The current use of the term "cloud" came from the use of the symbol of the cloud of information technologies in structural drawings of networks to identify systems that were part of their own network, but operated externally.
Today, a cloud is understood to be a network of several servers in the form of an online data center. Provided by an IT service provider, users can store their data there and retrieve it as needed. All that is needed to access the cloud is an Internet connection.
How a cloud works
When you upload data to a cloud, it is stored on different servers. This means that you can still have the original file on your computer, smartphone or other device. A copy of it is now on another server, which in turn makes a copy of it until your file has been backed up to multiple servers. This way, if one of these servers goes down, you won't suffer any damage. Now the data is always reliably available online, so you can access it from different devices.
At the same time, there is an ongoing data synchronization process. This ensures that the data on the devices connected to the cloud is always at the same level. This means that data that you upload to the cloud via your smartphone can also be viewed on your laptop.
Data storage and what to look out for
However, there are a few things to consider when choosing a suitable cloud. The biggest point here is probably data protection. Germany has one of the strictest data protection laws in the world. Access to German servers is clearly regulated and therefore cannot be arbitrary.
This is not necessarily the case in other countries, such as the USA. Cloud services there fall under the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law. A suspicion is already enough and the FBI, CIA or NSA are allowed to access data stored in a US cloud, even without a court order and, above all, without your knowledge. That's why it's important to find out in advance where your data is stored.