Pogoplug Arrives for Review



I’m finally back from my first planned vacation in several years and guess what was waiting for me besides two very hungry cats? A Pogoplug review unit! We heard about this $99 device at CES and I was attracted to its ease of use: you simply connect Pogoplug to a USB drive and your network for instant web access to your data. The Pogoplug folks say that the entire setup process takes under two minutes, so I’ll test that claim when I crack the box open. While there are plenty of other remote data sharing solutions out there, the simplicity factor is what I’m looking at first and then it’s all about the functionality: What can I do with it, what data can I see, and how well does it work?

I’ll be plugging in the Pogoplug later today and testing that two-minute claim with a stopwatch. Over the next few days I’ll test it out while on the run, using my 320GB USB drive which is where I locally store all of my audio files and other data. I keep all of that in the cloud too, but Pogoplug is hopefully going to become my “personal cloud” for a week.

Got questions or things you’d like to see tested? I might not be able to hit ’em all, but if you plug ’em into the comments, I’ll do what I can. After I feed the cats, of course.



I haven;t read anything about it but from the comments it sounds like it allows access to the data remotly. Does it also provide local access via smb/cifs and hopefully ftp or even better sftp?


I wonder if I can access the data if I’m on OSX and the hard drive is formatted on a Windows machine…


Can you check the throughput if using it as a local NAS type device? Thanks


I would be interested to know how this device works if not connected to the internet, one comment I heard is “what if the company goes out of business”. It would be nice to know that if that happens, it still works locally, and doesn’t come up with errors or the like.



Kevin, The Popgoplug is great. You should be very happy with it.

The few problems I had during the beta test were fixed within hours. My beta popgopug has now been running without a hiccup since february. BTW, the folks at cloudcomputing are very responsive.

I look forward to reading your impressions.


I have a couple of (feral) ones out here for my protection, so feel free to send your pocket tiger over :)


The pogo is a great device, but I see it’s “downfall” coming from where it would serve it’s best use – wireless broadband.

I travel a lot. I have a laptop with me. Having a wireless broadband card is great, except when it comes to moving mountains of data to or from your notebook while out in the field. You would think wireless access to a hard drive over the net is cool, except when you realize your data plan caps you at a pathetic 5GB and the time it takes to upload/download even a few hundred MB is painfully long. Accessing large files takes forever, and backups are impossible to do, even with a service like Mozy.

Take video/photography work – content creation. When I’m out in the field I transfer it all from my memory stick in the camera to my notebook’s hard drive. Great. But if that notebook gets stolen, there’s a problem with the hard drive or some jerk spills his hot coffee on the keyboard – all my days (dare I say weeks) work is gone. It makes sense as a professional to save a second copy of those valuable files on a secure, remote storage device.

Likewise, backups. The average Vista install takes anywhere from 40 to 60GB. You can back up 40GB to a single BD disc and take it with you, assuming it doesn’t break or get scratched. Notebook restore discs also typically take between 8-16GB depending on the factory image size.

You’re probably saying why not take along an external 2.5″ drive. It’s doable, but what if I lose it or it gets stolen with my data? What if it breaks or gets dropped while being tethered to the notebook? For many folks/scenarios, an external tethered drive is either impractical or impossible.

Take along multiple USB thumbdrives? Again, you need to keep track of them all somehow, and they’re even smaller making loosing them even easier.

Burn a double-layer blu-ray disc out in the field? Good luck doing that on one full battery charge!

The only way I see a device like the pogo being usefull for folks with large hard drives (320GB-2TB) is if carriers lift those monthly 5GB caps.

I find it ironic how guys like Dan Hesse promote their UNLIMITED broadband solutions as the choice for wireless professionals. Yet as a professional who deals with content creation, I cannot manage 25 minutes of HD video and two dozen 12MP images – easily in a days work – because their definition of unlimited only means 5GB per month. In a wireless society with an insatiable appetite for high-definition and data-hungry files/applications, I think wireless companies are going to have to change their mentality towards serious users who use their notebooks for more than just email and web surfing.

End of rant.


If you could determine power consumption (alone, with a flashdrive, and with a USB 2.5″ extenral harddrive), that would be fantastic!


I’m guessing that because the service works through their website, this transcends the need for a dedicated IP address? If so, then I very well may be buying one in the near future.

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