Why buy a 64GB iPad when you could have 1TB of storage? That is one of the key selling propositions behind the new Seagate Wireless Plus portable hard drive.
The storage company has revealed a new face for its consumer network-attached storage (NAS) drives, beginning with the 1TB Wireless Plus unit, available now, and stepping up to the lounge-room ready Central, with 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacity options. The larger Central NAS drives will be released in May.
Seagate has spent the time between releases working on a range of new apps to access content on its drives, now with apps for iOS, Android, PC, Mac and Samsung TVs.
The Wireless Plus lives up to its name with completely wireless interfacing, with support for 802.11 b/g/n compliant hardware, and a built-in battery good for 10-hours of video streaming to mobile devices. It supports both AirPlay and DLNA streaming protocols too, so it should connect to most home cinemas.
Out with the old
This drive replaces last year's GoFlex Satellite, and while there are obvious aesthetic advantages in this recent release, there are a few key enhancements to functionality as well.
Perhaps most importantly, files can now be uploaded to the drive from iPads and other mobile devices -- a major oversight in the previous iteration where only data transfers from the drive were supported. The ability to upload wirelessly to the unit's memory could be particularly handy for photographers with Wi-Fi enabled equipment.
You can also now use the internet while connected to the ad-hoc network created by the hard drive. Now, when connecting to the drive, you can choose to have the internet pass-through the Seagate unit, similar to the way a Wi-Fi range extender works. It connects to your home network, and you connect your tablet, phone or PC to the hard drive.
Similar to the GoFlex, up to eight users can connect to the drive simultanesously, but now the drive's hardware is capable of streaming up to three video streams at one time. Impressively, Seagate's 10-hour battery life estimate was taken with three simultaneous videos streams, so you might expect this figure to increase with use by just a single user.