Pogoplug competes with consumer cloud backup and syncing solutions including Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, and SugarSync. But unlike these options, which are pure cloud plays, Pogoplug takes advantage of combined on-premise and cloud solutions by making a connected hard drive in your home accessible from the web.
The company will now use Amazon Glacier, which offers storage for just $.01 per GB per month on the low-end, as the ultimate backup destination for your files. While Glacier is slow-moving and mostly meant for archival storage, Pogoplug’s “personal cloud” setup means you won’t have to worry about Glacier’s three- to five-hour retrieval times. Uploading, downloading, and accessing files all happen using your home network, so Glacier is just the backup in case your personal system fails.
Because Glacier is cheap, Pogoplug is able to offer good pricing for its latest plans. It has Family plans for consumers and Team plans for small businesses. Anyone who subscribes to a Family plan of any level gets a free Pogoplug hardware appliance that connects to your home’s wireless router and your local external hard drive. While the Pogoplug Team offering doesn’t come with a free Pogoplug appliance, it can run on any Windows or Mac server your company already uses.
Here are the pricing details:
• $29/year: unlimited private cloud storage, 100GB offsite cloud storage (Amazon Glacier), up to three users
• $49/year: unlimited private cloud storage, 300GB offsite cloud storage, up to five users
• $99/year: unlimited private cloud storage, 1TB offsite cloud storage, up to seven users
• $19/month: unlimited private cloud storage, 1TB offsite cloud storage, five users
• $39/month: unlimited private cloud storage, 2TB offsite cloud storage, 10 users
• $99/month: unlimited private cloud storage, 5TB offsite cloud storage, 25 users
While I’m not sold on the idea of using this as a business solution, this does seem like a good option for consumers who want to back up all of their files at a low cost. It’s priced better comparatively than most pure-cloud backup solutions. For example, using Google Drive at the 100GB tier runs $5 per month, which will ultimately cost twice as much per year. With the even larger storage offerings, Pogoplug’s pricing keeps getting better while Google’s pricing gets worse.
To be fair to Google and other cloud storage providers, their solutions are simpler and don’t require extra hardware. Another reason you might go with Google (or SugarSync, Dropbox, etc.) is that Pogoplug has occasional server disruptions, meaning you may not always have access to important files. (This shouldn’t be a problem for most consumers.)
San Francisco-based Pogoplug has raised $30 million to date from Foundry Group, Softbank Capital, and Morgan Stanley. The company has more than 1 million users, with most them paying.
Photo credit: Pogoplug