Dear Amy: What is cloud computing? — Darren, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Dear Darren: Although advertisements make it seem like cloud computing is magical and mysterious, it’s actually quite ordinary. If you’ve ever used Web-based email or a Web application such as Google Docs, then you’ve used cloud computing! A “cloud” is a group of servers that lets users run programs and access services over an Internet connection. Many different users share the “cloud,” and the amount of storage space users have depends on how much they pay for. Some cloud computing services offer a limited amount of space for free, and users who want more space can pay for a subscription.
A popular use for cloud computing is backing up files. When you store your files “in the cloud” with an online backup service, you can access them from any computer with an Internet connection. This is a great way to make sure all your important files are safely backed up in case of computer problems. But to keep your personal information safe, avoid storing files with sensitive information “in the cloud.” To learn more about cloud computing, visit computerhope.com/jargon/c/cloudcom.htm.
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