So, what is this “Cloud” thing, anyway?

As you search for online storage providers, you might be a bit confused by the terminology used by the “experts”; specifically, the term “cloud” and the phrase “cloud computing.” And, to complicate things, you may read or hear of people making distinctions between the cloud and online storage. For the average person, knowing the difference between the two is less significant than knowing the difference between red ladybugs and orange ladybugs (the orange ones bite.) So, for the purposes of this blog post, they’ll be used interchangeably.

For definition purposes, the cloud is simply a set of pooled computing resources that is accessed via the Internet. You don’t have 2 terabytes of storage on your home computer, but you can utilize that magnitude of storage in the cloud. Instead of compiling and maintaining hard copy photo albums (which may get ruined by humidity or a flooded basement), shelves and shelves of DVDs and CDs or an endless array of hard drives (which may or may not corrupt), you can use the Internet to access someone else’s storage. Sounds simple, because it is. Once the provenance of only the biggest and most resource rich corporations, cloud computing is now becoming a necessary part of personal life, and with it, the ability to reap the many benefits of online storage (like ease of use, file sharing, universal access, limitless capacity etc.)

The consulting company, Forrester Research, estimates that 196 million of us will be spending a total of $12 billion on cloud services by the year 2016. Now, given, that’s for a lot of other services besides storage, but you get the point. The casual home computer user will be getting into the cloud big time, and storage will be a major part of it. And, why not? The content on your computer is valuable and precious. Like those photos and videos; now that we’re doing everything digitally, what could be more convenient than to have a central access point to retrieve, view and more importantly, to share? And, the best part of using cloud storage just might be the peace of mind it can provide. Online storage providers, like ElephantDrive, offer state of the art storage and file transfer security.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? In truth, there’s no cloud in cloud computing, just someone else’s hardware and software that you have access to; hardware and software that is sophisticated beyond the imagination of the typical consumer. With the cloud, it’s all at your fingertips.

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