When people usually talk about “The Cloud”, what comes into mind are stuff like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and sites that let you share and access files in general. There’s no denying that the Cloud has had a big impact on our day to day, internet based lives. However, what exactly is “The Cloud”. How does it work, who uses it, and what exactly are the limits of what it can do?
The term “Cloud” is actually short for “Cloud Computing”. Basically you use someone else’s computer/server (usually a company) to store and access your files over the internet, instead of just storing them on your local hard drive or storage device. Now that we got the definition out of the way, here are the 7 other things you should know about the Cloud.
The Cloud can be found everywhere
It’s called “The Cloud” for a reason. You can find it everywhere, as long as you have internet connection. Each Cloud application runs on several (hundred) computers located around the world, so that all you have to do is connect to the internet and open your favorite cloud application to access your files from anywhere at all.
It is incredibly powerful
The Cloud is a very powerful tool. It allows us to save, edit, store, and access all of our files online, removing the hassle of having to transfer our files from one person to another manually using flash drives. Some cloud applications also come with their own mini applications, such as Google Drive’s Docs, Sheets, and Slides that eliminate the need of installing MS Office to every single computer unit there is.
No one owns it
The Cloud isn’t really run by just one big corporation- It’s just a collective term to describe a bunch of applications operated by different companies that use Cloud Computing technology, like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and MegaUpload.
More and more applications are using Cloud Computing
Cloud just has so many advantages that every company’s applications are bound to use it when they get the chance. They are simple, secure, and can even be set to “sync” with your computer’s local hard drive, so that whenever you create, store, or edit anything in it, it automatically gets uploaded to the Cloud.
It’s free (for the most part)
A lot of these Cloud applications are free, although they usually come with a storage limit which varies from application to application, and charge you extra when you want larger space or even go unlimited.OneDrive has a 5GB limit before you have to pay, whilst Google Drive has 15GB.
All Cloud Applications require internet connection at some point, but that doesn’t mean you have to be connected all the time. Some apps come with an offline mode, wherein you can store files in your local storage drive or the cloud app itself, and it will either sync or upload as soon as you do connect to the internet.
The Cloud is arguably more secure than traditional storage media. If a hard drive is stolen, so are the files within it. However, the Cloud usually needs your account and password, and even if it does get compromised, you can still access your files, download them ,and erase them before they have a chance to see it.