A trio of new home-networking devices adds new flexibility when streaming media or moving files.
Plus, a rugged USB flash drive provides serious security when you have to take your data on the road.
Streaming anywhere with Seagate Wireless Plus
As tablet, phone, and — yes — even some PC vendors push us toward cloud-based storage services, they’re saddling us with either limited storage capacity or monthly storage fees and, occasionally, no access to our online storage at all. (There have been several high-profile cloud-service outages in the past year or so.) The cloud has its uses, but most of us still feel more comfortable storing our data locally.
For the newest external hard drives, it’s not enough to simply hold your movies, music, documents, etc. The battery-powered Seagate Wireless Plus (info), for example, offers a 1TB capacity in a nine-ounce, pocket-size case. But the Wireless Plus can also set up its own Wi-Fi network, connecting simultaneously to as many as eight devices: tablets, smartphones, and PCs.
Seagate rates the Wireless Plus’s Wi-Fi range at 150 feet. In my informal tests, the maximum distance the device fluidly streamed video to my iPad was about 100 feet. Beyond that, video playback had occasional stutters. (Range will depend on the structure and other variables of a particular location.)
The Wireless Plus works nicely with traditional PCs, but it’s designed foremost as local storage for tablets and smartphones. To that end, Seagate provides downloadable apps for Android, Apple iOS, Kindle, OS X, and Windows. Seagate has even preloaded a cornucopia of sample videos, music, and photos — along with some more useful management utilities.
You can move content from your PC to the Wireless Plus via a Wi-Fi connection or use the included USB 3.0 cable (it works with USB 2.0 ports as well).