Cloud computing is all the rage at the moment, the idea being that instead of storing files on your computer (how old fashioned), you store them online and access data and services via the Internet. PogoPlug is an innovative double-take on cloud computing that turns your home network into the server itself. This device clips to your router, and stores the data on a connected USB 2.0 hard drive.
Visually it's a bit of an odd thing, coming in seaside pink and white styling (we think it's trying to look playful, to convey how easy it is to use). On its own it looks okay, but once we added a collection of network leads, USB cables and an old hard drive it looked a right mess of colours and cables.
That's not to say it's badly designed. On the rear is a C7 power connection (the power adaptor is internal), four USB 2.0 connections and an Ethernet connector. A seperate WiFi adaptor is available.
Inside is a small Linux based server but don't fret, setup couldn't be simpler: simply plug it in, connect the network cable to your router, attach a USB hard drive and install the setup and activation software from www.mypogoplug.com. You need to sign up for an account and the website scans your local network for the Pogoplug and assigns a password to it. The whole process takes about five minutes.
From then you can access the hard drive attached to the Pogoplug directly from the desktop, or remotely using the MyPogoplug website. The hard drive is given a pink Pogoplug icon and it works a bit like Box.net or Dropbox, drag and drop files directly to it.
A second drive also appears on the desktop called Files Shared with Me. This enables other owners of Pogoplug to bounce files directly to you from their Pogoplug account.
Pogoplug has been around for a while, but a couple of recent updates have really cranked it up a gear.
The first standout feature is Active Copy, which is a one click solution for duplicating files and folders from your computer to the Pogoplug drive. By default you can copy music, movies and photographs. Every time you add a new file to those folders it'll be bounced over the to Pogoplug drive.