Cloud computing: Choosing a personal cloud service

Personal cloud services provide users with a clear path to data, and even some apps, regardless of platform. CodeLathe's Tonido and CloudEngines' PogoPlug reviewed.

By , ITworld |  On-demand Software, cloud services

When discussing cloud computing on any level it's important to understand just what kind of cloud you're talking about. Essentially, for single users, cloud use comes in two categories: online storage and online applications.

Whenever you work in the cloud, there can be drawbacks. The typical cloud storage model, for instance, operates something like this: you upload the files you want to share to a remote server, which will then be available for you to access later via a browser interface. Handy, but uploading the files to the remote server can be a slow process, you may have concerns about the privacy of your files, and there's the very real chance you could upload the wrong files, leaving you high and dry when you're coming into the cloud remotely.

[ Related link: Storage in the Cloud: You can find safe, reliable storage in the cloud for all your personal needs if you look carefully]

What if you could flip the notion of the cloud around and get it to be a more personal service? Instead of interacting with a remote server somewhere out there in the tubes that comprise the Internet, you could access your files directly on your computer from wherever in the world you happen to be?

That's the idea behind the concept of personal cloud services, which provide users with a clear path to their data, and even some apps, regardless of platform.

This is a burgeoning sector of cloud space, with new services coming out all of the time. Two of the most promising offerings are Tonido from CodeLathe, and PogoPlug from CloudEngines, which have a strong overlap in features, but approach the customer in different ways.

Tonido Shines Sunlight on Your Desktop

CodeLathe's Tonido is a client-based cloud service that can be installed directly on a user's computer on a multitude of platforms: Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Once installed, users can then register for a new Tonido account, which immediately creates a straightforward URL that will redirect to the client machine from any web browser. The local app not only allows remote access to the machine, but also installs a small portfolio of apps that can be accessed by the client either locally or remotely.

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