A Full Review of Imgur, a Free Online Image Hosting Service
Imgur is the best free image hosting website available because it lets you store as many photos as you like without having them deleted until you decide you want them gone.
It has a massive user base with support for popular image formats and user comments. It's actually more of a central hub for storing and sharing photos than just a simple image hosting service.
- No account is required to upload photos
- You can upload an unlimited number of pictures
- Images are stored forever
- Supports uploads via drag and drop
- Allows uploading multiple photos at once
- Able to create photo albums
- Can upload images via a URL
- Supports sharing pictures with anyone
- Supports direct linking for sharing images
- Has a gallery of popular public photos
- Supports very large GIF uploads
- Supports upload via paste
- Doesn't support uploading files like PSDs
Acceptable Image Formats
APNG, GIF (still or animated), JPG, JPEG, MOV, MP4, PDF, PNG, TIF, TIFF
Note: PDF and TIFF files are converted to PNG once uploaded.
20 MB is the largest file size for non-animated files like JPGs. PNGs over 5 MB will be converted to JPG automatically, and non-animated pictures larger than 1 MB are compressed to reduce their size (but the same quality remains).
GIF uploads can be as large as 200 MB and will be converted to GIFV to shrink the size if the file is really large. If you're making a GIF from an online video, the GIF cannot exceed 15 seconds and the video you're sampling from cannot be larger than 1 GB.
Every account can only upload 50 images to Imgur every hour. This limitation is set by your IP address, which means that if you were to log in to your same account from a different IP address after uploading 50 pictures, you can upload another 50 under that address.
Imgur Apps & Other Tools
Imgur has a mobile app for iOS and Android users to visit the site and upload files on the go.
Another free Imgur app is for Windows, called Imgur Uploader. Once installed, it lets you right-click and send any photo to Imgur without using a web browser. You'll then get the proper links to use for sharing them with others or viewing them yourself.
Note: I keep a list of Free Photo Editing Apps if you need to edit your pictures on the go before uploading them to Imgur.
More About Imgur
- Several links are given after you upload a photo to Imgur, such as a direct, HTML, BBCode Link, and markdown. Each link can be customized to show the original photo you've uploaded, a small square, or a large thumbnail
- Images you upload can have their own title and description, which helps when sharing them with others
- Users can like, dislike, favorite, and share your images on social media
- The number of views, comments, favorites, and bandwidth usage can be viewed so you can keep track of your image stats
- The advanced search box lets you find images with a specific title, search for a certain user, find images listed under a particular tag, and locate pictures uploaded with a specific file extension
- You can browse through images uploaded by other Imgur users and filter them by Most Viral or any custom tag, and do so from any time period in the past
- Imgur's photos can also be sorted by popularity, newest first, or highest scoring
- The top several best comments can be viewed each day, spawning from all the public images on the website
- Imgur includes a Meme Generator (and gallery) that lets you add any custom text to a popular image, one from another user, or one you've uploaded yourself
- An entire photo album can be viewed in full screen as well as downloaded at once as a ZIP file
- Random Mode is a fun way to find a random, popular image another user has uploaded to Imgur
- Online videos can be converted to GIFs using Imgur's Video to GIF page
My Thoughts on Imgur
I would estimate that 90% of the images I stumble across on the Internet are hosted on Imgur. The website is easy to use, doesn't require an account, supports unlimited uploads and lifelong storage, and supports all the popular image formats, so there's not much to dislike about it.
I really do appreciate the fact that you don't need an account to use Imgur. Now, if you want to have access to editing the file and removing it with ease later on, you should create an account. But even non-users can remove their pictures by copying the Deletion Link they're given after uploading pictures, which is real nice.
I've ran across other free online image hosting websites that don't give out the direct link to an image after it has been uploaded, so I find that little feature with Imgur to be quite a blessing. This is really helpful when not only sharing pictures with others but also when hot-linking from a website.
It seems that Imgur has thought of everything when it comes to storing your photos online, so I think there's really nothing to complain about.