For a number of good reasons, "cloud storage" is all the rage. Being able to store your data online in order to access it virtually anywhere is the epitome of convenience. However, it does carry with it a couple of important downsides. While it's unlikely for a service like Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive to go down, it's always a risk. And with all of the Prism / NSA goingson lately, it's become clear that if the government wanted, it could likely get to your data with relative ease.
The best solution? A personal cloud solution. While home-brewed solutions can work out nicely, such as with NAS boxes, or even a custom Windows or Linux server, all of these require some degree of expense and time to deploy, not to mention some skills that a lot of people are not going to have. It needs to be made easier, and for that reason "Plug" has come into existence.
With 57 days left to its Kickstarter project and it already having far exceeded its required target, it's fair to say that Plug has some serious potential in the market. And with its supposed ease-of-use, that comes as little surprise.
Using Plug is a simple matter of connecting it to an available LAN port on your router, and then connecting some USB storage to it. While Plug only has a single USB port, the developer says that a hub could increase the number of possible devices to 8. Once done, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android (and later, Windows Phone) software can be installed in order to access whatever storage is connected to the device.
Once setup, you'll be able to access your storage while at home or on-the-go. Chill out on the couch and stream some movies, or sit on the bus and read through some documents you've been working on. To help avoid an issue where you might overwrite an important file, Plug automatically keeps multiple versions of any given document so that you can go back in time if need be.
If Plug sounds intriguing, it'd be worth looking through the Kickstarter page which goes into some pretty deep detail about its capabilities. The biggest downside I see, and something that would prevent me from adopting something like this, is that Plug is only available in USB 2.0, and is made worse by not having a Gigabit Ethernet jack. That effectively means that within your household, you'll peak at a theoretical 12.5MB/s when transferring files. That's fine for small files, but not ideal if you want to move movies or other big files around.
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