What is 'The Cloud'?

    Publisher's note: For all of you that have a need to know this stuff, or wish to discuss this kind of stuff, please feel free to join in the conversation with Christopher and rest of the gang here at SNI.

    Remember these two things: We know a lot of stuff, and 'we're here to help'.

    If you have been shopping for a computer/tablet, or software, recently, you will probably find yourself bombarded with special offers like "100GB cloud storage with a purchase of the Azuz Q2200" (Just as a hypothetical example).However many consumers are unaware of what "the cloud" is. They may wonder how they can store data in these pockets of water vapor. This article will explain how.

    The Internet is a connection of billions of computers holding over several thousand petabytes (112,500,000,000,000 bytes per petabyte) of information. Websites store data on massive computers known as web servers. This is where your Facebook posts, Instant Messages, emails, as well as your documents used in your cloud storage services. Your computer sends a request for this information, the server sends it to your computer, bringing you your news, updates, or whatever you're searching the Internet for.

    In cloud storage, you upload documents like school essays, family photos, or the presentation for work, onto these servers so you can re-download these from another device or share it with other people. It is a very convenient alternative to flash drives. Because of this, flash drive manufactures have increased the storage space and decreased the size. Some even started offering cloud services.

    The problem with cloud computing is you are not always in a situation where Internet access is available. So if you live in a region where Internet access can be infrequent, cloud storage is probably not a viable option. For example, I live in a sub-urban area, with a fairly unreliable ISP, we've had frequently interrupted Internet access for about two weeks. So everything I've stored "in the cloud" I no longer have access to. This is very bad for me, as a web developer the Internet is my workplace; if I don't have Internet, I don't get work done, if I don't get work done, I don't get paid.

    Is cloud computing a viable option for your situation?

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