What is cloud storage
Cloud storage, abbreviated to cloud, is a service that allows us to transfer data over the internet, so that it is stored on another device and is then available online. Cloud storage is typically taken care of by companies, which are practically countless. These companies then take care of the storage and availability of this data.
If we want, we can also set up our own server at home, but this already requires technical expertise to make everything work and secure.
So, in practice, we choose a cloud service such as Google Drive. On this service, we have space to store data. We can upload the data to Google Drive and then download it from any other device that is connected to the Internet and where we log in with the same account.
Examples of cloud storage
Cloud storage doesn’t have to be just storage for arbitrary files, as we mentioned in the Google Drive example, but it can also be a specialized service.
- Web pages are also stored on cloud storage, which also makes sure that clients can access the pages
- If you play games, different services may store your stats or saved positions on the cloud
- Cloud services are necessary email servers, where you also have emails stored somewhere on the internet, but you can access them from anywhere
- Your mobile data, contacts, messages and so on can also be backed up to the cloud as needed. Then when you replace your device, you just log in with the same account, and all the data is loaded from the cloud to the mobile so that the phone is set up the same way as the old phone
Cloud storage and cloud services in general are becoming more and more prevalent in the internet world. In practice, such a service might look like, for example, that you only have a device at home that communicates with the cloud service instead of a computer. All the calculations that normally take place at home on your computer hardware are transferred to the cloud service, which then just sends the results of what you want.
Google’s Stadia project works similarly (and so far not entirely successfully). For a monthly fee, you can instantly play from a selection of games that you don’t even install, because Google’s servers take care of both the game space and the computing power. So you’re actually just getting the resulting game image. In principle, games could be played this way, but they haven’t yet fully resolved the response so that gameplay is indistinguishable from having the game installed on your device. But it’s more a matter of time.