Cut through the hype, understand cloud services, and enhance your privacy and security!

Take Control of
the Cloud

Second Edition
Joe Kissell

The array of tasks you can perform using cloud products and services is almost endless, but what’s the best way to navigate the Cloud? In Take Control of the Cloud, Second Edition, Joe Kissell gives you the most up-to-date advice and information about choosing, using, and personalizing cloud products and services to take advantage of their potential, and how to avoid common pitfalls.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.

Clear selection

Price Reduced! To encourage more people to buy this essential book (last updated in September 2017), we’ve cut the price from $15 to $5. We don’t know if or when we’ll next update it, but we wanted to make sure the information is widely available while it’s still relatively fresh.

To some people, the Cloud is a hard concept to grasp; what does it mean exactly? For others, it’s the sheer complexity of the Cloud that is confusing; how to choose among the ever-increasing number of options. And for yet others, it’s the security of the Cloud that is a concern; do I need to worry that my data isn’t safe?

With Take Control of the Cloud, Second Edition, award-winning author Joe Kissell cuts through the confusion and gives his expert advice on how to make the Cloud work best for you, no matter your needs. From a detailed explanation of what the Cloud is, to his top picks for cloud products and services, to how to enhance privacy and security in the Cloud, Joe covers the topics that are crucial to a clear understanding of what the Cloud can (and can’t) do for you.

Free Webinar As an added bonus, this book includes a free webinar for additional advice and problem-solving! (Although the webinar has already occurred—twice—purchasers can view recordings of the events at their leisure.)

Cloud-related topics covered in this book include:

  • Basic concepts, like “cloud computing” and “personal cloud”
  • Storage
  • Syncing
  • Backups
  • Productivity apps
  • Entertainment apps
  • Virtual private servers
  • Computing engines
  • Privacy and security
  • Mobile devices
  • The personal cloud
  • Choosing cloud providers
  • The Internet of Things
  • Automation

Teach This Book! Do you need to give a presentation concerning the Cloud? We’d like to help. This ebook includes links to a free PDF cheat sheet and a PDF-based slide deck that you can show on any computer or mobile device.

Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.

In the three years since the first edition of this book, a huge number of changes have occurred in the Cloud, and we’ve revised this book accordingly to reflect the current facts:

  • Added “Joe’s Recommendations” to the end of most chapters to offer specific, concrete advice on choosing cloud services of various types
  • Updated Example Cloud Storage Providers to reflect current prices, storage levels, and features of popular services
  • Added a sidebar, Options for the More Technically Minded, about low-cost cloud storage services such as Amazon S3 and Backblaze B2 for users with programming know-how
  • Included a topic called Figuring Out Where Your Data Is, to help you understand when your files are stored locally, when they’re in the Cloud, and when they’re in both places
  • Added a new topic called Using Cloud Storage Meta-services that discusses various services that enhance, extend, or combine cloud storage services
  • Updated Backing Up Stuff from the Cloud to cover additional cloud-to-cloud backup options
  • In the Productivity Apps discussion, added examples of cloud-based databases, expanded Meetings and Screen Sharing to include Face to Face Broadcasting (F2F), and added Slack and Workflowy to the list of Other Productivity Apps
  • Included a sidebar called Chromebooks and Other Thin Clients, about how cloud apps and storage bring greater computing capabilities to cheaper, less-powerful equipment
  • Provided new and improved information on VPNs
  • Updated and expanded options for creating a personal cloud (adding new products and removing discontinued ones)
  • Completely revamped and greatly expanded the chapter Choosing Cloud Providers, which now contains considerably more advice
  • Added a new chapter called The Cloud and the Internet of Things, about the wide variety of cloud-connected devices that aren’t computers, smartphones, or tablets (think: light bulbs, thermostats, appliances, interactive speakers, and so on) and potential pitfalls
  • Added another chapter called Automation and the Cloud, which provides an introduction to the ways in which you can simplify your life by getting cloud services to interact with each other (and with desktop and mobile apps) automatically
  • Developed a live webinar that expands on some of the topics in this book

Which operating systems does this book cover?

This book is platform-neutral, meaning it is applicable to readers using a Mac or a PC, iOS or Android mobile devices, and any of numerous other Internet-connected devices.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Cloud Concepts: The FAQ
  • Cloud Storage
  • Cloud Syncing
  • Cloud Apps
  • Other Cloud Services
  • Privacy and Security in the Cloud
  • The Cloud and Backups
  • The Cloud and Mobile Devices
  • Choosing Cloud Providers
  • The Personal Cloud
  • Teach This Book
  • About This Book
  • A Cloudy Conversation on MacVoices

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen on May 5, 2014

    Chuck Joiner and Joe Kissell virtually sat down together recently to discuss Joe’s latest book about the “cloud” on MacVoices. In the fifty-minute interview, Joe and Chuck look at the array of network-based services and tools that comprise the cloud, and what they all mean in practical terms for computer, tablet, and smartphone users: the benefits of such services, the compromises they require, and their long-term durability and reliability. If you feel that the topic of cloud-based computing is obscure or hard-to-grasp, this chat can help dispel the mists that surround it.

    There are no current plans for an update.

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