Working and playing on the go, over competent mobile devices is real fun stuff-until you hit the ceiling for your storage capacity. When purchasing phones, tablets and laptops we try to aim as high as our wallets will fire. But often our ambition out distances our range. A wizened man would scoff at our storage dilemma, probably calling it “entropy” or something enlightened and equally annoying. I just say, “sh*t happens! So wear a raincoat.” Or in this case, be ready with some sort of extra storage solution.
In this arena Seagate has something special–the Seagate Wireless Plus 1tb WiFi/USB external hard drive. This badboy, on which we spilled the beans, is fresh out of last week’s CES show. It’s a standard external USB 3.0 HDD with a built-in WiFi adapter for multiple WiFi-enabled device connections, sans the need for any sort of internet connectivity. The end result is wireless data streaming of movies, photos, files and music. At a 1Tb capacity, the Seagate Wireless Plus is a closed loop wireless repository granting remote access to a pirate’s chest worth of booty–500 mp4 movies and thousands more songs and documents can be stored. Ha, and I have a working model in my grubby hands.
In a brushed grey look, the unit is about 50% larger than the Seagate Plus 1Tb we reviewed and selected for gift guide prime time. It ships with the core Seagate Wireless Plus storage drive, USB 3.0-toSATA adapter with detachable USB 3.0 cable, small compact USB wall charger that plugs into the USB-to-DC cable, quick start fold-out sheet and a 3yr warranty pamphlet.
The Wireless plus is the veritable “negotiator” with a primary focus on cohesion of your various forms of data. Keeping the peace between Android, Windows, MAC and iOS devices, your OS allegiances are of absolutely no concern to the Seagate Wireless Plus. It even works with game consoles and Kindle Fire. When wireless, it acts as an OS-agnostic conduit for file streaming–up to 10 full hours on a full charge.
Connecting over USB is a plug-n play affair. But when connecting wirelessly, there are a few considerations. To tap into the Wireless Plus from an iOS or Android device, a companion app is required. The app is free of cost on both the Android Play Store and the Apple AppStore. A press of the of a button on the Seagate drive enables WiFi pairing. NOTE: It does take a full 60sec for the blue light to go from blinking to solid, signifying WiFi connections are possible. Then connect your mobile device to the Seagate Wireless Plus like you would any other WiFi network.
The app on both iOS and Android look virtually identical. It features media players for Mp4 movies and music files. As long as you have your files in this format, things are golden. Fighting me tooth and nail, the player would not run my .avi, divx ot .mkv files. The settings options are also limited. But in truth few adjustment–if any–are needed within the allowed format. Mp4 is super solid. However, the omission and lack of native support for other file formats is unfortunate, though not a deal breaker. Again, Mp4 is great! Plus you can download 3rd party applications that can handle multiple codecs. GoodPlayer for MAC and PC is one of these and offers secondary support for VI, Xvid, Divx, DAT, VOB, FLV, WMV , MKV, MP4, RM,RMVB, HTTP,HTTPS, FTP, RTSP, MMS, SFTP, SMB, MMSH, MMST ,RTP, UPnP and UDP. Codecs galore for your consumption!
I should mention, WiFi is NOT only for streaming content. You can also copy data wirelessly by selecting save from the pull-down menu when viewing a file or media. There are also secondary streaming options. All of the higher end 3rd party software media players such as VLC, DaumPot Player and even WMP can stream content via a URL address. This is exactly how content streams from the Wireless Plus to your PC or laptop–over an internet browser directly via URL.
Everyday use is simple and pretty bad-ass! This thing rocks! That 60sec. transfer time it takes to enable WiFi is more than annoying at the onset. But you get used to it and learn to walk away…it helps. But this past weekend brought a work-filled picnic in the park with good food, a little tech editing and some Open Season movie viewing, all at the same time, across 2-different generations of iPads and an Android Smartphone. Playback was flawless, super smooth and went completely uninterrupted. The Seagate Wireless Plus drive is an amazing tool that allows a nature lover like myself to be among it, while still toiling away like I never left the office. In my exuberance it’s easy to forget the Wireless Plus is also a great external USB 3.0 high speed storage drive with the ability to juggle multiple system backups.
UPDATE: After speaking with a Seagate rep we now know, you can save your movies and data wirelessly. Plus 3rd party players are supported which can greatly increase the number of supported codecs, depending on the player. Thanks, Nathan and Bboy!
Bottom Line: Read the review. There are a few niggling negatives. But this is a great device that could only get better. It’s a fantastic external High Speed USB 3.0 drive and a terrific wireless access storage solution with ample capacity.
- Wireless stream and save data w/ out internet
- Portable and easy to use
- Windows, Android, iOS, MAC OS and Kindle supported
- Multiple simultaneous connections
- Support for 3rd party video players for expanded codec support
- Few nativley supported video codecs
- Few playback settings
- 60sec. WiFi startup time
The Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB Mobile Storage drive is available at Amazon for $199.
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.