Pogoplug is launching the fourth generation of its flagship product today, the Pogoplug Series 4. As with all Pogoplug hardware, the new device lets you attach your hard drives and plugs into your router in order to instantly give you your own personal cloud of online storage.
The service also comes with 5 GB of free online storage optimized for mobile users, and allows you to purchase additional cloud storage, if need be. However, all users of the Pogoplug device who host their own storage, can do so for free.
The pricing for the updated Pogoplug hardware remains the same as before: $99.99. It offers four different types of connections, including USB 3.0 (x2), USB 2.0 (x1), SATA/USM (x1) and SD Card (x1).
The hardware is designed to work with Pogoplug’s accompanying software suite, a freemium offering that allows you to stream your storage photos, music and movies to any PC or Mac via the web, or to your smartphone or tablet. The premium version ($29) includes the the ability to stream to any connected device, not just home computers. And for those not interested in buying any hardware, the software can function on its own to turn your computer into a software-based version of Pogoplug.
The company also offers a cheaper Pogoplug Mobile device for $79 which works with iOS and Android via mobile apps, offering mobile-specific features like automatic backup of mobile photos and videos, which, for Android users, offers something similar to Apple’s iCloud for their platform. The mobile product also works to convert your media into streamable bite-sized formats that are better for mobile viewing and sharing.
The bigger question with Pogoplug, and its now almost dizzying (and, yeah, I’m gonna say it: confusing) array of choices is why someone would choice this option over those from cloud storage and services companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box.net and others?
While it’s true that those using the software only (no device) and those who want mobile-optimized content and backup, will have to pay for additional storage beyond the 5 GB, no-frills Pogoplug users get everything for free, save for the one-time purchase price involved with buying the hardware. And that is a bargain, even if Pogoplug’s cloud is not.
And Pogoplug is especially helpful for those of you who, like me, have about 5 old USB hard drives laying around the house, all with content you would like access to from anywhere, but no easy way to just get them online.
The new Pogoplug is available at www.pogoplug.com/expansion.