This blindingly pink NAS box won’t go missing on your desk. But does it offer the value and security of its blander rivals?
Mounted on a shocking pink stand that's almost as springy as the sticks from which it takes its name, the Pogoplug is certainly an eye-catcher. But what does it actually do?
Quite simply, Pogoplug is your personalised cloud, an always-on Dropbox equivalent over which you have complete control. Hook your router into one end and your USB drives to the other, and you can access all your movies, music, photos and document files from anywhere with an internet connection and share them with friends in a single click. There's even an iPhone app for viewing them on your phone.
Sounds great, but a less glowing description of the Pogoplug would be that it’s a four-port USB hub that acts as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device and costs almost as much as its rivals but without a large hard drive pre-installed.
It’s fair to say that nearly all new NAS boxes have the same online sharing features as Pogoplug. But even the clever and easy to use ones like Buffalo's Linkstation Duo or Linksys's Media Hub come in drab black boxes that say 'IT department' so loudly that they could pull on a kipper tie and quote Monty Python.
It's not just about looks: Pogoplug is a NAS for all that's ludicrously easy to use. Attach an ethernet cable and point your web browser at www.mypogoplug.com.
You don't need to do anything other than choose a username and password, the website automatically detects the presence of a Pogoplug on the same network and registers it to your account.
There's a desktop app for accessing attached drives through Windows Explorer or Finder, but Pogoplug doesn't officially support UPnP streaming.
It should be detected by an Xbox 360 or PS3 on your network, but there's no guarantee it'll work with any other receiver. Videos and music stored on a drive can be played back in the responsive browser interface, though, thanks to the magic of HTML5.
If you don't need to access your drive from the internet, the Belkin Home Base is almost identical, but £30 cheaper and lets you share printers across your LAN too.
If you do want online sharing, the Netgear Stora is only £30 more but comes with a 1TB drive inside. But if you want pink and already have a collection of hard-drives, the Pogoplug is a compromise between the two and, while not the best value for money, recommended.