Answer: The Cloud is where you are storing information on servers scattered across the Internet that you don’t own and maintain.
The first area many people use the cloud is storing their pictures and videos on it. Most of these sites are free and let you store a large number of pictures and videos although they limit size of a picture or video. Places include shutterfly.com, picasa.com (Google), youtube.com, flicker.com and lots of others. Usually they offer a way to buy prints and specialty items.
The other area that is fast growing is to store all your other files (data, music, etc.) on the Cloud so you are not limited in accessing them from your PC, but can access them from any PC located on the Internet. Many of these charge, but a number offer a smaller amount of space for free.
Amazon offers 5 GB of storage on the Cloud for free and then charges for larger amounts. Theirs is called CloudDrive. Microsoft has SkyDrive, which works with their Live group of programs. Microsoft basically gives 25 GB of space but can limit the number of files uploaded in a month. If you need large amounts of space, Microsoft also has Azure, and they charge for that.
Box.net offers various plans for sharing information. Rackspace.com offers space for various prices. I have not used either of these.
There are lots of places you can use the Cloud to store information and more places become available regularly. Some people predict we will do all our storage on the Cloud in the future.
Send your questions to Dwight Watt at email@example.com. He teaches at a technical college in northwest Georgia and does consulting work for businesses and individuals. His website is www.dwightwatt.com.