Seagate drive streams media to your iPad, iPhone

The scoop: GoFlex Satellite, by Seagate, about $200.

The scoop: GoFlex Satellite, by Seagate, about $200.

What it is: Seagate continues to innovate and make storage sexy -- with the GoFlex Satellite, it's another one of those "Why hasn't someone done this before?" moments. The Satellite is a 500GB external hard drive that can wirelessly stream multimedia files (movies, music, photos) to any mobile device (but especially the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch).

The Satellite has its own Wi-Fi network -- when you connect your iPad (or other device, including Mac, PC or Android device via a Web browser), you can stream media stored on the Satellite to your iPad. This can free up a ton of space on your iPad -- instead of transferring media to the iPad itself, you can keep it on the much larger GoFlex Satellite. If your media library extends past the 64GB capacity of the top-end iPad, the 500GB capacity makes even more sense.

The Wi-Fi connection (it has 802.11n support with about a 150-foot range) also supports streaming for up to three devices. For example, you can watch three different movies simultaneously, making this a great idea for streaming media content in a car (the device comes with a car charger). The drive also comes with a USB 3.0 cable that supports Seagate's GoFlex adapter, which is useful for transferring your media library to the device (you can either drag-and-drop or use Seagate's media syncing software).

Seagate says the lithium polymer battery on the GoFlex Satellite can last up to five hours on a single charge, and provide up to 25 hours of standby time. I preferred using the wall adapter or car charger to keep the battery up and running.

For iPad and other iOS devices, a free app (GoFlex Media) lets you access the GoFlex Satellite once connected via the Wi-Fi network. For other device users (Mac, PC, Android), opening up a browser will redirect the user to the GoFlex app on the device.

Why it's cool: For users with media libraries that go beyond the storage capacity of their mobile device, this means they don't have to pick and choose which media to transfer. Seagate also allows for the playback of iTunes protected content -- as long as the device you're using (iOS devices only) is synched with an authorized iTunes account. The simultaneous streaming function is superb for allowing the kids to consume content on a road trip without having to transfer it to individual devices.

Some caveats: The software interface (and iOS app) has some rough edges in trying to locate specific songs or videos to listen to/view; album art is missing (Seagate says an update will fix this).

Also, because the device uses its own Wi-Fi router in essence, users won't be able to access the Internet while using the device. While Seagate won't confirm this, I wouldn't be surprised to see a device down the road that solves this problem, perhaps through the use of a 3G/4G device like Novatel Wireless' Mi-Fi units (basically, imagine a Mi-Fi mobile router that also contains a 500GB hard drive).

But that's a future prediction -- for now, users can be happy in knowing that they can truly bring all of their media with them and view it on any mobile device without having to upgrade to a larger-capacity unit.

Grade: 4.5 stars (out of five).

Shaw can be reached at kshaw@nww.com.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags wirelessNetworkingsoftwareapplicationsWLANs / Wi-FiGraphics / multimediaGoFlex Satellite

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Keith Shaw

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?