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Computing and The Cloud - truly free freelancing for freelancers

Updated on August 11, 2011
Cloud Computing for freelancers
Cloud Computing for freelancers

A freelancer is a person who can work from anywhere and at anytime that he or she chooses. After all, the main part of the word ‘freelancer’ is ‘free ’. In fact it is the rebellion against normal working hours and conditions that drive most people to freelancing, but there are also those that are forced to look for other means of earning an income mainly because of the downsizings that are common globally. To achieve that freedom the freelancer needs tools that are not tied down and hence tie him down; a laptop or netbook is a must. Next to come is the one most important component: the internet. And that is the main component that enables the freedom.

Cloud Computing – freedom when working online

You can do you work on an unconnected computer before heading to an internet café to upload it to the internet. But, that is not the most feasible way of working online. You should be able to go online anytime and anywhere you want to. You do not need to even go out and search for a Wi-Fi hotspot; that is not true freedom.

A solution for this problem would typically be using CDMA connection. It even solves the problem should you be travelling out of the country of origin: you only need to upgrade it to roaming CDMA and you’re off on your way.

Cloud Computing – cloud number 9 computing

Now that you have the hardware and the connection settled your next problem to deal with will be the software. These are the applications that you will be working on. Typically you would have a document and spreadsheets app. Most people think of the good old Microsoft Office suite. While it is the good solution it is by far not the only and definitely not the best solution to a freelancer’s problems. This is partially due to:

  1. It is not free. And with the way things regarding the economy are going, most people would prefer to choose cheap, if not free, applications to do their work.
  2. It is not truly mobile. If your laptop should crash you would need your CDs to re-install the whole suite.  Even a mistaken deletion of one system file can make your working day, if not more, go down the drain. You will need to carry your MS Office CDs wherever you go.
  3. It is not secure. If your laptop were to slip, fall and break into pieces or if it, knock wood, were to be stolen it would mean a loss of 100% of your data unless you have a backup solution.

The solution therefore lies in ‘cloud computing ’- a freelancer should call it cloud 9 computing, because that is exactly what it offers. But, the real definition of ‘cloud computing’ is the ability to work on applications that are out there on the internet (the ‘cloud’).

This makes for a heavenly computing experience because:

  1. It is cheap. There are sites that offer free applications that perform as well as, if not better, than MS Office.
  2. It is very mobile. All you need to do is get connected and your applications are ready, your documents stored in online folders – fire up the first and open the second and you can start working.
  3. It is very secure. If you were to lose your laptop, all you’d need to do is get back online on a new one and it is all there. You can access your work from anywhere in the world at any time. You do not even have to worry about backup or security.

Google - best cloud computing solution

The best example for working using cloud computing would be Google Inc. You can access the document suites using two ways.

  1. If you already have a Gmail account then you probably have seen the ‘Documents’ link at the very top left corner of your screen after you have signed into your account. Clicking on that link takes you on to ‘Google Docs’. This is the office application suite that you can start working on.
  2. A more organized and enhanced way of doing this would be to make use of ‘Google Apps’. This is the online version of having a suite of suites to work on not only alone but in collaboration with others too. You can setup a whole office working environment to mange clients, assignments and even workers under you.

Go on – sail away to freedom

So, if you think that moving from your office network to the freelance world means that you are going to have to build your whole office environment from scratch up, then you can rest assured. 

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