Typical Features of Plug Computers
Having your own cloud means you’ll have access to most of your home network from anywhere, on anything.
Here’s a rundown of the typical features you will find on Plug Computers powered by third-party services:
· Centralized file access: Plug USB drives (external hard drives or flash drives) directly into the Plug Computer to access them on your local network and via the Internet. Access is typically provided via network shares and mapped network drives, native mounting to imitate a real drive, or through an Internet browser (Firefox, IE9, etc). On mobile phones and devices, the vendor might provide an app for access.
· Centralized backup: Since Plug Computers provide connectivity on your network; you can usually use them as a backup destination for all your PCs, or vice-versa if you want to back up the drives connected to the Plug Computer.
· Printer sharing: Plug in a USB printer so you can print from computers and devices within the local network or via the Internet.
· Sharing and collaboration: Share files or collaborate with family, friends, or colleagues. Since your hosting your own cloud, you don’t have to upload files to share or remotely access them. They can be downloaded over the Internet directly from your Plug Computer.
· Media Streaming: Access and stream your MP3s and music to PCs, mobile phones/devices, and gaming consoles.
Plug Computers provide similar functionality of traditional Network-Attached Servers (NAS), but on a Linux powered minicomputer. The biggest advantage here is power consumption, since Plug Computers can us as little as 4 watts, compared to 60 – 250 watts used by a typical monitor-less desktop tower.