Pogoplug is an online backup service that lets you backup all your desktop computers and mobile devices with a single account. Unlimited data. Unlimited devices. Sound too good to be true? I’ll take a look at how Pogoplug performs in this detailed review.
- Unlimited storage space
- Unlimited devices
- Backup, share, and access files
- Fast speeds
- Affordable (~$5/mo)
- No file versioning
- No encrypted storage
- Default backup sets exclude some files
The Bottom Line
Although Pogoplug can easily backup all your devices, it lacks file versioning and encryption, which are standard features in other online backup services.
Pogoplug Plans and Pricing
Pogoplug has a single, $4.95/month plan to backup everything (discounted to $49.95 if paying yearly). With this you can backup any number of phones, tablets, and computers.
Pogoplug is truly unlimited. Daniel Putterman, the CEO of Pogoplug’s parent company, reports one user storing 60TB of data. That’s terabytes, folks. And it’s a ton of data.
You can backup any number of devices – as many iPhones, Android tablets, Macbooks, and Windows PCs as you own. There are no storage or file size limits, and no extra charges.
Pogoplug Backup Performance
Pogoplug has desktop clients available for Windows and Mac, which will backup files on your computer to the cloud. I installed the Windows client and was impressed with the simplicity of the interface. There are only two tabs, one for backing up and one for restoring files.
Common folders such as Documents and Photos are automatically chosen for backup (although there’s an issue with this – detailed below). You can select additional folders to include in your backup, as well as external hard drives.
Backups are run automatically when files change on your computer. No intervention is needed on your part; Pogoplug is all about keeping things simple.
In my tests, Pogoplug did not backup all my files. Although it backed up my JPG photos, it skipped my raw camera files (CR2). I learned this is because the default backup sets exclude these files. The way to get around this is to choose all the folders you want to backup manually. In other words, don’t rely on the Pogoplug defaults to backup all your files.
Pogoplug Restore Performance
It’s easy to restore files with Pogoplug:
- Click on the Restore tab.
- Select files or folders to restore.
- Right-click and choose Restore.
I noticed Pogoplug does not always restore files using the original directory structure. For instance, restoring my “Photos” backup restored to “Photos/<Year>/<Month>/” folders using the EXIF data from the photos, not the original folders. This issue can be avoided (again, like the problem I had with skipped CR2 files) by not using the default backup sets, and choosing folders to backup manually.
The Web Interface
Files can also be accessed from the web interface. This is basically an online library of your files you can access from any browser.
Pogoplug lets you choose from the following views for your files:
- File Explorer – view all files in your account
- Photo Gallery – create photo galleries using JPEGs stored in your account
- Music Player – play music and sort by artists
- Video Gallery – view videos
Through the web interface, you can also add files to your account with drag and drop.
File Versioning and Deleted Files
I was disappointed to learn Pogoplug does not support file versioning, which is a standard feature on almost all online backup and cloud storage services. File versioning is important for protection against viruses, since it lets you undo changes to infected files.
Files deleted on your computer are kept forever on Pogoplug servers, which I thought was odd. This could lead to a seriously cluttered cloud storage experience. There’s no option to prune old or deleted files from the cloud storage space, as far as I can tell.
Pogoplug has mobile apps for Android and iOS. I tested the Android app and thought it was fairly straightforward and easy to use. I could access all my files stored in the cloud just like other cloud storage apps.
The Pogoplug app can backup photos and videos in your phone’s media library. Contacts can also be backed up. These backups can be restored at any time right from the app.
File Sharing Features
Pogoplug lets you share files with friends and family. To create a public link, right click on any file and select Get Link. You can then copy the link to your clipboard, or send it via email. These links are managed from the account settings page and can be revoked at any time.
Pogoplug devices put the power of the cloud into your home. These connect to your router, and let you backup and access files on any attached hard drives.
Devices need to be activated in your Pogoplug account settings. You can then use the Pogoplug software (or mobile apps) to access them anywhere you have internet access.
Although I didn’t get a chance to test any of the devices, they seem to be fairly easy to setup and use. Pogoplug advertises a “60 second setup” that only requires you to connect the device and enter your account details to set it up.
Pogoplug is very, very fast.
I was able to upload data at 8.1 megabits per second (Mbps), which maxed out my internet connection. Downloading files also maxed out my internet connection, at 28.9 Mbps. It remained at these speeds for the duration of my 10GB test file.
When files are transferred to Pogoplug servers they are encrypted using 256-bit SSL, which is the same protocol used for online banking.
Pogoplug has stated they use Amazon S3 for storing files on the personal plans, and Amazon Glacier for storing files on the family plans. However, I can’t find any reference to family plans on their website. I can only assume they don’t offer family plans anymore, and everything is stored on Amazon S3.
Unfortunately, files are not stored encrypted at all. So anyone who has access to Amazon’s servers could potentially see your files.
Pogoplug has excellent tech support.
All users on the free accounts can open a support ticket via email, and get a response 24/7. I emailed their support department a couple times and was always impressed with the response time.
Subscription plans gain access to live chat support, which is available 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. PST. The advanced service plans (such as Team Cloud) gain phone support, which is available during the same time frame.
Who Should Use Pogoplug?
Pogoplug will appeal to users who want to backup all their devices, without worrying about storage limits. It’s one of the few services that provides unlimited online backup for desktop computers and mobile devices, all under one account. It’s also ridiculously easy to use. Users who don’t want to mess around with backup settings will appreciate Pogoplug’s simple interface.
However, Pogoplug does have some downsides. There’s no file versioning, so previous versions of files can’t be recovered. The default backup sets exclude some files. The security is also below average, as there’s no encryption used to store your files.
|Average Upload Speed||8.1 Mbps (8 Mbps connection)|
|Average Download Speed||29.6 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)|
|Free Online Storage|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS|
|Keep Deleted Files||Forever|
|Back Up to Local Drive|
Sync and Share Features
|File Sync||Yes, but only with Pogoplug devices|
|Public File Sharing|
|Data Center Location(s)|