TonidoPlug - the cloud-in-a-plug
As technology advances in the 21st century, gadgets and devices get smaller, but more and more effective. CodeLathe's TonidoPlug is a fantastic example. TonidoPlug is a tiny server that helps you access all your applications that include files, photos, music, movies, etc. from any place wherein you can access a computer system through a web browser. It is low on power and absolutely low on cost with no hurdles attached and performs the task of a Network Attached Storage device.
TonidoPlug is a tiny, low-power, low-cost personal home server and NAS device powered by Tonido software that allows you to access your files, music and media from anywhere for just $99.
The best part about TonidoPlug is that it works even without internet connection since applications and data are locally installed and available with TonidoPlug. Some of the applications bundled with the hardware are -- Torrent, Photos, Jukebox, WebsharePro, Workspace, Thots, Search, Backup and Explorer. All of them function on top of embedded Ubuntu Jaunty Linux OS.
Apart from this TonidoPlug can be extended with additional applications that can be sourced from the Tonido App store and installed in the device. Also, an external USB hard drive or flash drive can also be connected to TonidoPlug which can be converted to NAS storage accessible from Windows/Mac/Linux computers in the local network. Without much of an effort users can also access and share Tonido files through iPhone, Android, or Blackberry.
With Tonido's mission stating "Empower Customers in a Connected World", there is truly customer empowerment with this small device which acts as an alternative to cloud storage services and also acts as a low cost storage device for multiple computers and hence can be used by small businesses. There are several features mentioned in its website, but I would like to mention some of the worthy ones that compel us to not deny using this device:
* Energy efficient green device. It is a green device considering the amount of power and space that it takes up which is quite obviously less.
* Access your TonidoPlug using own URL (http://yourname.tonidoid.com). How cool is that? A URL with your own name.
* Share and sync files, photos and music without uploading, hence saving time.
* Listen to your MP3s, download Torrents to your USB drive, search and download your files, manage your calendar, contacts, and tasks from anywhere in the world.
* Automatic or Manual Backup of all your computers to TonidoPlug. This makes it as useful as a cloud computing service.
* Stream media to the XBox 360 and PS3 and have fun.
A bunch of features that will tempt any user to buy this little thing and cherish the purchase. But CodeLathe must work on building more awareness and driving sales campaigns for TonidoPlug and eventually create high demand for the product. Also, it needs to ensure it competes with big players in the server industry.
However, beware of the some of the current limitations. I was trying use a Mac formatted Drive but it supports only Windows and Linux formats (FAT, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3 or NTFS). The other hiccup I got into was that my internal network doesn't fall on one of the valid private subnetwork ranges, so Tonido considered that as an outside private network, disallowing me to login as admin to complete the installation. There is however a fix, and the forum was pretty helpful.