Trusting technology with your life’s photo collection is always going to be a risk. That’s where a Vault comes in to offer peace of mind. The dictionary definition of vault is “a large room or chamber used for storage.” The term is associated with both safety and storage. 

When you’re a Mylio user, a Vault is any device with enough storage space to hold your entire library. This includes the original version of your photos in the best possible quality and resolution. Plus, all the organizational work and customization you’ve done.

Mylio’s photo management application is different. Apple, Windows, and Android devices — check. Speedy sync and backup — with or without the cloud. Privacy protection — your photo collection is stored on your own devices.

How a Mylio Vault protect your photos

Mylio Vaults are devices with a lot of storage space: computers, external hard drives, cloud services, SSDs (solid state drives), and NAS (network-attached storage). Having one or more Vaults means your photos, videos, and documents are always safe — no matter what happens to your other devices.

Here are three reasons you want to set up a Vault (or two or three):


Life is uncertain. You can lose your phone. The internet and cloud can get hacked or have outages that block your access to stored files. Some cloud services, like Google Photos, may compromise your data privacy. We believe it’s important to back up your photos first and foremost to your own tangible storage devices.

Today’s external hard drives are slim, compact, and surprisingly affordable — even for 2TB (terabytes) of storage or more. They’re sturdy and easy to store in safe places, like a fireproof safe.

Vaults help you follow the 3-2-1 system. This best practice recommends you have three copies of any important photo on two different types of devices or services, one of them in an off-site location (like an office).

How to set up a photo backup system you can trust

Select a minimum of two Vaults and add them to Mylio. One should be an external hard drive. The other could be a cloud service. You can add Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Drive, and Google Drive to your Mylio configuration.

Keep your physical Vaults in separate locations. This may seem like a hassle. But a device can fail. A natural disaster could hit your home. If your second Vault is at the office or is a cloud service, you can rest easy. Mylio automatically syncs all your photos to all your linked devices every time they’re running the app and connected to the internet. 

Photo credit: Ashwin Rao

“Having more than one Vault means you have an extra level of protection,” said J.C. Figueroa, Mylio’s customer champion. “I have three Vaults myself: two Seagate drives and a NAS, which is a bigger, more expensive, and more self-redundant hardware device.”

For more expert guidance, look at digital image consultant Rise Above Research’s article on why it’s smart to build extra redundancy into your backup system. 

Saving space on mobile devices with optimization

Vaults are homes for your full-size photo and video files. Your Mylio-linked mobile devices hold the optimized versions. Significantly smaller, optimized files don’t hog space on your phone. No more having to delete photos or pay extra for cloud storage. Even better, it’s nearly impossible to see any difference from originals, especially on mobile devices.

With Mylio, you are always in control. You can customize exactly how you want to store image files on each of your devices. On your iPad, for example, you can save your photos as thumbnails but keep some videos at original size so they’re more easily viewable. 

How a Mylio Vault works with your other devices

Mylio’s designed to automatically sync your files across all your devices. When your external hard drive is plugged in and you have the app open on your computer, phone and/or tablet, your photos will automatically sync. So when you edit, tag, or organize a photo on your computer, the updated version will quickly sync everywhere. It’s a little like magic. 


Figueroa shares how his Vault setup prevents his computer’s hard drive from getting overloaded with his tens of thousands of video and photo files. “I take a picture with my phone, I open the app on my computer, and my phone instantly syncs with my computer,” he said. “Mylio saves the original version of that photo to the Seagate hard drive plugged into my computer. That’s because I’ve designated the external drive, not my computer, as a Vault.”

Protecting your photo collection — for yourself and loved ones

What does this all mean for you? Quite simply, if you never want to lose a photo — or lose access to your original files — it’s worth the effort to set up a proper backup system. If you happen to lose your phone, all of your organization work is still accessible on your Vaults. That includes not just your organized folders but also your photo edits, tags. keywords, categories, flags, and corrections to any missing date or geo data

What’s more, you can access your photo library on any device, not just through the app. If you start using Mylio but decide to move on, you can still always access everything. After all, it’s stored on your own devices.

For Figueroa, that’s an important assurance that his lifetime photo legacy, which is focused on family, travel and lots of underwater images, will be preserved.  “An external hard drive is something tangible in my hand,” he said. “Unlike a cloud, I have full control.One of my Vaults lives in a fireproof safe. If everything else gets lost, I can rebuild my entire photo library from just one small drive that I have put in a safe place.”

Download Mylio today to preserve your photo collection.