The Chromebook is a computer from technology giant Google. It runs the Google Chrome OS as the operating system. What makes the system different from standard computers is that it is primarily designed to be used with a constant instant connection. It runs applications from the internet, rather than programs installed to the system.
The way that the Chromebook stores all of its data is in the cloud. The cloud is an online storage system that allows you to access your data at any time and from anywhere. As you would imagine, everything is built into Google’s ecosystem. Files are uploaded to their cloud storage system, Google Drive. It makes use of things like Google Docs, rather than Microsoft Office like a lot of consumers would be used to.
A great thing about storing your data in the cloud is that it provides an instant backup system. Even if your Chromebook is broken or lost, you can still access your data on another computer or on your phone. Although all your data is stored online, which could be a cause of concern for some, Google assure that the data is stored in Google’s “highly secure data centers” and that only you can access your data with the right password.
While the Chromebook is primarily a device that operates online, it is not useless without an internet connection. A lot of features on the Chromebook will work offline. For example, there is a Gmail Offline application that allows you to read emails and compose new ones. Obviously nothing will be sent while you do not have an internet connection, next time you are connected everything will be sent.
It works similar for Google Docs. Things like documents and spreadsheets can be viewed and edited offline. You can even edit other file types like images, PDFs and Microsoft Office files when offline. Again, when an internet comes available all changes made will be synced to the cloud, complete with a timestamp.
The Chromebook is made up of web applications rather than the standard installed program, like you would find on a Windows operating system. There loads of these apps to download from the Chrome Web Store and there is a specific section that gives you a selection of apps that work without an internet connection. This includes everything from games like Angry Birds to useful functions like Google Calendar. There are thousands of them available.
You can also access files locally from SD cards or USB drives. The Chromebook does not let you save anything to the system itself, but these expandable storage options are a good way around that. You could use these storage solutions for things like movies, photos or music.
Cloud storage is only going to get more popular thanks to the convenience of it. Although Google’s Chromebook does not shun local storage completely, it certainly puts cloud storage at the absolute forefront. The ability to work offline is settling for those who might have concerns about switching to a system that always requires an internet connection.
Chromebook: Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage
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