Creating Your Own Cloud at Home
Taking a Look at PogoPlug and the TonidoPlug
by ryan711 09:47AM Monday Oct 15 2012
You may have read my other article
on the various cloud storage services that are available. While that is a fine solution for most people, some want to have a little more control and flexibility over their files and what they can do with them. Well, it turns out that a couple of companies thought the same thing, and they’ve built products that allow you to create your own cloud that is hosted in your own home with your own hardware.
The two devices being looked at in this article are the PogoPlug
and the TonidoPlug
. The “plug” in the name comes from the fact that these devices were derived from plugPCs, a small PC that plugs into and hangs off the outlet like a big DC adapter.
Both of these devices are fairly similar in specs including embedded processors, a healthy amount of RAM, Ethernet, USB to connect external hard drives (which is where most of the storage of your cloud will ultimately come from), and they each cost around $100. These devices purposely use very little power so that leaving them on 24/7 is not a problem. Once set up, accessing them is extremely easy whether it be though any web browser or from your smartphone from the apps provided.
The main difference between the PogoPlug and the TonidoPlug is the extra tinkering that you can do with the TonidoPlug. The TonidoPlug is extremely customizable and for advanced users, can do more than either stock plug can do. The PogoPlug on the other hand is more geared toward plug and play for the average person, not to say that TonidoPlug isn’t easy to use. To best describe them, I would compare them to the iPhone and Android phones. Both can be easy to use, but one is more customizable and would be better for advanced technical users. With that in mind, the rest of this article will be about the PogoPlug, but a future article might be about some of the extremely powerful things you can accomplish with the TonidoPlug.
Setting up PogoPlug is extremely easy. I think even my mother could do it without having too much trouble. I think this graphic from their website explains it better than I ever could.
After taking the all of 15 minutes it takes to set this thing up, what can you do with it? Plenty. Access any of the files stored on your PogoPlug from anywhere either using a standard web browser or using a smartphone via the PogoPlug app or share them with friends or coworkers by simply sending them a link to that file.
Keep in mind that because this is being self-hosted, you are going to be limited by your upload speed. So if you’re trying to download a high definition video on a connection with 512kbps of upload, you’re going to be waiting for quite a while. However, if you’re one of the chosen few who happen to live in an area with fiber and you have 20,30 or even 100mbps upload, you’ll be fine and most likely only limited by the downstream connection at the site you’re trying to access your files.
This device will also let you stream all of you media, music, videos, and photos. In fact, the device will create a database of your files and sort them into sections like Music or Photos. Then you can stream them from a browser or your smartphone, assuming that the file is compatible with your phone (i.e. you won’t be able to stream an MKV file to your iPhone). PogoPlug also lets you share photos or videos to social networks such as Twitter or Facebook, if you are so inclined.
Overall, the PogoPlug as well as the TonidoPlug are amazing devices, especially for the price. The only thing you’re really limited by is your upload speed, but if you’re only planning on hosting or sharing small files like photos, music, or documents, most upload speeds shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.This article is part of an effort to solicit paid content from the Broadband Reports community. If you'd like to participate, please contact us
Where are the established vendors I never heard of these guys and who knows if they will be around tomorrow. However if you look at the established NAS vendors these items are offered similarly by Synology (Usbstation2) which will also act as a print server, and you can add a wireless dongle.
The torido really needs the pro to do anything (min $150), and if you want any level of security the Pogo will require the $150 model. These both require you to hook up external USB storage and then you have to worry about spindown. So add a USB bay and add $30 or so (for a decent one) that supports proper spindown.
Apparently Pogo lets you connect a 2.5 drive, on top of it, but what if you knock the thing? I never liked those dock types. It looks like it has some potential though. Maybe after a few years.
At that price a single bay Synology DS100 series will have the bay and spindown, will be much faster at only $150, it does all that stuff, and will be supported for a LONG time.
My 4 year old Synology has the latest firmware (DSM 4.1) and all of this "cloud" stuff now baked in. When I purchased it, DR was my only plan. Now I can stream my music collection from the cloud (on wifi of course) and then cache it for cellular. It supports all major mob types (android, ios, winphone).
If you add external USB storage your price for those other solutions is not attractive, and you risk the incompatibility between the USB bay and this device for spindown.
Just my 2c, why buy some unknown when you can buy established and expect support for years with similar or more features?
And in 4 years there has NEVER been a blip w/ my Synology NAS boxes.
Re: Where are the established vendors Thanks. Didn't know. I looked at them earlier in the year, but I remember if you wanted to do anything, you had to pay for feature keys, quickly jacking up the cost. If you can put another drop on it, that could be very interesting for embedded devices... I never heard of the other guys, not saying their product isn't great.
It would be useful for these reviews however to say compare these products to an established vendor like netgear, thecus, synology, etc... If these products are better, maybe this can get me to try them out...
If they could combine that w/ a VOIP device, watch out cablecos.... My next door neighbor is going through the TWC add fees and they have the 3-play.
My other concern with all these great cloud products is caps on HSI in the house, and upload (cable is much slower than my FIOS).