There are two features of cloud computing of which I am particularly fond: storing media and sharing it. You can use cloud computing to store and share photos with the click of a button, and you never have to worry about whether your pictures are safe. It’s an automatic way to backup your images without purchasing hefty external hard drives or other storage hardware.
What is Cloud Computing?
The question you are probably asking is which type of cloud computing model you should use. The term itself is extremely broad, and refers in this context to storage and file sharing platforms available outside your own computer. Some are web-based, which means they are accessed via username and password, and are available only on the Internet, while others are installed locally on your computer as well as being available via the web.
Cloud computing allows you to access media, such as photos, from any computer in the world that is connected to the Internet. You aren’t restricted to your personal machine, which means you can share photos with friends, family members, and even the public at large.
Web-Based Cloud Computing for Photos
If you use web-based cloud computing to store and share photos, you will usually have to sign up for a service-whether free or paid-and create an account. From your account, you can upload photos to store on shared servers, as well as to share them with others. Many of these services allow you to pick and choose who can see your photos so you don’t have to worry about privacy.
Flickr is perhaps the most widely-recognized method of using cloud computing to store and share photos. You create an account, upload your photos, and publish them to your account. The paid option gives you more storage space and allows you to upload video as well.
Picasa, Facebook, and Photobucket are other examples of this method. Each of these stores your photos remotely and allows you to share them with others.
Installed Cloud Computing for Photos
An installed program connects your desktop to the “cloud,” essentially giving you the same ease of use as you would enjoy storing photos on your hard drive, but keeping those photos safe in remote servers as well. I use Dropbox for this purpose, but plenty of other programs exist.
You can use installed cloud computing to store and share photos just as like the web-based versions, but you don’t have a public account where everyone can view your photos. Instead, you can share links to your photos privately using links to files that you designate as public. It isn’t the same as publishing to the web, and is in many cases more secure.
It’s doubtful we’ve even touched the surface of the power of cloud computing, and most people don’t even realize they’re using it when they upload photos to Flickr or post updates on Facebook. But this is easily the simplest and fastest way to store and share photos.