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Friday, April 16, 2010

Pogoplug: NAS Improvisation with a Social Media Twist

On April 15th, 2010, pay day, I picked up a necessary new tool in data security, the Pogoplug. It is not a Network Attached Hard Disk, but a facilitator to helping your various USB 2.0 Storage Mediums become Network Attached Storage.

The first thing you will notice is the colour, it's hot pink! That aside, and real men can put that aside, it's a well-designed device with an Ethernet jack (RJ-45), 4 USB ports (1 on the front), and a very secure power-plug. They advertise a 60-second setup, they're not wrong though I'm unsure of the need for some of the Social Network nuances (connectivity to your Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook accounts for updates). The next thing, if you have an iPod, PS3, or XBOX360, is that whatever media you connect to this sweet little device becomes available to stream to these remote media devices. It was quickly recognised by my XBOX360 allowing me to, finally, excuse my primary PC from this menial task. The poor little box also transcodes video so that it's compatible for other devices, though I'm not certain this would help your XBOX play your iTunes collection, we'll see.

Security is provided through their website, https://my.pogoplug.com, and you will want to ensure this password is secure, you can potentially access all of the connected physical media from any web-connected PC in the world. While it has the ability to share other folders, be careful about this and please do NOT post copyright protected materials for everyone and their brother.

I'm going to explore this device more over the next few weeks, but I'm starting of the stress-test of backing up all of my backups. I connected a very nice 1Tb hard disk I picked up at TigerDirect.ca for $90 (a good deal) and a 16Gb USB Key that I recently acquired from Staples. The Windows software provided (via download) allowed the Pogoplug to appear as a physical drive, the connected devices are presented as folders based on their hardware identity (i.e. SanDisk Cruzer, SAMSUNG DF1H32), though you can rename these through the web interface. You can also grant access to the device through SSH, that I'll explore later too.

Stats (As I find them):
Copying from a network resource to the Pogoplug, same network: 88.133 MegaBytes/min
(Robocopy of 28Gb over 5:35h)