Pogoplug Cloud is Shutting Down

On September 28th at 9am, Pogoplug Cloud will be shutting down. Building Pogoplug Cloud has been an incredible journey, and we are so grateful to all of our users who have supported us along the way.

We are making this change to refocus our efforts on the core products that make Pogoplug great: our award-winning hardware devices and our Pogoplug Remote Access software. The future of Pogoplug is in the private cloud—a cloud in your home that you can see and touch. This is the foundation of what makes Pogoplug successful and we are excited to return to our roots and get back to what we do best: delivering best-in-class private cloud solutions that make the hard drives in your home accessible from anywhere.

Additionally, we are pleased to announce that all former cloud users will be receiving a free lifetime license to our Pogoplug Remote Access software, a $49 value. Pogoplug Remote Access is a lightweight application that runs in the background on your home computer and makes all your files accessible from anywhere on any computer, tablet or smartphone—all without a recurring fee. To download your free copy of Pogoplug Remote Access, click here.

We understand that many of you have questions about the changes that we are making. Please take a moment to review the below FAQ.

As always, thank you for supporting Pogoplug.

FAQ

  1. Why are you shutting down Pogoplug Cloud?

After 5 amazing years of building Pogoplug Cloud, it is time to say goodbye. The online storage landscape has changed significantly over this period, and Pogoplug Cloud is no longer a part of our long-term vision for Pogoplug. We are incredibly proud of the product that we created and of the users that supported us on this journey. While we are moving away from hosted cloud, we are excited about the future of our award-winning hardware devices and Pogoplug Remote Access.

  1. Are hardware devices and Pogoplug Remote Access affected by this change?

No. Your hardware devices and Pogoplug Remote Access software will continue to function normally.

  1. I am getting an error that says I cannot download files larger than 100MB, what do I do?

The web interface cannot download folders with more than 100 files in them or files larger than 100MB. Please use the “Restore” function of the Pogoplug Backup software to recover your files.

  1. Can I restore photos from Pogoplug Cloud directly to my phone?

While you may be able to restore photos on your phone or tablet using our mobile applications for iOS and Android, we recommend using the “Restore” function of the Pogoplug Backup software.

  1. What happens to my data after September 28th?

At 9am on September 28th Pogoplug Cloud will cease operation. While you still may be able to log in, your data will no longer be accessible. Your data will be securely and permanently destroyed immediately after Pogoplug Cloud is shut down.

  1. Can I get an extension on the deadline to recover data?

Since the underlying hardware is being removed, unfortunately we are unable to offer extensions.

  1. Can I recover data from a free cloud account?

Pogoplug stopped supporting free accounts back in June of 2015. Your data has already been securely erased from our servers and cannot be recovered. To read more about this change, please click here.

  1. Where should I back up my data now that Pogoplug Cloud is being shut down?

You can use one of our award-winning hardware devices to back up your data securely in your home with no recurring fees. If you would like to continue using online backup, we like Carbonite and Backblaze. Of course there are many other online backup providers to choose from and we wish you the best in selecting a new provider.

  1. I don’t need to recover any data from Pogoplug, do I need to do anything?

Nope. Your data will be securely erased and you do not need to take any actions to close your account.

 

How To Download Everything From Your Account

As of June 15th, 2015, Pogoplug will no longer support free cloud accounts. We are making this change because our service is best experienced with unlimited storage, allowing you to back up every photo, file, video and document you have. To make this transition as seamless as possible, we are extending our best deal ever to our users: now you can get unlimited storage and automatic backup for as little as $1.92/month when you purchase our 3-year plan. This change only applies to users of our cloud storage service. Pogoplug devices are unaffected, and you can continue to use your Pogoplug device normally.

If you have a free account, as of June 15th, 2015 you will be locked out of your account and you will not be able to access your files. To save your data you can either upgrade to an unlimited account, or use our backup software to easily download the contents of your account. Here’s how:

1. If you haven’t already, download our free backup software here.

2. Once the backup software is installed, sign in to your account.

3. In the left-hand navigation pane, click on “Restore”.

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4. To download everything in your account, right-click on “Pogoplug Cloud” and select “Restore”, or select the folder and click on “Restore” in the menu.

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6. To download a specific folder or file, double-click on “Pogoplug Cloud”, navigate to the desired folder and right click or select it and click on “Restore”.

5. The software will prompt you to select a destination folder. Choose where you would like to put your restored files.

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6. That’s it! The software will show you the status of your download as you restore.

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You can also use my.pogoplug.com or our free mobile apps to individually download files or folders, but we recommend using the backup software for downloading large files or folders, or downloading the entire contents of your account.

If you are having issues, please check out our comprehensive Knowledge Base.

How To Get Rid Of The Dreaded “Phone Full” Notification

 

If you’re like me, you use the camera on your phone for just about everything. Since I take photos and videos of my kids constantly, it seems like my phone is always about to run out of space. Tired of these notifications?

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Storage-space-running-out

Yeah, me too. Suddenly, I have to choose which photos to delete! Naturally I don’t want lose my precious photo collection, which is why I use Pogoplug to not only back up and protect my photos, but also to free up space on my phone. Setting it up is easy, and the best part is I can set it up once and then forget it. Here’s how:

  1. Install the Pogoplug mobile app for iOS or Android
  2. Sign in or create an account
  3. Click on ‘Settings’

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4. Click on ‘Backup’

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5. Ensure ‘Camera Roll’ is set to ‘On’

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6. Choose whether to upload via WiFi or WiFi and Cellular. Personally, I set mine to WiFi and Cellular. That way as soon as I take a photo when I’m out and about, I know its protected right away. Watch out though, if you’re worried about exceeding your monthly data allotment on your cell phone, you may want to leave it on WiFi Only. When you connect to your home network, all the photos you took that day will be uploaded automatically without you having to even open the app!

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7. Now the most critical step. Make sure that ‘Background Uploading’ is enabled. This means that your photos and videos can be uploaded to Pogoplug without you ever opening the app. You can simply set it and forget it, and all your photos will be uploaded automatically without you ever having to do anything.

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8. Once steps 1-7 are done you can safely delete photos from your phone without losing a single precious memory.

Pro tip: if you are setting this up for the first time on iPhone and you have lots of photos and videos to upload, you should connect your phone to power and leave your phone on and unlocked with the Pogoplug app open (i.e. with the screen on). Uploading everything the first time can take a while and if you leave your phone in one spot with the screen locked, your iPhone will automatically pause uploading after 2 minutes. After the initial upload, the Pogoplug app will open automatically in the background when you change locations and upload your photos as long as you have ‘Background Uploading’ enabled.

That’s it! Pretty simple right? This is the feature I personally love most about Pogoplug because it protects all my photos and videos in one safe place and saves valuable space on my phone (which iCloud does not!) Plus, since Pogoplug is truly unlimited you can take as many photos and videos as you like without ever worrying about filling up your phone or your Pogoplug account.

So if you haven’t already, install our mobile apps and get started protecting your precious photos and videos today!

 

Who owns the zebra?

ZebraLast Thursday while eating breakfast at my desk, I took part in the latest viral craze to hit the web and puzzled out Cheryl’s birthday. Logic problems were a bit of an obsession when I was a kid, and Penny Press books littered the car every time my family took long trips. I hadn’t tackled a logic problem in years, but I cherished the 15 (ok, maybe more like 25) minutes it took me to figure out Cheryl’s birthday.

As soon as I finished I wanted to tackle more logic problems. That weekend my mom came to visit and I ruined the evening of chick flicks we had planned by challenging my mom to figure out Cheryl’s birthday. When I told her my quest to find new logic problems, she responded with the most random non sequitur I’ve heard since sitting in a hazy college dorm room and sharing (supposedly) deep thoughts.

“Who owns the zebra?”

My first reaction was to wonder if she had totally lost the plot, but then she explained that this was a logic problem that went the 60s version of viral. After being featured in Life magazine, people started bringing this puzzle home and challenging friends and family to figure it out.

Without further ado, here is the logic problem that took the 60s by storm.  It’s often attributed to Einstein or Lewis Carroll, but there is no evidence to support either claim.  And please forgive the inclusion of cigarettes—it was a different age.

Figure it out? Email contest@pogoplug.com and we’ll give one lucky winner unlimited storage and automatic backup free for two years ($100 value)!

Got another puzzle? Please send it our way. We’re anxious to tackle another problem.


The Problem

  1. There are five houses.
  2. The Englishman lives in the red house.
  3. The Spaniard owns the dog.
  4. Coffee is drunk in the green house.
  5. The Ukrainian drinks tea.
  6. The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.
  7. The Old Gold smoker owns snails.
  8. Kools are smoked in the yellow house.
  9. Milk is drunk in the middle house.
  10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  11. The man who smokes Chesterfields lives in the house next to the man with the fox.
  12. Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept.
  13. The Lucky Strike smoker drinks orange juice.
  14. The Japanese smokes Parliaments.
  15. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

Now, who drinks water? Who owns the zebra?

In the interest of clarity, it must be added that each of the five houses is painted a different color, and their inhabitants are of different national extractions, own different pets, drink different beverages and smoke different brands of American cigarettes. One other thing: in statement 6, right means your right.

— Life International, December 17, 1962

The Truth About Cloud Backup

 

Over the past several months I have been traveling all over the country visiting Best Buy stores, one of our major retail partners, and in the process I have found something terribly, deeply shocking. No, not with Best Buy customer service, or their prices, or some kind of amazing ground-breaking scandal that will bring the blue and gold retailer to its knees. Best Buy is fine. The state of consumer backup, however, is not.

I work at a cloud backup company, so I am in “the bubble”. Nearly everyone I talk to is somehow involved in technology. Talking to people who don’t work in the tech industry is always a fantastic opportunity for me to do some market research, if you will, without the biases and pre-conceptions that come with working at a tech company in Silicon Valley. It’s a chance to connect, face-to-face, with the people we build our products for: the all-important customer.

What I found was shocking. People–lots of them–are using consumer-grade hard drives to back up their files, not because they don’t know about the cloud and off-site backup, but because they truly believe that a hard drive backup is better! There is so much mis-information out there about “the cloud” that I can’t say I blame them for wanting a backup that they can touch and see. It feels secure, holding your hard drive in your hand, until you realize that if you use hard drives as your sole back up method, you WILL lose your files. It is not a question of “if” it is a question of “when?”

So without further ado, here are the most common myths and misconceptions about backing up I heard on my travels.

“I don’t need the cloud, I use a hard drive to back up”

This is the most common one I heard, and also the easiest to address. Hard drives do not last. They will fail eventually, and probably a lot sooner than you think. In our datacenters, for example, annual failure rates for hard drives range from 2% to up to 40% per year (don’t worry our system is designed for drives to fail, more on this in a minute). And those are enterprise-grade drives–designed to be the most robust, longest lasting drives available.

A consumer-grade drive cannot be expected to last much longer than a couple of years and if it’s sitting in your house instead of nestled safely in a datacenter, it can get dropped, lost, stolen, spilled on etc. So if you trust your backups to a hard drive alone you will eventually lose your precious photos, important files and everything else that you store on your computer.

“What the heck is this ‘cloud’ that I am backing up to anyway?”

“The cloud” is just a fancy name for a bunch of internet-connected hard drives and servers sitting in a datacenter. Backing up to “the cloud” is fundamentally the same as backing up to a hard drive in your house. The only difference is that instead of backing up to one hard drive that sits in a shoebox in your closet, you’re backing up to 10 or 100 hard drives all at once, and those hard drives are protected by lock and key in a secure, secret location. It’s the difference between keeping your money under the mattress versus storing it in a bank. 

“I use Time Capsule to protect my Mac”

Time Capsule is great; it’s easy to use and simple to set up. And there are no subscription fees! Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. When you buy a Time Capsule from Apple all you are buying is a consumer hard drive in a fancy suit, with the all the same problems that come with trusting consumer-grade external drives with your backups.

“The cloud is not secure, I don’t want my files to be hacked/accessible on the internet”

After the iCloud “hack” a couple of years ago people started getting very wary about the cloud. People already didn’t trust it, and this seemed to confirm their suspicions. Let me just clarify one thing: iCloud was not “hacked”. There was a targeted campaign by an organization of malicious attackers to guess unsecure passwords.

So the iCloud “hack” was really an indication that people need to use more secure passwords to protect their accounts, not just their backup accounts, but all their accounts.

This is why we and many other companies have started offering two-factor authentication that sends a secure code to your phone every time you log in. This is virtually impossible to break and extremely secure, as the potential hacker would need to know your password and have access to phone at the same time.

Also, if you use a hard drive to back up your computer your files are just sitting there on the hard drive ready to be read by anyone who plugs it into their computer. Our datacenters encrypt everything, so even if by some miracle someone could break into one of our ultra-secure datacenters and steal a hard drive, they would be completely unable to get any files off of it.

“If hard drives fail so much, then isn’t your datacenter just as prone to failure as the hard drive in my house?”

Good question. The difference is our datacenters are specifically designed for hard drives to fail. We replicate data and disperse it across multiple drives, so we can lose a huge number of drives in our system without losing your data. Even if something catastrophic were to happen to one of our datacenters, we have more than one!

“You’re going to steal/sell/look at my data”

I hear this one all the time. The simple answer is that this is just not true. We don’t monetize your data in any way shape or form. We don’t sell it, we don’t look at it, we don’t mess with it in any way.

The stuff you upload to our servers just sits there, and it’s yours and yours alone. Period. The same way a bank can’t steal your money if you leave it there, we can’t steal your data if you upload it to our servers.

Keep in mind that not all services were created equal in this respect. Google, for example, does reserve the right to use your data for just about anything they please. Seriously. Go read their terms of service if you don’t believe me. Pogoplug is different. We are in the business of protecting your data, not selling it.

“I don’t need a mobile backup solution, I transfer my photos to my computer to protect them”

A lot of backup companies these days focus solely on backing up your computer but ignore the fact that for the average user the vast majority of photos are now taken on phones.

We recognize this and we think that the typical flow of “take photos on my phone, plug my phone into my computer, transfer my photos to my computer and backup my computer to an external hard drive” is A) a huge pain and B) not a very secure way to protect your photos because your computer and/or external hard drive could fail at any time.

That’s why our mobile applications upload all your photos silently to our servers in the background. You don’t have to do anything–just install the app, set it up one time and forget it. All your photos are automatically protected and organized without you having to lift a finger.

“I already use iCloud/Google Drive to back up my phone”

That’s great, we encourage users to use these services. But they are not sufficient on their own for several reasons. For one, in the case of iCloud specifically, it is not a true back up of your data. If you delete a photo from your phone, you also delete it from iCloud. Pogoplug allows you to delete photos and videos and reclaim that valuable space on your phone without losing your photos and videos.

For another, these services limit the amount of files you can store. iCloud costs $20 per month for 1 Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) of space. Yes, that is a lot storage, but it also costs 4x more than what Pogoplug charges, and we offer unlimited storage, not just 1 Terabyte. As the volume of photos and videos people generate continues to increase, an unlimited solution is the only way to ensure you never run out of space and never lose a file or photo.

Lastly, these other services do not back up your computer. Pogoplug gives you one safe place for all your stuff whether it’s on your tablet, computer or phone. We also allow you to mix and match operating systems. Got an Android phone and an iPad? You’re out of luck unless you have a cross-platform service like Pogoplug.

“What’s the solution then?”

So at this point you are probably wondering, what IS the best way to back up my stuff? Well, I’ll tell you. The best mix of convenience, features and price is to use cloud backup in conjunction with hard drive back up. While we can replace traditional hard drive backup completely and many of our users rely on us as their sole backup destination, hard drives do maintain one key advantage over the cloud: speed.

No offsite storage will be as fast as having the files stored locally. Having a local backup on a hard drive or Apple Time Capsule is a great way to quickly recover files that you have lost. But (and it is a BIG but) the hard drive you back up to will eventually fail, so you need the cloud to ensure that your data is always protected.

Backing up to the cloud also gives you the additional advantage of easily organizing your photos, files and videos and making them available from anywhere. A hard drive backup just sits in your closet, gathering dust until it inevitably dies, taking your precious files with it.