With some new mobile devices not offering a Micro SD storage expansion option (eg: Nexus gear), you are limited as to how much media you can carry on your device. This is where devices like the Kingston Wi-Drive can come into play.
The Kingston Wi-Drive is a portable Wi-Fi hotspot storage device. It is about the same size as a small mobile phone (121.5mm x 61.8mm x 9.8mm), so has little impact on the “carrying an extra device” issue. For charging, and connectivity to your computer to copy media, it has a mini-USB port on the top. Down the side it has a power button and two lights, one to indicate that it’s turned on and the other is a Wi-Fi activity light.
Setting up the Wi-Drive for use is simple. Connect the drive to your PC, via the mini-USB cable, and download the files you wish to transport. The files can be anything, including music, video, photos or simply document files that you need to transport and have access to. You will need to download the Wi-Drive app, available from the Google Play Store, which gives your device access to the contents of the drive. You are also able to set up security (WPA/WEP), via the app, so that you can limit user access, and keep your files safe. Just set your wi-fi connection to the Wi-Drive, and you’re off and running.
The transfer rate to the device over USB is about 10MB/s. For copying files from the Wi-Drive to a tablet over Wi-Fi, I was able to copy a 300MB file in about 2 minutes. You can also copy files from your device onto the drive through the Wi-Drive app, which adds a backup functionality to the Wi-Drive. While the Wi-Drive can store any file type, remember that playback and viewing will be dependant on the files supported by your device.
Streaming video is the main reason I was drawn to this device. Now that I’m pretty much exclusively using my Nexus 7, it’s nice to not have to worry about my storage space. I tested a 720p video file (Big Buck Bunny) at a line of sight distance of 9 metres, beyond that, there were caching issues with playback, which made the video un-watchable. Add a wall and the distance is much shorter. I tested the battery life and was able to get 4 hours of constant streaming video, over several files.
One thing to note is that the drive does run hot when it’s being accessed over Wi-Fi. While it won’t burn anything, and cools down quite quickly once Wi-Fi is off, it’s still something to keep in mind when you consider where the drive is while you’re accessing it. I don’t think I’d be keeping it in a padded bag while trying to access data.
- Customisable device name SSID
- Comes in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB
- Wi-Fi 802.11g/n with wireless security (WPA/WEP)
- Can store any file type
- Dimensions: 121.5mm x 61.8mm x 9.8mm
Pricing on the 32GB is $86.83, 64GB is $132.38, and the 128GB runs for $189.53 from Kingston Memory.
If your Android phone or tablet doesn’t have an Micro SD card slot and you want to expand your storage whilst out of the house, this device offers that capability. While the prices are well above what you would pay for an SD card, or even a thumb drive, what you’re really paying for is convenience. Is it worth it? Well, that’s really up to you, isn’t it? Whether you want to carry media to stream, or have an easy way to share files with your colleagues or friends, in my opinion, the Kingston Wi-Drive is definitely a viable option.