Pogoplug – “it’s a device that lets you access and share the contents of your external hard drives through the Internet.” … and it works!
The Pogoplug device isn’t storage in itself, it’s an interface between your Internet service and your External USB Storage devices.
Essentially you connect the Pogoplug to your home Internet Router and connect your USB storage to it and can then access whatever is on the USB storage anywhere on the Internet.
Understand my skepticism when I unbox the gadget and see no buttons, a USB port on the front, a couple of USB ports on the back, and power and Ethernet sockets. That’s all?!
Puzzled, I connected it up and then looked at the instructions (yes, I’m a guy) and was directed to a web site. After a couple of steps on the site and clicking the link in the confirmation email, obviously by some form of magic, the device was ready to go.
I dug out an old thumb drive and hooked it up. Right away the Pogoplug web interface found it and made it ready to go!
The web interface is very easy to use. Navigation is simple and intuitive. Uploading files to your drives is pretty zippy, just add files to the queue and upload them.
One of the more interesting claims is that you can listen to or watch your media anywhere you are. Yes, it’s online storage and this can normally be done with some difficulty, however, when you upload files the Pogoplug transcodes them for you. Transcoding is merely making your media ready to view online. There are two stages to a transcode, first Pogoplug makes a 10 second preview available for you with a partial transcode, then it runs a full transcode to give you the full video. Of course the time it takes to transcode depends on the length and complexity of your media – it doesn’t take hours though.
Once transcoded you can either play your media through the web interface or through a free iPhone app. The app gives you full access to your Pogoplug devicesand lets you play videos and music on your phone, as well as browsing your pictures etc.
I even left my apartment (and Wi-Fi) to get onto 3G to test the streaming over the AT&T Network. It streamed really well!
Also, with the iPhone app you can send pictures with your phone and send them straight to your home network.
You can share folders on your drives too – publish them to Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, RSS or just a link. Your friends and family don’t have to download anything to see what you have on your cloud storage.
“Pogoplug is getting even better all the time. Our system is expandable over the Web. Soon, your Pogoplug can connect directly to popular sites such as backup, file synchronization, photo printing and more.”
Through the Pogoplug desktop application you can have your desktop computer automatically sync selected folders (i.e your pictures, your movies, your music) straight through your Pogoplug.
Let’s see – pros and cons?
- Pros – Super simple set up (really is plug and play), fast access, easily navigable apps and web interface, simple to share folders.
- Cons – Pink? a more neutral color would be nice, $130 is a little pricey for an interface.
- Overall – excellent idea, excellent delivery. Well worth it if you have external storage. I’d buy it.
- Power requirements: 100-240V, 50/60HZ
- Drive connection: USB 2.0
- Drive Formats: NTFS, FAT32, Mac OS Extended Journaled and non-Journaled (HFS+), EXT-2/EXT-3
- Network connection: Gigabit Ethernet
- Operating Systems: MS Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OSX 10.5 and above (Intel and PowerPC) 32bit kernel only, Linux
- Web browsers: Safari, FireFox 3, IE 7, IE 8, Chrome
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- Second Generation Pogoplug Lets You Share Multiple USB Drives Over the Internet [Internet Sharing] (gizmodo.com)
- Second Generation PogoPlug Arrives, Sports More Drive Sharing Utility (techstartups.com)
Author: Andy Quayle
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