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Nine Reasons to Love the Cloud

Lately, many people are moving their computing to the cloud. In its simplest terms, cloud computing lets you store your “stuff” — photos, music, movies, email — online instead of on your hard drive. There are significant advantages to using the cloud, and here are Berlin’s top nine:

1) Accessibility. You can access your cloud everywhere, which means your resources are always available. Every device, even the cheapest smartphone today, has a rich web browser, so you can access your content no matter where you are.

2) No space consumption. Using the cloud means not using up space on your device, whether it’s a computer hard drive or a memory card on your mobile phone.

3) Security. All rumors to the contrary, cloud computing offers security. Cloud servers have their own antivirus and anti-spyware utilities that are kept up to date. Most cloud providers have departments with thousands of people ensuring server security by applying the latest security patches and more. Nowadays, having content in the cloud could even be more secure than your own computer.

4) Speed. Cloud server connections to the Internet usually are faster than any other Internet connection you can find. Many cloud providers have priority network positions in the data centers that host them, so file exchange tends to be much faster than using your corporate file server from home.

5) Economy. The cloud limits what you would otherwise spend to keep your hardware — your RAM, CPU, and hard drive space — current and operational.

6) Backup. Every cloud service has its own backup system. The providers keep you safe, making encrypted backups of your content, so, if disaster strikes, your content still can be accessed.

7) Versioning. Many cloud services offer file recovery. If you delete the wrong file, or save a document with the wrong content, you can “undo” by using versioning features.

8) Redundancy. Cloud services are redundant. This means that your file will be distributed across multiple hard drives, so, if one hard drive fails, it doesn't matter; one of the other hard drives will have a copy of the file.

9) Collaboration. Some cloud services allow you to share a document with multiple users, allowing everyone to work and edit at once. This is immensely beneficial in a business environment.

Both Google and Microsoft offer great cloud services; however, there are lots of cloud services out there, so do some research into which provider is best for you. A cloud with 45 GB of storage can cost as little as $9 per month.

No matter how you decide to use the cloud, always remember, for security’s sake, to use a secure password that combines letters, numbers and special characters!