One of the biggest advantages of keeping your data in the cloud is that it is accessible from anywhere at any time, and all you need is an Internet connection. However there are three concerns that one might have. One is the security of the data, another is robustness of the cloud and the third is the cost involved. While security and robustness can be addressed to a large extent by the company offering the service, cost is a tougher issue. All the leading cloud storage providers charge hefty fees for storage over 5GB. Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, Skydrive and Box.net. Here are a couple of good comparisons from Verge (scroll to the bottom) and PC Magazine. They are all pretty expensive if you want unlimited storage. That's where Pogoplug comes in.
Here are some good reasons for using Pogoplug:
- You can use one of the Pogoplug devices if you would rather have full control over your data and keep it locally, or you can use the Pogoplug cloud for remote storage or a combination of both to keep really private data under your control and the rest of it on the Pogoplug cloud
- Pogoplug cloud was the cheapest option I could find for unlimited storage for at $4.95/month or $49.95/year (please post a comment if you know of cheaper options) while offering functionality such as iOS/Android apps for managing your content.
- You can automatically backup all your photos/movies from your phone to the cloud without worrying about storage
- Share large files or work with others by sharing the link securely
- Social media support such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ is also helpful as you can then keep your control of your data while sharing photos etc. with friends
In my particular case, I have a Mac, a Pogoplug mobile, a Seagate drive and an unlimited cloud drive (which installs as a separate drive).
And here are some caveats:
- I found the copying process to be pretty time consuming
- When I failed to change the option on the IOS app for "auto download" to off, the app started backing up all of my 1000+photos and made it very difficult to cancel or turn the download off. My iPhone then rebooted and I was able to turn the auto download off before it could start again.
Overall I think it having an unlimited Pogoplug account is a cheap way to get a significant amount of flexibility and control over your data. At around $50 a year for unlimited data it is definitely a good buy.
Full disclosure: I was provided unlimited Pogoplug cloud storage for the purpose of this review.