Cloud Engines Pogoplug Hard-Drive-Sharing Device
At a Glance
Cloud Engines Pogoplug
Nifty gadget lets you access files from a local USB hard drive via the Web.
Pogoplug, from Cloud Engines, is a nifty little gadget. This compact box, which costs $99, lets you share files from a local USB hard drive via the Web--without the hassle of setting up a NAS server or router connection, or manually uploading the files. For backup or access to your files while on the road, you can't beat it.
The Pogoplug plugs directly into a power socket, just like the large AC adapter it resembles, and connects via ethernet to your modem or router. And it has a single USB port for attaching a hard disk or flash drive that contains the media you want to share.
After plugging in and attaching the unit, you navigate to the Pogoplug site to activate it. The process involves no more than clicking on My Pogoplug, entering the activation code found on the bottom of the box (and the Pogoplug), and then pressing Next. Hopefully, your Pogoplug activation e-mail won't get stuck in your spam filter, as mine did, so you'll be able to use the service immediately.
Once everything is set up, simply log on to www.pogoplug.com to access all the files on the drive you attached. You can even upload files remotely, which makes the Pogoplug a perfect conduit for backing up pictures or documents accrued on the road. The Pogoplug Web site even has a convenient media player, so you can access your media without having to save it to your PC, though you may, of course, download files if you wish. You can share your files with others who have a Pogoplug account--and you can allow others to log on with your user name and password, if you're the trusting sort. A stand-alone local client that eliminates the need for a Web browser is available for PCs, Macs, and even iPhones.
Any number of online services allow you to share files, but Pogoplug is easier. I especially like the convenience of leaving my power-hungry PC and NAS box off and still accessing files while I'm away.
--Jon L. Jacobi