If you’ve used Google Docs, Dropbox, Pogoplug or some other public cloud storage, you must have thought about how it would feel to have your own private cloud storage. While having 3GB to 5GB of personal cloud storage is nice, these are mainly free public cloud offerings and services, and you have little to no control over the data that you are keeping there. Thankfully, there are a lot more options today for those who want to set up their own private cloud storage at home.
Designed for the normal consumer, these private cloud storage devices are relatively easy to set up compared to a proper datacenter-based private cloud. Three of the best private cloud storage devices currently in the market include the:
- Pogoplug Series 4
- Seagate GoFlex Home Network Storage System, and
- Western Digital
The Pogoplug Series 4 is the latest and most feature-filled Pogoplug device in their range of Cloud storage devices. It is designed to work with Pogoplug’s public cloud storage so that you get 5GB of public cloud storage the moment you buy and register a Pogoplug Series 4 device. However, the device itself does not have any form of storage, instead you have to plug in some form of storage memory first. Thankfully, the Pogoplug Series 4 allows you to plug in an SD flash memory card, a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive (following the Seagate GoFlex format) and other USB connected hard disk drives (with one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports).
Setting up and using the Pogoplug Series 4 is super-easy, especially when accessing the Home Cloud. Performance is entry-level though but this is expected for such a small plug-in-type device. It offers DLNA compatibility and centralized storage over your Home Cloud. At $99 it has a much lower price tag than other Home Cloud NAS offerings. This is because it doesn’t come with storage hardware of its own but due to all the connections it has the potential to add on up to 8TB of cloud storage.
Seagate GoFlex Home Network Storage System1TB ,2TB, 3TB
Like the Pogoplug Series 4, the Seagate GoFlex Home Network Storage System uses a plug-in SATA hard disk drive. The main difference between the two is that the Seagate system comes with an external hard disk drive that can be plugged into the GoFlex. These external hard disk drives come in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB versions but many tests have shown the system to be incompatible with 3TB drives (a problem with the firmware which should solve itself once the update comes out). It has a single USB port but this is meant more for a USB printer, to be used with the device’s built-in print server.
Setting up is very easy for the Home Cloud service but it surprisingly isn’t very easy to use. The performance is also entry-level but it helps to double up as a home NAS. Its price of $139 for the 1TB version is quite a good deal for such a NAS.
The Western Digital My Book Live NAS looks like a large external hard disk drive in the shape of a book with a network port. Featuring 1TB, 2TB and 3TB versions, the hard disk drive here is not removable and attempts at removing it will void your warranty. At $169 for a 2TB version it is the only Home Cloud device in our list without a USB port, either for a printer or for extra storage.
However, what it lacks in hardware features it makes up for in Home Cloud features. Setting up the Home Cloud on the My Book Live is very easy and as a plus you can also use it to connect to your iOS or Android powered smartphone through the free app on the market (there is a Pro version with better security, but you have to pay for this). Performance-wise it is better than the other two, but still not on par with an SMB class NAS device.
The best Home Cloud enabling device in our list would have to be the Pogoplug Series 4. Despite the fact that you do not get any physical storage with it, its expansion capabilities far outshine the other two devices. It may not win any storage device races but it is very easy to use and offers a much better initial price than the other two. However, if you need 2TB of personal private cloud storage right out of the box I would heartily recommend the Western Digital My Book Live for its awesome ease of use.