ASUS Travelair N Wireless 1TB Hard Disk Review

Introduction


When it comes to storage you can either go the ordinary and boring route, or you can opt for something that breaks with the norm with more features than you would expect. I’m taking a closer look at ASUS’ Travelair N today which is a portable USB 3.0 hard disk drive that also works wirelessly with a built-in access point, comes with an SD card reader built-in, and has One-Touch NFC capabilities on top of the 1TB storage capacity.

The ASUS Travelair N ‏(WHD-A2) is a 1TB portable USB 3.0 hard disk drive at heart and that in itself isn’t without. You can easily carry 500 movies, thousands of photos, songs, and files with you where ever you go. An ordinary portable drive has some limitations on the road, mainly the connection interface. What if you would like to access the drive from your mobile phone or tablet? What if you are far from a power outlet? Well, that is no problem with the Travelair N that comes with built-in wireless network capabilities and a battery.

Using the 2.4GHz band, the Travelair N can connect to pretty much any wireless devices available. It is compatible with IEEE 802.11b, g, and n-style connections which cover the entire spectrum of the wireless band. The antennas are internal, so you don’t need to worry about connecting them or breaking them off either. The Travelair N uses enterprise-level WPA2 wireless security to connect with your smart phone or tablet, ensuring all of your content is kept private and secure.

Not only does it come with built-in wireless capabilities, the drive also features a built-in 3300 mAh battery that is rated for up to 8-hours usage. This should be plenty of time until you’re near a charging ability again.

And no, ASUS didn’t stop here and added more features to this drive. The Travelair N supports NFC technology for instant one-touch connection to supported devices without any configuration needs. Simply touch your NFC-supported smart phone or tablet to the drive and you can browse your media library and files straight away.

The final feature of the drive itself is the built-in SD card slot that lets you back up your data from memory cards with simple steps. This is the perfect solution to empty the memory cards onto a larger storage medium and keep shooting those photos while you got the opportunity.

ASUS created the AiDrive companion app which is available on almost any platform: iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android devices. The app features an intuitive user interface to let you quickly and easily view and share your photos, videos, and files.

The Travelair N can connect with up to five devices simultaneously when transferring files and up to three devices when streaming movies in HD quality. This allows you to easily share a single drive between multiple systems, devices, and people.

A portable drive needs to have a better resistance to environmental hazards and the Travelair N features an IP43-rated water-resistant design. This should guarantee a protection from accidental splashes and spills onto the drive.

With all the talk about USB 3.0 for PC connections and wireless for mobile devices, we shouldn’t forget that we also can connect a drive like this to all our other smart devices with USB or wireless capabilities, may they be gaming consoles, smart TVs, or something else.

Feature Highlights

  • One-Touch NFC for easy connection
  • Integrated SD Card reader expands storage capacity
  • Connect up to five devices simultaneously
  • Splash-proof design with IP43 water resistance
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use companion app

Package and Accessories

ASUS packed the Travelair N in a horizontal shaped box which is unlike most that come more square. That’s very fitting for a drive like this that is anything but ordinary. The front will let you know what you purchase in a simplistic design including features and capacity.

On the rear of the box, you find a lot more details to the different functions such as environmental protection, wifi, and NFC.

Inside the box was a USB 3.0 cable, a warranty card and safety notice as well as the quick start guide. Normally there would also be an AD/DC power adapter for charging purposes, but that was missing in my review sample.

Company Agreed to Payout for Blocking Mobile Hotspots

We’ve all been there, sitting on the train or in a hotel and your mobile internet connection is superior to what is being supplied and normally charged for. I use my phone while on the train thanks to 4G data speeds and use that as a tether for my laptop; much faster and far more reliable than the extortionate train WiFi charges.

Well a US based company, Smart City Holdings (SCH), has been automatically blocking users from using their phones data plans to establish a hotspot to avoid the huge $80 (£50) daily fees for using the supplied WiFi. The FCC has taken action and has come to an agreement for the stop of the practice and a settlement of $750,000 (£480,000) which SCH has agreed to abide by.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, last October the Marriott Hotel Services agreed to pay $600,000 (£380,000) for a similar incident within the hotel premises in Nashville during a conference.

The latest action started as a complaint filed back in June 2014 by a company that allows users to connect to their own mobile hotspots as an alternative to paying the fees to connect to the venue alternative. It was discovered after customers were complaining of not being able to connect to the hotspots in multiple venues that SCH operated in.

“In a statement, Smart City Holdings president Mark Haley said his company in the past used equipment that prevented wireless devices from interfering with operations of exhibitors on convention floors. The activity resulted in less than one percent of all devices being deauthenticated.

“We have always acted in good faith, and we had no prior notice that the FCC considered the use of this standardized, ‘available-out-of-the-box’ technology to be a violation of its rules. But when we were contacted by the FCC in October 2014, we ceased using the technology in question.””

Do you use your mobile data to connect to the internet and tether multiple devices from? Are you happy with your coverage by your provider? Let us know in the comments

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information

NETGEAR Partners With AT&T on Prepaid 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hotspot

NETGEAR is mostly known for the local area network (LAN) devices, but they also got a range of mobile routers for people who also want great connection options on the go. They have now partnered with AT&T that will sell the NETGEAR AirCard 779S Mobile Hotspot under the AT&T Unite Express for GoPhone brand name.

The mobile hotspot will provide you with AT&T’s 4G LTE internet connection through prepaid data plans, allowing you to customize your costs to your needs. You can enjoy secure and affordable WiFi when you need it, on your terms, with three flexible rate plans and no annual contract or credit check.

The mobile hotspot is about as big as a deck of cards and easily slides into your pockets, purse, or backpack so you have it where ever you go. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneous for up to 10 hours mobile internet. The hotspot also features Guest access for one-time users that you don’t want to share your normal password with.

“Our newest mobile hotspot is an easy-to-use device that our customers can simply turn on and connect, without adjusting settings,” said Judy Cavalieri, vice president, AT&T voice and prepaid products. “NETGEAR has designed our AT&T Unite Express with the intuitive setup and the outstanding experience that meets our high standards for quality. We’re also happy to offer our Spanish-speaking customers an optional Spanish language interface to make using the hotspot even easier.”

Key Features

  • 4G LTE / 3G support
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge
  • Color LCD screen to monitor battery life and network connections
  • Guest WiFi for one-time users
  • Securely connects up to 10 WiFi devices
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi
  • Optional Spanish language interface
  • NETGEAR AirCard App compatible

Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage Review

Introduction


Portable storage isn’t just portable storage anymore. There are many different connectors, ports and protocols that can be used and it can all be a little bit confusing at times. Especially if you want to use your storage on multiple different devices at once. Seagate has created the Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage drive for this and it comes with both USB and WiFi capabilities.

With 500GB of storage at your disposal, the Seagate Wireless Mobile Storage allows you to bring along hundreds of movies or thousands of songs, photos, and other files. You can simply stream them via WiFi to your smartphone, tablet or even Smart TV.

There is no need for wires or internet connections, the Seagate Wireless Mobile Storage has a built in hotspot that allows you to connect directly to it – but you can also connect it with the included USB 2.0 cable and microUSB port on the drive.

With 500GB of capacity and a battery that lasts up to 6 hours, the Wireless is as mobile as you are and should last just as long as any mobile device playing movies. Don’t worry about maxing out device capacity or your data usage plan when it’s all in your pocket.

Up to three people can connect to the Seagate Wireless at once and it is compatible with almost any device: Android, Windows 8, iOS, AirPlay, LG Smart TVs, Chromecast, Roku and Kindle fire among others.

The Seagate Wireless even has the ability to automatic backup new files on your device so you always have a safe copy and you can also connect it to the Seagate services.

Pick the colour of your choice, the Seagate Wireless doesn’t just come in a boring black or white scheme, although those are available as well. You can get the drive in black, white, blue, red and green – or get them all to match whatever outfit you might be wearing that day.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 500GB
  • Interface: WiFi, USB 2.0
  • Dimensions:  125.36mm / 125.36mm / 24.5mm (W/H/D)
  • Weight: 281g
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

Man Maps Home Wi-Fi Signal in 3D

YouTuber CNLohr has developed a low-tech device for creating a 3D map of a Wi-Fi network signal, and has posted the firmware and software he used to GitHub.

CNLohr used a battery-powered ESP8266 chip that he moved around his house to track his Wi-Fi signal strength. The Device has an LED attached that changes colour depending on the quality of the signal. All the data collected was then used to create a 3D model, showing all the hotspots and blackspots around his home.

If you would like to create your own, visit the YouTube video page for instructions and GitHub links.

Source: Engadget

Toshiba Announced Third Generation FlashAir III Wireless SD Card

Toshiba has introduced the FlashAir III Wireless SD Card, a third-generation memory card that serves as its own wireless LAN access point.

The built-in wireless chip allows for your internet connection to pass through, so you don’t have to make a choice whether you want to transfer images from your card or browse the web. Both is possible at the same time. And even when you don’t have a wireless access point within reach, such as your router, the SD Card acts as its own hotspot for you.

“We understand how important it is for consumers to share their photo and video memories with family and friends,” said Maciek Brzeski, Vice President, Branded Storage, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. “We have eliminated the cumbersome task of uploading pictures via a USB cord so users can effortlessly share and manage their files, leaving more time for what’s important.”

The new FlashAir III Wireless SD Card is backed by a five-year limited warranty and will be available for purchase in March for an MSRP of $79.99 for 16GB and $99.99 for 32GB. Toshiba also offers a free FlashAir mobile app that makes it easy to share via iOS and Android-based devices.

Thanks to Toshiba for providing us with this information

Comcast Sued For Forcefully Turning Private Routers into Xfinity Hotspots

Comcast is being sued for forcing private routers to become public hotspots. In 2013, Comcast introduced Xfinity hotspots, which used customers’ existing Comcast routers to create a public internet gateway. Though active by default, Xfinity was billed as non-compulsory, with an opt-out option. However, certain users have found that their choice to opt-out has not been adhered to, especially after firmware updates, and that Comcast has been using their router for Xfinity without their permission.

The class action suit against Comcast accuses the company of failing to get the consent of the user before implementing the system:

“(The plaintiff) claims that Comcast saw its millions of residential customers as an opportunity to compete with major cellular carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. Though Comcast does not have cellular towers, its customers’ households “could be used as infrastructure for a national wi-fi network,” the complaint states…In using its customers’ home networks to build a national network, Comcast “has externalized the costs of its national wi-fi network onto its customers,” Grear says in the complaint.”

Comcast customers who own a non-Comcast router and modem are safe from this intrusion, and free from a $10 a month router rental fee.

Source: DSL Reports

iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display LTE Hotspot Battery Life Benchmark

As we all consider battery life a key feature, it might be worth taking a look on how well the new iPads perform while using the LTE Hotspot feature. The guys at Anandtech performed such a benchmark using a 100KB/s constant download from a laptop tethered over WiFi to the new iPad mini with Retina Display and respectively the iPad Air.

During the test, the iPad mini’s display was off and no background syncing was taking place for a more accurate result. Both access points are more or less identical to between both iPads, with the Retina mini using a PoP implementation of Apple’s A7 and Qualcomm’s MDM9615M modem, having the big difference noticeable in battery capacity. The iPad mini has a 23.8Wh battery compared to the iPad Air’s 32.5Wh. The results are as following:

Taking a look at the iPad mini first, it lasted roughly 18.77 hours on a single charge, compared to the 24.08 hours scored by the iPad Air. But the gap between the two is mainly due to battery capacity, therefore the best option would be the iPad Air. However, if you prefer more portability, then the iPad mini would be the more suitable candidate.

Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Anandtech