How to navigate cloud computing and storage
“The cloud” entered the technological lexicon a handful of years ago and has since become a big part of people’s lives. Despite that, many people still do not fully understand the cloud and its capabilities.
When tech companies or apps refer to data being stored or accessed from the cloud, they’re referring to a network of servers that deliver data via the internet rather than from a computer’s hard drive. PC Magazine says the cloud is just a metaphor for the internet.
Thanks to the web, businesses and individuals have more opportunities and greater access than ever before. While some still rely on local storage, which may consist of one hard drive or a local network of a few computers, to keep data or run programs, many others are adapting to cloud computing or cloud services.
Chances are good that you encounter the cloud on a daily basis. Anytime a person accesses or stores information without using a smartphone, tablet or computer’s internal data, he or she is likely storing information on the cloud.
Internet search engines and web-based email programs were some of the first cloud-based computing encounters utilized by the general public. Preparing documents on the internet and saving them for others to access, such as through Google Documents, or using applications like Dropbox to store files, are others. Apple iCloud puts “the cloud” right in its name and helps maintain data and access to apps and files, such as photos, across various Apple devices.
The public is increasingly embracing cloud computing due to a number of benefits. According to the technology resource Recode, an advantage to the cloud is that remote servers handle much of the computing and storage, making it so people and businesses need not necessarily invest in high-end equipment to get the job done. Low-cost alternatives to traditional laptops, cloud-served devices like Google’s Chromebooks make costs lower for consumers and the education market.
The cloud also is an alternative for storage of data-rich files, particularly videos and images. Cloud drives enable people to store and view entire collections of video and photo memories without pushing internal storage to the max or necessitating purchasing mega-drives to handle the files.
Cloud computing can be cost-effective and efficient, but it relies on internet connectivity. That means that productivity can be halted by internet outages or slow service.
Privacy is another possible concern with the cloud. Some people are notably wary about storing sensitive information on the cloud, where hacking or tracking of data may occur.
Another potential pitfall is some cloud services may be one-size-fits-all products that are not customized to fit individuals’ needs. Products or services may be dropped or modified if a cloud company decides to revamp. And support may not be provided for older products.
Cloud computing has become the de facto method of accessing and sharing data. Cloud novices are urged to educate themselves about the services now available. EL186080