In the era of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more and more major tech brands are being caught out when it comes to cloud-based storage solutions – and their customers are paying the price.
Seagate Wireless Plus 2TB hard drive
Stream your content to multiple smartphones and tablets free from restrictive wires
- Wirelessly stream content
- Fast transfer rates
- Wide support for a range of products
- Premium price
Seagate has made a good product great with the Wireless Plus. The now refined application makes it easy to setup a wireless hotspot, secure the network, access your content and keep tabs on the status of the Wireless Plus. The hardware is tough to fault too, with its proficient streaming (remember: three devices for videos), commendable battery life and everyday form factor.
Price$ 279.00 (AUD)
Seagate's Wireless Plus is a hard drive that can stream media wirelessly to smartphones, tablets and streaming devices, such as Google’s Chromecast.
The Wireless Plus looks like any run-of-the-mill storage drive. A plastic body measures little over 2cm thick (21mm) and contributes to the drive’s weight of 272 grams. There’s no need for an external power source as a microUSB 3.0 port handles charging its internal battery.
Wireless transfers require the drive to be turned on, which can be done by pressing the power button found on its side, while two perpendicular notification lights communicate the status for the wireless signal and remaining battery life.
Transferring content to the Wireless Plus must be carried out over USB in spite of the drive's wireless credentials. Writing to the drive happens at a rate of 50MBps. Copying content from the drive to a notebook over USB 3.0 can be done at an average speed of 120 megabytes per second (MBps).
Sharing content — no strings attached
This Seagate drive’s party trick is its ability to stream multimedia wirelessly to smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and wireless dongles. It does this by transferring content over its own 2.4GHz wireless network.
A free app called “SeagateMedia” needs to be downloaded before content can be streamed from the Wireless Plus. SeagateMedia works as a file manager and a media player combo. It supports Apple, Android and Windows RT devices, in addition to Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
The wireless hotspot created by the Wireless Plus by default is not password protected. The drive will prompt users to setup a password from the SeagateMedia app. Any smartphones or tablets will need to authenticate the password before gaining access to content stored on the hard drive.
Seagate has made it possible for products to jump on the Wireless Plus’ network and still have access to a Wi-Fi internet connection. A setting in the SeagateMedia app makes it possible to connect the Wireless Plus to a Wi-Fi network. It takes roughly a minute for the drive to jump onto the nominated network and relay the Internet to the connected devices.
How many devices can I stream to?
Seagate claims up to 8 devices can have content streamed simultaneously, and so Good Gear Guide dusted a total of eight smartphones and tablets running either iOS or Android.
The hard drive was loaded with a 90s-television-series-about-nothing recorded in PAL’s 704x528 resolution. We managed to have different episodes running simultaneously without trouble on seven devices; that is, up until we began to interrupt playback.
Under the stress of streaming videos to so many devices, playback can be thwarted by skipping through parts of a video. This will cause glitches in playback — not only on the one device — but on a number of the devices on the Wireless Plus’ hot spot.
Streaming music and browsing photos with the Wireless Plus was far more consistent. Our testing found music playback was sound, no matter if tracks are being fast forwarded or skipped entirely.
Not all multimedia streamed without fault; on a few occasions our smartphone lost its connection with the wireless Seagate drive. Technically it is possible to stream content to eight devices, but the reality is the Wireless Plus will buckle under the strain. Good Gear Guide found the Wireless Plus worked best when it was streaming video to three devices or less simultaneously.
Seagate boasts it is possible for Wireless Plus to stream content for up to 10 hours. We found running three videos simultaneously drained a fully charged Wireless Plus in four hours. Plugging the drive into a computer can charge the drive, but it is unable stream content. We recommend plugging the drive into a powerpoint, which can both charge the drive and enable wireless streaming.
Seagate has made a good product great with the Wireless Plus. The now refined application makes it easy to setup a wireless hotspot, secure the network, access your content and keep tabs on the status of the Wireless Plus. The hardware is tough to fault too, with its fast transfers, proficient streaming (remember: three devices for videos), commendable battery life and everyday form factor.
The 2TB version of the Wireless Plus has a formatted capacity of 1.81TB. A recommended retail price of $279 means it costs approximately 15 cents per gigabyte, compared to an average of 8 cents per gigabyte for ordinary drives of the same capacity.
People who consume multimedia on their smartphone will find the Seagate Wireless Plus a worthwhile investment. In all, this isn’t a hard drive built for the heydays of the PC. but for the dawn of all things mobile.
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