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I’ve reviewed the Pogoplug hardware in the past, but now it’s time to review the actual desktop software. Why? Because with the recent version 3 release it can be used independently, offering a number of new features.

The new Pogoplug software then allows you to share files across your computers – not just those attached to a physical Pogoplug device. So, for instance, install Pogoplug on a desktop PC and a laptop and you can access files from each device from the other. It does this by creating virtual copies of the folders (with an extension of the computer name) within a mapped drive letter (you can also ask the software to create separate drive letters for each shared computer).

The software is not uploaded to “the cloud” but, instead, the device which the software resides on must be switched on. Clicking on a file will then cause it to be download from the other device. You can also access the files via their web interface.

You can also map printers to the software, allowing you to remotely access a printer connected to another computer.

Lastly, it offers a features named Active Copy. This lets you create pairs of folders where files will be automatically backed up from one to another. Originally designed to allow you to automatically backup to your Pogoplug device, this will now also allow backing up between PCs.

A premium version of the software is also available and retails at $29 – this allows you to stream media to mobile phones, consoles and internet TVs.

Issues? I cannot get it to work on my work PC. It’s either the proxy or the firewall software, but it doesn’t give much hint as to what the problem is – simply to contact Pogoplug about it.

When the software is updating its file information the icon in the system tray animates. Installing it on my main PC, with a lot of music and photo files, meant that it was going all night, hammering the hard drive but no indication of how far through it was. Do I leave it running indefinitely? Does it have a problem? I’m not sure.

[review]An excellent way of connecting between devices – obviously it does requires them all to be switched on. However, to get around this you’d need to uploaded all your files to a cloud service – and that wouldn’t be free. It also has a number of really useful options (printer, automatic backups, etc).

My main criticism – a lack of information about what’s happening. Whether it’s doing something or not because there’s a problem, it could do with more feedback to the user. But let’s not forget that the basic version is free. I don’t know if I’d purchase the premium version, but that’s down to whether you’d require the streaming features it offers.[/review]

 

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