Posted July 21, 2013 by Jennifer Kane in Technology

Tech talk: Understanding ‘the cloud’ and what it can do for you

News headlines, commercials and chatter amongst colleagues &ndash lately there has been a lot of hype about &ldquothe cloud,&rdquo but the term can be complex and confusing. What exactly is the cloud, and moreover, what does it mean for you and the way you use technologies? Even though the notion feels fairly new, it&rsquos simpler than you may consider.

You&rsquove most likely heard a lot about storing and sharing information on the cloud, but did you know there&rsquos a great possibility you&rsquore currently utilizing the cloud routinely with out even being aware of it? Each time you verify or send an email on-line, you&rsquore sending details via the cloud, in other words, via a network of servers, software and solutions in a remote location.

A lot like connecting your tv to a cable connection, you connect your tech device to the World wide web to access content stored in the cloud. When you use cloud storage, what you can do with your technologies devices &ndash from desktop to tablet to smartphone &ndash expands tremendously.

The cloud isn&rsquot just for tech elites &ndash it can make life simpler no matter how tech-savvy you are. Regardless of whether you&rsquore heading a international conglomerate or are basically the head of your kid&rsquos soccer team, the cloud can aid streamline what you require to do on-line. Beyond checking email, the cloud lets you operate with other people on the internet with documents that can be edited simultaneously, shop big files so you don&rsquot have to maintain them on hand, and very easily access and share essential photos and private documents, like travel plans.

There are two basic methods you can commence seeing the many rewards of the cloud immediately. Very first, personal cloud e mail solutions make staying in touch with friends, family members, and expert contacts easy. Is it time you upgraded your e-mail encounter? Outlook.com is a cost-free, individual e mail service from Microsoft that has tools to maintain your e mail streamlined.

With Outlook.com you can access effortless-to-use, automated tools to help you get by means of your inbox quickly. Set up your preferences that mirror how you reside your life: bills can automatically go in one folder, essential documents archived in another. You can even &ldquosweep&rdquo out all of your old day-to-day deals or newsletters with just a couple of clicks.

Spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites? Outlook.com performs with your favored social media web sites. You can add contacts from your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks, so that alterations like address updates in those accounts are automatically updated. You can save time and power by chatting, updating, and even posting comments or accepting friend requests in a handful of clicks all from your inbox.

The second way you can experience instant positive aspects from the cloud is through a individual cloud storage service. Microsoft&rsquos SkyDrive offers 7 GB of cost-free storage which is far more than what most competitors offer you, and additional storage is accessible at rates that are also decrease than most competitors. Outlook.com and SkyDrive operate with each other, and SkyDrive works with your smartphone, tablet, Computer, or Mac, so you have access to your pictures, documents, and other critical files anytime, anyplace, automatically.

Do you ever have a ton of images you want to email to a friend, but you can&rsquot due to the fact the files are too huge to send all in one e-mail? Or at times you just want to share these photos with particular folks instead of to absolutely everyone on Facebook. Just upload the pictures to SkyDrive and email the link to the people you choose! You can share pictures beautifully only with the men and women you decide on, without having taking up space in their inboxes.

An additional invaluable advantage to individual cloud storage solutions is the potential to work with other people on projects from anywhere at any time. With SkyDrive, you get cost-free Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in your browser, so numerous men and women in distinct areas can work on the identical document, at the very same time. Plus, you get to decide on who can view and edit these documents.

No matter how simple or complicated your computing wants, the cloud can support keep you much more organized, &nbspsave time, save space in your inbox or on your desktop, and occasionally it just plain saves you from losing an essential document or e-mail. Find out a lot more about how the cloud can adjust the way you use technology by going to www.outlook.com and www.skydrive.com.

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Jennifer Kane