Use CloudStor to Remotely Access Files

Cloud storage is growing more and more popular among attorneys. Although cloud storage can help you maintain a mobile office, cloud storage also involves unique security issues.

CloudStor provides the flexibility of cloud access, but allows you to store your files on your own CloudStor drive.

How it works

CloudStor is “powered by” PogoPlug, another device which allows you to create a virtual cloud storage system. Plug your CloudStor into your internet router, create an online account, and you are ready to roll.

Here is where the device is slightly confusing. CloudStor has both a port for an ethernet cable and a USB port. Presumably, you upload files directly to your CloudStor through a USB connection. The product’s website, however, indicates that you use your online account to upload files to CloudStor. Either way, the files are stored directly on your CloudStor, not in the cloud.

Your online account is used for when you are not at home and want to access files stored on your CloudStor. There are desktop applications for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, which make it even easier to access your files stored on Cloudstor. In addition, there are applications for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry that will also provide similar access.

The company plans will sell two models—1 TB and 2 TB—priced at $169.99 and $269.99.

Give it a shot

If the you want the advantages of using cloud storage but do not want to store files on a company’s computers, CloudStor is a nice option. The biggest potential downfall I can see is access speed. Although your CloudStor drive will appear as a hard drive on your computer, it is not clear whether the files are duplicated onto your computer, or if they only stay on the CloudStor.

If the files only reside on CloudStor, there could be speed issues when you want to access a bunch of files. In addition, if none of the files are on your actual computer, you would be unable to access your files if your internet connection is out and you are working remotely.

Speed issues aside, the product looks rather appealing. If you are considering cloud storage, add CloudStor to your list of options.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clicko/5250720735)

  • Josh Williams

    Randall, are you going to use this service or stick with Dropbox?

  • http://feeds2.feedburner.com/caveatemptorblog/rss Randall Ryder

    I am intrigued by it, but I am not sure it is ideal for a multi-person practice. Hopefully, I can get a demo and test it out.

  • Jon

    I have been using Pogoplug for nearly a year now and must say that the technology is an excellent tool for the small and solo law sector. To have access to an entire hard drive (or three, as is the case with the Dockstar Pogoplug that I use) from any computer or smart phone is a lifesaver. No more forgetting files at home or needing an extra copy of a document. Just log in to the Pogoplug website from any internet connected devise and you have the document/video/audio/file you need.

    Storing important client documents on your own hard drive but with “cloud” access satisfies ethical concerns that many have with storing documents on a cloud-based server farms outside of your office and control.

    Big Law spends millions on servers and software in order to be able to access files across offices. Pogoplug brings a very similar functionality to small law with a very small pricetag. I picked up my Dockstar on sale for $25 last year and attached an external hard drive that I had already been using for backups. Total cost of the setup including hard drive: $115.

    I probably sound like a Pogoplug shill at this point but I assure you I am not. I simply believe very much in the device and enjoy it’s functionality.

    PS You can also remotely print documents via email to a printer that you attach to your Pogoplug. A nice added bonus.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Okay, I’m intrigued, and I’ve asked Pogoplug for a review unit. It looks like it could be a great way to provide remote access, either for co-workers or clients. However, since it doesn’t look like it syncs files, I don’t think it will replace Dropbox.

      • Jon

        Using the Pogoplug software on your desktop it can be set to synch certain folders between your desktop and your Pogoplug. Your Pogoplug drive(s) can also be assigned a drive letter (as in, C:, D:, E: drive, etc) so that you can save all of your work directly to the Pogoplug.

        I no longer save documents to the internal hard drives of my various computers. Instead I simply save them directly to the Pogoplug drive. The software makes it seamless. I save my documents to the appropriate folders on my Pogoplug just as I would save it to My Documents.

        In fact, I have a Dropbox account and have it just to keep certain documents backed up in yet another location in case my Pogoplug should go down for some reason (no problems thus far however). Dropbox and Pogoplug both perform well but, as previously stated, Pogoplug gives you the best of the cloud with the ability to keep all of your data on a local hard drive in your office/home instead of on Dropbox’s or any other company’s servers.

        • Jon

          A couple more points Pogoplug has over Dropbox:
          1. No monthly fees. Pay for it once and it’s yours.
          2. No limit on the amount of data storage. The only limitation of Pogoplug is how large a hard drive you purchase. My Dockstar can attach 3 external hard drives from any manufacturer (and/or printers from HP) plus a Seagate FreeAgent Go drive that can be inserted into a specially designed dock. I believe other variations of Pogoplug can hook up 4 external hard drives. That’s terabytes and terabytes of storage.
          3. I mentioned it briefly before but Pogoplug allows you to print from email to any HP printer connected to the Pogoplug. This has been a surprisingly useful feature for me.

  • Tonny

    Our company using OpenDrive for over a year. Great is, that you can create multiple users for one master account and each user gets separate username and login. You can set permissions to specific folders for each account user.

    Also big advantage in compare to dropbox is, that you can edit files online and you are actually always working with files on OpenDrive. Dropbox copies files from one folder to another within your computer. We don’t prefer to have our files on computers of all employees, that’s why OpenDrive was really what we were looking for.

    Another useful feature is syncing across multiple computers. We have one folder with few clients we need to access even offline, so changes are resynced to all computers whenever computer gets online and uploaded as new versions.
    Some important files we have stored in Secure folder, which encrypts files and folders with our own encryption key, so we are confident, that one can access our data, not even OpenDrive.