Data can be stored not only on the local hard disk - but also on the Internet, in the "cloud". The cloud is handy because users can access their data anytime, anywhere. But not every file should land there.
What is the cloud?
This is how the cloud works.
The son lives in Miami, the daughter in New York, the parents in San Francisco - and yet they can look at photos from the last family celebration: for users who put their pictures online at a cloud service, this is no problem. The cloud is an on-line store where users can upload photos, music, or documents. Once in the cloud, the data is available anytime, anywhere. With Internet-enabled devices, users can access the cloud on the go.
How do I use the cloud?
In a cloud, a user can have all sorts of data that he or she wants to share with others. Particularly popular are photos, videos, music or office documents. The calendar can also be there. The user always has it on all devices. Share data with others means that the partner or colleagues can also access the appointments on request. The best-known applications of a cloud include e-mail services. They have been working for years on the cloud principle - the idea of ??storing data centrally and online.
How expensive are cloud services?
Many services offer initial free space limit. If you want more space, you have to increase the capacity against money.
What are the benefits of the cloud?
If you want to keep important data at all, you can do without a USB stick. When the user has edited an important office document at home, he can automatically access the latest version at the office. Cloud services are also useful for data backup. If the computer is broken, users can download the secured photos, documents, or songs from the network to the new computer.
What are the disadvantages of the cloud?
Cloud services only work on devices with Internet access, which is rarely a problem at home and in the office. On the way, maybe. However, the volume of the booked flat rate is increased quickly. A further disadvantage: if the user has decided for a service, it is usually fixed. A "move" to another provider is complex. There is a lack of transfer standards between providers. It is also problematic when a cloud service provider goes bankrupt. Under certain circumstances the user gets his data back only with difficulty or the hard disks with the information even change the owner.
What about data protection?
Large providers such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple are sitting in the US. Their servers are spread all over the world. American companies must provide the investigating authorities with stored data. Whoever uses several services of a provider must also expect that this user data is linked to each other. Tip: Encrypt your data, for example with the free program Veracrypt, before uploading it.
How secure are the data?
Apart from the concerns about data protection, everything is relatively safe. Server operators are obliged to secure all data at all times. But servers can fail or be hacked. In the worst case, the stored information is then gone, or criminals use it for illegal purposes. CDs or external hard disks can also fail or stolen. There is never a 100% certainty.
And what is the conclusion?
Cloud services simplify data backup and synchronization between different devices. Those with lower amounts of data can access many services free of charge. Caution with sensitive information: do not upload your CV and secret numbers to the cloud.