103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
The Kingston Wi-Drive is a portable hard-drive geared towards sharing media. Boasting a roomy 128GB internal SSD and streaming up to three devices, it's definitely worth a look. After taking the Wi-Drive on several road trips, I definitely got a good idea of what this drive can offer, and who might be interested in buying it. Kingston sent me a copy of the Wi-Drive for evaluation purposes.
- Kingston Wi-Drive
- Power brick with USB out
- mini-USB cable
Now that we got basic information out of the way, let's take a closer look at the Kingston's Wi-Drive. The first thing I want to talk about is the design of the Wi-Drive. It is made of sturdy plastic, and is roughly the same size as an iPhone 4S. By keeping the Wi-Drive small and lightweight, Kingston have really geared this towards portable media sharing - it's slim enough to be put easily into a pocket or laptop bag.Using the drive (physically speaking) is beyond simple - there is one button on the right side to power on and off, and a USB-mini port for charging and data transfer. The Wi-Drive has an LED indicator built into the power button to indicate power (green), and will also turn orange when the battery is low. On the front of the device are two blue LEDs to let you know when the device is connected and the Wi-Fi network is being emitted. Battery life is good, sitting at around 3 hours with constant use, however I wouldn't mind seeing that number brought up a but even if it meant bulking the Wi-Drive a little.
The installation for the Wi-Drive can be separated into two parts: desktop use and device use. For the desktop, it's an easy process: just plug in via USB and access via your file manager. I easily created a few folders for different media types (music/videos/etc.) and then transferred some files. Everything was pretty snappy, although I did wonder why Kingston didn't include USB 3.0 technology seeing as the internal drive is an SSD. Still, transfer speeds were more than acceptable. Setting up the Wi-Drive with my iPhone was also pain-free. Just download the Kingston app, turn on your Wi-Drive and then connect to the new wifi network that it emits.
The Wi-Drive can only be used with the Kingston app, so of course I want to talk about it for a little while. It's very simple, and I might venture to say overly so. You don't have a lot of options in terms of managing files, and the UI could use a little work. That said, it does what it is supposed to do and it's pretty smooth during playback. Even playing a 2GB movie didn't slow down the response times for controls, and that's really all I could ask for. The settings page allows you to upgrade the firmware, check the information on your network connection as well as change the Wi-Drive settings. Whether you want to rename your device, change its visibility or add security, this is the place to do it. Again, it's simple but it works.
As mentioned in the information from Kingston's page, the Wi-Drive is primarily a media playback device. It is absolutely perfect for streaming movies, TV shows and music and it does so for up to three devices. A quick check with a couple of iPhones and an iPad showed no issues whatsoever in streaming. Of course, you can store any file you want on this drive, making it a nice and portable hard-drive, however those files are not able to be accessed wirelessly. I should mention that the last sentence is the sole reason why I didn't give the Wi-Drive full marks in this review. I would LOVE to see them add PC compatibility for general wireless file sharing - I think they would really pick up some more users if people could bring their Wi-Drive to a business meeting, their place of work or even just to a family members house and have everyone been able to wirelessly access files.
Moving on, I found an interesting fact while browsing through the experiences of others with the Wi-Drive. Despite no official mention of charging the device while in use, several users mentioned that if you plug it in AFTER the wi-fi LEDs have turned blue, you can in fact charge the device while streaming content. I didn't notice any problems while doing so, and on a recent road trip I had it on for 5 hours while streaming a movie and it seemed to do just fine. In the first edition of the Wi-Drive there were some concerns about the device getting hot, however it seems they have addressed them and I can't say that it got any hotter than my iPhone does when being used for media.
The Wi-Drive is a great performer, and as a media device I think it really functions well. I loved being able to remove the majority of movies and music albums from my iPhone to make space for other important files, and carrying around this little drive is rarely (if ever) an inconvenience. Whether you're going on a long flight and want some extra movies with you or you just want to free up some space on your devices, I think this is a really good choice overall.
- Lightweight, slim design.
- Streams to three separate devices.
- 128GB is a decent amount of space (in comparison to the capacity of most devices).
- Fast performance during file transfers.
- Battery life could be improved some.
- No support for computers/non-media file sharing.
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2012
What fantastic bang for your bucks. For anyone looking to extend you iPad or iPhone this is the unit for you. I had to spend a week away from home and I loaded it up with Movies to watch. It's kinda hard to explain but I will try. When turned on after a few minutes it shows up under your network connection as Wi-Drive. Once selected it will connect to your iPad, iPhone or other portable devices. When pluged into your USB device on your computer it will appear on your computer as another drive where you can open and create any folders that you like. In a folder that I made called Movies I downloaded over 30 full length movies which could be accessed from my, in my case Apple device. The movies that I downloaded played without skipping a beat.
I would recommend this drive to anyone.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2013
I received the 128GB Kingston Wi-Drive and it had about 121GB available. First thing to do is charge the drive by connecting the mini end of the provided USB cable to your drive and the USB end to your computer or USB wall device.
After that you can add files to your drive (it will show up as WI-DRIVE on a Windows computer). I added some mp3 songs and that worked fine. I added some jgp's and they worked fine. The first video file I tried to add was a 10GB mkv and I got the message the file was too large. Then I tried some avi files and they wouldn't work either. Then I looked at file formats and found that the drive doesn't support those two files - mkv or avi. So, I found some mp4's and those worked. According to their web site here are the files supported:
Audio: MP3, WAV
Video5: m4V, mp4 (H. 264 video codec)
Image: jpg, tif
Then I needed to download the free program from the App Store called "Kingston Wi-Drive". However, I got a message that I had to first upgrade my ios on my ipod touch (you need IOS 4.2 or later); that took the longest of anything. Don't make the mistake I did the first time and search for Kingston "Wii"-Drive in the app store cuz it won't come up; lol. It works on Apple products and also androids. I also have a Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD so I downloaded the program from the Amazon store for both those Kindles.
Now comes the tricky little part. Turn on the Wi-Drive and wait for the two blue lights and for the bottom wireless light to flash. Then go to Settings on your Apple or Kindle device and hopefully Wi-Drive will show up; you need to click on that to connect. Once connected go to the Kingston Wi-Drive app on your device and open it; it should show the drive and the ip address. When you click on that it opens the drive and shows all the files in it. If you receive the message "searching Wi-Drive" that means it's not connected. That's the tricky part. I found that a few times I would have to start over; turn my iPod or Kindle completely off and then turn it back on and then it found the drive. Also, you need to remember to go into settings to connect to the drive each time; it doesn't do it automatically. I have found that when I shut down the Wi-Drive my ipod reverts back to the wireless connection, the Kindles I need to do manually. Unfortunately you can't use the wireless connection at the same time as using the Wi-Drive.
You can connect up to three devices at once. It uses Wi-Fi 802.11g/n. I have tried it with my iPod touch, Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD at the same time and they all worked and played different movies, different songs, or showed different pictures (or all the same). When I click on a movie on the Kindle I get a message "The default video player on your Kindle Fire does not support videos larger than 2GB", even tho the movie I'm playing is less than that size. It's supposed to have a range of approximately 30 feet, but I tried it from one end of the house to other (I took a tape measure and measured it to be 70 feet) and it still worked fine; went from 3 bars down to 2. I have not tried it on a trip or a plane, but it would be awesome! This Wi-Drive is about the size of a cell phone. FYI, it does get pretty hot, especially when it's in a case. I have found the battery to last approximately 3 1/2 hours and it takes about 2 or so hours to charge.
I really like the fact that this gives you so much more space on your Apple or Kindle. However, I'm taking away one star because of the connection problems sometimes (remember you have to go into the settings on your device each time to connect to the wi-drive or you'll just get the message "searching wi-drive" when you click on the app). Also, if you're connected to the drive you're not connected to the internet. I hope I've covered this drive thoroughly; if you have any questions about it please comment and I'll get back to you asap; thank you.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Crazy how three years ago there were no wireless storage devices, and now we suddenly have multiple options. Thanks to devices that lack external storage (think iPad and Nexus 10), having access to extra storage is more important than ever.
The Wi-Drive comes in a variety of options, and the option you buy is the option you get. The Airstash has an SD card slot, so you can go from 2GB up to 128GB with a new SD card purchase. The Goflex is 500GB (or 1TB in the new Plus), so expansion is not an issue.
The Wi-Drive has MiniUSB, and comes with an AC charger and cable. The GoFlex connects over USB 3.0 and the AirStash has a USB plug built in - you just plug it right into an open port. Despite its large size, the GoFlex has the best connectivity options.
This is where things get tricky - all three devices offer Web based connections, the AirStash is the most limited as it requires WebDAV software, which is not very well developed on Android. GoFlex has a decent sync app. The Wi-Drive has iOS and Android apps, and very easy to access files.
The Wi-Drive has some issues with various file formats, in some cases you may need to rename a video file. It also requires you to format in Fat32, but that Windows users won't run into any problems there. The only issue there is file size as FAT32 has some limitations, but to be honest, for mobile playback, you shouldn't be playing massive 6GB files anyway.
I have all three, and the Wi-Drive seems to be the winner here too. The Airstash has a tiny battery and the Goflex suffers the most because of its spinning platters.
Price: AirStash wins here assuming you buy it in the smallest size and add your own larger SD card. $170 for 128GB Wi-Drive makes it more expensive than the 500GB GoFlex, but it is of course much more portable.
End results: As an owner of all three popular wireless storage devices, the Wi-Drive is the one I carry the most - it is small, has speedy transfers (wish it was USB 3.0) and it has good Android support.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
I got one a few months back and ended up getting three more for family members for Christmas. I only have a 16GB iPad so storage is limited. But now I can carry 64GBs of pictures, ebooks, mp3s and movies without having to buy a new (and more expensive) iPad. One thing I am disappointed is that I can only play mp4 videos through the Wi-drive. I was hoping I could still use my Azul apps to play mkv and avi files.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
The Kindle Fire HD7 is a great machine, but there is limited storage if you want to watch a lot of your own converted DVDs on the Fire. This drive solves that problem nicely. First you have to convert each DVD to .mp4 format using a conversion program on your PC; I used DVD Catalyst 4 and it was terrific and easy to use. Next, you need to connect the Wi-Drive to your PC with the provided cable and drag-and-drop the .mp4 files from your PC to the Wi-Drive; piece of cake. Next, you need to power on the Wi-Drive, wait for the blue light (maybe 20 seconds), then on the Fire under the Wireless settings, connect to the Wi-Drive; another piece of cake. Then, again on the Fire, you need to launch the Wi-Drive app (that you previously downloaded, it's free), click on the line representing the Wi-Drive, navigate to where you stored the .mp4 files, and select one to play. It will then start streaming and after maybe 10 or 15 seconds, your movie begins and flows without interruption. Use the Personal Videos app to view the movie.
This Wi-Drive and the Kindle Fire HD7 are the perfect travel companions if you'd like to view your purchased DVDs on the road, without worrying about Internet connections. I got the 64GB version of the Wi-Drive, and that amount of storage would probably handle about 40 movies (assuming about 1.5GB per movie). The download speed from your PC to the Wi-Drive via USB is not bad; maybe a couple of minutes per movie.
In addition to streaming video, you can also copy files from the Wi-Drive to folders in the Fire, and that would be good for .mp3 songs.
All in all, a great little device to take on the road.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
Love this device, I have all my movies, music, and photos stored on it. Just load it like you would a flashdrive, and then sign into its wireless network. PLEASE NOTE, the app to use for viewing content doesn't work. Never did for me. YOU DON'T NEED IT. Just open a browser window and go to the device IP address, 192.168.200.254 and you can view all content without Internet.
Seller is great, got the item the very next day. Good packaging, brand new.
51 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2013
I looked over the available units and thought that of all the bad reviews this unit had, it couldn't be all the fault of the users. No product would survive with this many bad reviews, so i bit the bullet and bought it.
When i received it, the unit was sleek, nice looking and i had a good feeling about it. So i charged it up, powered it up and tried to connect via my ipad just to see how it works just like we all see in the videos. Well, my ipad saw the wi drive network and connected to it, but when i went to the wi drive software, it sat there spinning its wheel.
I figured that it needed some media to find, so i connected to my home network via usb and a computer and grabbed some random files to try the music, video, and photo gallery portions. I then reconnected it to my ipad and when i opened the software this time, it had the drive and all the media shown.
Great, that was quick, i thought. Sadly this was the last good thought i would have about this device.
I tried to play a .mov file to see how it does with files it can play. It was slow to stream the files, but that was compared to other media playing programs i use which store the media files locally, so i chalked that lag up to its internal network. But the same happened with the mp3 files i tried to play as well. It is just a little slow on the uptake of the stream. Photos were viewable, but lacking any type of maneuverability.
All of these problems could be network lag, or just it is a slow drive (for a flash drive???).
Next i tried some non supported file formats to see how it allows a user to open the files with another program. It seems that it wants to download the file into the main memory of the ipad, but when i try to figure out where it stores it, it doesnt seem to store it anywhere. I disconnected the drive and the file disappeared from the media playing program i was using. I tried to play the same media file after i reconnected the drive and it had to download it to My ipad again. Useless feature.
Ok, well, i figured regardless of its drawbacks, i can still make this work for my family as a media server as long as the bridge mode works fine. I can sum it up in one word but it would not make it into this review.
Bridge mode does work, as long as you remember to cycle the power and programs on your receiving device.
I tried all my tests again with the same parameters, except that it was in bridge mode through my network. Here is where it fails epically.
It appears that it grabs an IP address from your DHCP server to connect to the network. Not a problem. But then it uses that same IP address as the connection to your device on its own network. Therefore, creating a second network separated, but connected to your primary LAN. Normally this can be done with just a switch that doesn't run a DHCP server but hey, it appears that kingston decided to leave all this in place. As a result, my primary router started going nuts saying it was being attacked from inside my LAN and shut down all connections. Oops...
Well, what happens if i use my cheap backup router that isn't as touchy as the first one. Connect it up and BAM now For some reason, it got into the rest of my network and made some setting changes so i lost 2 wireless printers, a wireless laptop and an apple tv box. It will take me a little while to straighten out the mess.
None of my computers saw any virus activity, or virus like activity, so i am pretty certain that the device does not have any malicious intent, but, it did do some setting changes that i will have to sift through and figure out what it did and why.
Needless to say, 4 hours of playing with the pretty box is going to be a day of combing through logs and sorting out the mess... And yeah, it is already boxed up with a return label to amazon...
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
The description goes on and on about how you can "transfer" and "share" files using the Wi-Drive, making it easy to think that you can transfer files FROM your iDevice TO the Wi-Drive. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
I shoot a lot of videos on my iPhone, which makes it run out of memory pretty quickly. When I'm on the road, I need a way to unload videos from my iPhone without hauling a laptop with me, allowing me to empty some space in my iPhone and keep shooting. I thought I found my answer in the Wi-Drive, but I was wrong. The Wi-Drive will stream files to your iDevice, but not vice versa. This makes it of no use to me.
Maxell's Airstash does allow you to transfer videos and photos to an SD card. I think it only takes a firmware fix to give the Wi-Drive that capability.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
Bought the first on the recommendation of my son who had gone through the reviews and product reports. Loaded all my digital movies up to take on a cruise and use on iPad with HDMI connection. Worked so well I bought a second for my work files, presentations and spreadsheets. I only wish I got the reduced price on the first that I got on the second! But a good deal and solid device! Most of all VERY Compact. Don't need to carry my MacBook or Net book for presentations. Everything can be carried in my iPad case! Kingston 64 GB Digital Wi-Drive with Mini-USB to USB Cable (WID/64GB-A)