With so much hype surrounding cloud technology, you may find it hard to separate fact from fiction. Is cloud computing the next big thing? Or has cloud become more of a marketing pitch, repackaging old technology as the next evolution of the Internet?

The bottom-line truth is: The technology that underpins the “cloud” has been around for quite some time. What has changed recently is the fact that cloud technology is now available on-demand at a very low cost to consumers. Without your knowledge, you use cloud technology every day, as a matter of fact.

How You Already Use Cloud Technology

Without delving too deeply into technical details, being attached to the cloud essentially means you can access computing resources and applications over the Web. If you own a smartphone, you’re already using cloud technology since many of the most popular applications are, in fact, cloud-connected software.

Likewise, if you use social media and email, you’re using cloud technology. Take a step back, and remember when you had to install an application on your computer to access the Web and your email account. Today, you can access social media and email online without the need to install a separate Facebook or Gmail application on every computer you own; you access these applications through a Web browser.

Long story short: Cloud is flexible and cheap from a business perspective. But when it comes to home security, you need reassurance that cloud-based home monitoring won’t introduce more risk, not less.

Demystifying Cloud-Based Home Security

It is a myth that cloud technology is less secure than the Web today. “Cloud computing changes the playing field, but most of the underlying security concerns, such as protecting the infrastructure and sensitive data, are old news — and within the scope of today’s capabilities,” VMWare wrote in a recent white paper on cloud security.

Cloud technology is all about service delivery, whether at an enterprise level or a consumer level. That said, here is a breakdown of the primary benefit and risk of cloud-based home security.

Cloud saves you money. “Cloud-based” home security hardware (e.g., wireless cameras and smart motion sensors) requires much less maintenance and administration than yesterday’s gear. For instance, video surveillance creates an incredible amount of data, which has to be stored and secured somewhere, right? Would you rather spend money on a storage server in your own home, or take advantage of low-cost, secure storage via the Web? That is the biggest benefit of cloud in a nutshell.

As you might expect, there are risks to consider when it comes to cloud-based home security. At its fundamental core, cloud technology relies on the Web, so what happens if you lose Internet connectivity to your home? The greatest risk of cloud-based home security isn’t being hacked; it’s losing connection to the Web when you need it the most.

The cloud is a hot topic in home security, and it will continue to be one as cloud-based security services evolve. For homeowners, all this attention is sure to result in new developments and more competition to provide you with the best products available.