Forget power outages — what happens when Google goes out?

When Google went down, people couldn’t make phone calls, open their houses, or adjust their thermostats, raising questions about over-connectivity.


June 6, 2019

Earlier this week, Google got weird: The search giant’s Cloud went down, taking Gmail, the G Suite, and YouTube offline for cat video-watchers across the US and Europe.

But it wasn’t just Google’s well-known products that went down: Snapchat, Apple’s iCloud, and many Nest products went offline, raising questions about the dark side of the cloud.

The terror of a Cloud-less day

Widely available cloud storage has made it easier and cheaper to store and access data than ever before.

But, as cloud technology powers more and more of our lives, it also causes more and more problems when it goes down.

Case in point: When the Cloud went down, people who use Google Fi couldn’t make phone calls, and others who own Nest devices couldn’t turn on their air conditioners, check on the sleeping babies, or even enter their locked homes.

The cons of consolidated connection

Although Google resolved its issue fairly quickly, the outage exposed the flaws of a world where most of a person’s vital services are controlled by a single company without backup.

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