Remember the good old days when the most complicated thing about the cloud was finding cool shapes?

While the clouds of our childhood memories are still around, today’s cloud reference is a more technical and complicated subject matter. This month we’re breaking down “the cloud.”

In the simplest of definitions, the cloud is the internet, or specifically the many things you can access remotely over the internet. It’s a remote server that allows you to store, sync and access your files from any computer or device with an internet connection.

There are two key reasons to use the cloud. First, convenience. How many times have you emailed a file to yourself so that you could work on it from another computers, or ported documents on a flash drive? Saving a file to the cloud means you can access it from any computer with an internet connection. It also means you can easily share files with others. So those family vacation photos or the time-sensitive work document needing review are all easily accessed and shared.

The second reason to use the cloud is reliability. We’ve all known someone who lost their documents, photos and videos through a computer crash. When you store and sync to the cloud, you’ve got an extra layer of protection. However, any online data is at risk if someone is able to gain access, so choose a strong password and pay close attention to the privacy settings.

The cloud is really a simple concept. What gets complicated is choosing the platform and services to meet your needs. Most of today’s technology providers offer some type of cloud service; TeamFiber’s cloud solutions are offered in partnership with NeoNova. But there are many other options available depending on what you need and what you’re willing to pay. CNET Magazine recently published a great guide to the most popular cloud storage services. Start here, and feel free to shoot me your specific questions in the comments below.