Smart and mobile devices might be laying siege to computer territory but one area in which they come up severely short is storage space. If you have purchased a mobile computing device of late — be it tablet, phablet or smartphone — it is a fair chance that you have ended up with storage space well short of the 100 GB mark. In fact, if you are on a tight budget, it is very likely that your device’s onboard storage will be close to 16 GB, which in some cases can be expanded using an SD card, but even with this can at the most go up to about 64 GB. Hardly enough to accommodate your HD video and music album collection, not to mention the hundreds of photographs one takes these days. Yes, you can store your data on the cloud, but then you do end up spending a fortune in bandwidth just uploading and downloading it.
Which is why portage solutions have been springing up to enable users to store and carry their data around, with minimum fuss (and minus a notebook). Some of these are relatively passive and simply let you access the data you store on them. And some, like Seagate’s Wireless Plus add a whole new spin to the concept of portable storage.
Very compact (about 2 cm high) and tipping the scales at around 256 grammes, Seagate’s Wireless Plus packs 1 TB of storage inside a frame that is small enough to be slipped into a coat packet or bag. And it looks presentable enough with its brushed metal finish to sit comfortably in any part of the house. But it is not its looks or portability or even its storage that are its real strength. What really makes the Wireless Plus special is the fact that it can create a wireless hotspot to which you can connect your computers and Android and iOS devices and access information on it.
This is how it works: you transfer your data (music, video, documents, photographs) to the drive , either over USB from your computer just as you would in any other portable hard drive by dragging and dropping the files (you would need to install a free app in the case of Macs) or by installing a free app on your iOS and Android devices. Once you have got your information on the Wireless Plus, you only need to switch it on and wait for the blue light to glow solidly, indicating that it has created a Wi-Fi hotspot. Now, to access the data you have saved on it, simply connect to the Wi-Fi hot spot. No wires, and what’s more, as many as eight devices can connect to it at one go - and three can actually watch HD films off it.
So in essence, you can just park about five hundred HD films on a single device, or thousands of documents, songs and pictures. And access them from your phone, tablet or computer, over Wi-Fi. A neat touch is the fact that you can even connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi on another connection, while staying connected to the Wireless Plus. And it comes with about 10 hours of battery life — it lasted around eight hours with our iPad, iPhone 4S and Nexus connected to it.
All of which makes the Seagate Wireless Plus one of the best wireless storage options we have seen, and a perfect option for those who would rather save the space on their devices for apps and the like. Yes, it has its shortcomings — connecting to the Wi-Fi hotspot can be a pain sometimes, the Android and iOS apps can at time lag, not all video and audio formats are supported across all platforms, and yes, if you are using a BB or a Windows Phone device, then this is nothing but a pricey box for you. Speaking of price, at Rs 16,000, the Wireless Plus is definitely expensive, but then it certainly beats carrying your videos and documents around on SD cards.