Review | Seagate Wireless Plus external drive

By Charlemagne Losaria

With smartphones and tablets sales showing no signs of slowing down, one of the things you need to consider nowadays is how much storage you would need to satisfy your cravings to store all your downloaded games, music, TV series, and movies.

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Yes, we’ve heard the new iPhone has a 128GB variant and so are memory cards having the same capacity already out in the market. The question is, are you willing to spend all that cheddar on a new iPhone just to have that much storage capacity?

Your existing devices might not have the capability to read that large memory card capacity. This is where a portable, wireless storage device comes in handy.

Storage solutions vendor Seagate recently launched its second-generation Seagate Wireless Plus. Designed to wirelessly stream two terrabytes (2TB) worth of content to up to eight devices simultaneously, the Seagate Wireless Plus aims to break the limitations of this generation’s on-the-go lifestyle.

Design and build

For a two-terabyte storage device, the Seagate Wireless Plus is quite compact, measuring only at 127x89x19mm and weighs only 256g. You can easily slip this in your bag or pocket and access your favorite series or movies without the hassle of wires.

Build wise, the Wireless Plus is surprisingly solid, not really the strongest trait of Seagate with their older lineups of storage device. I’m saying this based on experience and it looks like Seagate has learned a thing or two from its competitors. This time, with an improved quality of their storage’s cases, there is no apparent creaking sound when you apply pressure on the device.

The top part of the Wireless Plus is made of high quality plastic with dark grey chrome finish. It looks really classy and solid. A Wi-Fi indicator and power indicator is also present to show both wireless and battery status.

The bottom part is covered with a rubber matte finish, giving it that rugged look underneath. Classy at the top, rugged at the bottom — not a bad combination if you ask me. A single button, which serves as the power switch of the device is present on the left side of the device.

Seagate says that the hard drive is very durable and is safe to carry around. It also features an accelerometer which can detect falls, bumps, and shocks, allowing the drive to prepare itself for impact which may help protect the data.

Performance

The Seagate Wireless Plus is compatible with Windows PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Unfortunately for Windows Phone users, it is currently not supported.

The Wireless Plus generates its own wireless network for your device to connect. For you to stream your content to your smartphones and tablets, you need to download first the Seagate Media app on your device. This is a free application that is readily available at the Apple App Store and Google Play and automatically sorts your contents by type.

Once downloaded, the app can facilitate streaming of your contents and even supports wireless transfer between your device and the Wireless Plus. Imagine having the capability to transfer pictures and videos taken on your phone or tablet and wirelessly transfer it to the Wireless Plus.

If you prefer not to install and use the Seagate Media app, you can also use your Web browser (PC, Macs, iOS, and Android devices) to access your contents. You will automatically be redirected to the homepage of the drive. From the homepage you have access to all the files that are available for playback.

The Seagate Wireless Plus supports drag and drop method to transfer your content from the PC to the device via USB 3.0. It also allows automatic synchronization with cloud-file sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Although designed to wirelessly stream content to up to eight devices, Seagate recommends limiting the number of devices simultaneously playing high definition (HD) movies to three devices for optimal user experience. I also noticed that the more devices you connect, the slower the transfer of content is.

The Wireless Plus also supports “Surf and Stream”. That is, the device, while connected to your Wi-Fi Network, can also serve as a wireless router to create a network to be shared by up to seven devices. So you can still check emails or receive Facebook notifications while streaming your favorite TV series.

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Battery life

Seagate claims that the battery life of the Wireless Plus lasts up to 10 hours. Based on our tests, it does meet the expected battery life with averages of up to 9 hours, solely depending on the number of connected devices and the type of activity.

It does outlast your smartphones and is quite at par with iPad tablets. This beats the previous generation’s battery life where we only managed to squeeze more or less than six hours.

Another thing to note is that you can’t charge the device using your computer’s USB port. That is, you need to use the provided charger as it requires more power than what a standard USB port may give. Charging time using the charger will take up to 4 hours.

Conclusion

The idea behind the Seagate Wireless Plus is simple: give consumers the option to expand their mobile storage up to two terabytes and also, have that storage shared by multiple devices.

It’s a no-brainer really. Imagine having your smartphone and tablet access up to 2TB worth of multimedia content. This is especially handy for those who own multiple devices, may it be on different mobile platforms or for those avid travelers who wants access to their content at their fingertips.

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