Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

results »

Pogoplug Throttling Upload Speeds

Pogoplgu is an online storage service, allowing users unlimited space to store their data for $50 a year. The company are keen to target those who have a lot of pictures and videos, since their homepage branding pushes that aspect, but the service is actually capable of many more file types.

While the firm have so far kept their promise on offering unlimited amounts of storage, some users have found that their upload speeds are being throttled when they upload more than 1TB of data.

Jimmy Cohrssen is a professional photographer who uses Pogoplug to store his photos. He had uploaded around 6TB worth of photos onto the service without noticeable hitch. However, when he went to upload 500 photos in bulk he found that they were taking days to upload – they previously only took a matter of hours.

“Their advertising is very deceptive, really pushing the idea that they are one of the only services out there that provides unlimited services, when the truth is the opposite,” said Cohrssen to Time.

Cohrssen was, rightly, peeved with the situation. Either he would have to upload all his photos to another service or just put up with the throttled speeds. After a long time contacting Pogoplug’s support team, the service finally decided to give him a pro-rated refund.

More users began to cotton on to the throttling and Pogoplug was forced to issue a statement to their affected users. Chief Product Officer Jed Putterman sent out the message through the company’s support channels, eventually saying that they have limited bandwidth that needs to be evenly distributed to keep their service fair.

“Our primary goal is to get people’s initial back up done as fast as possible. In order to do this, for the first 1TB of storage we allow files to be backed up as fast as our users can send them. We chose this amount of storage because we felt it was well beyond the initial amount that people would need to back up to feel safe,” read the statement. “For users beyond 1TB, we take our remaining bandwidth and evenly distribute it across those users. We are constantly adding additional bandwidth and infrastructure, and when we do everybody benefits.”

Speaking to Time, CEO Daniel Putterman offered further information. He explained that there are many factors in play to prioritise speeds. One example was that streaming video is weighted as a higher priority to limit buffering while watching. He further explained that the 1TB throttle was because users wanted fast speeds when initially uploading.

The reason this all became an issue is because Pogoplug doesn’t mention the throttling in their terms of use or FAQ. It’s perhaps a bit disingenuous to only ever acknowledge it through support emails and not before users sign up.

“We’re going to be, probably, very open, and dramatically more so than other companies in the space, and hopefully we’ll set an example for others,” Putterman said.

Nevertheless, it raises important issues that transparency is an important trait when it comes to cloud storage. Many users may have limited upload rates from their internet service provider, so switching services after discovering throttling may not be a viable option.


No comments yet. Sign in to add the first!