I've been looking for an easy way to access some of my home files (music, pictures, some of my software, etc.) remotely, as well as share large files with other people. I recently found a great, cost-effective way to do this: The "Tonido Plug 2" personal cloud device.
The Tonido Plug 2 is a small device that you can plug into your broadband router to share data. The data is shared from a local hard drive, which you can either attach via a USB on the Tonido Plug; or from an internal 2.5" hard drive which you can insert into the Tonido Plug 2's built-in hard drive bay. I opted for the internal drive, as I had an extra 500Gb drive that I could use. I've been using this device for about a month, and really like it.
The device includes a straight-forward set of configuration instructions, in which you create a "Tonido ID" and establish an account which creates a front-end that enables you to access your files and configure sharing permissions & access controls. The configuration process also handles making your device accessible outside your firewall so you can get to your data from any internet connection.
It's hard to tell how big this is from the picture in this post, but it is pretty small. It comes with two power options: one is a cord, so you can lay it on a table or on the floor and plug it into your outlet; the second is a power plug that attaches directly to the Tonido Plug 2, so you can just plug it directly into the outlet and the device just hangs there.
Easy access to my stuff
To get to my files, I have quite a few options:
- Access my personal cloud "portal" from any web browser
- Access my files from my iPhone with a Tonido App (there are native apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Windows 7 mobile)
- Mount my cloud drive as a folder on my computer (I use a Mac so I open it via WebDAV, on Windows there is an app to mount it as a folder)
- Stream data to DLNA devices (I don't have one yet, but it supports XBox360, Sony PS3, etc.)
There are also a number of built-in "apps" that run on the Tonido Plug 2 itself (it has its own embedded OS). For example, there is a file sync app you can use to keep files in sync between your personal cloud and one or more computers. To find out more about the device or the apps, check out the Tonido site.
I can now use my personal cloud drive to share files with other computers in my house, access files from other computers, and to share files with other people without worrying about file size limitations of email. For example, I just shared a PDF of one of my previous blog posts and you can download it by clicking on this link.
You can set security controls around your files or folders, which will enable you to restrict who can access specific items, as well as set up passwords for greater control. It took less than an hour of experimentation to get the hang of the interface, and I really like this piece of gear.
Oh - and I got this for $119, not including the internal hard drive. Not bad. If you want your own cloud service, within your own control, I think you'll love the Tonido Plug 2.