Genealogy in the Cloud
4/17/2013
Work, share, safeguard and store your up-to-the-minute family history data—online, but off-site—and access it anytime, anywhere, from any internet-connected device. These five cloud-computing tips will take your research to new heights.
“Get your head out of the clouds” was once a common directive from grade-school teachers who wanted kids to stop daydreaming and pay attention to long division. Nowadays, we’re learning that it’s not so bad to be in the clouds—well, actually, the cloud. Today’s cloud is an off-site, online way to store your genealogy and other data. In the cloud, you have 24/7 access to your information from any internet-connected device: a desktop computer (at home, work or the library), laptop, tablet or smartphone. Your files are automatically backed up online and, as long as you take security precautions, protected. If you’re tired of keeping your research on various CDs, DVDs, flash drives and hard drives, you owe it to yourself to learn more about cloud computing. Despite what your teacher told you, maybe it’s time to get your head (and your genealogy files )into the cloud. Here’s why—and how.

What exactly is the “cloud”?

There’s actually some history behind the use of the word cloud to describe the way a computer user accesses data stored somewhere other than his own computer. Years ago, when computer systems were mapped out using a flow chart, a cloud was the symbol for a remote server that hosted data and services. For the most part, this server was provided by another business or vendor and located off-site.