Firelight Explains: The Cloud

Firelight Explains: Pull up a log, get a mug of something warm, and listen to a little story about some tech.

Here’s the short version – “The Cloud” is just the internet. It’s the same basic principle.

Think of it this way: back in the day, offices had a big shared file cabinet. Everyone could get into it, and everyone could see any file that was in the file cabinet, just by virtue of walking over, opening a drawer, and pulling out a file.

The internet is pretty much a giant electronic file cabinet, and websites are the files inside. Everyone can connect to the internet and see any file.

The Cloud is the same thing, except not everyone can get into the file cabinet – this is the fancy file cabinet that you have to have a key to open. If you have a key, though, you can see anything in that cabinet.

Just like the internet, though, you can open that file cabinet from anywhere, which is the main thing that makes the Cloud so useful. Having secure access (i.e., you can only get in with a key) to your files or data from anywhere makes for powerful flexibility.

Programs built on the internet – including smartphone apps – take advantage of that flexibility to let you work anywhere you can connect to the internet.