A few weeks ago, I took advantage of a great deal at my local Best Buy and purchased a brand new Pogoplug Classic (that used to retail at $130) for only 30 BUCKS. For the last few years I’ve been looking for a media server (like the LaCie LaPlug Media Server), and this steal came along. For the longest time, I’ve been using my laptop or my near-10-year-old desktop PC along with some server software (i.e., TVersity, PS3 Media Server, Vuze, Orb, etc.), that that always involved having my computer on ALL OF THE TIME, hogging up a whole lot of power.
What nice about the Pogoplug is that while it is a technically a computer itself (a plug computer), it is small in form, cheap in cost, consume less power (as they are intended to by always on) and do not require a video card for images. Although plug computers are often enclosed in an AC power plug or AC adapter , the term “plug” sometimes refers to “plug and play ” appliance-like devices which may be in any form factor. The set-up is simple: plug the Pogoplug into an outlet, plug in an ethernet cable from your modem/router, connect an external storage device into any of the four USB ports (i.e., USB thumb drive, external hard disk drive, etc.), then log on to the Pogoplug website to register the device and your account; a process that takes roughly 2-5 minutes. The Pogoplug is very suitable for running as a network attached storage (NAS) and media server, as it can also utilize back-up, file sharing, and remote access services/functions; it can be used as a bridge between in home protocols such as Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), Universal Plug & Play (UPnP), Server Message Block (SMB) and other cloud based services.
Along with the Pogoplug, I also purchased a 2TB external hard disk drive (HDD), mainly to replace a 250GB external HDD I bought back in 2006 that died in 2009. I have that 2TB HDD plugged into one of the four USB ports in the Pogoplug, and I have most of my videos on that drive (currently putting all of my backed-up music and pictures there too). With the Pogoplug, I can stream all my media from the device to my PS3, Xbox 360, laptop, and my Android smartphone via the free app from the Google Play Store. Essentially, I can watch all of my videos, view all of my photos and listen to all of my music wherever I am. The Pogoplug doesn’t just allow my to access all of my files whenever I need them, but I can also easily upload new files from your computers, the Web, or any smartphone, and STILL be able to quickly access and share them at home or elsewhere. For example, I attached one of my many USB flash drives to my laptop and was able to upload the files and folders on it to the Pogoplug, remotely accessible files and folders. Pogoplug also provides a safe place to store, safeguard, and backup all of your files, either manually or automatically, from your computers and mobile devices to Pogoplug, whether you are outside of your home or office network.
The Pogoplug also offers some additional features that I currently do not use, but can be very useful. You can also share large files and folders instantly (without requiring extra uploads), so you can collaborate on a project for work with colleagues or contribute photos and videos for albums with friends. Pogoplug lets you post your photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media network sites with a single click, so your friends can watch your videos and view your photo albums instantly (what’s nice is that YOU own your data, rather than the social media networks). Finally, Pogoplug gives you a free 5GB storage cloud, and if you want more space, they offer affordable hosted storage for a monthly fee, or you can host your very own cloud using your a Pogoplug device with external storage memory (like the 2TB HDD I use) or Pogoplug PC software.
If you’re looking for a great way to easily access your files on multiple devices, stream video/music/pictures, backup you files via other devices & host your own cloud storage, I’d definitely recommend the Pogoplug. The prices start from $49.99 to $99.99, and you can purchase them straight from the Pogoplug webiste.