Cloud Engines' Pogoplug devices have evolved from basic network-attached-storage tools into full-fledged streaming, backup, and sharing systems. Pretty cool ones, too.
Want a state-of-the-art model for a standard-edition price? While supplies last, Best Buy has the Pogoplug Series 4 for $49.99 plus sales tax. That's half off the list price, and about $30 less than you'll find it elsewhere.
The only catch? It appears to be sold out online. You'll have to hit your local Best Buy store. (Call or check online first to make sure they're still in stock.)
The Pogoplug works like this: You plug it into your router, then connect one or two USB hard drives or flash drives. The Series 4 can accommodate both USB 3.0 and SATA drives, and it supports gigabit Ethernet so you can take full advantage of that blazing speed.
The contents of those drives can be accessed like network drives via your PCs and mobile devices. You can back up data, access files online via any Web browser, share files with others, stream music and videos, and so on.
One feature I especially like is the automated mobile backup, which uploads photos and videos from your Android phone or iPhone to your Pogoplug. It works much like iCloud, but without the fees.
In other words, this is a pretty handy gizmo. I've even fiddled with using it as a central repository for my music library, pointing iTunes and other programs to it instead of trying to keep multiple PCs synced. Not a bad solution.
There's a good chance these will sell out at this price, so if you're hoping to score the top-end Pogoplug on the cheap, act fast.