Cloud computing is changing the way that individuals and entire businesses accomplish tasks every day. With only an internet connection and a web browser, a person can log on from any computer or web-enabled device in any location and access stored data, check e-mail, store and manage passwords, and collaborate on documents with co-workers in other locations. These are just a few examples of how cloud computing has given people the freedom to work from virtually anywhere. If you consider your own internet usage, chances are that you’ll realize you already use cloud computing on a regular basis.What Equipment Does Cloud Computing Require?Historically, if you wanted to use a program to, say, manage your finances or edit your photos, you had to purchase software and install it on your computer. And if you wanted to use the software, you had to use that exact device. Now, instead of purchasing and installing expensive hardware and software, users of cloud-based solutions use internet connections to link into applications powered by a provider’s network of servers. By visiting a service’s or application’s website, registering and perhaps paying to subscribe, users can then log in from any desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet device or several other devices using your user name and password. All of this is accomplished by one of the advantages of cloud computing, which is a system that employs networks of computers and/or servers to run applications that people around the world can log in and use.What Advantages Does Cloud Computing Offer?Of considerable benefit to the end-user is not having to learn and understand the intricacies of the equipment and software behind the application. For the end user, it’s as simple as opening up a web browser, entering the web address of the application or service and logging in. For individuals, cloud computing is convenient and easy to use. For businesses, it has already become a valuable way to save money on data storage and networking costs.A prime example of cloud computing is a cloud-based collaboration program that a group of people can use simultaneously to edit documents, photos, videos and more. This group does not need to install any software on their computers, and they don’t even have to be on the same continent. Manipulating files in the cloud instead of storing them using a device’s memory saves memory, and it doesn’t require the device to use additional processing power.As people find new and innovative ways to handle personal and business tasks via the cloud, the future promises to be a place where geographic distance is not even an issue. Data is stored in a network of computers and servers that may be across the country or world. Some cloud-based solutions even provide increased processing power, which is useful if the person doesn’t want to purchase additional servers, software and other equipment. With some imagination and advances in technology, and telecommunications the possibilities offered by cloud computing are seemingly limitless.