cloud computing

Cloud Computing primer

Cloud computing simply refers to data being stored on a server, accessible from the internet, rather than on your computer at home or office.

There are four distinctive sections that can divide cloud computing: data & documents, e-mail, contacts/calendar and backup.

Data & Documents - a place where you can store frequently needed documents, photos, movies even music. Let's say you are going to travel to Europe, Italy for example, and thinking ahead you scan your passports, visas, travel insurance certificates and other important papers. But where do you keep the files? On a USB stick? What if your travel docs and the USB stick get stolen? They are history.. Unless you put them in the cloud. With those important docs in the cloud, at the carrabinieri station in Milan, on their PC, you pull up your cloud based account and all the papers are there, in full color! Lot's of aggravation prevented.

Examples of some of the most popular services include: iCloud, Google Drive and DropBox

E-mail - with e-mail in the cloud, you always have access to the most up to date messages, all your sent mail and drafts. Once you read a message, it will be marked read on all devices where you read e-mail: your Mac, your iPhone, your iPad and even your PC.

Examples of some of the most popular e-mail services include: iCloud, Gmail and Outlook

Contacts and calendar - have you ever found yourself at your daughter's soccer game and you find out that there is nobody there because the game schedule has been updated online? Well, join the club or better yet, get a calendar in the cloud. Once an appointment is made there, it will be accessible from anywhere. Same with contacts and even notes, like shopping lists or frequent flier numbers.

Examples of some of the most popular contacts/calendar services include: iCloudGmail and Outlook

Backup - backup is one of the most important tasks that is also most neglected. Local backup (to a DVD or an external drive) is very easy to implement, yet only 6% of consumers perform a daily backup. Even if you do a local backup, it does not protect you from fire, flood or theft. Online backup comes into play here. With most internet connections now being fairly fast, it is also very easy to setup online or remote backup. The initial backup will take some time, but once it is done, the rest is automatic and easy.

Examples of some of the most popular backup services include: CrashPlan, Mozy, Carbonite and Backblaze

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