What is a Chromebook?

By Cloud Sherpas, for Chiprang.com (For guest posts refer Terms ) Just as cloud computing services like Google Apps revolutionized the way...

By Cloud Sherpas, for Chiprang.com (For guest posts refer Terms)

Just as cloud computing services like Google Apps revolutionized the way organizations communicate and collaborate, the introduction of Chromebooks is changing the way we use computers.

Chromebooks, released by Google in May 2011, are computers that operate completely in the Google Chrome web browser.  There are currently two Chromebook models, by Samsung or by Acer, available for purchase.  While the two models do have minor differences, including size and price, both operate in the same way.

Once you press the power button on a Chromebook, it only takes eight seconds until you’re Chromebook is online and ready to be used.  Chromebook users have the option of purchasing Wi-Fi or 3G service to connect to the web.  By default, Chromebooks automatically connect to a preferred Wi-Fi network on start-up, but will connect to the Verizon Wireless 3G network if it is out-of-range.  This feature gives Chromebook 3G users unlimited access to the internet, regardless of where they are.

ChromebookThe fact that Chromebooks don’t have an internal hard drive may be unsettling at first, but users will soon see the advantage of working entirely in the cloud.  Everything done on Chromebooks is stored securely in the cloud, which means that users can access all of their data on any web-enabled device, not just their Chromebook.  In addition to making accessing information easy, this can also put Chromebook users at ease, because if anything were to happen to their device, they would not lose their information.

The Chrome Web Store makes adding applications to Chromebooks quick and easy.  Rather than having to download programs to a computer, Chromebook users can choose from millions of applications available in the web store that run within the Chrome browser.  Many of these apps are becoming available for offline use, so that during the few times when users may not have internet access they can still run their applications.

Whereas traditional computers become outdated over time, something which is happening faster than ever, Chromebooks are designed to improve over time.  How is this possible?  The Chromebook applications and operating systems are updated every time the computer is turned on, ensuring that they never get out-of-date.

Although some people are hesitant to let others work on their computer because of the information stored on it, Chromebooks were designed to alleviate this concern and make sharing easy.  When someone wants to use your Chromebook, they can sign in as a guest to have general web access or sign in with their own Google account to access their personal information and applications.  This feature protects the security of each user’s personal information.

The protection of information while sharing Chromebooks is just the beginning of security on these devices.  While the Chromebooks’ automatic updates play a key role in protecting the computers from security breaches, many other features are also in place that make the Chromebook completely secure.  For example, each tab that a user opens is in a “sandbox,” meaning it operates in an isolated environment.  The idea behind the sandbox is that, if a user visits an infected site or runs a buggy application, nothing else on the Chromebook - applications and data alike - will be affected.  If malware does somehow work its way beyond the sandbox, the Chromebook Verified Boot feature will automatically detect its presence and repair any damage when the Chromebook is started up.  Another important security feature is the Chromebook’s Data Encryption, which ensures that temporary internet files stored on a Chromebook are inaccessible to outside users.  Even if something goes terribly wrong and all these tools fail, every Chromebook comes standard with a Recovery function that enables users to restore their operating system by simply pushing a button.

With all of these unique features, Chromebooks represent the future of computers, and are certainly the best tool for anyone looking to take full advantage of the cloud.

This blog post is brought to you by Cloud Sherpas. Cloud Sherpas is a leading Google Apps
cloud service provider. As a Google Apps Authorized Reseller and Google Enterprise partner, we have migrated over one million users across all major industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. Get to know our company by checking out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cloudsherpas.

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