Kingston's iOS Wi-Drive App

Kingston keeps things simple - there’s an app for iOS devices, and that’s it. If you weren’t clued in by the industrial design and packaging, the Wi-Drive is a very iDevice-centric accessory. Specifically, if you don’t have an iDevice, you have no use for it right now. An Android application was promised at launch, but it has yet to materialize.

The setup process is pretty simple. Press and hold the power button to turn it on, wait 15 seconds for it to boot up, then go into your iDevice’s wireless network page and connect to “Wi-Drive”. Then go to the Wi-Drive app, wait for the content to load, and away you go. The menu tree is pretty intuitive, with standard folder traversal as well as filter options for photos, videos, and music.

The settings menu is pretty poorly designed from a UI standpoint, but it gets the job done. You can change the device name (the SSID of the network), whether the SSID is broadcast, the wireless channel, and your choice of WPA or WEP security. There’s also a wireless network passthrough—you can connect to your access point of choice through the network connections menu. After a reboot of the Wi-Drive, you should have a working internet connection. In theory, at least.

In practice, I had some definite issues getting it working; after trying three different wireless networks (mine, my neighbors, and a review device on wireless hotspot), I basically gave up on the feature. I then disabled the security on the wireless hotspot and finally got it working, but that's a pretty big flaw for wireless networking. Once enabled, the passthrough mode was faster than I expected, offering up speeds between 60-80% of the network that was being passed through, varying based on distance and line of sight from the network. The main hit was the latency, which more than doubled. 

Left: Speed of my HSPA+ WiFi hotspot. Right: Speed of the same WiFi hotspot, connected through the Kingston Wi-Drive.

The Hardware - Kingston Wi-Drive and Seagate GoFlex Satellite Seagate's Satellite iOS, Android, and Browser Apps
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  • Glibous - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    I really like how the WD product looks but as you said in the first page...looks like a re-purposed iPhone 3G. It is very similar. I'm just hoping Apple doesn't find a way to use that in another patent war. I don't think WD has the same capital as Samsung to fight them off..
  • Impulses - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    These things would be irrelevant if Apple included microSD slots and/or USB slots into their devices. 32GB Class 4 cards from Sandisk can easily be found for $35.

    Almost every Android tablet can be connected to a portable USB HDD or any thumbdrive with a USB OTG cable; or an extra adapter in the case of tablets like the Galaxy 10.1 and TF which lack USB w/o a dock and only have the propietary charging ports on board ($10 adapter converts that to USB). Even some phones can use OTG USB cables to hook up HDDs, gamepads, etc.

    Just saying...
  • Johnmcl7 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    This is exactly what I was thinking when reading the article and surprised none of it is mentioned, I can certainly see why these devices may be useful for Apple owners but less so for Android over time. I currently have a Galaxy Note so if I was needing more storage I can either pop in a micro SD card (or have multiple and swap between them) or simply plug in a standard USB flash drive or hard drive through USB OTG.

  • melgross - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Honestly, most other companies use SD slots so they can cheap out on the memory they offer. Often when buying one, it comes with even less memory than the lowest memory version of the Apple device, forcing you to buy more just to get even.

    In addition, when you rely not hat, as I did with my Treo 700p, you find that your always changing out cards, because you have different things on each card. With bigger cards these days that's less of an issue, but it still exists. And it's only now that Google is making storage on cards the same as internal storage. Truth is, that's been a bitch.

    The only annoying thing about the way Apple does it is to not allow mass storage directly in USB. But then, do you really want external storage dangling off your device? I don't.

    The improvement to the Kingston that I would like to see is for it to not have any internal storage, but to have a UDMA 7 CF slot instead.
  • medi01 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Most other companies do not have loyal fun base that is eager to pay 100$ per 16Gb "extra" memory.

    Same goes for your "often" argument. Most Android tablets start with 16Gb AND have micro SD slot.
  • medi01 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    I wish I new which device with micro SD card support has it "dungling out of the device". Maybe ifanboi need to look around.
  • inplainview - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    What? Could not quite comprehend the insult you were trying to throw. Try again please.
  • inplainview - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    I know you from AI mate. How's things and your arguments are spot on here as over there.
  • Johnmcl7 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    The Note offers either 16GB or 32GB (more than the base Apple devices) and as it supports 64GB (and more beyond) SDXC cards that takes its capacity beyond the largest Apple offer and my last phone was 32GB onboard and microSD expansion. And as SDXC cards expand, it's likely the Note can take more memory than the next Iphone as well. Google is not making internal the same as external, that's up to the handset manufacturers and it's not uniform across Android devices. I don't see your Treo example as relevant as the market has changed substantially in the many years since it was released.

    As for devices hanging off the devices, if it's sitting docked or similar (which is where I'd be using a storage device) then I wouldn't mind having a cable coming off it just as I have no problem running it with headphones attached.

    Plus at worse if I really want to use a wifi storage devices as reviewed here, I still can. However it's not been a problem previously and doubt it will be now
  • sethiol - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Ditto. Just one more reason why I tend to avoid most Apple products.

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