You can access your files either through the website or you can install some software that gives you a few more options. Going through the website you can only download individual files or folders, so you can't select multiple individual files or drag and drop them. However, some audio, image, and video files can be viewed through the web browser, preventing the need to download them if you just want to quickly show them to someone.
As to the software, Linux, Mac, and PC versions are all available and once installed it makes the Pogoplug and its various drives appear as one local hard drive on your computer. Each drive attached to the Pogoplug then appears as a sub-folder. You can now interact with it like it were any other drive, dragging and dropping files to it and managing it as you please.
The software also lets you access folders other Pogoplug users have shared with you, which depending on permissions they've set might mean you only have read and not write access. You can also tell the software to automatically copy/sync certain files and folders from your computer to your Pogoplug.
As well as desktop software, mobile applications are also available. There are apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm - all of which are free. We only looked at the iPhone version, but the functionality is similar across other platforms. Said functionality is the ability to browse your files and even playback some of them (if they're compatible), which is very useful for quickly showing your friends some photos or playing them your latest masterpiece. You can also partially manage your files by deleting them or creating new folders and, best of all, you can even take a photo and upload straight to your home storage.
Performance on the Pogoplug isn't exactly spectacular; we got around 7MB/sec using Gigabit Ethernet and a relatively fast 3.5inch hard drive in a USB caddy. Nonetheless, for a 350MB file, 51 seconds to transfer is acceptable for most usage - just don't expect to use a Pogoplug attached device to store all the raw HD footage your working on and not get driven to distraction.
So the Pogoplug certainly works as well as we'd hope and to get all that functionality for just £94.99 seems like a bargain. However, it's definitely worth bearing in mind whether you really need such a device. If you're a small business then you're probably going to find the Pogoplug a bit limiting. Meanwhile, if you're an individual you should think carefully about how often you really need to share your files and whether a straight web based file sharing service like Rapidshare or Dropbox would suffice. So, the sweet spot for this device, it would seem, is the self-employed – photographers, web developers, writers – that want to quickly share large volumes of work with minimum fuss.
The Pogoplug is a classic example of a device that does one thing and does it very well. If you want the quickest and easiest way of sharing multiple files without having to upload them to file sharing services: this is it.
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