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Summary:

I was very impressed by the Pogoplug review unit that adds remote access to any USB drive. But many folks raised a valid question since your data access is done through Pogoplug’s web servers: What happens if the company goes out of business? How will you […]

pogoplug-unitI was very impressed by the Pogoplug review unit that adds remote access to any USB drive. But many folks raised a valid question since your data access is done through Pogoplug’s web servers: What happens if the company goes out of business? How will you access your data remotely?

The company addresses those concerns today with a blog announcement: They’re going to make put the source code for the back-end services into a data escrow account. If the company folds, the code will get published to SourceForge where the community can access it and use it. That means you’d be relying on the open-source community, but I think it’s a very acceptable proposed solution. Hopefully, it puts some potential customers at ease.

How about it? Does the approach “plug” up any concerns you have?

  1. I was interested in this product when it was first talked about here, but decided against it once I realized how data was accessed.

    I already have similar experience with another product – I purchased a Western Digital MyBook World Edition for some of the same reasons: large HD for backups, access to data on my home network, access to data from work or other remote locations. Much like PogoPlug, the WD makes use of another company, MioNet, to access the drive. Due to the slowness of MioNet and my concern for data security of going through a third party, I am using the drive for home network storage and access only.

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  2. Why not use software that allows you to keep control of your data, rather than passing it through a third party. I’m talking about Tonido (www.tonido.com). Currently runs on Mac. Linux and Windows, porting to Sheevaplug as we speak.

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    1. How hard is Tonido to set up and use. Pogoplug was realy simple.

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  3. My pogoplug has proven very usful, but I am still concerned about the security issue.

    I don’t keep critical/important files on my pogoplug and I only bring up the windows or mac drive software when I need it.

    Windows Home Server offers a similar remote access feature. I wonder how it compares to pogoplug as far as security, functionality and ease of set up.

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    1. This question was addressed here:
      http://news.digitaltrends.com/talk-back/299/is-it-time-for-a-home-server

      This is super easy to use for anyone. A smaill business could set this up as a share drive for very little moeny

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  4. I don’t understand why a central connection server is necessary. I connect to my Buffalo Linkstation directly via my home IP address. Most web-accessible network drives have that option. I could also connect via Buffalo’s DNS service or another dynamic DNS service. Not as simple to set up as PogoPlug, but the only service I worry about is my own Internet access.

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    1. That’s kind of the way I was hoping to use the Pogoplug too – type in your own home url and “see” your drives. Going through a 3rd party server is not so much appealing to me, not only because of the problems happening if they go down, but I’m concerned over what could happen to my files if they have a security breach.

      I’ll have to look into that Buffalo drive.

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  5. All I can say is take a look at Tonido yourself and decide how easy it is to set up. For web access an http port will need to be forwarded. However SSL, while being developed, is not yet available. My understanding that Tonido to Tonido P2P communcations are encrypted and no port forwarding is needed.

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  6. So if/when Pogo disappears, their customers have to hope that someone else will see a market opportunity to use the (then) open source software to set up a new service for people to connect to their PogoPlugs? (or maybe do it out of the goodness of their hearts)

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  7. I wouldn’t get too confortable about the software escrow account.

    I’ve worked for 2 small software companies who touted this to clients/potential clients. “Don’t worry you can always get the source from the escrow account!” No problem…

    At the end of the day the companies both went bankrupt and guess what? That IP (software) is an asset and the bankruptcy court judge sells it off to pay the creditors. Oh and that contract those customers signed with the companies that said they could get a copy from the escrow account? Basically meaningless to the judge. Not one of our former customers (except the one who ended up purchasing one of the appplications from the court, recieved a copy of that source code.

    Best of luck.

    R

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  8. Looks like we have found the pogoplug’s Achilles heel. To bad, because it works so well.

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  9. Some excellent points in the conversation. Let me offer an alternate viewpoint to think about.

    When using any third party service, you’re at risk of the company going under. In some cases, it’s less likely than others, i.e.: Google, Microsoft, etc… Regardless: if you’re relying on the third-party to save, sync and store your data on their servers and you don’t have a local backup copy, your data could well be gone if the company disappears.

    PogoPlug may have your data on their servers, but because their hardware essentially shares your local storage with ease, you actually don’t lose any data. You simply lose the easy access to it remotely. Yup, the $99 spent is a goner in that case, but your data isn’t. Again, just a different perspective to consider.

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    1. You do bring up good point Kevin. At least yu have your data if the service goes away.

      BTW, I don’t think that Popgoplug caches you data on their servers. This came up during beta testing and we were assured that our data was not and would never be stored on pogoplug’s servers.

      I believe this to be true because I was having trouble with my cable internet service for a few days. When the service was up, I could reach my pogplug attached drives. When the service was down, I could not.

      I’m still glad I got the pogoplug and their custoner service is among the best I’ve seen.

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  10. With Tonido Plug – you don’t have to worry about this problem at all. You control everything, still have web access to the interface and runs through no third-party servers. $89. http://www.tonidoplug.com/

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