Friday, January 27, 2012

Wi-Drive: SSD External test for iPhone and iPad

In storage for iPhone and iPad, two competing trends: the cloud or the external drive Wi-Fi Wi-Drive is logically in the second camp, ignoring the popularity of icloud and Dropbox, Kingston offers an external SSD 16 GB or 32 connect to Wi-Fi to its iPad or iPhone. Practice? Useful? Relevant?
The response in our test! SSD Wi-Fi  Wi-Drive is in the form of a small external box only slightly larger and thicker than the iPhone (121.5 x 61.8 x 9.8 mm). It contains an SSD of 16 or 32 GB, which can connect via USB 2.0 to any PC (Windows, Mac or Linux) and wireless smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS.

On a computer, this SSD appears as two volumes, one on which we can write, the other pretends to be a CD-ROM that contains the files and backup system. Fill the Wi-Drive as an ordinary USB key: simple storage formatted FAT-32, it accepts all file types. Note that when the Wi-Drive is connected via USB, Wi-Fi chip that is inactive.

Unplug your Wi-Drive of the computer, press the power button and ... wait. Its start is not automatic: it is a real small computer running an Apache server to distribute your files. Once the LED Internet (globe-shaped) is blinking, your Wi-Drive is active.  By default, the Wi-Drive set up a network unprotected bearing his name which connects iPhone or iPad. These devices, equipped with the suitable application, can then access its contents - but can no longer connect to the web, since they are connected to the Wi-Drive, which has a unique IP address and unchanging over the network. The original iPhone and the first two generations of iPod touch are not compatible. You can connect up to three devices simultaneously on the Wi-Drive. A crude but effective application!

This application just the bare necessities: connect to Wi-Drive, access to its contents and settings. The contents are accessible via four tabs: the first lists all files, only the second picture, the third video, the last pieces of music. Navigation is pretty fast considering the Wi-F.L application is able to read a limited number of files: AAC, MP3 and WAV, M4V video, MP4 and MOV, BMP, JPG and PNG, and PDF, DOC (x), PPT (x), XLS (x), RTF and TXT. In the case of these files, reading takes place smoothly, even if the interface is kept to a minimum and is not really looking.

We must push the Wi-Drive into a corner to see the appearance of problems: put it at ten feet from your iPhone, play a video and you can admire the jerks. But on a table in the pocket or even in the bag, it will do what it was designed. Count on a range of four to five hours, three more in video use.

In case you want to play DRM-protected files (provided they are related to the Apple ID to which your iPhone or iPad is authenticated) or files that the application can not read, use Mobile Safari: point it to the address of the Wi-Drive (default 192 168 200 254), and you can browse its file system and use the mechanism for opening files of IOS to use third-party applications.

Wi-Drive works so without too many problems, but neither its Wi-Fi unprotected nor the fact that it cuts the iPhone or iPad web are satisfactory. Kingston has nevertheless provided a solution for these two cases, in the settings tab.

The Wi-Drive Settings section lets you change the network name, to stop broadcasting the SSID and add a password to restrict access to Wi-Fi network, so your files. This is the first thing you will be asked to unpack the Wi-Drive, and after launch.

Wi-Drive can also serve as a gateway web: you connect to Wi-Drive to access its files, and it connects to another wireless network in parallel to provide you with access to the web. Again, this setting should propose Kingston to first launch the application, as the operation of the Wi-Drive is otherwise against-intuitive. Under Network connections, add your favorite network, leave the Wi-Drive restart, and now serves as a gateway.

In conclusion

And configure the Wi-Drive is virtually an excellent companion for the iPhone and the iPad: is an effective way to carry data easily accessible on a computer or a device IOS. The only doubt about him is that of its relevance: in the age of icloud and Dropbox, the placing of files on an external storage device, support that we should not forget to go, may seem anachronistic.

Wi-Drive does not function particularly reassuring (encryption) is supported by a rough interface and a range that does not make him turn the corner on a trip by train a little long. Even with only 16 GB of storage, iPhone and iPad media can carry enough to take a few days - add 16 or 32 GB more will it really make a difference?

At its original price of € 99,
​​Wi-Drive was difficult to justify. So it is found now in version 16 € 49.99 € 88.99 GB and 32 GB versions, it may be able to meet the needs of a niche market for which it will be just effective.

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