Ingenious and compact wireless storage device
Expensive; connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network can be tricky
$149 (16GB); $198 (32GB)
It’s great when you’re travelling to be able to play music and videos on your iPad or iPhone. However, it’s easy to fill up their limited storage space quite quickly, especially if you put a few long films or TV programs onto them. Kingston’s portable Wi-Drive solves that problem by giving you some extra storage for your music, photos, videos and other types of files.
Available in 16GB and 32GB sizes, the Wi-Drive is essentially a Flash memory stick that has Wi-Fi networking features built into it – up to three people can access files at the same time. You use an ordinary USB cable to connect it to your Mac or PC, and then copy your music, video or other files onto it, just as you would with a conventional memory stick or hard drive.
The next step is to download the free Wi-Drive app from the App Store. This allows you to link your iPad or iPhone directly to the Wi-Drive via wireless networking, so that you can play any music, photos or videos stored on the Wi-Drive. You can also use it to view other types of files, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PDF files.
The rechargeable battery lasts for about four hours, so you can watch a few episodes of Dr Who on a train before it gives out. (Beware that you may not be able to use the Wi-Drive on a plane, if you were thinking it would be a good solution for a long transatlantic flight. Because it uses Wi-Fi it may not be permitted for use onboard).
The only problem with the device is that connecting directly to the Wi-Drive means you lose the connection with your existing home or office wireless network.
While there is a bridging option that allows the Wi-Drive to connect to your existing network so that you can still use its internet connection, you may have to adjust the settings on your wireless router.
You’re more likely to be using the Wi-Drive when you’re travelling away from home though, so this isn’t a major weakness.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
Apart from one little network hiccup, the Wi-Drive was easy to use and performed really well. I liked that it allowed me to share media with three users simultaneously.