Building My Own Personal Cloud with PogoPlug

pogoplug 004 Yesterday I received the PogoPlug I ordered and got it installed. I’ve been intrigued by this little device since we ran across it at CES2009 and after some early usage I can say that it works as advertised and is a breeze to set up. Essentially you follow the instructions on the PogoPlug website and within a few minutes you are up and running. It sure makes you wish everything one attached to a network or a computer was this easy to set up.

The way the PogoPlug system works has been well chronicled but here’s a quick recap. Essentially you plug the included LAN Cable into your router and the PogoPlug. Then you plug in it into either a wall socket or a power strip. . The PogoPlug folks include an AC cord in case you need to plug this into a powerstrip. After that you plug in the USB drive you want to use. I’m using a Western Digital MyBook (750GB) that you can pick up pretty cheap these days, and of course there are many other solutions. If you want to use a USB thumb drive you can plug that in as well. Once you’re plugged in you go to the website enter your email address and set up a password and you’re off and running.

You can access your files via a browser or choose to install software that allows you to mount whatever you’ve got attached to your computer as another drive. You can do this on either a PC or a Mac, and there is an iPhone app that allows you to access the PogoPlug as well. You can choose to share data on your network if that is your druthers.

In my situation I’m building my own little personal cloud with the PogoPlug. I’ve moved some music and video files, along with some documents that I don’t access that often to the MyBook. Many of these files are work files I use for my theatre work (sound cues, music cues, artwork, etc ). Rather than having them tied to my desk at work, I’ve now got them plugged in at home awaiting the next time I need them. I could also choose to upload photos from my iPhone if I wanted to. You can play music and video over this network, assuming that you aren’t trying to play DRM protected files, or in the case of videos you have the file ripped into an iPhone(iPod) compatible format. One of these days all of that will be transportable but alas, not yet. In any event the streaming seems pretty quick over WiFi and more than serviceable over 3G.

I’ve got several different cloud solutions for things that I use more frequently (Flickr for photos, EverNote for notes and web clippings, Live Mesh for files I’m working on, etc ) but I’m looking at this as a holding zone for those files I don’t need to access but may need to have handy every now and again. 

So far I like what I see.