Microsoft Skydrive; Box.com; Dropbox; and now Google Drive. These are all contenders in the cloud storage marketplace, which is suddenly heating up.
What is Cloud Storage?
The “Cloud” has become a ubiquitous term that, in its simplest form, just means the Internet. Cloud is a good, descriptive word, I think. It’s amorphous; out there somewhere in the sky; you can’t touch or feel it, but you know it’s there.
“Cloud Storage” is, therefore, a place to store you digital stuff on the Internet. Think of it as your online hard drive. It’s a hard drive that is available to you wherever you have Internet access. There are a number of applications for cloud storage, including:
- Remote Back Up – You can back up your important files, photos, what-have-you remotely on the cloud. Then, in the event of a disaster with your computer, your important stuff is still intact on the Internet.
- File Syncing – You can put files that you need to access from multiple devices into cloud storage. Then, regardless of where you are, whether you’re using your computer or someone else’s, or if you’re on your smart phone or tablet, you have access to those files. This is great for people who travel.
- File Sharing – If you are collaborating on a project or simply wish to give access to selected files to others, you can do that by defining special “shared” folders in your cloud storage account.