New gadget: Pogoplug

After reading some reviews on Engadget and Gizmodo I broke down and purchased a PogoPlug from (they were on special for $47.99 at the time, $79 at the time of this writing).

Pogoplug is an appliance that you can connect to your home network which runs a custom version of linux. The device has a gigabit ethernet port, three USB 2.0 ports on the back and one on the front. Basically, you plug your external USB hard-drives into this thing and it makes your files available to you no matter where you roam.

Best part (for home users) is that there are no firewall rules that need to be put on your home router or custom firewall. The device heartbeats out to their servers in the cloud and make the whole thing possible without a lick of configuration being required. Caveat: UDP has to be unfiltered outbound for this to work, so “real” firewalls may have to have allow statements put in them.

So, with your purchase of the hardware, you get lifetime support and access to your personal “storage in the cloud”. This can be accomplished remotely (or locally) via the web client or samba/windows shares. You also have the option to share files and folders with the world, individual users, etc. There’s even a client that runs on the Mac, PC and iPhone to access files directly and see them as locally mounted drives. If you happen to be on the same network your connections go directly to the device and not through the Pogoplug servers.

From my iPhone, I’ve been able to stream movies over WiFI and 3G with great quality. The Pogoplug device will convert audio and video files on the fly to allow streaming to the iPhone/iPod/iPad/PC/Mac, etc. Sweet little deal, if you happen to have a bunch of movies or music on your external drive(s).

Through the use of OpenPogo you can even install custom software on the appliance like samba, squid, bittorrent, a webserver, etc! Since this little guy runs on linux, the possibilities are endless really.

Been using this for a couple of weeks now, and I’m really impressed. The company announced just a few days ago that a new firmware update would allow for printing through the device, and is being rolled out now to customers. This thing is becoming very versatile!

More later.

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