» Image hosting handbook » premium image hosting vs top free image hosts (update Feb 2021) premium image hosting vs top free image hosts (update Feb 2021)

With a number of sites appearing offering top free image hosting, it is easy to be sucked into the potential for savings but could they be a false economy? What are the benefits of fronting the cash for premium image hosting? In this post, we take a look at the top free image hosts out there and compare them to


Imgur image hosting

Imgur was designed in an Ohio dorm room in 2009 as a way to share images online but has subsequently morphed into a tool to discover images, GIFs, and more offered on the internet. For those looking for a bit of fun this is great, but, unlike, they are not designed to help people maximize website speed and photo integration by using it as a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

For example, Imgur does not allow hotlinking, which allows you to embed images you upload and host at on other websites. Imgur also explicitly states that users should not use it to host image libraries to embed on other websites, making it much less useful for commercial purposes than its free image hosting may first appear. In contrast, was set up for this purpose so there’s no such restriction.


ImgBB image hosting service

Imgbb offer themselves up as a hosting services for JPG PNG BMP GIF TIF WEBP HEIC and PDF image formats.

However, you can also find yourself in a whole world of trouble once something is uploaded as they don’t offer any way to delete images. That doesn’t mean your photos aren’t at risk though; your images can disappear completely with no way of getting them back.

Like Imgur, they also discourage using their service if you intend to host images for embedding on external websites. image hosting offers a range of useful tools to share your screenshots and images online for JPEG, PNG, GIF, APNG, and TIFF although these can be a maximum of only 10MB.

The drag & drop uploading also offers some similar functionality to and, unlike some of the free uploaders, they promise to store your images forever without any unexpected expiry date.

However, they also prevent the use of hotlinking making it impossible to embed uploaded images on external websites. Their default settings also gather and sell your data through the use of cookies so you will want to turn these off if you want to protect yourself.

A roundup other free image hosting sites

Other image hosting sites such as which existed in 2019, don’t exist anymore in 2020. The site, along with all images of every user, is gone. This is sadly the fate of inadequate business models.

Tinypic image hosting has closed down

Tinypic closed down in late 2019 as well. They offered free image uploads but had lots of advertisment across the site. They also reserved the right to place a link or watermark near your images. Read about why is a tinypic alternative.

Imgbox was designed specifically for image uploads and it’s easy to use but is limited to 10MB image files.

Photobox offers free uploads with some basic editing options available but is largely focused on the creation of photo books and other photo products. It is also not set up for hotlinking and cannot be used as a CDN.

What does’s premium image hosting offer? dashboard on laptop and smartphone’s premium image hosting comes with a range of useful features that make it easy to organize your folders, speed up image loading and easily take images offline without having to delete them. There are also no ads or other distractions on the page which also helps it to improve user experiences of site speed.

There are few things more boring than individually clicking on photos that you want to upload so the useful multiple upload tool that allows you to drag and drop as many files as you wish to upload is a particular benefit. A useful feature you won’t find with most free services is also the ability to generate direct link lists of your images. You can also grab HTML code, forum BBcode, and markdown image code.

Plan B:’s free plan

Not comfortable paying for image hosting right now? accounts are converted to the free plan automatically after the 2 weeks trial period.

On the free plan you can:

  • Upload up to 20 images
  • You get fast image hosting
  • An easy to use control panel
  • You can create unlimited folders

The downside is that your images are branded with the website link. But the branding is not very obvious.

Start uploading images now

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