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SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive: Wi-Fi enabled portable storage

Published on May 5, 2014 7:00 AM
 
SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

It looks and acts like a flash drive. But it might be more accurate to call the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive a wireless card reader.

This is because the drive has a microSD slot with a 64GB card, so you can swop it with another microSD card for additional storage.

Its key feature is its Wi-Fi capability. The SanDisk creates its own Wi-Fi network and mobile devices can connect to it to access its files. A password option for the Wi-Fi connection prevents unauthorised users from accessing your files.

According to SanDisk, the drive can connect up to eight devices and simultaneously stream HD videos to as many as three devices.

To connect to the drive, you download an app (available on iOS and Android) for your mobile device. This app works fast when browsing a folder with just a few files, but will take a while to load if you have hundreds of files, especially if they are photos.

Laptops and mobile devices on unsupported platforms, such as Windows Phone, can still connect to the drive using their Web browsers.

The drive can act as a relay and share the Internet connection from an existing Wi-Fi network. Simply select the Wi-Fi network in the SanDisk app settings and fill in the relevant log-in details.

Some networks, such as the one in my office, may block this feature for security reasons.

The SanDisk works like any flash drive when plugged into a USB port in a computer. Doing so replenishes its built-in battery. However, its wireless feature is disabled when connected to a USB port.

You can charge the drive and stream wirelessly to mobile devices, but it requires a USB AC adaptor, which is not included.

The drive uses the slower USB 2.0 interface and it is no sylph. This could be an issue if your computer's USB ports are crammed together.

Blue and amber LEDs on the drive indicate Wi-Fi and battery status. For instance, the blue LED flashes periodically when Wi-Fi is enabled. The amber LED lights up when the drive is being charged and switches off when it is fully charged.

Streaming a 720p HD video from the SanDisk to a laptop was mostly smooth. I played the video using the Chrome browser as Internet Explorer was not able to play the MP4 file. The drive lasted a good 4hr 45min before its battery was depleted.

It was the same when streaming a video to a smartphone. Note that the media player on your devices must support the video file format before it can be viewed properly.

  • Its wireless feature is convenient and the app is easy to use, but for its price, I was expecting it to support USB 3.0. It is more portable than similar solutions, such as the Seagate Wireless Plus, although with much less storage capacity.

vinchang@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on April 9, 2014.

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $89 (16GB), $109 (32GB), $179 (64GB)

Interface: USB 2.0

Maximum range: 50m

Security: Optional Wi-Fi password

Weight: 142g

RATING

Features 4/5

Design 3/5

Performance 4/5

Value for money 3/5

Overall 3/5