In this day and age of digital hoarding, it’s often too easy to run out of space. We want to store every photo, every song, and every crappy home-video that we’ve shot with our smartphones at 1am. But all this data eventually builds up, and pretty soon your smartphone or your laptop is packed to the brim with gigabytes of data. That’s where the Seagate Wireless Plus comes into play – not only is a nifty 1TB external hard drive, it also has some rather unique features that let you wirelessly access your data and multimedia wirelessly across multiple devices.
The Wireless Plus is as simple as they come, sporting a grey and black look with a power button on the side and a connector at the top for data transfer and recharging the drive. The device bundles with a USB cable, a cover for hiding the charging port, and a wall adaptor. Overall the drive feels quite sturdy, and getting set up will quite literally take you all of two minutes.
When plugged into your PC, the Wireless Plus drive acts like an ordinary 1TB external hard drive. You can quickly drag and drop files onto it, and the speeds overall are quite decent (if you’re using a USB 3.0 port of course). But when unplugged, the Wireless Plus drive becomes a wireless media hub, allowing you to access your data and multimedia on the fly.
In order to access your data, you’ll need to download and install Seagate’s free app onto your iPad or smartphone. Once installed, you simply connect your device to the Wireless Plus’ wi-fi network, and you’re good to go. Additionally once connected, you can configure your Wireless Plus drive to connect to an existing wi-fi network, thus sharing content to your device without losing Internet connectivity.
The app is fairly straightforward to use, and categorizes data based on content, such as photos, videos, music etc. Tapping a file in the app will connect to the drive and stream the data after a few seconds. For the most part, streaming a full HD clip off the drive was nearly flawless, with the video only briefly pausing in the middle and towards the end, probably owing to wifi bandwidth restrictions on my network. The only downside is that the Seagate app doesn’t support a lot of video formats, so if you’re looking to replay movies and tv shows that you’ve ‘acquired’, then you’ll be out of luck. The files show up, but tapping them prompts you to download a ‘third party player’. On the flip side, if you do have a third-party app on your device that supports DLNA, then you’ll be able to detect the Wireless Plus on your network and stream directly off it without a hitch. It even showed up on my PS3 and streamed directly off it without a problem.
The Wireless Plus claims to be able to stream up to 10 hours of video on a full charge, which is certainly a heft claim. I’d think that if you were just streaming music or a couple of movies this would be fine, but I’d expect the battery life to drop a bit if you were streaming to multiple sources. I do have one thought though – at the press event Seagate were vividly describing how the Wireless Plus can be used when you want to watch your own movies in-flight on long trips. While that sounds great, it’s important to note that some airlines might not allow a device that broadcasts wi-fi signals like the Wireless Plus does.
If you’re looking for more storage on the go or need another place to pack all your videos and music, then the Seagate Wireless Plus is a nifty addition to your tech arsenal. It’s sleek, lightweight, and for the most part will do the job in keeping you entertained on the go. Need to keep the kids entertained in the car? Pack the Wireless Plus with you so that everyone can watch whatever they want, and best of all – no wires!