PogoPlug Review

After being alerted to a discounted price by r/Linux, I bought a PogoPlug, via Adorama, here (oddly, as of recently before the date of publication, using the affiliate link (which I’ve reproduced above, though I am not the affiliate), the device was listed at $15, whereas it is listed as $20 without it).

When it arrived I promptly installed Debian on it, via these instructions, so I have no idea how the stock firmware works (though it’s still there, since the install is non-destructive).

The results are in:

Test  Path                                Rightwards    Leftwards
                                          (Write MB/s)  (Read MB/s)
----  ----                                ------------  -----------
   1                 Odin <--> Mem                 -        19000
   2                 Loki <--> Mem                 -         9400
   3                 Thor <--> Mem                 -         2300
   4                 Pogo <--> Mem                 -         1200
   5                 Odin <--> SSD                 -          350.0
   6                 Loki <--> SSD                 -          246.0
   7                 Thor <--> HDD RAID 0          -          150.0
   8                 Thor <--> HDD RAID 50         -          150.0
   9                 Loki <--> USB HDD            35.5         30.9
  10                 Pogo <--> USB HDD             8.7         30.6
  11                 Pogo <--> USB Flash Drive     1.7         20.8
  12  Odin <--TCP--> Loki                        111.0        111.0
  13  Odin <--TCP--> Thor                        111.0        112.0
  14  Odin <--TCP--> Pogo                         77.9         80.5
  15  Odin <--TCP--> Loki (duplex)               110.0    &   110.0
  16  Odin <--TCP--> Pogo (duplex)                31.9    &    18.6
  17  Odin <--SSH--> Loki                         63.3         64.4
  18  Odin <--SSH--> Thor                         34.8         34.9
  19  Odin <--SSH--> Pogo                          6.4          6.5
  20  Odin <--SMB--> Pogo                         14.1         42.4
  21  Odin <--TCP--> Pogo <--> USB HDD             6.4         21.6
  22  Odin <--SSH--> Pogo <--> USB HDD             3.5          5.4
  23  Odin <--SMB--> Pogo <--> USB HDD             5.4         25.3
  24                 Pogo <--> USB HDD x1          8.5 x1      29.6 x1
  25                 Pogo <--> USB HDD x2          4.0 x2      12.2 x2
  26                 Pogo <--> USB HDD x4          2.0 x4       4.4 x4
  27                 Pogo <--> USB HDD x8          1.0 x8       1.6 x8
  28  Odin <--SSH--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x1          3.6 x1       3.8 x1
  29  Odin <--SSH--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x2          1.7 x2       2.6 x2
  30  Odin <--SSH--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x4          0.7 x4       1.4 x4
  31  Odin <--SSH--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x8          0.4 x8       0.6 x8
  32  Odin <--SMB--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x1          6.0 x1      25.6 x1
  33  Odin <--SMB--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x2          2.6 x2      11.2 x2
  34  Odin <--SMB--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x4          1.5 x4       5.2 x4
  35  Odin <--SMB--> Pogo <--> USB HDD x8          0.8 x8       1.9 x8
  36  Odin <--gzip-> Pogo                          -           17.6
  37  Odin <--SSH--> Loki <--SSH--> Odin <--SSH--> Thor <--SSH--> Odin \
                                                   9.1   [See Note]

Conclusions:

Write performance on the USB devices are oddly terrible. Googling indicates that modern versions of ntfs-3g support a big_writes option that supposedly speeds up writes back to parity with reads, but the kernel (2.6.32!) and ntfs-3g I have on my PogoPlug don’t support it. Seems like you need Arch Linux. Given that that’s the case currently, it seems reasonable to plan to populate your storage elsewhere. Otherwise, it seems really pretty capable. A Blu-Ray quality movie is roughly 2MB/s, which, if you’re streaming over SMB/CIFS/Samba, would let you watch three at a time. Certainly, it can handle streaming music to as many devices as you like (FLAC being a paltry ~100kB/s).

All in all, pretty good for a $15 device! I strongly endorse them as entry-level home fileservers. I’ll probably buy another one at some point.

Commands Used:

 1- 4: N/A: `dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null bs=4M count=4096`
 5- 8: N/A: `pv /dev/sdN >/dev/null`
 9-11:  W : `pv /dev/zero > test`
        R : `pv test > /dev/null`
12-16:  W : `pv /dev/zero | nc HOST 3456` && `nc -l 3456 >/dev/null`
        R : `nc -l 3456 | pv >/dev/null` && `nc HOST 3456 </dev/zero`
17-19:  W : `pv /dev/zero | ssh HOST "cat >/dev/null"`
        R : `ssh HOST "cat /dev/zero" | pv >/dev/null`
 20  :  W : `dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/samba/pogoshare/dev/shm/test bs=1M count=128`
        R : `dd of=/dev/null if=/mnt/samba/pogoshare/dev/shm/test bs=1M count=128`
 21  :  W : `pv /dev/zero | nc pogo 3456` && `nc -l -p 3456 > test`
        R : `nc -l -p 3456 | pv >/dev/null` && `nc odin 3456 < test`
 22  :  W : `pv /dev/zero | ssh pogo "cat > test"`
        R : `ssh pogo "cat test" | pv >/dev/null`
 23  :  W : `pv /dev/zero > /mnt/samba/pogoshare/mnt/extdrive/test`
        R : `pv /mnt/samba/pogoshare/mnt/extdrive/test > /dev/null`
24-27:  W : `for i in {1..N}; do $(dd if=/dev/zero bs=4M count=16 | pv -c > $i) & done; wait`
        R : `for i in {1..N}; do $(pv -c $i > /dev/null) & done; wait`
28-31:  W : `for i in {1..N}; do $(dd if=/dev/zero bs=4M count=16 | ssh pogo "cat - > /mnt/extdrive/$i") & done; wait`
        R : `for i in {1..N}; do $(ssh pogo "dd if=/mnt/extdrive/$i
bs=4M" >/dev/null) & done; wait`
32-35:  W : `for i in {1..N}; do $(dd if=/dev/zero bs=4M count=16 | pv -c > $i) & done; wait`
        R : `for i in {1..N}; do $(pv -c $i > /dev/null) & done; wait`
 37  : N/A: `cat /tmp/randbytes | pv -c | gzip | pv -c | nc pogo 3456` && `mc -l -p 3456 | gunzip >/dev/null`

Testing Notes:

For various tests, sync; echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches was required between tests to not pull just pull from the cache.

1-8: I only have read speeds for these because I didn’t want to overwrite my drive.

5: Intel 520 Series SSD.

6: Intel 320 Series SSD.

33: This started crashing fuse or something, so I gave up. I would’ve investigated, but I was listening to music over sshfs, and I didn’t like how it kept killing my music.

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