External Storage Guide
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Experience + Conclusion
Like the GoFlex Satellite, once you are connected to the Wireless Plus’ WiFi network, contents on the drive can be accessed either via a web browser or the new Seagate Media app. The web and app interface are highly similar and both are equally straightforward and easy to use.
Both web and app interface are also pretty intelligent in that it will automatically sort your content according to its predetermined categories - Videos, Photos, Music and Documents. If you have MP3 music, it will even group them according to Albums, Songs, Artists and Genre, which is convenient.
The Seagate Wireless Plus drive can stream content to up to eight devices simultaneously, but if you are streaming HD video content, the device has only sufficient throughput to support a maximum of three devices. When our playback device is in close proximity (which is what the device was designed for), we've found streaming performance to be good and videos would play smoothly and quite quickly.
Unfortunately, the Wireless Plus is beset by the same problems that faced its predecessor in that it is only a media streamer not a decoder. What this means is that it will only play video files that are supported by your device natively. If you are accessing the Wireless Plus using a PC or Mac notebook, that’s not such a big issue - files would play so long as you have the necessarily codecs installed. But if you are streaming video to an iOS device, that means only a very small list of video formats that are supported. If you have a video file with an unsupported video format, the SeagateMedia app lets you download it directly to your phone so that you can open it with a third-party app like VLC or OPlayer, but that kind of defeats the purpose since the Wireless Plus is supposed to carry your supplementary media files and not burden your existing playback device. Alternatively, another workaround is to first transcode the video file in question to a supported format and then transfer it to the Wireless Plus.
All in all, the Wireless Plus works well enough, but it does have some quirks that are worth noting. For instance, it will continue to stream when charging via the DC-in but not via USB. Consequently, it cannot stream content when it is plugged into a computer.
In closing, the Wireless Plus can best be summed up as a slightly updated take on the older GoFlex Satellite drive. The Wireless Plus was easy to setup and it works without a hitch. It also features some new improvements such as a larger storage capacity and improved battery life. Unfortunately, we are disappointed that Seagate did not take the opportunity to rectify the limitations of the GoFlex Satellite - most glaringly, the lack of video format support on iOS devices. If the app was made smarter to be aware of relevant third-party apps and work with them to playback necessary content, that would have been much preferred. Given the closely regulated iOS ecosystem, it's not difficult for Seagate to design their app accordingly. Otherwise, they should consider having native media playback support built in the app.
The Wireless Plus is priced similarly to the GoFlex Satellite at S$299 and that means it costs considerably more than a regular 1TB portable hard drive. Whether the premium is justified depends very much on your personal needs, but the Wireless Plus works just as advertised and is a great way to share content wirelessly on the go with other wireless devices in the vicinity.
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