Cyber life: What is cloud computing?

CYBER LIFE

One question that is coming up more and more with business owners is "what is cloud computing?"

In layman's terms it means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your computer's hard drive.

The cloud is just a another name for the internet.

Both businesses and home users can run all of their programs from "the cloud". The end result is the same - all you need is an internet connection and cloud computing can be done anywhere, any time.

Over the coming weeks, I will be reviewing the top 20 cloud apps for both small businesses and home users.

Some examples are:

Dropbox: One of the most popular options, this service (dropbox.com) lets you share files and photos with anyone, even if the person does not have a Dropbox account. (You can email a link to the file.)

The first two gigabytes of storage are free, as is the app; 100Gb of storage costs $10 a month.

Google Drive: This service (drive.google.com) holds on to old versions of files for up to 30 days, so you won't be out of luck if you accidentally delete something.

It also converts files from more than 30 programs, so you can save and open those summer-camp forms even if they were created with software you don't have. The first 5Gb are free; the next 100Gb cost $5 a month.

iCloud: Apple's iCloud service (apple.com/icloud) lets you access music, photos, apps, documents and other info from multiple devices.

Robert Morgan is the managing director of technology consultancy PIT Group. Check out: pitgroup.com.au.

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