Need external storage that’s extremely portable? I’ve wished for an external hard drive enclosure that’s wireless, and my wireless hard drive review guide will show you the in’s and out’s of what’s currently available!
This post of part of The Smorgasbord Tech Reviews series!
*Update* – this is a repost from the archives with new info, since wireless hard drives are more affordable and cheaper than ever nowadays…
I’ve blogged a lot off an on about making your home entertainment network more user friend, and the gadgets that can help you get it done. Yesterday we were talking at home about the value of maybe getting a big external hard drive and hooking it up (wired) to one PC so the entire household could store their media on it. We’d maybe start it off with one big USB 2.0 external 500GB disk. You can get one new for
around $120 less than $50 now online. I’ve written about the wireless USB hub and how you could connect multiple external hard drives or enclosures that way, and I’ve also posted about the value of a good network storage drive. But now they’re coming out with wireless hard drives that may start to change all of that…
What is a Wireless Hard Drive?
You have to be very careful when you’re shopping for a wireless hard drive, because devices that may appear to do the same thing may not. There are many, many flavors that may do many many different things – pay attention to what your needs are, the price, and value for the money. I’m going to show you some different kinds of wireless hard drives and enclosures:
The Iomega 33349 StorCenter has
1 Terabyte (1,000 GB) 2 or 4 Terabyte (2-4,000 GB) of storage and is a “Network Storage Device” – meaning you can plug it into your router or switch on your home or business network for everyone to share (without having it hooked to one dedicated computer). The StorCenter is “wireless” as well as wired, so all laptops and mobile devices can access it. Imagine having one device that could be accessed by PC’s, laptops, cell phones, PDA, iPhone, iTouch, or even your PSP or other mobile devices. There’s a price to be paid for all this technology, and around $200 (as of this writing).
You can get the latest price by following these links.
You have some products that proclaim to be a “Wireless Media Player” like the MG-M2TVD and MG-M2TVDW Media Players by Mediagate.
This is just fancy hard drive enclosure – since the device comes sans hard drive. It does proclaim so pretty boasty features, like the ability to stream HD video via wireless up to 1920 x 1080p. It’s got all kinds of fancy connections, like L/R stereo out, and composite, component, and S-video out. This particular unit can stream video from an internal hard drive or a PC on the network and even has a remote control. So you can see that this unit (as a wireless hard drive) is very different in that it can be a set-top box OR a media gateway to access (from networked PC’s). *update* the features of these are a bit different now, but they are still “media player” devices where you plugin external drives…
Follow these links to find more out about this device:
[EASYBAY]mediagate media player[/EASYBAY]
You might be interested in an Asus Wireless Storage Router which has an internal 250GB hard drive. It has a USB connector so you can connect other (wired) storage devices to it for sharing, and it even has the ability to download files from the Internet when your PC is turned off. The specs say you can download up to 7 bitTorrent files or 10 FTP/HTTP files simultaneously. For what it does, this wireless hard drive is a pretty good at half the price (and storage) as the StorCenter. You can get the wireless storage router through these links:
[EASYBAY]asus wireless storage router[/EASYBAY]
If you a have a hard drive lying around, you might be able to stick in a wireless hard drive enclosure box and put it on your network (wirelessly) that way. You can get one pretty reasonably, but the two I found were only for 2.5″ drives. I hope we see more (and a 3.5″ version) on eBay soon:
[EASYBAY]hard drive enclosure[/EASYBAY]
You can actually make any external hard drive enclosure wireless by using the Linksys Storage Link for USB Disk Drives. Just like many other devices Linksys makes to connect computer hardware to your home or business network, they make a Storage Link that will connect any 2 USB storage devices to your wireless local network. The thing that’s always sucked about external hard drives is that they have to be attached to a physical computer via USB to work, and then you have to access them through that computer on the network. If that computer is turned off or locked up – you can’t access those drives. With a Linksys Storage Link, you can put up to 2 USB storage devices on your network independant of all your PC’s. Just plug it into your router or hub (or switch) to work. Oh – you can even stick a flash memory stick or drive into one of the USB slots to share it on the network as well. This is not only great for file sharing, but an easy way to connect with many mobile devices!
[EASYBAY]linksys storage link[/EASYBAY]
Wireless Hard Drive Auctions
Products and listings change on eBay all the time, so here’s the lastest auctions for “wireless hard drive” on eBay right now!
[EASYBAY]wireless hard drive -dell -360[/EASYBAY]