The newly-announced Pogoplug Pro is a $99 hardware device that’s capable of turning an external hard drive into an internet-connected drive. It features four USB ports for hooking up hard drives, thumb drives, and even printers. Once connected to your home network, files can be accessed and shared over the internet through just about any web browser and you can even remotely print to your home printer if it’s connected.
While the previous version of the Pogoplug connected to your wireless router via an ethernet cable or an optional USB Wi-Fi adapter, the Pogoplug Pro now includes a built-in wireless connection for the same price—you can still connect with a standard ethernet cable as well.
I’ve been using the original version of the Pogoplug for about six months and it works pretty well. The desktop software makes the external hard drive I have connected directly to the Pogoplug box appear as a local drive on my computer, which makes copying and retrieving files as simple as if they were actually on my computer. And there are apps available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices to facilitate remote file retrieval and media streaming.
The online service used to manage your files from a web browser is free for life and makes for a good way to share files with remotely-located colleagues, friends, and family members.
For people who have experience working with network-attached storage devices, the Pogoplug products are kind of an unnecessary middleman, but for anyone who wants to be able to access their files from the internet without mucking around with port forwarding and the barebones interfaces inherent with network drives, Pogoplug isn’t a bad deal at all for under $100.
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