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iUSBport Review (formally Cloud FTP)

Give your USB devices wireless connectivity with the iUSBport box

iusbport_fingers

Price: £81.95/$99.95

Available from… • www.hypershop.com

Key features • Up to five hours battery • Accessible by three devices at once • Wi-Fi 802.11n support

While Apple insist on limiting the memory of its iPads, it has become increasingly difficult to add numerous films, apps and photos onto a single tablet without filling up the available space. Thankfully, a few options have become available that enable you to broaden the memory of your iPad, meaning you can access a huge range of extra content without worrying about the space on your iPad.

iUSBport, which was launched previously as Cloud FTP, is a small box that keeps things simple. Switch it on and it will start broadcasting its own Wi-Fi network that you can connect to on your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. It also features a USB port, into which you can plug a range of storage devices, from small USB sticks to large hard drives. Load up these devices with movies, photos, documents and music and the data will be broadcast over the network the iUSBport creates, allowing you to access them without connecting anything extra to your Apple product of choice.

Right now, the content is only available for viewing through an HTML website that lets you flick through content in Safari. It’s still really slick, but the developers promise that there is a custom-made iPhone and iPad app on the way that will make the experience even better.

Content shows up fast, with movies streaming after just a couple of seconds and photos loading up even faster. Up to three devices can connect to the iUSBport’s network at the same time, meaning that you can all watch different movies or access different items at the same time.

The real strength of the little box, however, is in its ability to connect to your home network and share through that. Of course, on your iPad, iPhone and Mac you can only be connected to a single network at once, meaning that when you’re viewing files from the iUSBport it’s impossible to also browse the internet. When you connect the iUSBport to your existing network, however, you can do both at once. The setup for this is simple through the web-based app.

The biggest problem we had with the iUSBport is the cost – there is no built-in storage, so you’ll need to also invest in a USB hard drive to get the most from it, which is a shame. That said, it offers much more flexibility in storage options than you get from the equally impressive Wi-Drive from rivals Kingston.

Pros: Small, adaptable, and some great options like cloud backups

Cons: No custom-made app, and no built-in storage

Verdict:

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