A lot of buzz has been made about “the cloud.”  What is the cloud and what are the advantages of using it both for personal and business use?

Expert Answers

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The “cloud” is the term that is used to refer to a system in which computer users can use programs or access storage space that is not on their own computer.  These programs and this storage space exist on the internet, not on an individual’s computer.  People, for example, open Microsoft Word without having it on their computer.  Alternatively, they store things like pictures on servers at remote locations, not on their own hard drives.

Let us look at two main advantages of using the cloud.  One major advantage of using the cloud is that it saves computer space on a person or a firm’s own computers.  The people do not have to keep all of the programs that they want to use on their own computers.  They can simply access those programs on the internet.  Similarly, they can store large files on remote servers rather than having to buy and maintain large amounts of storage space on their own.   A second advantage is the ability to access programs and files from anywhere that has an internet connection.  People can go on vacation or on business trips, for example, and still have access to the programs and the files they need without having to bring them along.  This makes for greater convenience.

Thus, using the cloud can be a much more convenient way to use computer programs and to store files.

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