Storing one’s personal data in the cloud comes with both benefits and disadvantages; the obvious benefits being flexibility of access and, of course, utilizing someone else’s storage space rather than your own. The other side of the coin has been well documented of late with the likes of the MegaUpload scandal and the acquisition of Instagram. Unpredictable events such as these clearly demonstrate that data stored in the cloud is susceptible to the foibles of individual service providers and commercial enterprise in general – a new startup venture called ‘Polkast’ is endeavoring to address those vulnerabilities.
Polkast provides a means for remotely accessing files stored on a home PC from mobile devices, thereby negating the need to utilize third party servers. Obviously the people behind Polkast are looking to take advantage of the current trend toward large capacity local hard drives. Polkast comprises two parts:
- 1) The “HomeBase” software which must be installed on a Windows
or Mac OS X computer and…
- 2) The “RoamBase” app which must be installed on the iOS or Android device.
Polkast bills itself as your ‘Personal Cloud’ which is again somewhat appropriate although also slightly misleading. The data remains stored on the local hard drive and is accessible from mobile devices via what the company describes as a “direct cloud”. In reality, Polkast creates a connection closely resembling a virtual private network (VPN) which then allows direct access between your mobile device(s) and the home PC – one way only. Or two way access between PCs.
As with most startups, documentation and support are scant commodities right now. The company has also yet to decide on the best way to monetize its project. Polkast is currently completely free and, with reports suggesting they are looking to generate revenue from within the corporate sector, it appears likely it will stay that way for personal users.
Even though I am not currently a mobile device user (old fuddy-duddy Jim), I can see a huge potential for this type of software:
- No need to waste time and precious resources uploading photos and files.
- No storage or file size limitations and, one of the most appealing aspects…
- Polkast lets you access all your photos no matter where you are.
Now I know there are a lot of great photo storage and sharing sites, but if you took say 200 photos at a recent special event, chances are you’re not going to upload all 200 to Flickr or Facebook. You’re going to save them onto your hard drive and most likely put only a select few online – Polkast allows you to access your entire photo library all the time.
Polkast HOME PAGE