Thursday, June 11, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
I was visiting with Brad Feld a couple of weeks ago talking startups, techstars, and summer in Boulder and ended with a brief discussion of some of his more recent portfolio companies. One of them is PogoPlug. While I'm not sure about the name (pogoplug, really?), it offers one hell of a service for $99.
So what DOES a pogoplug do, you ask? It makes your files accessible over the internet. Copy the files you would like to make available onto a USB drive, power up your pogoplug, connect it to your router via ethernet, plug in your usb drive, and sign up for the service online. voila. Remote file heaven. Want to share your MP3's, or photos of that last trip abroad. Throw them on the pogoplug and share them. It even has a handy piece of software that makes it look like it's a local drive. This is soooo much more flexible than using Google Docs because you can share files of any type and size. Note - I haven't tried out the iphone integration yet. I'll try to get out another post once I've checked out that feature.
Installation was a breeze, the user experience was straight forward and intuitive, the packaging slick and simple.
The only thing I would add is offline synchronization, specifically itunes and iphoto, but easily applied to anything (folder, file, etc). I have a Mac Air. It is storage challenged so the pogoplug has been a great addition. My biggest hassle has been with itunes though. I want to store my entire music collection (about 50GB) on the pogoplug and keep about 15GB locally stored on my Mac (for use on airplanes, trains, and automobiles). When I buy new music I want it to automatically sync (library, files, and all) over to the pogoplug when I show back up online. Ok, maybe the software asks first, because, who knows, I may be sitting in an airport or coffee shop with a slow connection. But after asking, it just syncs whatever it needs to to make sure the pogoplug maintains the superset. Same could be said for files. I'm working on a big presentation. I've shared it with a couple of people. I make abundant changes while working offline and then come back online. Ask first, then sync, and finally send email to the people I've shared the file with (asking first whether to send update email). That would be beyond awesome and happily worth an extra $39.95 for the device.
Also, Wired brought up that there may be security holes, so you may want to dig more before making sensitive material available. I looked into it on the support site and their claims seem fairly solid though I haven't tested (see below).
Pogoplug is tied to your email address and protected by a password that you assign. We always try to create a direct connection between your computer and the Pogoplug (fully encrypted), but even when we do have to relay through our service it is done using an encrypted tunnel. Pogoplug effectively creates a vpn into your hard drive that is very secure. Web access is over ssl, including initial email address/password authentication.
Well done Cloud Engine and Brad and Ross, thanks for sharing.