Once upon a time, the computer placed on the desk of the typical employee in a large company wasn’t a PC at all. It consisted of a simple terminal, no local storage, providing just enough processing power to run a display with decent performance. The main computer was a mainframe placed in a special room or datacenter, managed by a team of system admins, and each terminal was connected via a physical cable. After all, this was long before the advent of Wi-Fi.
Over the years, most computing systems became independent, fully-capable machines that might still depend on a single network for data. The connection might still consist of a cable, but more often has become wireless, since performance may no longer be all that different.
With the growth of cloud-based services, most anyone can utilize an online network for data storage, rather than just email or web access. Apple’s iCloud Drive, Google Drive, and Microsoft One Drive, are key examples of interactive online storage systems that can serve as extensions to your computer’s storage device in extending its capabilities, and perhaps as a potential replacement.