Understanding “The Cloud”

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By now you’re more than likely heard about “the cloud” in more than one instance, but you still might be wondering just what this cloud is. Simply put, the cloud is a type of storage service and software that exists entirely online as opposed to on your computer. If you’ve ever heard mention of Amazon Cloud Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Netflix or Google Drive, then you’ve heard of a cloud service or software. So now that you know what the cloud is, it’s time to learn what it can do for you.

Up in the Clouds

If you were to lose your computer, have it stolen or simply forget it when you need it, what would happen to all of the videos, documents and images on it? With the cloud you can simply upload everything and have access to it on your smartphone, tablet and any computer that has access to the Internet. If you’re a fan of TV and movies, you can start an episode or film on your television and finish it on your phone or tablet while you’re on the go.

Another great thing about the cloud’s capabilities is the way that they merge mobile apps with your PC experience. For instance, many of the apps that are available on your phone are also available on your table and PC, allowing you to have access to everything across several different platforms. You can even have the pictures you take on your phone automatically backed up on the cloud so that you can view them on your tablet later in case you lose or forget your phone and have a picture that you want to show someone.

The Digital Downpour

For all of its advantages, the cloud isn’t without its downsides. For instance, you may not like the fact that your health care provider could be storing your personal medical files on a cloud for “safe keeping” or that your friends are uploading embarrassing pictures of you onto the cloud.

Another downside is that the security for cloud software and services isn’t created equal. You can do your part by making sure that the passwords you use for your cloud accounts are strong and secure.

Home of the Cloud

Whenever you upload something into the cloud, it’s stored in large data centers that are scattered all over the globe. iCloud has more than roughly 320 million users while Facebook experiences an excess of 400 billion photo uploads a day.

Whether you realize it or not, chances are good that some of your public or private information is floating in the cloud. Even if you don’t like the idea of cloud services and software, it still pays to be informed about what’s “out there.”