Storage solutions specialist WD, formerly known as Western Digital, unveiled My Passport Wireless, a user-friendly WiFi-enabled storage drive that allows consumers to save, access and share stored content wirelessly with a range of smartphones, tablets, computers or other devices.
Available in 500GB, 1TB or 2TB models, the drive--which features USB 3.0 technology for faster data transfers--is available for advance order online and will be at select U.S. retailers later in September.
Pricing starts at $129.99 for 500GB, $179.99 for 1TB and $219.99 for 2TB. The WD My Cloud mobile app can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play store.
The My Cloud app also helps unify users' content under a single app and user interface, by allowing access to content on the My Passport Wireless drive, the My Cloud family of personal cloud storage, and on major public cloud services, such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, from the app.
"Not every device on the market has the same type of physical connection. A wireless storage enables you to have external storage for all your mobile devices without worrying about the connection type," Greg Kopotic, senior product marketing manager at WD, told eWeek. "You're also able to connect up to eight devices to the My Passport Wireless at once without needing eight connection ports."
The drives are particularly useful for photographers and videographers who can instantly backup or offload their Secure Digital (SD) cards to make sure they don't lose their day of shooting, he said.
They can directly connect their cameras through FTP to upload images to the My Passport Wireless as they shoot.
In addition, GoPro Users can quickly and effortlessly offload photos to a centralized storage that everyone can access without the Web, Kopotic said.
"Road warriors today carry multiple devices as part of their arsenal," he said. "My Passport Wireless connects them all together without the need of wires and an internet connection so you can easily access the same content across all your devices."
Remote work groups, which can share files with each other with up to eight people at the same time, can also benefit from the devices, he said. Users can connect My Passport Wireless to an Internet connection and share that connection with everyone as well.
Kopotic also pointed out on vacations today each family member carries his own mobile devices; the My Passport Wireless streams up to 4 HD videos simultaneously to keep the whole family entertained on the road.
As for security, when users set up the My Passport Wireless, they must set up a password to access the wireless network.
Users can also lock the USB 3.0 port, which means if someone physically takes your drive and doesn't have the password to the wireless network, they won't be able to plug into the USB 3.0 port to get the data. It will only charge the device for the user.
A built-in rechargeable battery provides up to six hours of continuous streaming and up to 20 hours of standby power.