatars, and the like.
Image hosting, on the other hand, allows you to get your images in front of a larger audience. Unlike photo-sharing sites, image hosting providers allow and even encourage you to embed your images on other sites like your blog.
Image hosting sites make it easy to link directly to an image, often providing easily recognizable link copy buttons. And image hosts also offer code snippets that can be used to embed images on any third-party website.
Why Choose Paid Image Hosting Sites
Why should you go for a paid image hosting site when there are tons of free options available? As it turns out, there are several reasons.
1. No Ads
One of the most common trade-offs when it comes to free image hosting is ads. It makes sense; after all, the providers have to make money somehow to pay for the storage space, technology, and staff. As they aren’t getting any money from you directly, they have to get it indirectly. And the easiest way to do this is to display ads.
Besides the fact that ads can be an incredible annoyance, they can also be a major distraction to you and your visitors, especially if you’re looking to cultivate and project a professional image.
Ads also muddy your brand messaging, sending multiple, sometimes conflicting messages to your visitors instead of a singular clear message.
A good paid image hosting provider will show no ads.
2. No Shared Branding
Some free image hosting companies will use your images as an avenue to promote their brand. They might place a watermark somewhere on your images, for example. Or they may have their name as part of your URL.
Again, this makes it difficult to project a professional image and communicate a clear brand message.
Paid image hosting providers generally allow you to separate your brand from theirs.
3. Great Customer Support
Naturally, if you’re not a paying customer, you should not expect premium treatment from an image hosting company. Paid image hosting providers can more realistically offer better customer support because customer support is part of what you’re paying for.
A good paid image hosting provider will offer strong reliability and superb uptime. They’ll also offer redundant data centers in several locations to ensure that your images are accessible if anything goes wrong at one of their data centers. This way, you never lose your images.
5. Limited features
Some free image hosting plans are quite limited when it comes to the features they offer. For example, some may offer very limited storage or place restrictions on how many images you can upload in a day. With most paid providers, these restrictions are nonexistent or at least less severe.
Image Hosting FAQ
An image hosting site allows users to upload images to the cloud. Such services store the uploaded images on their server and allow the user to share links to the images for others to view.
There are many reasons to use image hosting sites. For one, it saves storage space and bandwidth on your website. Having your images stored on your web hosting plan can cause you to quickly outgrow the space allotted to you.
To free up space, you can simply move your images over to an image hosting service. What makes this so great is that images on your site are likely the biggest space consumers. So, by doing this, you can save a whole lot of space.
This also applies to your devices like smartphones and computers; storing images in the cloud saves storage space on those devices.
Moreover, moving images from your website to an image hosting provider can improve your SEO tremendously by dramatically increasing page load speeds. Your website no longer has to load all the heavy images, resulting in faster speeds and a better user experience.
Several platforms offer free image hosting in some form. Some of them include Google Photos, Imgur, Imgbox, Img Share, PostImage, and many more.
You can host your website images on sites like A2 Image Hosting, Imgbb, Imgur, Img Share, and many more.
The best image hosting for you will depend on your needs and budget. That said, our top recommendation for image hosting is IceDrive.
Which Photo Hosting Platform Should I Choose?
So, there you have it: our list of the 23 best image hosting sites. Each has a different purpose and use case; so, here are our top recommendations:
- The best overall image hosting provider is IceDrive.
- For professional photographers, SmugMug is the way to go.
- If you already use the Adobe Suite, you might as well take advantage of Adobe Creative Cloud.
- If social media integration is a must-have for you, look no further than Img.vision
And for photo bloggers, PhotoBlog (naturally) is your best bet.