We first saw Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite Wireless Storage device at CES 2011. (Read the Review) In March of 2012 we announced that the company was releasing a firmware update for the GoFlex Satellite that made it faster and more convenient. (Read the post.) Now Seagate has released their Wireless Plus. It lets you stream media and files to a variety of devices including tablets, smartphones and computers. The Seagate Wireless Plus can store and carry over 500 movies or thousands of songs, photos and documents. And, thanks to the free Seagate Media app- available for iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Android devices- you can quickly and easily connect the drive to your media consumption device. The Wireless Plus is even powerful enough to let you stream three different HD movies to three devices at the same time. Let’s take a closer look.
The Seagate Wireless Plus is packed simply but the presentation is quite good. Open the box and you are immediately greeted by the drive and AC adapter.
Inside the box you’ll find the Seagate Wireless Plus mobile device storage (aka the hard drive), a USB 3.0 adapter with detachable USB 3.0 cable, a compact USB wall charger, a USB-to-DC cable and the requisite paperwork.
The Seagate Wireless Plus mobile device storage is a simple affair. Boxy and plastic it measures in at 0.78″ x 3.50″ x 5.00″ and weighs just over half a pound. Yes, it does feel a bit like a brick when you (carefully) toss it into your gear bag but the bulk and weight are worth the price of the additional wireless storage you get.
Although it does not carry the title, the Seagate Wireless Plus is part of the overall Seagate GoFlex line. That means other GoFlex accessories will work with it.
For example, here is the drive with the included USB 3.0 adapter and included cable in place. The speed of the USB 3.0 connection is quite welcome on a device onto which you will likely be moving large movie and audio files.
As is the case with other Seagate GoFlex products we have reviewed the adapter pops off. That, in turn, means you can connect other GoFlex adapters and cables.
For example, it works just fine with Seagate’s Thunderbolt adapter. (Read the review) The extra speed boost is rather awesome. The flexibility to use connectivity options from other Seagate GoFlex devices is too!
Because the Seagate Wireless Plus is not only a hard drive but a wireless networking device it needs its own power source. That means you’ll need to keep it charged if you want to leverage its wireless prowess. The included wall adapter and cable plug right into the side to get everything juiced up. On average you can expect to get up to 10-hours of battery life on a single charge. That may not sound like much but it pretty much translates to a full day of external wireless storage and data access.
Here are the original Seagate GoFlex Satellite Wireless Storage device and the Seagate Wireless Plus side by side. Sure, the colors are different and the Wireless Plus is slightly more angular but the overall shape and size are the same. This, of course, is the result of the mechanical hard drive hosted within each. There is, however, a significant difference between the two drives. While the Seagate GoFlex Satellite Wireless Storage device offered a generous 500GB of on-the-go storage- the same capacity as Judie’s and my MacBook Pro with retina display- the Seagate Wireless Plus has a whopping 1 terabyte of capacity. Yes, even without the wireless connectivity the Wireless Plus is an amazingly useful external storage and backup drive.
The Seagate Wireless Plus is much more than simple external storage however and, thanks to the free Seagate Media app for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android you can get connected for on-the-go access in a matter of seconds.
Once you download the app it begins to walk you through the process of getting the drive connected to your computer, tablet or phone.
The first step is getting the Seagate Wireless Plus connected.
The drive puts out its own WiFi signal. The app walks through the process of connecting to that signal.
It is as simple as connecting to any other wireless network.
Once you are set up you will see your mobile device in the list of device options.
If, however, you set everything up properly and your device is connected to the Seagate Wireless Plus you will also see your Seagate Wireless Plus in the folder list.
When you initially tap the Seagate Wireless Plus folder you will see nothing other than the sample media and files that came on it. That’s because you actually have to transfer files to it.
You can do that using the free Seagate media sync software. On my Mac I found that the easier, and faster option was to load the Mac Installer.dmg file that is already on the Seagate Wireless Plus. After that is complete loading the Seagate Wireless Plus is as easy as drag and drop.
There are a host of additional features worth mentioning.
AirPlay: The Seagate Wireless Plus works with Apple’s AirPlay. that means you can use an iOS device to stream audio from the Wireless Plus to any AirPlay-enabled speakers or stream a movie from the Seagate Wireless Plus to your iOS device and then mirror the video to Apple TV so it shows on your television.
Internet hub: The Wireless Plus can function like an Internet hub. That means you can share a single paid Internet hotspot connection with up to 8 different devices. In addition, while you are stream your music or movies from the Wireless Plus you can also be surfing the web or checking email.
DLNA and Samsung smart TV: The Wireless Plus also works with DLNA-certified game consoles, media players, smart TVs to let you stream media. and if you own a Samsung smart TV or Blu-Ray player you’ll get to enjoy an experience specifically designed for Samsung’s products thanks to a special media-rich app.
Over all the Seagate Wireless Plus is an excellent update to the first generation GoFlex Satellite Wireless Storage device. It isn’t a huge leap forward from the updated original device- last year’s firmware update made a huge difference with regard to functionality and ease-of-use- but the bump to 1 TB and the increased from 7 to 10 hours of runtime (already up from the original 5 hours) are reason enough to recommend the Seagate Wireless Plus. If you are in the market for an external drive and you want access to large files on the go the $200 price is worth the cost of entry. I’ve loaded almost all the files on my MacBook pro onto the review sample and am happy to not only have an additional backup but to also have access to this files anywhere, anytime. You can learn more here. You can buy it here on Amazon.
What I Like: 1 terabyte of storage; Simple drag and drop option for loading content; Easy step-by-step walk through setup; 10 hours of playback; Streams 3 HD movies at once (great on family road trips); Pass through means up to eight devices can access a single hotspot through the Seagate Wireless Plus
What Needs Improvement: $200; Uses a mechanical, spinning hard drive for storage
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample