Cloud Storage Basics Explained
There is lots of talk about the “cloud storage” these days and many people are confused. New terminology about computers can be confusing and computer speak is a whole new language on its own. The word cloud is now a common computer term. But just what is the cloud system? Clients often ask Computer Coach Australia this. As computer users, we can think we are so far behind. But, in fact, many people know a lot more than they know they know. If you know what I mean. They have been using a cloud system for sometime without realising it. Discussing these types of issues with a computer coach can easily bring your skills up to speed.
Examples of Email Cloud System
One everyday example of a cloud system is when we use a webmail provider via the internet to read and send emails. A webmail provider is where we go to look at our emails via the Internet rather than using the Mail app that is on the computer or phone. To go to a webmail service you need the internet and type in www.gmail.com or www.hotmail.com or www.bigpond.com, etc.
If you don’t have an email account, this is where you can sign up for one. Or if you do have an email account you will need to have your username and password at hand. When setting up an email account, it is a good practice to add a second form of identification. This identification can be a phone number or another email address. You can spend hours looking for an email address. Luckily, they are easier to retrieve than a few years ago.
There are many different types of email service providers. The one that suits my needs is Gmail. Why? Google is the biggest and has the leading share of the internet. People are writing apps every day to work with Google. So the chances of it working without too many hiccups increase. This saves me time messing around at the computer.
Email Apps That Come With the Device
Other ways to access emails is using an app that we have downloaded or comes for free with the computer operating system. The free mail programs that come with the computer, iPhone or Tablet are usually called Mail. They have limited features and may not be totally dependable. But they are also simple to use so the novice can’t get lost. Gmail has a free app that you can download to access emails. However, for the novice, I think it is too complicated.
There are many features in apps that use different terminology to do the same thing. If your struggling to come to grips with the English language, learning computer speak is another issue. There is often the same word pronunciation of a word which can have two distinct meanings like past and passed. There is the recycle bin or the trash. To empty can also be called discard. Additionally, a folder in one app is called a label in another. One day we may have a universal computer language. MS Office comes with Outlook which is an advanced package. For the novice computer user, the less amount of features, the easier to develop a solid understanding and context, which increases confidence.
Cloud Storage Basics
On an Apple device, the cloud storage is called iCloud and the user gets 5 gigs of free storage. More storage can be purchased through your AppleID. The cost is $1.5 a month for an extra 50 gigs of storage. This storage can soon be filled up with photos and videos if your not careful. I back these up onto a removable hard drive. If you have a PC device with the Windows operating system, you get 5 gigs and the storage is called One Drive. You can always purchase extra storage if needed. In fact, that is the plan. Google gives 15 gigs of free storage, but you will need a Gmail account to get this and, again, the more you need you can buy. Here you will find out more about how the cloud storage came to be.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
The originality and undeniable benefits of cloud storage are that you can access and share files from any device. All you need is your username and password. This system has freed up having to take the computer out of the home. You can back up your whole computer onto the cloud system. If anything happened to your computer, you would still have access to your files on the cloud storage.
Even apps that once we needed a CD or disk to install onto your computer, can now be accessed via the cloud. Each cloud system has its way of doing things and this is the learning curve where confidence is needed to have a go. Or you can call Zoe at Computer Coach Australia to learn this and save time.
With a cloud system, what you do need is a good internet service to gain access. This is an expense. The more that is uploaded or downloaded, the more data is used and payment is made by the data. Often, it is tricky to predict how much data will be needed. Sadly, a lot of clients who do not understand data sizes have been sold data packages that are way bigger than what they need. Zoe at Computer Coach Australia can help sort this out. Discuss usage, review the existing plan and determine what size plan best suits your needs. She will speak with the rep if needed.
Storage Trends For New Computers, Tablets and Phones
Computers are being sold today with very little storage. There is an option to ask for more, but most people are totally naive and have no idea what they are buying or what to ask for. The advice here is not to buy a computer without having an understanding of what you want to use it for and to discuss this with someone other than the salesperson. Currently, most devices sold come with just enough storage size to download the apps, but not enough to store all your data on. People are running into problems. With the cloud system, once you reach the storage limit, the file will not be saved, and it is necessary to buy more storage.
In addition, the default setting to save a document or file is automatically set to upload to the cloud. Having several places where files can end up is confusing and special attention needs to be drawn to naming and file location protocols. Knowing how to name files appropriately and to recognise different file locations saves confusion and frustration. When searching for files the words are “I know it saved it blah blah blah, I don’t know what I called it, where is it!” Administration and filing on a computer is a useful skill to learn.
Uploading and Downloading Data Explained
Taking photos and videos on the phone, then uploading to the cloud or sharing, and then downloading to view or print, uses a lot of data and storage. Uploading and downloading files uses up data and data costs money. But what is a lot of data? And how big are file sizes? This is where the data plan comes into it. When we send an email, we are uploading. When we open an attachment, we are downloading. Any attachment over 2 megabytes in size can be a problem to send via email or download. If you store documents on the cloud system, you will need to download the document if you want to print it. Now an attachment in an email can be a link to cloud storage.
Data Plan and Data Storage Basics
When purchasing your Internet data plan, they ask you how much data you think you will use. If you go over your data allowance, there will be a bill. Some internet data plan suppliers may notify you that you are reaching your data allowance. Either you stop using the device and ensure there are no automatic downloads or purchase more data. This can be expensive just for a few gigabytes. Some people use a prepaid plan, they are paying more for the data than a fixed contract data plan.
Mobile Data Plan
Mobile data is more expensive than coming through a fixed line into your home. Of course, if you are away from your home, that data your device is using is more expensive. There are options on the phone, to switch to airplane mode or turn the wifi off. In Bondi, there is free wifi in many of the areas that the phone may automatically connect to. There is a way to switch this off from transferring over, as the download and upload speeds can be painfully slow, especially if coming to the end of the cycle. When you come back home, if you have a home data plan, you can set your phone to automatically connect.
Using Data Out Of the Country
When travelling, you can ask for the wifi connection name and password in the hotel and use their free data provided from that location. There are many cafes, libraries and shopping centres that provide a free data service. Telstra has a data plan that you can sign up for when out of the country. This will be a call to Telstra from your location and can suit the overseas traveller. This type of data can be very expensive. Still, with some research, there are other options for free apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, FaceTime, Skype or Free Conferencecall.com.
Cloud Storage Options
There are many options for storing and sharing files via a cloud. Some of these are WeTransfer, DropBox, Flickr, Google Drive, Google Docs, and YouTube. Most are free up to a certain storage limit and can offer a premium option to increase your size. Drop Box initially started with an offer for every new member introduced the referring client receives 5 gigs of free data storage. A great way to get their product out into the market. To access a drop box shared file, the receiver will need to down load the drop box app first and sign up.
Computers are continually evolving each day, and keeping up-to-date with changing technologies when they are such a huge part of our lives can save time. Give Zoe a call today on 0407 956 071 to discuss your needs, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from you.