1. The cloud
A very simple definition might be: the cloud is a communications network. But let's be more specific and see how it works. The cloud is a term referring to accessing a computer, IT, and software applications through a network connection. It was first used as a metaphor for the telephone network. Nowadays it's commonly used to represent the internet, more precisely datacenters with servers, which are connected to the Internet.
You can hardly find an IT resource that could not live in the cloud. Software programs or applications, services, or entire infrastructures can all be based in a cloud.
2. Cloud storage
Cloud storage is a service that enables you to save your data (documents, photos, videos, music, backups, websites and much more) by transferring it over the internet or another network to an offsite storage system which is maintained by a third party.
This data is as a result stored on remote servers accessed from the internet, or "cloud." It is maintained, operated and managed by a cloud storage service provider. The storage service provider (in our case that's us, Koofr) maintains, manages, and backs up this data remotely. It is available to you over a network, the network most commonly being the Internet.
Aside from keeping your files on physical storage devices such as external hard drives or USB keys, storing your data in a cloud is a secure way of making sure it stays safe. By storing it remotely, it cannot be stolen, burned to a crisp in a fire or ruined in a flood. It's like having an external hard drive that’s accessible from anywhere at any time.
The storing process usually happens manually, meaning you upload your files in the cloud as you go, but Koofr also offers solutions that can make this process much easier, such as two-way synchronization and can also be used for backing up your files.
Watch our video for a visual presentation and explanation of cloud storage terms.
3. Cloud backup
Cloud backup (also known as online backup or remote backup) differs from cloud storage in that it’s usually automated. It's a strategy for backing up data that sends a copy of the data over a network to an off-site server. The data can be the usual user files (photos, documents, videos and similar) or entire systems (applications and settings).
You can usually set a schedule for your back up, or you can start it manually. You can also decide which files or folders you want to upload on a regular basis – but most users just back up everything.
Another important difference from cloud storage is the fact that cloud backup only makes a copy of your chosen data, while you cloud storage can be used for storing files you don't necessarily want to keep on your computer.
4. Cloud synchronization
Another term that gets confused with backup a lot is synchronization. The syncing process makes sure that your content (files and data) is the same in the cloud as it is on your computer. It refers to keeping the most up-to-date version of a file or files on two or more devices, in our case your computers/phones and in your cloud storage account.
Koofr enables you to set up a simple two-way synchronization.
Encryption is a process used to protect digital data from unwanted or unauthorized access and one of the most effective ways to achieve data security. Modern encryption works by utilizing encryption algorithms that provide confidentiality and drive key security initiatives including authentication, integrity, and non-repudiation.
Koofr encrypts your files using something called server-side encryption. This ensures a good balance between keeping files secure and being able to consume them in all modern ways (like playing videos inside the browser, editing Office documents or scrolling through thumbnails on the phone). Read more about the safety of your files on Koofr.
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