Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is the Pogoplug rubbish?, 7 Feb 2012
This review is from: Pogoplug - File And Media Sharing Device (Electronics)
Is the Pogoplug rubbish?

Setup

Is the thing easy to set up? Well, initially yes. Plug it into the mains and go to my.pogoplug.com to open an account then follow the instructions and it all falls into place. This is easy, you simply plug the drives you want attached to it into the USB slots and the device will find them. It's important never to rush the device though - it's working at the speed of your internet connection - you must develop patience.

Grave Warning

The first and most important warning. Never, never, never disconnect a drive while it is mounted on the Pogoplug (PP), if you do it will be wiped. Without thinking I had my drive plugged into the same socket as my computer so that when I powered down the computer the drive would also shut down. Unfortunately PP detects this as a disconnection and my drive was wiped! Totally, irrecoverably wiped! Always have the PP and the drives powered from the same socket so that mains failures and so on won't result in the loss of data.

Warning number 2 - something to think about: The PP and all the drives connected to it will be powered up all the time, are the power supplies and so on up to it - not likely to run hot. Are the drives going to be happy spinning away constantly?

Access

Once the drive was reformatted and mounted again I tried a few simple copy commands using both the downloaded software and the web interface to move data from my desktop to the drive mounted on the PP. I tried a largish folder which would take about 15 minutes drive to drive over a USB 2.0 link. The normal `copying' window popped up and told me the transfer was going to take about five hours. At this point I thought I'd bin the PP.

Digging around the various fora I found that this was a common problem but it had a solution - for some strange reason the PP was sending data over the internet from my desktop to the disk. For some stranger reason the solution was to unregister the drive then re-register it but use the software downloaded to the computer first; not the web-based application. This worked and the transfer times then reduced to reasonable numbers. Once this was done it proved okay then to use the web-based software at my.pogoplug.com. The computer based software provides the familiar windows explorer interface on all computers on the network. So any of my computers can access the PP mounted drive via Ethernet or wifi.

If I want to access the drive from outside my network I can use the web-based application to up- and download any kind of data.

Printing

The Pogoplug is supposed to host a printer thus making it available for all machines on the network and, via the internet, off it. This is only partly true. For a start the number of printers it will accept is limited (Epson and HP 2005 onwards, at the last look) and finding a list of the supported printers has proved impossible.

I have an HP Laserjet 4 which needs a USB / Centronics adaptor to work anyway and I thought I had no chance of this working with the PP and was pleasantly surprised when it did. I also have an HP 4480 which also worked however, you need to note that combination printers like this will only work as printers and copiers, the scanning and card reading facilities will not work through the PP. My lovely old Canon Selphy did not work which was a major irritation since I wanted to print from my Android to this little photoprinter.

That said, printing is tortuous. Forget looking for a printer in Word or the like, the one mounted on the PP will not show up so it's not, by my definition, a network printer. You essentially have to send your print job to the printer in one of two ways: The simplest way is to copy the document you want to print (photo, test, whatever) to a folder on your drive. I created a folder just for print jobs. You can do this using Windows Explorer. Then you have to log on to your account at my.pogoplus.com, find the file you want to print, right-click the mouse and select print. It's tedious and requires a different mindset than I'm used to - it smacks of the old days of batch jobs you are all too young to remember :-)

The other way to print is to send the document as an attachment on an email to print@mypogoplug.com (having set this up in the settings part of your account). However, I have never got this to work.

Over the internet

So will it work when I use a computer that's not attached to my network? I don't know. I tried to access my drive with my daughter's computer on her network and completely failed; the log-in screen just kept rolling over.

The Android app also managed to confuse me completely. After un-ticking the automatic upload box (I like to control the traffic (and hence the cost) to and from my devices) the phone just went ahead and uploaded every image it could find. I think this irritation is a result of my lack of patience - I do like things to be intuitive though.

Other problems

Once I tried plugging my Selphy printer into the last remaining slot in the PP and it decided to take a fit of pique and ignore everything plugged into it. I had no printers and no drives. By this time I was used to browsing the fora and almost expected this kind of trouble. I switched everything off, disconnected all the devices, rebooted the PP then plugged the disks back in and finally the HP printer. I monitored the process on the account page of the web application. This worked, though I had a few bad moments when the drive wasn't found. It takes time, so don't panic!

You get a nominal amount of cloud storage (only 5G for free) but applications such as Word won't save data directly through the `save as' command to it. You can buy more cloud storage or implement a mini cloud on your own disk (the purpose of which escapes me).

Ultimately PP decided to make my flash drive read only. This is also quite common with varying degrees of data damage, and there is a long list of forum entries on this topic too. For me though that was the end - the device is unstable and the thought of losing all the data on a hard drive was enough to make me disconnect Pogoplug and never switch it on again. Is the Pogoplug rubbish - yes! don't buy one. In your wildest nightmares; don't buy one!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 May 2012 22:08:25 BDT
DAW400 says:
I use a small portable hard drive with no power supply - I did experience a problem when there was a power cut and thought I had lost all my files, but they were still on the hard drive - but I only found that out by connecting it to a different computer to the one I normally use. And then deleted a 'ce' folder (the index that pogoplug had generated when setting itself up). I was then able to re-connect the hard drive, the pogoplug re-generated the ce file and so long as I didn't accidentally move the hard drive and disconnect it all was well.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2013 07:37:05 BDT
My drive does not spin all the time, it shuts down and goes into sleep mode until accessed.
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