If you’ve been keeping an eye on the portable storage space recently, you’ll notice there’s been a slight shift from your standard USB-enabled hard drives to something a little more advanced: wireless-enabled storage. This has blown up a little in the external hard drive space in general, with a lot more NAS devices on the market, albeit claiming to be ‘cloud storage’. Marketing aside, the concept being extended to more portable drives is an excellent idea, enabling for more flexibility and a shared NAS space for on the go.
The Seagate Wireless Mobile Storage can still be used as a normal portable drive, plugging in via a microUSB that also charges the internal battery. Here you get a much more direct connection to the hard drive and it’s slightly better for customising the partitions, folders and files within. You can edit and change the partitions in it, although you’ll need to have one single NTFS partition for the wireless aspect to work. You can change to and from that without causing any issues.
The wireless aspect works via a mobile app or your browser. This means it works fine in Linux – you just need to connect to the wireless on the device and browse to any page to be redirected to the storage viewer. From here you can also set up the Seagate device as an Internet passthrough so you don’t have to briefly choose between Internet and the external storage.
The hard drive can connect up to eight devices at once, but the range seems limited – how much of that is down to wireless interference is hard to tell. Everyone’s mileage will differ, but the connection worsened as we added devices.
Can this replace your normal portable storage? Depending on how you use it, yes. The main issue with upgrading over a normal wired equivalent is that if you’re using it a lot as portable storage when you travel, you’ll have to set the Wi-Fi up each time. In the end, we feel you’d just end up plugging it in to avoid doing that. Still, as normal storage it does the job perfectly well.
It works quite simply, but very well with little barrier to entry and no proprietary programs to interface with it. Some of the functions may end up requiring a little too much to work properly with though, so it is probably not a device suitable for everyone.