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Introducing PogoPlug: Cloud Computing for $100 per Terabyte

Introducing PogoPlug

Ever wished you could build and manage your own Cloud Computing Center with minimal cost and no recurring charges… ever? Well, today’s your lucky day.

It takes a lot to get us excited about a new product offering. But this one is a real winner! For under $130, Cloud Engines provides you your very own PogoPlug 2.0 device that connects to your router and shares up to four USB drives over the Internet. At today’s prices and ignoring sales tax, that means you can put eight terabytes of Cloud Storage on line for a one-time cost of about $100/terabyte. To give you a point of reference, Google will rent you the same space for $256/terabyte… per year. And Google is one of the least expensive Cloud Computing resources out there. Here’s the math for naysayers:

4 – WalMart1 2TB WD MyBook Drives @ $169 each = $676
1 – PogoPlug 2.0 Device @ $129 each = $129

For those that don’t need 8 terabytes, the 2 terabyte setup including the drive and PogoPlug device is still just over half the one-year rental rate of equivalent storage from Google. And, just to be clear, this isn’t merely a storage device (like Amazon S3) requiring downloads before the files can actually be used. PogoPlug’s software makes these USB drives an integral part of your Desktop just like any other attached storage devices. Think WebDAV! So it makes a perfect home for your music, movie, and photo collections. There also are loads of Open Source applications for PogoPlug for those that like to tinker. And you can use PogoPlug to keep synchronized backups of your important files.

Other Options. Be aware that for about $50 less, you can purchase the Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter which includes a single year of PogoPlug Internet support. After that, it’s $30 annually. Translation: By the end of the second year, you’re better off with the PogoPlug. So the choice is a No-Brainer in our book. But, the fact that Seagate is also standing behind the PogoPlug design should make everyone sleep more soundly.

Deployment. After a one-minute, one-time setup over the Internet, you can securely access all of your USB drive resources via PogoPlug using either a web browser or one of several free desktop applications that are available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux as well as Android phones, iPhones, and (earlier today) Blackberrys. And you get free support and a terrific forum. The device works flawlessly behind either a DSL or cable modem AND a NAT-based router so there are no firewall issues to address. Just enter the serial number on the bottom of your device when you access the PogoPlug web site, and configuration is automatic.

Uploading Files. One of PogoPlug’s slickest features is its automatic cataloging of files which are uploaded. Once uploaded, you can view your Music, Movies, and Pictures by simply clicking on one of the buttons. Photos are cataloged into directories by the month in which the photos were taken. Music is indexed by artist, album, and genre. In addition, music by artist, album and genre as well as photo albums can be shared by entering email addresses for those that can access the materials, by enabling public viewing (assuming you have legal rights to do so), or by sharing items using your Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace credentials. We’ve shared a photo album just to give you an idea of how this works. The security and logistical nuts and bolts all are managed by Cloud Engines’ servers. You can review and modify the materials you’re sharing by clicking on the Files I Share link in your browser. Finally you can automatically alert those with share privileges when folder content is updated. Very slick!

Give PogoPlug a try. By clicking on one of our links, you also help support the Nerd Vittles project. We think you’ll be as thrilled as we are with this terrific new creation. Enjoy!

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Some Recent Nerd Vittles Articles of Interest…

  1. The in-store pricing at WalMart is actually cheaper than on line for these particular drives. []


  1. This is a little disingenuous. First of all, you’re not counting operating costs (an Internet connection, and power). Secondly, you’re not counting maintenance – you don’t have to pay Google or Amazon any more when a hard drive fails (and both have systems which are extremely robust to disk failure, so you don’t even have to think about it), but here you’d have to replace a drive when it fails. Thirdly, the real cloud services have very different bandwidth characteristics – while a PogoPlug will be very fast, served locally, it will scale very poorly (especially given what current home Internet uplink speeds are) if a bunch of people want content from it from the Internet at large.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice solution, just don’t oversell it. I’ve had networked storage at home for more than a decade, and, though PogoPlug moves us closer to "set and forget", it’s hardly a perfect solution.

    [WM: Never suggested it was perfect. Server farms managed by Google or Amazon aren’t either. Of course, there are differences between this solution and traditional Cloud Computing resources. And one of those differences is cost. Wasn’t suggesting that you run your corporation with this. But, for home or small business use, it’s ideal. Still appreciate the reality check. 🙂 ]

  2. Reading this reminded me of another product I heard of recently the Marvell "Plug-computer". A full computer the size of Wall-wart! It’s not in the same category as the Pogoplug, but still amazing – Marvell.com. For $100 plus an SD card it could be loaded up with Asterisk and be a very low wattage Asterisk server.

  3. I really like this idea with WebDAV but have you tried it? Will the PogoPlug do WebDAV? I searched the forums and the plugins but there’s no mention of it.

    [WM: The apps provided give you a mappable drive on your desktop. Whether it’s identical to WebDAV is open to debate since the apps aren’t open source.]

  4. MacWorld did a review of the PogoPlug recently, but also did another one earlier on Lime Technologies UnRaid server.



    According to the PogoPlug review in MacWorld, it requires accessing files on your PogoPlug server to go through my.pogoplug.com, meaning that if anything happens to PogoPlug, the device is useless.

    An UnRaid server though seems to be totally at ones own control, other than getting updates from Lime that might come out, or additional programs to add features to the server. The UnRaid server also has the ability to have a single drive fail without affecting the server data itself, whereas the PogoPlug doesn’t seem to be doing this, only serving files.

    The UnRaid server seems to also present the server as one HUGE drive and will store files where it needs to put them, although the option is there to put them on a specific drive to keep all files of a particular type on a specific drive. Example given was putting MP3’s on a slower drive while movies might go on a faster drive.

    Given the above, for someone who wants to have more control over the system and better fail-safe capability, the UnRaid server seems to be a better deal. Costs might be a bit higher for a smaller size UnRaid server but without the costs for cases for plain drives, likely cheaper for larger server sizes. Not sure at what server size the price point for these two devices cross where one becomes cheaper than the other. Guess it depends on what parts one already has on hand and what one has to buy to create it.

    I’m not sure on the security requirements for an UnRaid to be made available on the internet which the PogoPlug seems more adept at, so it would depend if one wants a local server or an internet server on which might be a better device.

    I am thinking I might build a free UnRaid server (up to 3 drives is free) using a spare PC to test it out, and if it works well, expand it to a larger system with more drives and a licence for 6 or 20 drives. Won’t be able to do this until some time in April or May, but it will give me a single server to use for all my various files I have and will accumulate. I need more of a local server than an internet server.

    Anything you see on either of these (or anything else out there) that would recommend one over the other? I don’t think I would run with a Drobo.

  5. Good article! I personnally use Amahi (http://www.amahi.org/) for all my needs in sharing, backup, accessing files over internet, ect.
    It’s based on fedora 12 and has a bunch of add-ons, so you can have on top of that one-click installs and configurations of many things such as streamers, wordpress, ect.
    I use the backup tool and share drives in windows. Works so good.
    (and on top of that, I managed to get asterisk+freepbx working on it 😉 )
    Give it a try!

  6. Following up on the WebDAV question… PogoPlug support verified that the Plug doesn’t support WebDAV. My guess is that it’s not using apache because of the memory footprint and the smaller web servers like lighttpd and nginx don’t have good WebDAV support. PlugBox Linux from plugapps.com does include apache. The larger install requires a USB flash drive and is a little involved but it looks worth a try. Has anyone tried this?

    [WM: Have you tried their desktop apps? Like we said, they’re functionally identical to what you get with WebDAV. You just have to run them.]

  7. Sorry to be so DAV obsessed… I recently installed a WebDAV server for use as a shared drive in a Mac graphics studio. A combination of the Mac’s native DAV support and the bullet proof nature of http has made it one of those rare trouble free solutions. It worked so well that I’ve been thinking how it might be useful to some of my small business clients and the Plug seems a perfect platform. I will give the desktop apps a try before I start hacking it up 🙂

  8. This blows the slug (NSLU2) out of the water. I’m still running my slug as a Debian webserver, but I recently bought the Seagate FreeAgent version of the device for very little money from Newegg, and then decided to get a matching FreeAgent drive to install in it. It’s just about the easiest computer thing I have ever set up. It’s not clear that Seagate is really going to charge an annual fee after the first year, but given how ugly the Pogoplug is (which is why I didn’t buy it when I first heard about it), the Seagate version seems like a no-brainer.

  9. We’ve now incorporated the PogoPlug cloud interface into the Orgasmatron 5.2 build. Just add your credentials in /root/pogo-start.sh on your server, and run the script to activate your PogoPlug cloud at /mnt/pogoplug. Get a friend to do the same, and you’ve got perfect off-site backups.

  10. Make that $67/TB. I just bought 4 WD External 2TB HDs (@$110 each – Amazon) and a Pogoplug ($99 – Amazon). So for about $540 I have 8TB of personal cloud storage for $67.50/TB one time charge.

    Now I just to figure out what to do with all of that space. I want to see if I put TV and movie recordings if I can use it as a slingplayer type device on my cell phone. I will also check on the xbox 360 streaming.

  11. Have installed Asterisk 1.6 and FreePBX 2.8 just using the Asterisk Optware Packages and FreePBX tarball. Setup has been working great for 2 months. I still have my.pogoplug.com functionality. Maybe you should create noob package for easier installation. Used you guide for google voice. Works!!

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