Pogoplug Offers a $5-a-Month Cloud to Store Your Files, All of Them

Image courtesy of Cloud Engines

Pogoplug and other services are racing to the cloud because it’s a potentially lucrative and largely untapped market.

Amid all the online storage providers offering tiered pricing, Pogoplug Cloud has a different approach: Sky’s the limit.

The service plans to begin offering customers today unlimited online storage for $4.95 a month. That compares with YouSendIt’s unlimited plan for $15 per month and the tiered pricing models of Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Drive and Dropbox. Monthly fees for those types of services can be as much as $500 a year, the price of 1,000 gigabytes of space on Amazon.com’s Cloud Drive.

“They’re putting artificial limits on it, and pushing people into these somewhat artificial tiers,” said Daniel Putterman, chief executive officer of Cloud Engines, the provider of the service and maker of the popular Pogoplug device for accessing files when you’re away from home. “That’s a very computer-centric way to think about the world.”

Pogoplug Cloud was first introduced about a year ago with pricing comparable to competitors. The tiered plans started at $9.95 for 50 gigabytes.

Tech companies are racing to the cloud because it’s a potentially lucrative and largely untapped market. People are doing work on more devices — a desktop computer at work, a laptop at home, an iPad at the coffee shop and a smartphone at the mall. Rather than transferring documents back and forth, cloud lockers can keep one version in a secure place on the Internet.

The appeal of services with no limits is obvious. Keeping track of storage caps can create headaches, and the fees can stack up for those who want to back up all of their files online. In the U.S. wireless industry, Sprint Nextel is promoting its unlimited plan as its bigger competitors, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, do away with all-you-can-download options. In television, New York startup Boxee drew an eager audience this week when it said it would offer a cloud-based video recorder with unlimited storage for a monthly fee.

For Pogoplug Cloud, there is actually one other tier. Customers can get a taste of the service for free with 5 gigabytes of storage, just like Apple and Google’s clouds. Software for accessing files stored on Pogoplug Cloud is available on computers, the iPhone and Android devices, as well as through a Web browser.

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