NAS, or Network Attached Storage, is a new term used to describe a device that plugs into your home network either via LAN or WIFI and contains a hard disk inside and all its contents are available to anybody connected to that network.
Traditionally, they are sold as an all-in-one device by people like Buffalo, Apple, Western Digital, etc.; and usually they come with a premium as those who want something like this have no choice but to pony up the money to get it. There are no cheaper alternatives and that has always been the rule of the game.
However, Pogoplug aims to change that with their device, also called the Pogoplug. From the outside, it looks like a cute white little power adapter which costs US$99 and all you need to do is slot in any ordinary SATA hard disk into it, connect it to a power plug and link it up via Ethernet to your router and that’s it!
The system makes the plug-and-play concept simple enough that anybody can use it. After setting it up, you are then able to access your hard drive via the supplied software and you can download the same software for your iPhone/iPod Touch and get the same access. The software distributed by Pogoplug is easy to use but for those savvier with computers, you can download a separate software which after setting up will enable you to mount the Pogoplug as a network device, so it’s as if the hard drive is there on your computer.
The only downside is it will add some messy cable into your set up, and the fact that it has to be located near your router makes is not as convenient. A WiFi option would have been great, although performance would understandably degrade as well since wired connection will always be faster. But for US$99, it’s a simple way to set your home up with NAS, especially if you have many computers around the house.