What Is "The Cloud?"

Published on
3,515 Points
1 Endorsement
Last Modified:
The cloud. It seems like a mystical place where your photos, videos and other important files float around waiting for you. The truth is that all of the files you save on “the cloud” are saved on a physical server in a remote datacenter.
One of the greatest advantages of saving digital files on the cloud is the ability to access those files from mobile devices and easily share them with friends and family.
Not all clouds are alike. You do have a couple of options when it comes to cloud storage:
  • Services for cloud storage
  • Personal cloud storage devices
Cloud Storage Services
If you subscribe to a cloud storage service, a provider most likely stores your digital files on one of many huge servers inside a massive warehouse. These data storage warehouses are also known as server farms, and could be located in any city around the world. You likely won’t know where that location is, but can typically access your digital files via the internet from anywhere. These servers run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most cloud storage services come with password protection for privacy.
Many cloud storage services offer free digital storage for limited space. The amount varies—typically, anywhere from 2GB to 50GB for non-ad supported options—based on the provider. If you need more storage space, you can upgrade by signing up for a monthly plan. Fees vary based on the provider and amount of digital storage.
Personal Cloud Storage Devices
A personal cloud storage device is another type of cloud storage. Unlike a cloud storage service, a personal cloud device is tangible. It’s a hard drive dressed in an attractive package that you keep at home, the office, or even Mom’s house. It offers more control than a service, while also providing the same access-from-anywhere flexibility.
Personal cloud devices, like WD’s My Cloud® and My Cloud Mirror, keep your important files safe at home. You can save, sync and share family photos, videos, music collections and important documents. With the My Cloud mobile app or web access, you can use your laptop, tablet or mobile device to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection.
My Cloud and My Cloud Mirror are excellent solutions for anyone looking for a personal cloud storage device. With no monthly fees for digital storage, you make a one-time purchase for a personal cloud storage device with capacities ranging from 2TB - 8TB for single-bay storage, or from 4TB - 16TB for two-bay storage.
Whether you choose a service or a device, personal cloud storage is an efficient way to save, sync and share your digital life.
Ask questions about what you read
If you have a question about something within an article, you can receive help directly from the article author. Experts Exchange article authors are available to answer questions and further the discussion.
Get 7 days free