Is All my Data Really in a Cloud? What you Need to Know About Computers

where is the cloud?

You’re in the middle of an awesome episode of Empire or the Walking Dead and you need to make it to a doctor’s appointment. Isn’t it totally cool that you can shift from TV to smartphone in a seamless transition and watch while you wait without missing a beat? That’s because the settings and preferences for your favorite shows are safely stored in the cloud.

But what is the cloud? Is it an actual mist of metadata hovering above our heads? Or is it something a bit more solid and dependable?

Before the cloud: Not too long ago your files were probably stored on your computer or an external hard drive that you owned. You knew exactly what was on it, where it was, and how to access it. But way back, before you had a computer or a smartphone (or probably even before you were born), your files would have been stored on a huge mainframe and your monitor might have been a “dumb terminal.” It didn’t have an internal central processing unit (CPU) and, on its own, it wasn’t much more than a really big paperweight.

Then came the PC: Computers in the 1980s got a lot smaller and had their own CPUs and storage capabilities. What couldn’t be stored on your computer itself was sent to discs and external hard drives. It was all compact and convenient, but the space was pretty limited.

Enter the cloud: Remember those old mainframes? The cloud is a mainframe on steroids. Instead of a single data storage area, the cloud relies on several servers and data centers that are globally connected. It is a physical infrastructure made up of lots of computers and storage areas in warehouses all over the world. It’s not in the clouds; it’s right here on planet Earth.

The good and bad: The good news about the cloud is that it has backup upon backup to ensure that you can dependably access your files from wherever you are. Whether you want to watch the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones or share your latest selfies with grandma, you can thanks to the cloud. On the other hand, because the “cloud” lives in an actual physical space and has a ton of information on it, it can also be hacked. As in anything you do on the internet, guard your privacy fiercely and do not give out your personal information. You may not be able to prevent an all-out cyberattack, but you can safeguard your own accounts to the best of your ability.

Are you interested in the cloud and computers? If you’ve ever considered a career in IT, check out the information technology programs at Career Quest Learning Centers. We can teach you about the cloud and a whole lot more. Give us a call today at 877-481-4930 or 877-365-8144 to learn more now!



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