The Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB is an external HDD that can be accessed through a USB 3.0 port as a regular external drive, but also has a Wi-Fi interface, being wirelessly accessible by a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Let’s test it!
The Seagate Wireless Plus has an internal battery, which means it can be used anywhere, and its wireless interface is compatible with IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards.
The Wireless Plus is available only in 1 TB capacity. The box of the product is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 unveils the Seagate Wireless Plus unit.
Figure 3 reveals the accessories that come in the box: USB 3.0 interface and cable, power adapter, and charger cable.
Let’s take a closer look at the product.
[nextpage title=”A Closer Look”]
The Seagate Wireless Plus comes with a changeable interface, just like the Seagate Backup Plus that we tested recently. The product comes with an USB 3.0 interface and cable, but you can replace it by a Thunderbolt or FireWire interface, sold separately.
This interface can be connected to a regular 2.5” hard disk drive or SSD in order to access the drive through the USB 3.0 interface, which is a plus for the product.
With the USB 3.0 interface installed, it can be used like a simple external drive, just like the Backup Plus. In the following pages, we will compare the performance of the two products.
Without the USB interface (or even with it installed, but not connected to a computer), the Wireless Plus shows its unique feature: it is a wireless storage and content server. Figure 5 shows the power button and LEDs (power on and wireless). The connector for the charger is on the other side of the device.
Inside the unit, there is a Seagate Momentus 2.5” hard drive (Model ST1000LM024, 5.400 rpm, SATA-300, 16 MiB buffer).
[nextpage title=”Wireless Use”]
When the Seagate Wireless Plus is disconnected from a computer and turned on, it works as a Wi-Fi router. It creates a Wi-Fi network that you can connect to with your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
The Wireless Plus can be turned on when connected to a power outlet trough the supplied charger, or completely wireless, because of its internal battery. Seagate claims the battery can last up to 10 hours.
Once connected to it, you can open the product’s interface on your browser, as shown in Figure 6.
The first thing to do is to configure a password for the network created by the unit. You can also configure it to connect to an existing network that provides Internet connection. This way, the Wireless Plus routes the web connection, which means you can access the drive content and the Internet at the same time.
All the media present in the unit is shown at the main page, which means it’s easy to access your movies, music, and photos. The problem is that all the media is at the home page, which means your carefully planned folder structure is ignored. You can also upload files to the drive using this page.
On a PC, you can also access the drive as a network drive, which gives you much more freedom to access it the way you want. You can even mount it as a logical drive. It is also compatible with Mac.
For Android and iOS devices, the manufacturer offers an app that can access the drive content. The Wireless Plus can also be integrated with Apple AirPlay or with DLNA devices such as Smart TVs.
However, the Seagate Wireless Plus is not actually a NAS (Network Attached Storage), because of the way it connects to your home or office network. It would be great if it had the option to connect itself to your existing network.
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
We tested the Seagate Wireless Plus using DiskSpeed32 and CrystalDiskMark programs, comparing its performance with the Seagate Backup Plus external drive we tested recently.
The external drives were connected to a USB 3.0 port. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the HDD being tested.
- Processor: Core i7-4770K
- Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer
- Memory: 16 GB G.Skill Sniper (DDR3-1600/PC3-12800), configured at 1,600 MHz
- Boot drive: Seagate SSD 480 GB
- Video card: GeForce GT630
- Video resolution: 1920×1080
- Video monitor: Phillips 236VL
- Power supply: Corsair CX500M
- Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% can’t be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.
DiskSpeed32 is a disk drive benchmarking program that makes a read test of the entire drive, thus taking a long time.
The graph below shows the burst read speed for each tested hard disk drive, in kiB/s.
Both drives reached similar burst transfer rates.
The next graph shows the maximum sequential read speed for each tested drive, in kiB/s.
In this test, the Seagate Wireless Plus achieved a result about 35% faster than the Backup Plus. It is curious, because both drives use the same interface and model of internal hard disk drive. Maybe a different controller version or updated drive firmware explains the difference.
The following graph shows the average transfer speed in kiB/s. This is the test that really matters in this software.
In this test, the Seagate Wireless Plus shows the same performance of its brother, the Seagate Backup Plus.
CrystalDiskMark is a disk drive benchmarking program that measures the write and read speed in different block sizes. We compared the results in sequential read and write, and in 512 kiB block size read and write. We configured it for five repetitions of each test of 1 GB of random data.
The graph below shows the sequential read speed for each drive, in MiB/s.
In the sequential read test, the Wireless Plus and the Backup Plus performed the same way.
The next graph shows the write speed of sequential data, in MiB/s.
In the sequential write test, the Seagate Wireless Plus also performed the same way than the Seagate Backup Plus.
The following graph presents the read speed in 512 kB blocks, in MiB/s.
Both drives performed equally in the 512 kiB random read test.
The following graph presents the write speed in 512 kB blocks, in MiB/s.
In the random write test, the Seagate Wireless Plus was 9% slower than the Backup Plus.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB External Drive include:
- Dimensions: 5.0 x 3.5 x 0.78 inches (127 x 89 x 19.9 mm) (L x W x H)
- Weight: 9.0 oz (256 g)
- Rotation: 5,400 rpm
- Interface: USB 3.0, IEEE 802.11b/g/n
- More Information: https://www.seagate.com
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 180.00
* Researched at Amazon.com on the day we published this review.
The Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB is excellent as an external disk drive. Using its USB 3.0 interface, it works exactly as the Seagate Backup Plus External HDD that we tested not so far ago. The performance is excellent.
But it is more than a regular external HDD: the Wireless Plus, as the name says, can be accessed wirelessly. And, thanks to the internal battery, can be used away from a power outlet. You can, for example, keep it inside your backpack, while you watch a movie stored in it on your smartphone screen.
You can also access it as a network folder without connecting any cable to your computer, which can be great in certain occasions.
The only weak point about the Seagate Wireless Plus is the way its browser-based application shows your media: all the files are presented at the main screen, which makes it hard to find a specific one if you have lots of videos or music files with similar filenames. And do not even think about saving any improper content into it if you are not the only one to use the device.
Being a great external hard disk drive, with the extra of the wireless access, the Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB drive receives our Silver Award.