For Seniors: Understand Cloud Computing
Cloud computing refers to activities that once were bound to your computer but are now hosted on the Internet. Through cloud computing, you might work on a report or spreadsheet stored on the Internet, using tools provided through your web browser.
The term cloud comes from networking: IT people would talk about anything that wasn’t their network’s own hardware as being in the cloud — in effect, somewhere out there."
Perhaps you've installed software on your computer to use it. Today, there are many software programs that are hosted online, such as Google Docs. Using these, you can work on documents on the Internet without ever installing the software on your computer. In the past, you stored documents and photos on your computer or on a disc. Today, you can store all kinds of content online and use tools and websites to edit that content and share it with others.
One of the major advantages of doing things in the cloud is the ability to access tools and content from anywhere. If you store files on your laptop but happen to be at your son’s house without it, you can still show him those photos of your fishing trip from his family’s computer using a photo sharing site such as Flickr. If you want to edit a spreadsheet but don’t have Excel or Numbers installed on your laptop, you can find an online version of an Office program to get your work done.