Seagate Wireless Plus Review

Seagate offers a hybrid drive that lets you enjoy an external hard drive and a wireless access point in one device. As a portable drive, the Wireless Plus offers 1TB, which is a great level of capacity, even if that is the only option that Seagate offers in this drive model. When it comes to the wireless access point aspect, the Wireless Plus has a USB 3.0 connection and allows you to use Wi-Fi connection to transfer files, sync with any Wi-Fi enabled PC and stream content. Multiple users can establish a connection to the Wireless Plus at a time. This makes it perfect as a portable wireless NAS box for sharing content across a large number of devices within a 150 feet (46 mt approximately) range.
Design and Settings
The drive from Seagate is not exactly light and thin but it has a nice design that is stylish and simple at the same time. The device features a textured grey pattern and soft-surfaced case. The cover can be removed on the front to reveal the SATA power and data ports.  The Wireless Plus includes a SATA to USB 3.0 interface module, as well as a power adapter. The interface is interchangeable and you can select from FireWire 800 or Thunderbolt. Apart from transferring files, the browser interface can be used for searching to get quick access to the files stored in the device though a library content. To stream videos you just need to select the video and it will start playing in the browser, as long as it is supported by the device. Bear in mind that some formats such as MKV are not compatible. The Wireless Plus  doesn’t offer advanced customization or managing options for your pictures but it has slideshow that can be personalized with music and displays or you can organize your photos by date and place where they were taken. For music, you get the option of streaming songs selected from an album or from a particular band and you can also organize tracks by genre or pre-set playlists. Documents can be sorted by date, size or subject.
It has to be said that the Wireless Plus interface is quite basic and the file managing options seem limited. The features to organize files and access libraries or folders are useful but do not offer the variety of options that we expected. The Wireless Plus could do with more functions to move files within the device. Another issue with the Wireless Plus interface is that the most important options (Such as the ability to turn the drive into a Wi-Fi access point) are difficult to find. With this feature you are not limited o browsing through the drive when you set up a connection, it also allows you to connect to a particular wireless network, which means that you can access the content in the drive and Internet simultaneously. One of the main appeals of what the Wireless Plus can offer is the possibility of using multiple devices to connect at the same time. Thanks to this option, you can share content with others around you easily and conveniently. Be sure to set up a login and password to access the network connection. Security is something that Seagate does not make easy and the access control to the network should be something that is simple to set up for users.
Performance and battery
The wireless transferring speed offered by the Wireless Plus is satisfactory when it comes to smaller files but if you want to transfer large files, you are better off using the wire connection. Seagate also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android and they offer another option to manage the drive. The apps interface are close to the web-based interface and they can be used to transfer media between your mobile device and the Wireless Plus. You can also stream content to up to three devices at a time but even with just two, the streaming was not as seamless as it should be, so you may want to stick with one device.  The battery life can last up to 10 hours but that only applies for moderate or light use. If you are using the Wireless Plus with multiple devices and connections, that time will reduce substantially. The drive can be charged using the USB connection but keep in mind that this will deactivate the Wi-Fi capabilities. If you want to continue accessing the connection, you would need to use the standard AC adapter.
Overall
The Wireless Plus presents an interesting option when it comes to hybrid drives and the convenience of its Wi-Fi functions are something that will attract many users. However, for a cost of $158 USD (1TB), there is a lot that needs to be improved if Seagate wants to live up to the expectations. The wireless transferring speeds for large files are disappointing and for the price paid, you could do better than having to resort to the USB 3.0 transfer in these cases. The interface is also something that has to be worked on. It appears to be easy to use but since some of the core functions are not simple to access, it is not really practical. There also should be more options to organize your files within the drive. If you wish to stream media files or share content with work colleagues or friends while you are on the go, the Wireless Plus can be useful even if it does not reach its potential.

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