What on earth is The Cloud when it’s at home?

Cloud computing… it sounds fuzzy but is anything but. There has been a proliferation of services that allow you to store your computer data remotely “in the cloud”. Examples of cloud data storage are Google Disk, Dropbox, Microsoft’s Skydrive. Most of these are free to use as long as you stay under their storage limit, and it’s pretty cheap to buy more storage if you need it.

The biggest advantage to having your essential files stored remotely is that you can access them from anywhere, without needing your own computer, quite often even via your smartphone.

Similarly, you can use remote applications like Google Docs or the business software suite Zoho on any computer anywhere in the world, giving you the ability to edit and save any of your personal files such as documents and spreadsheets.

Another huge advantage is that these cloud storage services allow you to share your files and folders. So if you have a file that is just too large to send as an email attachment, you can share it with 1 or more people which allows them to download it to their computer.

Cloud storage is a great way of backing up all your important data. Should your computer or harddrive fail, you can easily download and restore your backed up data. Better still, you won’t have to think about it. If you set it up right your cloud application will automatically sync and backup the files and folders you have allocated.

As far as security goes, most cloud services are run from servers in large data centres which have their own backup servers. And because the last thing cloud companies want is to be hacked, your data will be pretty safe. Certainly safer than on the average punter’s computer.

Mmmm… nice, big fluffy clouds!

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