It’s time to get your head INTO the Clouds…

“The Cloud” is a term most people have heard a lot about more and more lately. Most recently, Apple announced the iCloud Service, which is similar to other cloud services that are already available. So let’s explore what this is all about.

What is “The Cloud”

The term “the Cloud” is used as a metaphor for the internet. When referenced as cloud storage, it means using storage services on the internet for your personal storage. This cloud storage is not directly connected to any of your computers. It can be accessed from any computer that has internet access, in addition to some mobile devices. Cloud-based storage lets you store documents, music, photos, videos, and just about any other type of file you want.

Why use “The Cloud”

The biggest advantage is “access from anywhere”. If you have files stored on the cloud, and need to access them, all you need to do is login to your cloud service and download a copy of the file, from any connected device. In addition, most cloud-based services keep multiple copies of your file in other locations, so your file is almost always available with very little chance of failure.

What are my choices?

Amazon currently offers their “Cloud Drive” service for free, with up to 5 gigabytes of storage. You can store your personal files on the cloud drive and access them from anywhere, on up to 8 authorized devices. In addition, if you purchase MP3 songs from the Amazon Music store, you can choose to automatically save your purchases to your Cloud Drive. There are also online backup services such as Mozy and Carbonite that have long offered cloud-based storage of files, but only primarily for backup purposes. Services like Dropbox come closer to Amazon cloud-drive feature-wise, and is very mature, easy to use, and has a large following. Apple, just last week, announced iCloud. In true Apple fashion, they are taking an existing technology and making it even easier to use, seamless AND automatic across multiple devices, and free up to 5 GB of storage. In addition to simple file storage, iCloud will also keep your iTunes library synced across devices. So when you buy a song on iTunes, it is automatically transferred to all of your devices. Take a picture on your iPhone – it’s automatically sent to iCloud. And iCloud Email Services (which replaces the Apple MobileMe email service) syncs your email automatically across all your devices.

We’d love to hear from you if you currently use, or plan on using a cloud-based service, and what you feel is the most valuable benefit to you.

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RE/Advantage specializes in Real Estate Website Design, IDX Solutions, and Internet Technology. We have been working with the Real Estate Industry for over 10 years so we understand what makes a site work for you and your buyers and sellers. After all we have been developing real estate web sites, Internet tools and marketing strategies since 1997. No one provides a more comprehensive, well-thought-out site and tool set for your Internet presence. We provide you with not only the tools to manage and customize your site, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are here to help if you need us.

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