Unless you’ve been living under a floppy disk, chances are you’ve heard the term “cloud computing” tossed around. If you’ve ever wondered what the cloud is, how it works and how you can use it yourself, look no further!
“The cloud” is little more than a nickname for the internet, a virtual connection of local servers in various locations forming the metaphorical, cloud-like space from which stored data and applications can be accessed.
“Cloud computing” means users store and access data and applications over the internet instead of from the hard drive of a specific computer. Cloud data and applications then can be accessed through a variety of devices.
Data storage is the most popular use when it comes to the cloud. With the proliferation of digital assets and documents, there is a growing need for secure storage and the ability to easily share and collaborate with others. Below are three popular cloud storage options for all file types:
- Dropbox offers 2GB of free introductory storage. Sync, upload and access all your files via the mobile app or website. Invite friends to access files and folders with links to folders. Business services include file recovery and versioning. Paid service starts at 1TB of storage for $8.25 per month.*
- Google Drive offers 15GB of free introductory storage for all file types. Files may be shared with anyone without special pricing tiers or tools. Windows and Mac users can download a desktop or mobile app for easy file synchronization. Paid service starts at 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month.*
- Box offers 10GB of free introductory storage for all types of files. Share confidential documents with password-protected links, set expiration dates on shared links or expire them manually from desktop or mobile. Share, edit and sync documents with integrated Microsoft Office Online tools. Paid personal service starts at 100GB for $10 per month.*
*Prices available at time of writing.