What is “the cloud?”

Imagine this:

You’re having lunch with an old friend that you haven’t seen in years. You’re catching up, talking about your families. Then they ask, “Do you have a picture of your grandkids?”

Yes, you have lots of pictures! But not on you. All your precious photos and files are on your computer at home.

You promise to email your friend photos later. But it’s easy to forget a thing like that. And what if you don’t have her email address?

If only there was a way to get to your photos now.

Here’s another scenario that may sound familiar:

One morning, you hit your computer’s power button, and nothing happens.

You press Power again. Still a blank screen.

Uh-oh. You start to panic. You take your computer to your favorite IT shop, where they deliver the bad news.

Your computer crashed.

All your photos…

Important documents…

Music, movies, spreadsheets…

Gone.

Unless you are very, very lucky (and, let’s face it, most of us aren’t), files can’t be recovered after your computer crashes.

If only you had backed up your important documents somewhere else.

The cloud can help you avoid both of these frustrating scenarios.

What is the cloud and why should I use it?

Ever since there’s been personal computers, users have wanted to save their work. Whether it’s a word document, a spreadsheet or pictures of your grandkids, it’s pretty easy to save it to the hard drive on your computer. But what if there’s something better?

Everywhere you turn you hear about the “cloud.” But what is the cloud? The cloud is simple to understand. It’s like someone took the hard drive in your computer and put it on the Internet where only you can access it.

So why not just use your computer?

There are two problems with saving to your computer’s hard drive.

First, if you want to access your stuff, you have to carry your computer around with you. That’s annoying if you want to travel, but don’t want to bring your laptop. And it’s frustrating if you need to grab an important file, or share a family photo, when you’re not near your personal computer.

Second, if something happens to your computer, you could lose all your stuff.

As things turn out, the cloud solves both of those problems.

There are two advantages to using the cloud.

  1. You can access the cloud anywhere

When you save your work to the cloud, you have get to it anywhere you have Internet-access. You don’t need your computer to see pictures of your grandkids. You can use someone else’s computer. Or, better yet, you can use your smartphone to view them. You can use any device to access your cloud storage from anywhere in the world.

  1. Your Files are safely backed up

The other advantage of cloud storage is that if something were to happen to your computer, your files are safe. In fact, cloud storage vendors backup your files so even if something happens to their facility, your stuff is still safe.

You can even backup your files on multiple cloud services (say, Dropbox and Apple iCloud) just to keep them extra-safe.

Cloud storage is easy, inexpensive, and convenient.

Cloud storage is everywhere today. It’s inexpensive, and the best part is, you save files to a folder, just like you do when you save to your hard drive. You won’t know the difference.

It’s time to get onboard the cloud train and start taking advantage of technology that keeps your stuff safe and makes it easier to get to. The cloud—don’t save your stuff without it.

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