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Seagate Debuts Battery-Powered Wi-Fi External HDD

By - Source: Seagate | B 15 comments

Here's a good way to really expand the capacity of your wireless device

Now here's an interesting gadget: an external hard drive with a rechargeable battery and 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. Users could take this device on road trips, to the park, and even to the grocery store, packed with loads of HD video and music that could be streamed to most Wi-Fi enabled devices (and possibly pacify some whiny kids). Seagate has developed such a device, tagged it as the GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage, and plans to offer it for $199.99 this July.

“With the growth of the tablet and iPad markets and the larger volumes of high-quality media now being consumed, there is a clear need for access to content that is not plagued with the challenges of streamed video over the Internet,” said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager of Seagate’s retail group. “The unfortunate fact is that these popular new mobile devices are hampered by their limited storage capacity while one of their primary functions is that of media consumption."

Seagate believes that a local device like the GoFlex Satellite is better on the quality front, as media isn't held hostage to Wi-fi hot spots and 3G/4G connections, nor is it served up in a buffered stream beamed out from a distant host provider. Instead, the Seagate drive disguises itself as a local attached storage and even allows up to three simultaneous connections.

That said, how does the rechargeable battery handle three streams at the same time? Seagate didn't really specify, only reporting that the battery has a standby time of up to 25 hours and a continuous video streaming time of up to 5 hours. An iOS app will also supposedly help with battery life by temporarily loading the video on to the iOS device it is being streamed to, allowing the drive to go into stand-by mode.

In addition to the iOS app, Seagate will also release an Android app in the near future. For now (or at least, when the drive is initially released), Android users connect to the wireless drive by using a web browser (stock or 3rd-party). Media Sync for Windows and Mac will also be provided for free and will include a USB 3.0 cable for both USB 3.0 and 2.0 consumers.

The GoFlex Satellite is available immediately for pre-order from Seagate.com, Amazon and BestBuy.com for $199.99. Best Buy stores are expected to receive the drive this July here in the States. A global release is slated for "later this summer."

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  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , May 16, 2011 10:22 PM
    Handy, unless you want to access your data while accessing a WiFi network. You can't simultaneously associate with multiple WLANs.
  • 1 Hide
    itrendslave , May 16, 2011 10:55 PM
    Seems like a great idea. We'll see how it plays out.

    Also, it could help to state the drive capacity in the article.
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , May 16, 2011 10:57 PM
    This could be useful more at home, on regular power. I wonder if the hardware is robust enough to do it.
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    eddieroolz , May 16, 2011 11:43 PM
    Sure nice idea, but wireless is inherently riskier than wired. There's also the issue of transfer rates.
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    slyphnier , May 17, 2011 12:19 AM
    this article missed the capacity size "With 500GB and Wi-Fi access over 802.11 b/g/n and a rechargeable battery, this latest member of the GoFlex® family provides the ability to carry an entire library of video, music, pictures and documents with you."
  • 0 Hide
    macewrox , May 17, 2011 12:04 PM
    It's like a shared drive that's actually shared. I wonder if you can just leave it plugged in forever at home and use it for all your home computers.
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , May 17, 2011 12:22 PM
    doesn't this make it easier to steal your info??? bad idea
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , May 17, 2011 3:55 PM
    "doesn't this make it easier to steal your info??? bad idea" -- Since it is essentially a wireless network, isn't your data about as secure on it as any data accessible if someone got into your home wifi network?

    "Sure nice idea, but wireless is inherently riskier than wired. There's also the issue of transfer rates." -- If I can stream movies on my wireless network from the internet, I imagine I can stream movies from this just the same?
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , May 17, 2011 4:22 PM
    "plans to offer it for $199.99 this July"
    At first I was thinking YES! finally something cheaper than those ripoff network storage devices... nope... I could pay the same amount and get one that connects via a cable (which would be faster)
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , May 17, 2011 4:41 PM
    No, you are paying the same amount for more storage and the trade-off is a battery and wifi connectivity. Unless you are getting a USB 3.0 drive and have USB 3.0 ports, plugged in, this is bound to be about as fast as anything else you'll get.
  • 0 Hide
    DaddyW123 , May 17, 2011 4:59 PM
    This is the kind of idea I wish I had thought up first.
  • 1 Hide
    rosen380 , May 17, 2011 5:05 PM
    I might be *driving* from NY to Disney in August-- would be really sweet to have this with my iPad to entertain the will-be-three-year-old.

    Granted, I can also re-encode a bunch of her movies and get a boat load of low-end quality movies right in the iPad [she doesn't care :) ]. That may be alittle more work on my end, but also $200 cheaper :) 
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , May 18, 2011 1:55 AM
    rosen380"doesn't this make it easier to steal your info??? bad idea" -- Since it is essentially a wireless network, isn't your data about as secure on it as any data accessible if someone got into your home wifi network? "Sure nice idea, but wireless is inherently riskier than wired. There's also the issue of transfer rates." -- If I can stream movies on my wireless network from the internet, I imagine I can stream movies from this just the same?

    i get your point but your laptop you can install security software to help with the issuse....also if you use a router there is a hardware firewall...i still think it's a bad idea
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , May 18, 2011 10:41 AM
    rosen380I might be *driving* from NY to Disney in August-- would be really sweet to have this with my iPad to entertain the will-be-three-year-old.Granted, I can also re-encode a bunch of her movies and get a boat load of low-end quality movies right in the iPad [she doesn't care ]. That may be alittle more work on my end, but also $200 cheaper

    Wait, you did what?!
    Expect RIAA and MPAA knocking on your door soon, and your post here used as evidence!
  • 0 Hide
    fir_ser , May 19, 2011 10:11 PM
    Good gadget, I believe there's a market for such a thing, especially that it can also be used through USB interface.