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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.
Click for full size

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.

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Cthen

join:2004-08-01
Detroit, MI
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

What a rip off.

For the price of free a home user can do even more with this installed: »www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx

It also has a phone app version too for on the go!
--
"I like to refer to myself as an Adult Film Efficienato." - Stuart Bondek

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Re: What a rip off.

But...but...but... It's not a "cloud" lol

mtnarea

@mycingular.net
I think the thing with the Pogo and TonidoPlug is it's small power consumption. Plus TeamViewer? Amateur. Do it right or go home.
talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH
But how much are you paying in electricity costs to run your PC at home? I keep my linux server, router, modem, and obi100 powered up 24/7, and calculate that it costs nearly $8/mo. in electricity, and the combined average load of all of that is ~90W. I imagine a sizable amount of that is from the server and HDD's, but being able to lower the power consumption could potentially save a couple bucks a month in power usage.

jamaicaplain

@comcast.net

pogoplug

I have 2 version 3 pogos (V3) and 1 version 2 (V2). Right now you can get a V3 at jr.com for $20 which is what I paid for mine. The V3's have an internal SATA port which doubles the disk speed vs USB disks. I run Arch Linux on mine and now have MythTV backend running on the 3 of them with an HDHomeRun Prime and an older HDHomeRun dual. I use the SATA ports and overclock the V3's from 700 MHz to 850. And the cpu's are dual core on the V3's. They are pretty cool devices if you want to tinker with them.

And no, I have no affiliation with either j&r or pogo.
RayGeode

join:2004-07-21
Norwalk, CT

Power factor

Since the power savings mentioned in the article is not a factor, i guess the other thing to consider is , is there any better security with it than a pc?
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

1 edit

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.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Where are the established vendors

Never heard of them either. Are they companies that just submitted products to have a nice review? Especially since you don't see the "writer" of the article around here very much, if at any.
toro

join:2006-01-27
Scarborough, ON
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
·Bell Sympatico
Pogoplug has been around for at least 3 years. Members of the VoIP Tech Chat forum have been using them for home PBX servers since 2009: »[Equipment] Any way to make this device a VoIP client?
Other well known manufacturers that have been using Pogoplug in their products are Seagate (in their Dockstar product »www.seagate.com/gb/en/external-h···ockstar/) and Buffalo (in the Cloudstor product: »www.buffalocloudstor.com/)
--
Providers: voip.ms, freephoneline, smartcall.ro through asterisk. Hardware: Vonage VDV21, Moto VT2x42, Linksys SPA series, Grandstream HT series, Panasonic KX-TGP5x0
»www.voipfan.net
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

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).

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY
said by toro:

Pogoplug has been around for at least 3 years. Members of the VoIP Tech Chat forum have been using them for home PBX servers since 2009: »[Equipment] Any way to make this device a VoIP client?
Other well known manufacturers that have been using Pogoplug in their products are Seagate (in their Dockstar product »www.seagate.com/gb/en/external-h···ockstar/) and Buffalo (in the Cloudstor product: »www.buffalocloudstor.com/)

Hard to believe I posted that original thread in 2009! In either case I have been running the device non stop as a VoIP server since then with fantastic results.
--
"No you won't" -The American people to President Obama (11/2/2010)


buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

1 recommendation

Or...

Owncloud.org
Just saying

syslock
Premium
join:2007-02-03
La La Land

Re: Or...

LOL took the words right out of my mouth.
kevinds
Premium
join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Shaw

How is this a cloud product?

Cloud being distributed service, spread out through many computer systems, data centers and sometimes continents.

How does a single hard drive count for a cloud product?
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: How is this a cloud product?

It doesn't.

But most people don't really understand what "cloud" means so if it's handy and slick, they figure that must be right.
kevinds
Premium
join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Shaw

Re: How is this a cloud product?

@ryan711 calls it Cloud for this article, but the product's websites don't mention cloud, only NAS.

Ryan, why do you consider these products to be able to create a cloud at home?
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.

wrangler

@bellsouth.net

Tonido is a good software

Tonido has been around for more than 3 years as well. Their software is used in other NAS products from Freecom and D-Link. Don't belittle the products that you have not tried. I use Tonido in my home server. It is awesome. Just try it and i am sure you will like it.
RayGeode

join:2004-07-21
Norwalk, CT

1 edit

Re: Tonido is a good software

EDIT: Nevermind

wrangler

@bellsouth.net

Re: Tonido is a good software

Yes. It works outside your LAN and you can stream music and download files over 3G as well.

kingdome74
Let's Go Orange
Premium
join:2002-03-27
Syracuse, NY
kudos:5

Question

If I purchase a TonidoPlus for my home network can everyone upload their files , music, videos to it or can only one user do it?
--
Ok, football season can end now.

wrangler

@bellsouth.net

Re: Question

you can create guest users and give write permissions to them. they can upload files, music and video.

kingdome74
Let's Go Orange
Premium
join:2002-03-27
Syracuse, NY
kudos:5

Re: Question

Ah, very good. That's the way I read it but I wanted to be sure.
--
Ok, football season can end now.