Kingston's iOS Wi-Drive App

Kingston keeps things simple - there’s an app for iOS devices, and that’s it. If you weren’t clued in by the industrial design and packaging, the Wi-Drive is a very iDevice-centric accessory. Specifically, if you don’t have an iDevice, you have no use for it right now. An Android application was promised at launch, but it has yet to materialize.

The setup process is pretty simple. Press and hold the power button to turn it on, wait 15 seconds for it to boot up, then go into your iDevice’s wireless network page and connect to “Wi-Drive”. Then go to the Wi-Drive app, wait for the content to load, and away you go. The menu tree is pretty intuitive, with standard folder traversal as well as filter options for photos, videos, and music.

The settings menu is pretty poorly designed from a UI standpoint, but it gets the job done. You can change the device name (the SSID of the network), whether the SSID is broadcast, the wireless channel, and your choice of WPA or WEP security. There’s also a wireless network passthrough—you can connect to your access point of choice through the network connections menu. After a reboot of the Wi-Drive, you should have a working internet connection. In theory, at least.

In practice, I had some definite issues getting it working; after trying three different wireless networks (mine, my neighbors, and a review device on wireless hotspot), I basically gave up on the feature. I then disabled the security on the wireless hotspot and finally got it working, but that's a pretty big flaw for wireless networking. Once enabled, the passthrough mode was faster than I expected, offering up speeds between 60-80% of the network that was being passed through, varying based on distance and line of sight from the network. The main hit was the latency, which more than doubled. 

Left: Speed of my HSPA+ WiFi hotspot. Right: Speed of the same WiFi hotspot, connected through the Kingston Wi-Drive.

The Hardware - Kingston Wi-Drive and Seagate GoFlex Satellite Seagate's Satellite iOS, Android, and Browser Apps
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  • hmurchison - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Some airlines are now offering in flight Wifi for a fee (usually $6) Reply
  • Kuhnian - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Can we write data to these devices ? Especially to the bigger one, the GoFlex Satellite.

    I'm an amateur ohotographer and the first time I heard of Satellite I thought that it could be the final mobile storage solution for photo safaris (100's to 1000's of raw photos in just one session at max resolution needs more than one sd card). I was thinking of connecting my Canon 60D with Satellite through an Eye-Fi card. But at first there wasn't enough info on the net and now after this review I'm beginning to suspect that it can do what I'm dreaming of.
    Reply
  • inplainview - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Yes you can write to it, but if you are on a Mac, there are issues. Apparently there is a problem in Mac OS X 17.x that is causing the Sat not to show up in Finder. When you buy it they give you Paragon's NTFS software that is supposed to let you mount NTFS volumes under Mac OS, but it does not work. If you were to format the drive to read HFS+, you will lose the wifi capabilities, so in effect you can: a) Format the drive HFS+ and lose wifi, b) take your chances with the Paragon software and hope it does not hose your system, c) skip this thing all together and just use a regular external drive. While I like the idea from Seagate, it is not very reliable. Reply
  • Kuhnian - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I think you missed the point. I mean, can my Eye-Fi adapter send photo data to this disk wirelessly not over the usb (or other ports) cable. Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    The real answer, surely, is that these drives should support WebDAV.
    I'm kinda amazed that neither of them do --- this seems to indicate extraordinary incompetence on the part of both companies (backed up by this NTFS/reformatting the drive loses wifi nonsense --- WTF --- I perform what is essentially a SW operation and I lose HW functionality???)

    IF such a drive supported WebDAV it could then be used by a variety of iOS and Android apps, which support WebDAV, and could (simultaneously, if that is useful) be attached to Finder or Windows Explorer, to allow a PC to easily add and modify files.
    Reply
  • marvdmartian - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Is how easily/possible it would be to take the Seagate drive, and swap out the 2.5" hdd for a decent sized SDD?

    If it's do-able, that could easily give you the best of both worlds......the speed of the SSD, as well as the lower power consumption. You might not want to go whole hog with a 512GB SSD (as that would probably be prohibitively expensive), but even a 100 to 200GB capacity would still give you plenty of storage, and not break the bank.
    Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Given that we've already been told reformatting the drive LOSES the WiFi functionality --- apparently the genius designers neither included that functionality on separate ROM, nor used firmware tricks to prevent that section of the disk from being touched by a reformat --- swapping drives seems highly unlikely to generate any useful result. You will now have a larger than usual 2.5" drive, with NO WiFi capability, and which cost you a lot more than a standard 2.5" drive. Reply
  • tigertony9 - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    One drive that was missing was the G-Technoogy G-Connect. http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-connect.cfm Reply
  • hmurchison - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I'm surprised the G-Technology drive is missing from this article. It's different from the GoFlex in that it doesn't offer a battery but it does have Gig-E ethernet so you can put it on a physical network when you need it.

    addendum:

    I don't know why people keep ranting about MicroSD card slots. They're fine for augmenting storage but the ideal behind these products is sharing to multiple users. So if I'm traveling with my kids I can take a loaded drive and they can choose which content they want to watch or listen to. You can do that by simply shoving in SD card.
    Reply
  • myapp11 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    How easy is it to remove the hard drives in the seagate wifi mobile device and the wi-drive device?
    I want to upgrade the hard drives?

    Thanks
    Reply

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