The terms cloud, cloud storage or cloud computing apply to computer resources (e.g. storage or computing time) that are available via a network, vary in volume and availability and automatically adjust to fit current needs. It is not important to end users where exactly the resources are located in the network; they are simply available to them.
We can compare it to the electricity from an electrical outlet that is always available in the right amount. The electricity might come from a nuclear power plant, a wind turbine or be imported from abroad - the only thing that matters to the user is that it is there when it is needed.
cloud storage is a specific kind of cloud service that only provides online file storage space. If the storage is web-based, then it is called “web storage” or a “web storage service”.
Dropbox is a commercial web storage service provider. Other similar providers include, for example: Google Drive, Wuala and Ubuntu One. Our page Dropbox, Google Drive and Co. explains these services in greater detail.
A file server is a general term for a network server where files can be stored. The server does not have to be connected to the internet. Similarly, a network file system is a file system like the one on a local hard drive, to which one connects using a network.
File sharing means making files that are saved on the web available to other users. In order to view the file, the users must receive a direct link to the file and may need to register with the service provider.
Encryption is the process of changing a file in such a way that, at first glance, it appears to be a jumbled, senseless collection of data. The correct key is required to make the file readable. There are different methods and different strengths of encryption.
Web storage service
A web storage service enables users to save any kind of data to a drive that is web-accessible using a browser or separate software.