What is a Cloud? and Should you use a cloud?
Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, and all the others are CLOUDS. They are usually large servers, or in fact many large servers (farms) that you can create a secure account. You can then upload your data into e.g. Photos, documents. The advantage of this is that you can access your data on multiple devices and from pretty much anywhere in the world.
Most of these Clouds can be setup to be accessed from phones or tablets. With these devices you usually view the files online, and maybe only download one if you need to edit it. Whereas on a computer you may have the data synchronised. This is usually because your computer has large storage. This allows access to the files if the internet is not available. And also allows for faster editing, especially if the file is large. Just remember that if multiple people have access to the file, when one person has it opened then others will have to wait till it is saved and re-synced to the cloud.
Another thing I use the cloud for is on my phone, I have it set that when I take a photo and then connect to Wi-Fi, the photo is automatically uploaded to my Dropbox account. This means if I drop my phone or lose it, I still have my photos. It also makes it much easier to get the photos onto my computer for sharing or editing.
So should I use the cloud and is it safe?
Well the answer is really dependant on what you want to put into it. If you are a lawyer or doctor, you may not want to put your patient/clients data into any old cloud that has servers scattered all around the world. You may want to pay a bit more for a more secure private cloud that is hosted maybe in the country you live in. These are more expensive, but usually have higher security, and are less of a target for hackers.
If you are just looking for a way to store and backup a few general documents and maybe some photos then most of the main names are safe enough. These companies need to be secure as if they got hacked it would be the end of their business.
Another thing that the cloud is really good for is sharing your data. These days files are getting larger, and in a lot of cases too big to send via email. So sharing a link to your cloud, allows your friends to simply click a link and view or download the file.
So yes clouds are good. But if you aren’t sure if they are for you, or if they will do what you want, or even how to get setup. Then come in and see us, we can help you get it all sorted.