Stored in the cloud, saved in the cloud, cloud based this and that. Everyday we are hearing more and more about devices that save information or run up in the cloud.
But what exactly is the 'Cloud'?
Cloud servers are just simply many computers that either store information or run programs somewhere else on the internet. Think of it as someone else's computer storing your documents and now you can access these documents on any of your phones, tablets and computers.
Spotify is a great example, many thousands of songs stored on a giant computer that anyone can access at any time on any device.
Cloud based computer programs and even games are becoming more popular. This means that your computers don't actually need to be as powerful as before because someone somewhere else is doing all the hard work. Those servers have huge processors and lots of memory to run thousands everyones needs at anytime, all for a very low cost.
What does this mean for Automation though?
Many automation systems on the market are cloud based, which means they need a constant internet connection to be able to give you full access to your home. Most of the time they have a cloud based server which allows remote access to your home and devices wherever you are in the world.
There are many benefits to cloud based automation:
- Cheaper systems
- Low maintenance (supported by the host of the servers)
- Easy setup
- Automatic backed up data
- Devices monitored for future improvement
A few downsides come from systems like this though:
- All data is stored and monitored by others
- Generally less secure (open to internet attacks)
- Less functionality / less intelligence
When comparing these systems to 'Home' based automation (non-cloud based systems) we can quickly see the differences and what you get when you pay a little more:
- Safe and secure data (your data is yours and no one else's)
- Truly intelligent and more automation
- More robust systems
- Dedicated software on dedicated hardware
- Can cost more
- Setup is typically harder
Both types of automation systems (cloud and home) have their ups and downs. Whether you are dipping your toe in with some of the shelf products like Hive or Lightwave RF or wanting to wire your house for a long term solid solution, you can contact us at any point to discuss things further.