Pogoplug Series 4 Multimedia Sharing Device POGO-V4-A3-01
review originally posted 2/23/12
WHAT IS POGOPLUG?
There have been some misconceptions in past reviews of Pogoplug devices, some of it really the fault of the company for making it so confusing. When we activate our Pogoplug, we also get Pogoplug Cloud storage — free storage provided by Pogoplug that is in addition to what we install on the Pogoplug device. Through the software, we access BOTH the Pogoplug Cloud and the memory we attach to Pogoplug (our personal cloud). Yes, there is a Pogoplug Cloud and our own personal cloud and they are different. If you do not want to provide your own memory (SD card, external hard drive, SATA drive), you can register for a Pogoplug Cloud account for FREE and get 5 GB of storage. The Pogoplug device is not necessary for that. In fact, it would be a waste of money.
The confusion comes in because the software is automatically set to load everything we sync to the cloud into the Pogoplug Cloud, not our personal cloud. We need to set the parameters manually, if we want to change that default. I’m not sure why the company does this, because people then think this Pogoplug only links to Pogoplug Cloud and they don’t understand why they need Pogoplug when they could just use Dropbox.
Pogoplug is for people who don’t want their data parked on someone else’s servers. If you want to keep control of where your information sits but you want to share it with other devices, this is where Pogoplug comes in handy. Put all your photos on a USB stick, plug it into Pogoplug, then access those photos from your iPhone, a netbook, or your office computer at work.
Setup is very easy. I basically plug it in, attach it to the gateway, install the software, activate the Pogoplug from their website. Any computer or electronic device I access my Pogoplug from must have Pogoplug software or app installed. The biggest drawback for me? There is no app for the Kindle Fire. Pogoplug support keeps telling me they are working on it, but it’s been a few months and still no go.
COMPARED TO POGOPLUG MOBILE
I have both the Pogoplug Mobile and the Pogoplug Series 4 Multimedia Sharing Device . The difference is the number of ports and slots available.
Pogoplug Mobile has one USB 2.0 port (could be used for a USB stick or external hard drive) and one SD slot.
Pogoplug Series 4 has two USB 3.0 slots, one USB 2.0 slot, one SD slot, one slot for a 2.5 SATA drive.
I used USB sticks to test these units out and I don’t really notice much difference between the two Pogoplugs in terms of how the personal cloud itself performs. The short videos and photos I’ve uploaded stream back to me quickly.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any available SATA drives to test out the SATA port. I will say that the top of the Pogoplug series 4 needs to be popped off in order to access the SATA drive port and the USB 2.0 port. That was not easy. There were no instructions and no obvious buttons to push. I pressed on the slit that normally lights up when the Pogoplug is plugged in and hoped I wasn’t breaking anything. I had to press hard and really work it before it finally came off.
PROS AND CONS OF POGOPLUG SERIES 4
+ more ports than Pogoplug Mobile
+ can attach SATA drive
+ has two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port
- difficult to pop off the top to access SATA port and USB 2.0 port
- software automatically saves to Pogoplug Cloud unless manually reconfigured
- doesn’t work with Kindle Fire (** SEE UPDATE BELOW **)
This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.
This product works well for what it is. Buy it if you want to know where your data resides, if you don’t trust it to someone else’s server, if you want to keep it all on your own hard drives or SD cards or USB sticks. Pogoplug Series 4 beats out Pogoplug Mobile for versatility. If you want to use more than one memory type at once, Pogoplug Series 4 is for you.
UPDATE: As of April, 2012, we now have a Pogoplug app for the Kindle Fire. Yay! Just for that, I will raise the rating to 5 stars. I’m using a USB flash drive in the Pogoplug right now and the videos stream smoothly without skipping. Photos look great. I am very happy with this product now that it plays with my Fire.