Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pogoplug: A Gadget You Need

I love gadgets. But let's be honest, gadgets are frequently impulse buys. People buy them more because they are really cool, and less because they actually need them. Last week I picked up a Pogoplug (a small little device that let's you share a hard drive across the Internet).
I first heard about the device a few months back, and wasn't very impressed; it looked too complicated and was limited in capability. In December, they released a new version of the device for $130, and it's one gadget that's much more than an impulse buy--it's a gadget that you may just need yourself.

A few years back, when I moved out of my parents house, I knew my parents would have a hard time keeping the computer up to date, and being able to help them remotely. This problem was solved cheaply with LogMeIn (a free service that let's you login remotely, and securely, to any computer from any computer). The second problem was how to share files easily from computer to computer (my parents still aren't very good at downloading attachments, but have go drag and drop down pretty good). The PogoPlug fills this need for a relatively small price.

The device has four USB ports and one LAN port; you connect the unit to your router, plug in a thumb drive or external hard drive, and your set. There are no limits to size, so if you have four 1 TB hard drives, then you have a 4 TB cloud that anyone who you give permission to can view. You decide what people see, how much they see, and if they can make any changes.

All you need to do is pick a directory on your hard drive, and hit share
Once you decide to share a directory, you select who to give access to, and how much access they should have.
An email is sent to your friends alerting them to what you have shared; here they can either preview or download the files.

To make your life even easier, Pogoplug has a free download on their website that turns the device into a virtual drive on your computer, so there's no need to log into your Web browser to access the drive--you can access it the same way you would any other drive in My Computer, so it's all drag and drop functionality.

If you are looking for an easy way to share files with your family, then consider picking up a Pogoplug for yourself.--share the cost with your family if you are looking for an even cheaper solution.

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