What is "the Cloud"?
It’s just a cool way of saying "the Internet."
Up until a few years ago, the Internet was like a pipeline. E-mails went from place to place; web pages traveled from a company’s server to your screen. And if you wrote, say, a letter, you’d save it to your hard drive, which sat in the same box as the rest of your computer.
In recent years, the widespread use of "always-on" broadband internet access has changed how we think of distance. Now, at least in terms of computers, distance means nothing. You can save that letter you’ve written to a hard drive in a server 8,000 miles away just as easily as you can save it to the hard drive that sits inside your computer, inches away from your keyboard.
Realizing that, companies have begun hooking up servers (essentially stacks and stacks of hard drives) to the Internet and offering customers the ability to easily store their files—documents, pictures, etc. In many cases, the customer might save that letter to their computer’s hard drive, which then automatically sends a copy to a server run by an online storage company.
This has several benefits:
Why is it called "the Cloud"? Probably because the online server could be located anywhere in the world, and the term "the Cloud" implies that exact location doesn’t matter.
TimePilot uses a free Cloud service called Dropbox. For details about this very useful service, click here.