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The Cloud Is The Future

Cloud computing is a relatively new term being thrown around quite a lot lately. We hear it when describing things from smartphones to video game consoles, but there are still many people who don’t understand its tremendous significance, or how it affects them both directly and indirectly.

In layman’s terms, cloud computing is the ability to store and access online data in one centralized area. It means no more physical storage devices or plug-in data access cables necessary. Everything from your PC hard drive to your television’s media center can be amassed in the cloud. In a world where more and more things are increasingly being linking to the internet, the cloud makes it easier to accomplish the longtime goal of building a connected planet.

Many new gadgets already store data in the cloud, and several companies allow their members to store and access data for free using their cloud servers. For example: Google lets users access their Google Drive office suite for free, Amazon, Dropbox, and others allow free data storage, and cloud gaming mogul OnLive lets members purchase and play streamlined games.

Some PC manufacturers offer cloud-based laptops, which run on Google’s Chrome OS. The Chromebook is an affordable computer, and provides quick and easy access to the internet and applications based on Chrome OS. The “catch” is that the computer requires internet access for most of its functions. You can access a few programs offline, but you’ll be severely limited in what you can accomplish without the internet. This laptop is recommended only if you intend to use it at home, or if you carry a mobile hotspot on your person when you travel.

To summarize, cloud-based devices and functions are where the tech industry is headed. Data storage, computer usage, entertainment hubs, and even web hosting through companies such as Rackspace have all moved to the cloud. Security is always an issue with anything internet related, but companies go through great lengths to ensure that your content is protected. For a comprehensive definition of cloud computing, check out this article by Technology Review.

 

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