What Is the Cloud?

"the Cloud" graphic

Once upon a time, the cloud referred to something you’d look up and see in the sky. In the age of technology, though, the cloud is something wholly different altogether. Essentially, the cloud offers a secure way to store and back up your data – things like your documents, files, photos and contact details. 

Before the cloud, you’d store this data on your computer hard drive. While you can still do this, it’s also wise to use the cloud too. This is because if your hard drive fails, then you can still access your data. Also, more of us now use computers and mobile phones. If you use the cloud, then you can access your information from multiple devices. 

In the same way that different companies sell different brands of phones – like Nokia, Samsung and Apple – there are a number of companies that sell cloud storage. The main ones in the consumer space are Apple, Google and Microsoft. 

Below, we’ll dive into each of their cloud offerings, so you can get a better idea of what solution is best for your needs. 


If you have an iPhone or a Mac, then Apple’s iCloud is the best option for you. iCloud only works natively on Apple devices. It enables you to access your data seamlessly across your devices, including notes, photos, calendars and documents. 

Once you have set up iCloud, you can configure it to automatically back up your data, so you don’t need to keep remembering to click ‘backup’. You get 5 GB of free storage with iCloud. 

Moreover, if you are in a family of Apple users, then the iCloud has excellent functionality that allows you to easily share photos, files and more with other iPhone or Mac users. 


OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to cloud storage. Anyone who has a Microsoft email account can access OneDrive for free. However, you only get 5GB of free storage before you need to start paying. 

Like iCloud, Microsoft enables you to store and share your personal information and files in the cloud. You can access these files by logging into your email account in your web browser.

Google Drive 

Google Drive is another cloud-based storage solution, which allows you to store files and photos online and access them from your phone, tablet, or computer with a login. Google Drive also has a wealth of features – such as Google Docs and Google Sheets – that allow you to create word processing documents and spreadsheets in the cloud, without paying for software.

Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage, 3x the free storage space of the others listed above.

Which Service is Best for Me?

No service is better than the other. It depends on your unique preferences. Some people prefer the interface of Microsoft OneDrive, while others prefer Google Drive. 

We suggest looking at what applications you use know and taking a decision from there. For example, if you’re already set up with a Microsoft account, then it likely makes sense for you to use OneDrive. 

Alternatively, if you’re an avid Apple user or have a Gmail account, then you’ll want to select iCloud and Google Drive, respectively. 

Don’t Forget About Security

Your cloud is only as secure as the devices that have access to it. Make sure all your devices are protected with robust PIN and password controls. 

Another thing to make sure of as you start using the cloud, is to make sure your files are configured securely and that you practice good password hygiene.

We advise that you set up account recovery options. These will help you to regain access to your cloud accounts in the event of losing your password. You’ll be asked to set up a security question, link your mobile phone to your account, or provide an alternative email address.

We also recommend that you use multi-factor authentication for your cloud accounts. This requires you to verify your identity when you log into your account. You’ll need to provide your password, and another form of authentication – such as a code sent to your phone or a link in your email. 

Of course, we understand that navigating cloud accounts can be complex – especially at the beginning. That’s why we are on hand to help you find and configure the best cloud storage for you. 

Get Help With Cloud Storage and Backup 

We enjoy working with our clients to help them get more from their technology while keeping their personal data secure. We can help you put automated solutions in place that keep you better protected online. 

Contact us today with any questions.