With 98 per cent of laptops shipping with Wi-Fi built in, it's no suprise there are an increasing number of devices allowing you to stream media files around your home.

The Verbatim MediaStation Pro is one of the most versatile we've come across, as it allows you to share movies and recorded TV shows around the house.

The unit is a simple black box and comes with a remote control unit. Consisting of a 500GB hard drive, which Verbatim claims is large enough to store up to 4000 hours of MP4 video, 6300 hours of MP3 music and 250,000 5-megapixel photos, it offers plenty of storage for the price.

HD connectivity

It's not just a hard drive, however, as it comes with a host of connections on the rear of the unit for hooking up to your high-definition (HD) TV or home network.

HDMI is the primary connection for hooking up to Full HD TVs, but there are also composite and S-Video connections for standard connections supporting 1080i.

When it comes to connecting to your home network or sharing files, you can use either the Ethernet port or one of the two USB ports. The latter allows you to connect a USB memory key, so you can add more content or copy files over to it.

Versatile Verbatim

What makes the device highly usable is the software. We found it incredibly easy to set up and the interface, while rather basic in functionality, is straightforward to use.

You can set up shared or private folders, so limiting some users to the content on the hard drive. There is also support for FTP sites for online sharing of files and there is also internet radio support. All this makes it an amazingly versatile box for the price.

Format support covers the most common files used in any home, including DivX, MPEG4, MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, BMP and JPEG files. Firmware updates should allow this to expand in the future.

The Verbatim MediaStation Pro proved to be a highly usable media streamer, which is ideal for those who need to store or move large amounts of media files around their home.