The 7 Best Wireless Hard Drives

Updated November 08, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

7 Best Wireless Hard Drives
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. And you thought all wireless hard drives could do is let you backup files without any cords. Hah! Today's models offer all kinds of additional features. Sure, they'll transfer and store all your most important data wirelessly, but they can also double as Wi-Fi hot spots, smartphone chargers, and offer Airplay and Chromecast connectivity, among other things. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wireless hard drive on Amazon.

7. Western Digital My Passport

The Western Digital My Passport has 2TB of storage space and a 6- to 20-hour battery life, depending on usage. It can also be accessed from anywhere if you want to leave it behind and keep it connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
  • whisper quiet operation with no fan
  • has an sd card slot
  • copies slowly from reader to drive
Brand Western Digital
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Toshiba Canvio AeroCast 1TB

The Toshiba Canvio AeroCast 1TB is a pocket-sized, portable, solid state option with a built-in slot for SD memory cards, such as those used in cameras, allowing you to instantly back up photos. It is super-fast and more stable than traditional hard drives.
  • weighs just under 10 ounces
  • internet pass thru mode
  • ships with outdated drivers
Brand Toshiba
Model HDTU110XKWC1
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. SanDisk Connect

With its 32GB capacity, the SanDisk Connect is a tiny, totally portable device that doesn't pack a huge storage punch but makes up for it in price and versatility. It's the best option if you need to travel light, but can't afford to lose files.
  • great value choice
  • measures just 3 inches in length
  • only four hours of battery life
Brand SanDisk
Model SDWS4-032G-G46
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Seagate Portable STDC500401

The Seagate Portable STDC500401 has 500GB of storage, and comes in four stylish colors. It weighs less than 5 oz. and is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, making it an ideal option to take to and from work or school.
  • makes a good gift for teens
  • works with airplay and chromecast
  • native player has no mkv codec
Brand Seagate
Model STDC500401
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Seagate Wireless Plus

The Seagate Wireless Plus comes in three size options, all of which are housed in a compact and durable shell. It can connect to all of your mobile devices as well as any smart equipment in your home to easily share and stream files.
  • dropbox and google drive compatible
  • integrates with a free seagate app
  • organizes files into four categories
Brand Seagate
Model STCK1000100
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. SanDisk SDWS1-064G-A57

The SanDisk SDWS1-064G-A57 is a good budget choice for those who don't need a large amount of storage, but want to rest easy that their important files are safe. It can share multimedia data across five streams simultaneously.
  • plug and play for most smart devices
  • 8 hours of streaming battery life
  • expandable sdhc sdxc card slot
Brand SanDisk
Model SDWS1-064G-A57
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Apple Time Capsule ME177LL/A

The Apple Time Capsule ME177LL/A is a backup unit and Wi-Fi router in one sleek-looking package with a very modern design. It automatically connects with Apple's Time Machine software, so you don't have to perform storage sessions manually.
  • 3 gigabit ethernet ports
  • also comes in a 3tb model
  • optimized for mac osx and ios
Brand Apple
Model ME177LL/A
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Do You Need A Wireless Hard Drive?

A wireless hard drive is an external storage device that connects to your computer through WiFi. It is intended to store important documents and media files and act as a backup for all of your information. It is essentially insurance against potential disaster as well as a convenient way to carry all of your data in one compact place.

It is very handy for transferring information from one computer to another. You have the option of either moving a few select files or backing up your entire system. If you are a frequent traveler, you can access your important files while you are away from home.

The average external hard disk drives connect via the USB port and have to be connected directly to the computer. The great thing about the Wireless Hard Drive is that because it connects through WiFi, you can access your files from anywhere provided it is connected to your home WiFi network.

Wireless hard drives operate on battery power and come with a variety of storage capacities. Some hold as much as 2TB of data and can back up an entire computer system and then some. If you have a lot of media stored on your computer, these wireless hard drives can effectively back up all of that information for you. Some of these drives can fit comfortably in your pocket and even have SD card slots for additional storage.

There are wireless hard drives that do not require an Internet connection to access files and operate on Bluetooth. Still others act as their own WiFi hot spots to connect several devices to the network at once, and some even work as portable chargers for smartphones. They can even act as independent media devices to connect and stream your content from anywhere.

Your Options Are Limitless

Once you have made the decision to purchase a wireless hard drive, it's time to decide what elements you need to consider.

As with any purchase you plan to make, first consider the purpose for your hard drive in order to determine what features you might need. Do you need something to carry files with you while traveling? Do you need a way to access your files when you're away from home? Are you looking for something with high storage capacity to back up your pictures, videos, and other media? The answers to these questions will ultimately determine your budget and the type of wireless hard drive that you purchase.

If you choose a wireless hard drive that operates on a WiFi connection, take a quick moment to determine how well its passthrough (or bridge) feature functions. When it connects to your home WiFi system, it will act as a link between your devices and your wireless connection. In some cases, this can slow down your wireless connection speed.

Next, find out how many devices you can connect to your wireless hard drive at one time. Many of these hard drives can support approximately five to eight devices. If you plan to use high definition media across your devices, a wireless hard drive that supports a high number is a good choice.

After that, make a choice between a solid state drive and a regular hard disk drive. A solid state drive generally holds up better to bumps and knocks and is great for transporting documents during travel. However, a regular hard disk drive is going to give you way more storage capacity and be an excellent choice for media junkies.

Finally, check the maximum battery life in the hard drive you plan to purchase. If you are simply using it to back up documents and the occasional set of photos, you might not need an extensive battery life. However, if you use it to stream media or need to back up multiple files every few hours, you're going to want a battery life that is no less than four hours. Also, make sure that your wireless hard drive can be charged by connecting to the USB port on your computer. This allows for added convenience and file transfers during charging.

A Brief History Of The Wireless Hard Drive

The original hard drive, called the RAMAC 305, was created by IBM in 1956. It was requested by the United States Air Force. The very first computer hard drives were external devices simply because they were large and cumbersome and could not fit inside computers at the time. IBM recognized the need for saving files to some sort of electronic device once work was completed on the computer system. This hard drive was comprised of fifty aluminum disks and held five megabytes of data.

IBM introduced the 1301 model in 1962, and by the end of the year, other companies were selling similar types of external hard drives. IBM continued to lead the way and produce new hard drive models throughout the years. In 1967, they introduce the first floppy disk as a more convenient means of external storage. By 1982, Sony had released a similar floppy disk that was much smaller than the original at 3.5 inches making it easier to transport.

The need for external hard drives has increased in recent years with more and more information being stored electronically. Many businesses and government institutions have recognized the need for backing up their data on external storage. External USB drives and wireless hard drives have become convenient methods of protecting and transporting important data.

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Last updated on November 08, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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