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Cloud Engines Pogoplug Pro

Cloud Engines Pogoplug Pro DIY cloud box

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Printing on a global scale

The earlier review didn't mention - because it wasn't then on the cards - a new function that's currently in (very usable) beta on both the Pogoplug and the Pogoplug Pro. It's now possible to plug a USB printer into the Pogoplug to turn it into a universal internet printer. 'Universal', because it can be used to print anything from any hardware running any operating system anywhere in the world, as long as the client device is capable of sending an email attachment. Currently, because of the need for special drivers on the Pogoplug, the compatibility list for this function is confined to HP and Epson printers marketed in the last five years.

Cloud Engines Pogoplug Pro

Your Epson or HP printer can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet by sending it an email

It works like this: an Excel spreadsheet on my phone, for example, only needs to be emailed to print@mypogoplug.com as a regular attachment. A central server run by Cloud Engine reads the sender's address and so knows to divert the attachment to - in this case - the Epson BX305 plugged into my Pogoplug Pro. You can also open up the universal print facility to other email addresses by adding them to the share list associated with the printer, which means you can invite friends and clients.

Cloud Engines Pogoplug Pro

The Pogoplug Pro provides a web-based media player that can access content on your USB drives over the LAN or anywhere in the world

The printer doesn't have to be network enabled to do this, and the USB connection will effectively turn it into a network printer. The printer I used for the test, said BX305, is already network enabled, and with printers like this you can dispense with the USB cable, because the Pogoplug searches for them across the LAN and adds them automatically to its asset list. A similar arrangement, using upload@mypogoplug.com, can be used to transfer data from a remote device to the Pogoplug's USB drives.

Verdict

Does what it claims to do elegantly and efficiently. You get a lot of functionality for less than 5W and just under £100. And the subscription-free Cloud service, which now includes the ability to print from anywhere in the world from your laptop, netbook, tablet or phone, means there are no hidden after-costs. ®

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80%
Cloud Engines Pogoplug Pro

Cloud Engines Pogoplug Pro DIY cloud box

Shares the data on up to four USB drives over the net - and can print to connected printers too.
Price: £99 RRP

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