I tried out their service recently and it works very well. It reminds me of Orb, although Orb caches thumbnails and filenames of your photos, music files, and videos on their web server. Privacy advocates may not like this. Polkast seems to be a true P2P direct connection between your mobile device and your "personal cloud", which is your PC running the Polkast software. Unlike Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, Google Drive, and other cloud-based providers, your PC is your cloud provider.
My Polkast Main Screen on iPhone 4S
Peer-to-peer allows unlimited file access without uploading and downloading via the cloud, making Polkast faster and more efficient than computer-to-cloud-to-device model.
The progressive streaming needs a little work. I tried streaming iPhone videos (.mov) stored on my Windows 7 PC and it couldn't stream it. I then tried .avi files and it couldn't stream that either. I wish they documented exactly what codecs and file formats are required for streaming. Nevertheless, I was able to download .mov and .avi videos and play them. I had to wait for the download to finish of course, which is why I was hoping progressive streaming would work better for me. On my Wi-Fi connection I was getting 1.2MB/s peak download speed from my iPhone, but it averaged around 800KB/s. I was able to successfully stream music (.mp3 files), so that was nice to be able to access my entire PC-based library of music from my iPhone. Due to space limitations on my iPhone 4S (32GB) I don't sync my entire music library, so using Polkast is a nice workaround.
Accessing Word and Excel docs from my iPhone was a snap and it even sports the ability to open them in SkyDrive or Dropbox. I believe if you open it in SkyDrive you can edit the document, but I didn't try that.
Polkast turns your computer into a personal cloud file server that allows access to all your files shared on any device connected in the your private personal cloud. Polkast does not need to sync files, and has no storage limitations, which gives you fast, secure access to large files like photos, music, and videos.
My Polkast Video Screen on iPhone 4S
“We start where the cloud stops, delivering improvements in user experience and efficiency over WiFi,” said Hong Bui, founder and CEO, Polkast. “Most people have hundreds of gigabytes of files. Polkast solves an important need for people who transfer large files or have a large library of photos and videos trapped on their computer.”
Files are never uploaded so Polkast gives you secure encrypted access to personal content.
New features in Polkast 2.0:
● Polkast Pro subscription version. The standard free version of Polkast 2.0 allows unlimited mobile devices to connect to one computer or storage drive. The Pro version is designed for users with multiple computers and has no limit to the number of computers, storage or mobile devices connected in the personal cloud. Polkast Pro users can keep personal and work files separate yet always accessible
● Dynamically renders images to optimize in high resolution for great photo viewing, including stunning retina display on iOS.
● View photos by Timeline, Album or Folder for fast access to unlimited photos.
● Enhancements to progressive video streaming from computer to mobile directly over WiFi.
● PC-to-PC now available on all Windows computers (Mac OS support coming soon).
● UI and user experience improvements give even non-technical users the easiest, fastest way to build their own personal cloud for anytime file access.
Polkast can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.
Tags: cloud, dropbox, google drive, google play, ios, iphone, p2p, personal cloud, polkast, polkast 2.0, skydrive, streaming, wi-fi
Related tags: personal cloud, mobile devices, music files, access files, cloud polkast, polkast
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