June 8th, 2013 at 7:07 pm
|Tagged With: External Hard Drive, feature, gaming pc, gold award, mobile, pc, pc build, portable, Recommended, review, Seagate, tech, tech reviews, USB3, wireless, Wireless Plus|
Welcome to the third review in our PC Build series. We are sticking with external drives and PC accessories for the first part of the feature, but in the next couple of weeks, we will be moving on to the internal components. Today, we have another drive in the Seagate range; the Wireless Plus.
The Wireless Plus is a portable, wireless storage solution which brings new opportunities to your portable devices. The Wireless Plus has the ability to connect to up to 8 devices wirelessly to stream movies, music and pictures direct to those devices. Even while connected wirelessly to the PC, the drive can connect to your broadband and pass the signal through to your PC, so you’ll still have a full internet connection.
As you can see above, the Wireless Plus comes with a brushed-aluminum style finish on the top, with a black rubbery plastic base. The drive is slightly thicker than a standard external hard drive, with a bit of extra weight additionally. The device feels sturdy, well built and is quite stylish and premium in appearance. This drive is another of Seagate’s which can be connected to the PC using a USM standard SATA data & power to micro USB3.0 adapter (included with all of Seagate’s ‘plus’ range drives). This means that you only need to carry around one adapter for all your external drives supporting this standard (eg. an SSD, the Backup Plus, the Wireless Plus and most Seagate offerings, as well as some others).
The device comes with a detachable USB3 adapter, a wall charger, a micro USB3 to USB3 cable and a quick start guide. The Wireless Plus competes with drives like the Voyager Air, which, for example, the Wireless Plus is smaller, cheaper and much lighter than – as well as looking like a premium product in comparison to the Air.
As mentioned earlier, the Wireless Plus can be connected to eight devices simultaneously, including smartphones, tables, PCs, smart TVs and Blu-Ray players, however, the device is also a DLNA compatible device, meaning there is no app needed to connect to it (however, there is an improved interface when using the smartphone, tablet and PC apps), so older devices such as the PS3 and Xbox 360 can still support it without any update or app.
The app available on iOS and Android is very well laid out and easy to use. The Wireless Plus has no problems streaming three HD movies to three different devices at the same time, so, the drive can be used by the entire family while on holiday for example. This reduces the need to buy the more expensive versions of tablets which have larger storage space, the 1TB Wireless Plus has enough space to hold the entire collection of films, music and pictures.
Files can be moved to and from the device over wireless or by direct connection through USB3. We don’t recommend transferring anything other than pictures and music over wireless as it can be very slow. The device is capable, however, of streaming several files to different devices simultaneously without any problems or buffering in most cases. The device also has no problem streaming to devices across the house and through walls, the wireless is strong enough to stretch from one end of the average home to the other.
The device, if in constant use, has a five to six hour battery life, however, the battery can last longer if not connected to several devices at once and if not streaming to more than one device simultaneously. Overall, it should last long enough to run for a normal family car journey and can be plugged into a wall socket once arriving at your destination. You could also try charging the device from your laptop, however, it can be quite slow.
When connected to the PC over USB3, the drive was able to achieve a 112.9MB/s sequential read and 110.3MB/s sequential write in CrystalDiskMark and in real use transfers, the drive averaged read and write speeds of between 45MB/s and 78MB/s – perfectly acceptable for a device of this kind, designed to be a wireless solution.
Overall, at an RRP of £150, the Wireless Plus is a fantastic device which is a perfect product for anyone with limited space on tablets and smartphones to carry films, photos or music on your travels. If you find yourself desperate for high levels of storage at a reasonable price, the Wireless Plus is the best drive on the market for the purpose. 1TB of storage which can be connected to eight devices at once is excellent value at the £150 asking price. Again, Seagate shows their expertise in creating good quality, high performance external solutions at a great price. This drive gets our gold award.