CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Tech Industry

Pogoplug puts any hard drive on the Internet

Easier than a NAS, and puts your data on the open Web, too.

Here's a cool little product that I can't wait to try out: The Pogoplug. It's a simple and releatively cheap box that plugs into an external hard drive (or flash drive) via USB, and also into you home's Internet connection. Then it puts the hard drive on the Web as well as on your local network. Any computer in your home can access it as a shared drive, and people outside can also connect to it over the Web. It sounds like a very quick and simple way to put a whole bunch of files online for friends to see.

Pogoplug connects your USB drives to the Internet.

Now, it's no great feat for a geek to wire up a PC or a network-attached storage drive for Internet access. What the Pogoplug does is not utterly unique. The company is going for ease of use, though. Instead of having to open ports on your router, or configure a NAS for Web access, with Pogoplug you just go to the company's Web site, enter the identifying code from your device (presumably, it's stamped on it somewhere), and then the Pogoplug servers will set up the routing for you and give you your device's Web address.

You could, also, upload your files to a sharing service like Flickr or YouTube. In comparison, Pogoplug will make the upload faster (it's local), and should also give you more control over your files (if you want to remove them, for example), and who can see them.

One thing I would be concerned about for home users: Many home broadband connections are much slower on the upload than download. People who want to download your raw AVI home movie files from your drive may be limited by the speed that your Pogoplug-attached drive can upload to the Net. If the device streams video this should not be a big issue.

Other promised features inlcude an iPhone interface (for upload as well as viewing), and an open API for developers.

It's not out yet so I haven't tried it; I don't know if it's as easy as it should be, or if the security is appropriate for its target use. But the price is right for this utility: $99 retail. I could really use this, and look forward to trying it when the first units are made available in February.