“But the sky is clear today!” You sigh after your co-worker, once again, tells you to just put your files on the cloud. What is this mysterious “cloud” anyway? How do you get to it? Do I have to wait for it to rain before I can get my files back? Continue reading to find out the answer to these questions.

The simple answer

Simply put, the cloud refers to computer files and information storage that is not local. In other words, it does not reside on a device that is in the same building as you. Instead, it may reside on a computer in a facility like this.

Google and other companies offering “cloud” services often use data centers like the one shown in the video. This is a facility housing many specialized computers to store and secure your information. These data centers often have measures in place to make sure your data is safe no matter what happens. This includes safety from fires, earthquakes, power failure, and even hackers.

Examples of services you use everyday taking advantage of the cloud are Gmail, Netflix, Dropbox, iCloud, Facebook, and even this website. If your computer suddenly bursts into flames, the information you access on those services would not be lost. This brings us to our next topic – the benefits.

What is the cloud? – Benefits

Many cloud services allow you to safely store your and then retrieve them from any online device. Examples are iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. You also have cloud backup services, such as Carbonite, that store multiple backups of your information.

Because your files are securely stored online, you can access them from anywhere. Forgot to print your term paper before leaving home? No problem, just sign into iCloud from your phone and print to the printer at school. Forgot to add a last minute touch to tomorrow’s presentation? No problem, since you use OneDrive at work you can sign in from home and get it done.*

Additionally, cloud service providers have the resources to secure your files better than you can. In the case of a natural disaster, service providers have multiple copies of your data so that it is never lost. This can be very costly and labor intensive to do from home. Saving or backing up your information to the cloud takes that burden off your shoulders.

*Be sure to follow your company’s policy when storing confidential company files.

How to start using the cloud

As we learned, the cloud refers to a plethora of different applications and services. Each service has different benefits and disadvantages. To choose the best solution for your needs, give us a call. We will evaluate your circumstances and help you choose the best solution to match the way you use your technology.

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