Top 5 Best Wireless And Portable Hard Drives Under $150
As smartphones and tablets aren’t comparable to hard drives when it comes to storing data, getting a wireless drive can be a lifesaver. They have all the great aspects of regular external hard drives but without the inconvenience of wired connections. Wireless drives have an internal battery which will need recharging but that’s about the only thing you need to know about them.
1. Apple Time Capsule
One of the best ways to backup your precious files, if you own a Mac device, is by using the Apple Time Capsule. As it works quickly and efficiently with Time Machine in OS X, you can wirelessly back up important information to a very large 2TB or 3TB drive. It also doubles as a Wi-Fi base station which can create a capable Wi-Fi network that’s compatible with any Wi-Fi device.
Setting up the Time Capsule is done very easily for a Mac computer as the unit is designed to work seamlessly with Time Machine in OS X Leopard and it can protect your data without issues. Initially, you set it up and then every photo, song, or any other kind of file is saved with the right setting and you will never again have to worry about losing precious stuff.
As a base station, this device can reach very fast data transfer speeds considering that it makes use of the three-stream 802.11ac technology which allows you to enjoy up to three times faster speeds than 802.11n Wi‑Fi. Thanks to the 80 MHz-wide channels, you also get more channel bandwidth for better data flow. Due to the fact that it’s able to transmit at two frequencies at the same time (2.4 GHz and 5GHz), the moment when a device connects it will have the best band available which means that you’ll always benefit from the best performance.
The antenna array of this wireless drive has an intelligent beamforming system that sets itself apart from competitors. It knows where the 802.11ac device can be found on the network and specifically targets the signal to it to make sure that you get a stronger and clearer Wi-Fi signal. This base station offers other goodies like three Gigabit Ethernet ports for times when you need wired connectivity and wireless printing. It’s also highly compatible with lots of Mac devices or any other Wi-Fi enabled units.
Considering everything about it, the Apple Time Capsule is certainly the best option for users who want a premium wireless hard drive. It provides the exceptional level of quality you’re used to with Apple products and also an amazing level of performance. If it fits your budget, this can definitely be a solid backup option.
- 2 and 3TB capacities
- Easy setup for OS X and iOS
- Three Ethernet ports
- Six-element beamforming antenna array
- WPA/WPA2 Security and MAC address filtering
2. RAVPower FileHub Plus Wireless Travel SD Card Reader Hard Drive
One of the best travel companions for your mobile device, the RAVPower FileHub Plus is a wireless hard drive like no other. It offers many connectivity options and solid battery life, all in a very compact package. The price is also affordable for such a convenient device so let’s take a closer look at what this portable drive can do.
If you often find yourself in a situation where you wish to be able to share files more easily, this unit can be a lifesaver. Up to 5 mobile devices can all connect at the same time and you can stream media from USB or SD drives, or you can share files directly between two storage devices. Various files like videos and photos can be wirelessly streamed but there’s also the possibility to share through a secure local Wi-Fi network.
This drive is capable of converting a wired network into a wireless one so you can have a portable router wherever you go. It supports PPPoE and both static and dynamic IP. It also has a bridge mode which enables you to connect to a Wi-Fi network that already exists and broadcast it as a completely new wireless signal.
As this unit is Chrome cast-friendly, it can easily play videos or music from a connected USB storage device to a bigger screen through Chrome cast. It supports reading USB hard drives with a capacity of maximum 4TB and can play media from SD/SDHC/SDXC cards that don’t have capacities larger than 256GB which is more than enough to bring all your favorite files with you wherever you go.
When you also consider that you can use the RAVPower File Hub Plus as a power bank thanks to its 6000 mAh battery capacity,. There are so many features for the money that make this device an ideal solution for on-the-go file sharing, backup, and streaming.
- Wireless Router – bridge and extend Wi-Fi
- Share media seamlessly with multiple devices
- SD card USB reader
- RAVPower Filehub Plus App
- Upgraded chip
- Built-in 6000mAh power bank
3. SanDisk Connect 32GB Wireless Media Drive SDWS1-032G-A57
SanDisk is a well-known manufacturer of storage drives and one of their best products for those looking to get their hands on a high-quality wireless drive, is the SanDisk Connect Media Drive SDWS1-032G-A57. The reason for that is due to the fact that it’s portable and delivers good performance for file streaming.
It’s a stylish little device but it can be a reliable entertainment companion as it allows you to enjoy movies in high-definition quality and your favorite music on-the-go, without requiring an internet connection. Lots of mobile devices can play nice with this drive and you can free up some space from them if you move certain files.
SanDisk equipped this model with expandable storage. The built-in 32GB of flash storage is probably not enough for storing many files though there is also a 64GB variant. The SD card slot can be used to get some extra capacity or to quickly share and download photos from a camera – without having to rely on a computer.
Accessing your media wirelessly is a nice feature as well as the ability to stream videos continuously but it’s important to consider the battery life. As this is a very portable unit, the integrated battery doesn’t have a huge capacity but it should last you for about 4-5 hours of video streaming. Even though the manufacturer promises approximately 8 hours of constant streaming, that’s a bit unrealistic so don’t expect such values. Overall, the battery life is acceptable but it could have been better.
A stylish little device that can fit nicely in your pocket, the SanDisk Connect Media Drive offers good sharing abilities, as well as the possibility to stream HD videos to five devices at the same time. The capacity is decent considering the expandable storage, and there are no complaints on compatibility either. It falls a bit short in terms of battery life, but all in all, this wireless drive deserves a spot on this list and is recommended for the cost.
- 32 GB built-in storage
- Up to 8 hours streaming on a single charge
- Expandable SDHC/SDXC memory card slot
- Pocket-sized and elegant design
- Optional Wi-Fi password protection
- Compatible with Android 2.3 or later and iOS 5.0 or later via the free SanDisk app
4. Toshiba Canvio AeroCast 1TB Wireless Hard Drive
Toshiba is a leader in the industry of hard drives so it’s not surprising to see that they also have wireless models. The Canvio AeroCast is a powerful device that comes with 1TB capacity and allows you to access your favorite content wirelessly. The price is quite fair for what it offers so let’s see if this model is truly worth it.
The convenience of wireless devices is hard to match and this unit can act as a great method for all of your storing needs without constantly having to rely on cables. It helps you to manage your files, share them with others and make quick back-ups when you’re on vacation. The wireless hard drive can act as a central storage unit for all of your mobile devices.
It accepts SD cards as it’s equipped with a card slot so you can back up images from a camera more quickly if you prefer it that way. When you’re at home, you can use this drive’s ability to wirelessly cast files like pictures and movies to an HDTV by using the Cast Ready app from Google. Just sit back and control everything more comfortably by using the smartphone or a tablet.
An important feature that’s present in this device is the Internet Pass-Through Mode which lets you simultaneously gain access to the drive and the Internet which is very convenient. A downside of this wireless hard drive would be the Wi-Fi transfer speed which unfortunately is a bit slow. If you’re used to quick transfers like those from a wired model, you might be a bit disappointed. Still, if you don’t plan to transfer large batches too often, this shouldn’t be such a big issue.
The Toshiba Canvio AeroCast is a decent wireless hard drive for the money. It plays nice with lots of iOS and Android devices as well as the more recent versions of Windows and Mac OS. Despite the Wi-Fi performance issues, it has some solid features overall so it can be an ideal solution for many users.
- Support for PC or Mac
- Compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices
- 1TB capacity
- Toshiba mobile app
- Solid battery life
- 802.11n, 802.11G, 802.11B wireless type
5. Western Digital My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage Wireless Hard Drive
One of the most popular choices for a wireless hard drive comes from Western Digital and it’s simply called My Cloud. It’s a personal storage unit that centralizes all your content in a single safe place that you can manage with ease. It does backups automatically and it offers varied capacities from 2TB to 16TB to suit more demanding needs.
With an Internet connection, your favorite files like videos and photos are quickly accessible as you only need to use the My Cloud app on your smartphone or sign in to the MyCloud website. If you want your content synchronized automatically, WD Sync comes to your aid. It does the job across all your computers and the hard drive so you can rest assured that your essential files are always a click away to access and your collection is permanently updated.
Everything seems good about this device so where’s the catch? Despite the promising features, this model doesn’t really deliver in terms of performance and can be needlessly difficult to set-up. When more than one user is trying to access the device, the network performance seems to degrade a bit too much. It’s not exactly a reliable unit but if you get over some of the less intuitive aspects and set it up correctly, it can provide you with a decent wireless drive experience.
Taking into account the benefits as well as the reliability issues of this unit, the final verdict for the Western Digital My Cloud is that it’s worth the money. It may not be perfect but if you want solid file storage and backup capabilities with remote access for a reasonable price, it can work well.
- Various capacities ranging from 2TB to 16TB
- Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0
- Auto Network Discovery
- Personal Cloud Storage
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac systems
- Compatible with Apple Time Machine