Six Battery-Powered Wireless Storage Devices, Reviewed

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash looks like a USB stick that needs to go on a diet. But like the other five devices in our round-up, it's more utilitarian, doubling as portable wireless storage and a Wi-Fi hotspot for smartphones, tablets, and computers. It can simultaneously connect to as many as eight clients, and its internal battery is claimed to last up to four hours streaming video.

You don't get built-in storage from the Connect Wireless Flash. However, the drive comes bundled with either a 16 or 32 GB SanDisk Ultra microSDHC card (64 GB support was recently added, too). Its USB interface is only second-gen-compliant, but even taking those slower transfer rates into account, its performance is still considered sub-par, presumably due to the slow SDHC card. We measured 18 MB/s reads and a meager 6 MB/s during writes. 

SanDisk's Wi-Fi implementation facilitates 802.11b/g/n, and offers access to the SD card via a Web interface and free app. The downloadable software supports Apple's iOS-based devices, Android-based smartphones and tablets, and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Because access via SMB is not possible, we used a stop watch to measure wireless transfer speed. But we could have used an hourglass; the reads trickle in at 1.5 MB/s, making this the slowest device in today's story.

The accompanying app displays data on the plugged-in SD card without a directory structure, but it's at least better-organized than PQI's software. We like the way audio files are presented. In addition to the song title, meta data like the album cover is displayed as well.

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  • Anonymous
    Would you like a device capable of functioning as USB-based storage, a Wi-Fi hotspot, an archive for your media, a streaming server, and a rechargeable battery? The six devices in this round-up are versatile, including a combination of those features.

    Six Battery-Powered Wireless Storage Devices, Reviewed : Read more
  • rbagany
    @ Bernie Fresh: dude, TMI... "avid adult film collector", "flick of the wrist", "wash your hands"
  • blackmagnum
    All these devices are undeniably beneficial but their functions already built into modern smart phones and tablets so they are somewhat redundant.
  • Snipergod87
    I have never seen the point of these devices.
  • wffurr
    I don't get the point of using them as a wifi hotspot when connected to wired ethernet. I haven't had access to a wired network without a wifi access point at any point in the last ten years.

    I can see the utility of the wifi hardware for peer-to-peer connections ala AirDrop, but I didn't see that mentioned as a feature on these.
  • Bernie Fresh
    As an owner of a non-reviewed Adata Dashdrive Air ae800, and avid adult film collector. I think of this these products as the modern version of the closet "shoebox". Have something to hide, but still want to use? company computer? wife's laptop? Just a quick flick of the wrist...and youve got access to all those warm fuzzy ish feelings.
    Buy the 500gb models and wash your hands.
  • Traciatim
    Where's the iUSBPort and iUSBport Mini in this test?
  • PEJUman
    i have the kingston mobilelite, and it's nice device for portable movie hub, with 2 toddlers: 2 ipads, 1 iphone and 2 androids, it simplify my uploading/downloading requirements. Instead of uploading the same file to 5 devices, and wasting 5x the storage by storing the file in each device, I simply upload it to the 64GB SD card.

    very useful for in the car/when traveling, each devices connects automatically, the kids even learned how to find & navigate the apps on their own.

    Then I simply take the device with me when get to the destination (i.e. mall/park/etc), and they can resume watching while eating lunch, resting, etc.

    I think these are aimed at multi-user families.
  • Pyree
    Anonymous said:
    I have never seen the point of these devices.

    I have a NextAV D100 wifi drive (not reviewed here). I can tell you it is quite handy when you travel. 1. The battery can charge your phone. 2. You can carry a lot of movies and music so you can watch and listen for long trip. 3. Backup photos and videos. The drive I have has a SD card slot and a USB port. The storage of the drive is provided by the SD card you slot into the wifi device. The USB port is where you plug in to charge your phone and where you can plug a HDD so you can backup things from the SD card from your camera or camcorder into a HDD.
  • rwinches
    These devices are good if you have a phone or tablet or MS surface that has no SD slot.