PogoPlug Cloud targets Dropbox with hybrid storage

PogoPlug continues to pivot from simple hardware for remote file access to true web storage. On Monday, the company announced the launch of PogoPlug Cloud, a hybrid content solution that combines both cloud storage like DropBox and a host of others, with local storage on a home computer.

Files stored online or on a PC are accessible through a browser or from a mobile app for devices running either Apple iOS(s aapl) or Google Android(s goog). This is the first time PogoPlug has shifted content storage to the cloud; previously, the company has sold hardware that makes it easy to remotely access files on a hard drive at home.

New users to PogoPlug Cloud gain 5 GB of online storage at no cost; 50 GB or 100 GB of additional storage is priced at $9.95 and $19.95, per month, respectively. That’s the same price as Dropbox, but PogoPlug Cloud is hoping to woo customers with the promise of “infinitely expandable” storage capacity for the new service. By purchasing PogoPlug hardware for $49 to $79, consumers can add their own storage amounts through USB-connected external drives. The full combination of local hard-drive storage and cloud storage then is available through PogoPlug Cloud.

It’s a smart and clever option as a way for PogoPlug to compete against other online storage services. While I haven’t used the new PogoPlug Cloud, I have used a PogoPlug device in the past and found it to be a simple way to add remote access to files and can be set up in a matter of minutes. Adding a new cloud component to the existing hardware simply makes sense for the company.

With the mobile apps, PogoPlug Cloud is focused on three mobile activities: storing, sharing and streaming. The first feature is obvious, allowing for offloading content from a smartphone or tablet. From a sharing perspective, any files in the PogoPlug Cloud can be sent to friends through Google +, (s goog) Twitter, Facebook, or email, and shared folders are supported. Media can be streamed from the Cloud to a mobile device as well: Photos, movies and videos are all supported.

Tech savvy users are more likely to opt for a full cloud solution or create their own remote access via web-connected network storage drives. But for those who want a simple, plug-and-play storage and streaming solution that works with both cloud and local storage, PogoPlug Cloud could be appealing.