The cloud is a general term that means data is not stored on your local computer/tablet/phone, but rather is stored on a different computer, usually connected to your local computer through the Internet.
Examples of clouds that many people already use are iCloud, OneDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive.
- Backup separate from your device – The cloud enables online storage that somebody else physically maintains. So if your device is damaged or stolen, you will not lose access to your data.
- Syncing across devices – A big plus of the cloud is that it lets users freely share and access data at any time, from anywhere, from any device. This allows sharing with other people as well as across your own devices.
- Security – Handing data off to a public cloud provider poses some security and privacy concerns. While breaches across almost every public cloud service continue to be regularly reported by the media, it is extremely rare that this actually exposes personal cloud data.
- Compliances – In some heavily regulated areas such as the medical industry, it is difficult to rely on another company to store sensitive data.
- Speed – With fast Internet and cellular data transmission rates, cloud storage has achieved very quick download and upload speeds, but it is still a little slower than local device storage.