Written by Dave Mora
On Jul 01 , 2012 for Daily Rants

The TonidoPlug powers my Cloud

 
  
  Buffer

Over that last few weeks I have been enjoying the use of something that I am calling the “Dave Mora Private Cloud” but that private branding is being powered by the Tonido Plug 2. I have been enjoying the Tonido Plug 2 more then I expected.

I have been an early adopter on many fronts and a decade ago I started to make a shift towards downloaded content. My first solution was not cheap. It was a dedicated computer, with 6 (120GB) drives in a RAID configuration. I set up an FTP Server, SSH, Mp3 streaming Server, and countless hours of configuration.

Does that sound over complicated?

Well it should. Ten years ago only geeks where downloading content so we only had complicated geeky solutions.

A few weeks ago I received a TonidoPlug 2 review unit.

Full Disclosure:

I am currently using a review unit sent by Tonido for me to review. The fact that this product was loan to me - has not altered my opinion in any way.


Tonido Plug 2 powers Dave Mora's Private Cloud

The Tonido Plug 2 as shown above is a simple device. I use the term device lightly. It is basically a computer with 512 Megs of DDR3 RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi Support, 512 MB of on board Flash storage, support additional storage via USB or by attaching and Internal 2.5″ SATA Drive, and as a geek I enjoy the fact it is running Debian Linux.

This little device has replaced the need of having a dedicated computer running all the time. I would have been happy simply on the amount of space and power consumption this device has eliminated from my desk. But, what really won me over has been the easy to use software.

I can manage the Tonido Plug 2 within my house, at my cousins house, or on the road via my mobile device.

They have mobile applications for almost every mobile device available. You can check the full list of their mobile applications here.

As a Windows Phone user finding a device that offers a Windows Phone app earns it extra points #justaying. (Yes, I use a Windows Phone and I love it).

It’s not often I say I really like a product. But, I really love the Tonido Plug

So why do I like the Tonido Plug so much?

I am the geek of the family. It’s a role that many of you have come to understand and also embrace.

As easy as it would be for me to tell some of you “Here is the FTP info. I will put the video of the family vacation for you to download it later.” and know that no further instructions would be needed for you to download the video. Only a small percentage of people would be able to do that task.

The reality is that 98% of my family members and a majority of those who visit my blog would be wondering “What the heck is FTP?”

So, when technology comes around that makes it easier for me to share content to normal tech users. I come to appreciate that product a lot more.

The simplicity of the Tonido software has made it easy for me to share my content, on my own hard drive, and over my own internet connection without forcing people to install special software with complicated instructions or asking people to sign up for services such as DropBox. Tonido makes sharing as simple as sending them a link.

Setting it up was too easy.
Physically you need to connect the power cord and the Ethernet cable to your network.

– On a side note. I will recommend that you connect your USB or Hard Drive storage after initially setting it up. It’s my own personal preference and my suggestion to you 🙂

Once the Tonido Plug is powered on. You simply have to visit this website http://www.tonidoplug.com/ip

Your device should be listed. (If is not listed this might help you. As for me. I had to search it via MAC Address)

You then create your Tonido ID.
The Tonido ID basically becomes your personal Tonido web address that enables you to access your device through a browser and manage it. This is the same address you will give people when you are sharing your files. So, keep that mind when creating your username. If you create a toesuckerlover username the web address you will be giving out to your family and friends will be http://toesuckerlove.tonidoid.com.

So just remember that when creating your Tonido ID.

So what is so special about the Tonido Software?
The makers of the Tonido Plug and Tonido software is CodeLathe. They have really put together a great software solution. Even if you don’t use the Tonido Plug device you can use their software to share your music, pictures, and files with people both publicly and privately with the same ease of you.

When you connect your External USB Drive or Internal SATA Drive. You simply configure the Tonido Plug to share the music, picture, and default sharing directories.

You can then can create logins for people. What I have done is created logins for groups. A login is for my family that will have access to music, family pictures, and family videos. A login for my friends that will have access to my music and other files, and you can create logins on the fly when you only want to share specific files with specific people.

Another great thing about being able to your your TonidoID web address is that ability to be at a friends computer and upload files from their computer to your Tonido Plug as easy as login in, pressing upload file, and selecting the file. This has come in handy for me when I am visiting a friend and they have a great “Public Domain Documentary” that I would like to watch later at home.

All the people you have given logins to simply need to visit your Tonido ID web address and click on guest.

They will be presented with a Login Screen.

Login Prompt for the Tonido Plug

Once they enter their login credentials as shown above they will be presented with a list of files you are sharing with them.

List of files on the Dave Mora Private Cloud powered by Tonido Plug.

They can also listen to music and view pictures from the default directories you configured the Tonido Plug with.

When they decide on downloading something from your Tonido Plug they simply have to click on the Download icon next to the item they are interested in.

Downloading a file from the Dave Mora Private Cloud powered by Tonido Plug.

Yup, it’s that simple. If the internet speeds allow it. People can even stream video content from your TonidoPlug at your house to their computer over the public internet.

The super geeky feature that really won me over.
Although, the TonidoPlud doesn’t give you a desktop computer. It gives you the ability to SSH into it. Getting SSH access to any device speaks to my geeky heart.

TonidoPlug is also your #awesome server with SSH Access.

Once you SSH into the TonidoPlug you can install whatever you want to run. Assuming the hardware can handle it.

Not, only have I replaced a media server, file server, and backup server computer to a single TonidoPlug that just runs behind my couch. But, I can now run a Webserver and MySQL and use it as dev box for my web work.

I know that I am unique when it comes to computer usage. I use Windows, Linux, and MacOS throughout the day for the projects that I am involved with. I sometimes have to deal with working with the same file on the multiple operating systems at different locations. The people at Tonido offer a Tonido Sync application for all three operating systems. The software makes it so that a shared placed is viewed by the computer as a shared drive on the network. With the free 2GB limit the TonidoPlug comes with. I can drop a file from my windows computer. Pick it up from my Linux Computer and then finish working with the file at home on the MacOS. You can upgrade to a Pro account to get a 50 GB limit.

Final Word!
If you have read everything I wrote and you are not sure if I like this product. Let me it clear.

I freaking love this product. If you are looking for a simple filer server, media server, dedicated torrent, and a simple way to share your music and pictures with family and friends. This is best product that makes it easy for you. So get it and thank me later.

Now enjoy the Silly Video 🙂

[[ Video currently being encoded… You can blame Youtube for being slow]]]]]




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    • I used both the internal SATA drive and USB thumbdrive at the same time. I did not have an external USB hardrive to try it out.

      If you have tried an an external hard drive via USB and it works. Please let me know.

      Thanks for checking out the blog 🙂

    • Dave, thanks for the great review! I have a couple questions if you would not mind answering them.

      Can it access/use both an internal SATA drive and a USB or only one or the other?
      Can you connect more than one USB drive via a powered hub or is one drive the limit?

      Thanks!
      Derek

    • This product makes that easy as well. You just enable it and the PS3 picks it up right away. If you hate having a computer on only to stream content to your PS3 or your XBOX. This will be a great replacement. #my2cents 🙂 

    • James Frankie

      I have been looking for a solution to share my videos to my PS3 without the need of my computer. Where you able to do that with this thing? 

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