GadgetsLab: Seagate Wireless Plus

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Seagate-Wireless-Plus

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Capacity: 1 TB
  • Dimensions: 35 x 5 x .78 inches
  • Weight: 256gms
  • lnterface: Wi-Fi, USB 3.0

WHAT’S HOT:

  • 10 hours battery life
  • Can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously
  • Can act as a wireless internet hub
  • Allows uploads from any wireless device via Seagate Media App

WHAT’S NOT:

  • A bit pricey
  • No troubleshooting info on their site

BOTTOM LINE:

  • A great travel companion, even when you want to travel-lite.

I have to say that this is not my first Seagate wireless storage device. Almost two years ago I bought a Seagate GoFlex Satellite as a wireless storage device to pair with my iPad, and I was quite happy with it. It allowed me to bring along a huge amount of work files, a large music collection, eBooks, audiobooks and even movies and TV series when I travelled. My only complaint was that I could only add content by plugging it to my laptop via the USB connector, so it was a dud as a two-way, on-the-go file storage device, but it still allowed me to bring along documents and all my entertainment whenever I traveled.

When I learned about the Wireless Plus, I immediately put in my order because it had better specs: 1TB storage (double that of the Go Flex Satellite), longer battery life (up to 10 hours versus 7 hours for the GoFlex Satellite), and it allowed saving from an iOS device, so it would allow me to work on files from my iPad and save it back to the device.

Out of the box, the package included the 3.5×5-inch drive, a USB 3.0 connector, a charger and charging cord. Excited, I plugged it into my MacBook Pro and copied a wide selection of videos, music, documents, eBooks, audiobooks from my NAS. I was so happy that I was able to copy all my favorite music, all of my unread eBooks, tons of audio books, literally full seasons of my favorite TV shows, and I had not even filled half of the storage space!

Because I already had the Seagate Media app on my iPad and iPhone, connecting to the device was a breeze. I was able to wirelessly connect it to my MacBook Pro, and using the Seagate Media app, connect to my iPhone, Android phone, and iPad simultaneously, and also use it as an internet hub via-Wi-Fi.

For the next few days, it was my best friend and it made my life so convenient. With the Seagate Wireless Plus connected to my iPhone via its on board Wi-Fi, I drove around, shopped, and did my chores while listening to music and audiobooks with such ease; it was my favorite gadget of the month.l was pleased that the long battery life delivered as promised.

Six weeks into my carefree, happily entertained life, I opened the Seagate Media app on my iPad and got a notification that there was a new firmware update available. So I followed instructions and updated the firmware. Then I went to the mall and went about my shopping while listening to an audiobook. As I was driving home the audiobook just stopped playing. When I got home, I discovered that the Seagate Media app had lost connection to the device and was still trying to reconnect.

I force-closed the app and reopened it, but I just got a failure notice saying that the firmware database has not been initialized or mounted yet. I tried connecting to the device using my iPad and got the same message. I went to the Seagate website and Google to find out if someone had the same experience and if they had a solution. I found one thread in a forum that described the same problem and he said that after talking to a tech support person over the phone, he was instructed to return the unit and they sent him a new one.

Since I could not find an immediate fix, I decided to take the unit back to the computer shop where I bought it from, and they told me they would have it checked. The following day, the owner called to say that they sent it back to Seagate because the local techs could not fix the problem. Two weeks later, I received a replacement unit in a sealed box.

Although pleased that they sent me a new unit, I was annoyed that the time I spent to copy files into the first device was just wasted and I had to do it all over again. I also resisted updating the firmware for fear of going through the same problem. Because I had a busy week, I was only able to copy a few bit that week. I did not have time to copy more files into the new unit until one Sunday about a week later. I spent several hours selecting and copying files into my wireless device. Then, it happened again: when I tried to connect from my iPad I had the same database connection problem again! I could not believe that I had such bad luck of getting two lemon devices from Seagate, so I searched the web again for possible solutions. This time I typed the entire error message into the search box and found the solution from a Facebook conversation thread. The guy had been copying files to the Seagate Wireless Plus by connecting it to his Mac and had the same problem afterward. He discovered the solution by coincidence when he plugged the Seagate Wireless Plus into a PC via the USB connector. After he disconnected it from his PC he reported that he could connect his Seagate Wireless Plus to his iOS device once again. l followed his advice and voila! Problem solved.

I have since updated my Firmware to version 2.2 that supports iOS 7 and the device works like a dream. Now I can travel with just my iPad and still bring along all my files and work on them without storage constraints.

4over5

First published in Gadgets Magazine, November 2013

Words by Presy Alba