April 02, 2013, 7:06 AM — Seagate's Wireless Plus drive -- a follow-on to Seagate's last mobile wireless drive, the Seagate GoFlex Satellite -- is a great idea. Like the GoFlex Satellite, the Seagate Wireless Plus combines a small wireless router with a hard drive, but the Wireless Plus ups the capacity from 500GB to 1TB.
At 0.8 x 3.5 x 5.0 in. and just over 0.5 lb., the Wireless Plus is slightly thicker and heavier than the company's wired mobile drive, the Seagate Backup Plus, but is a bit smaller and lighter than the GoFlex. The Wireless Plus comes in a dark and slick-looking silver matte finish.
Like the Backup Plus, the Wireless Plus has a Universal Storage Module -- a removable SATA interface adapter. It comes standard with a USB 3.0 adapter snapped in, but that can be removed with a quick tug and replaced with a FireWire 800 or Thunderbolt adapter -- if you're willing to part with some additional greenbacks.
The Thunderbolt adapter will run you $99. The FireWire adapter won't be available until the fall, but you can still use the older GoFlex adapter ($24.99) with this drive; it just won't match new drive's look.
Seagate's Wireless Plus and accompanying SATA adapter and USB 3.0 cable detached from the drive.
Using the Wireless Plus with a computer
You can pack a lot into a 1TB drive: loads of movies, videos, photos or music. In addition, when you're traveling, you can wirelessly upload photos and videos to it.
Like any other external drive, the Wireless Plus shows up as a drive icon on your desktop as well as a drive in your file manager. To upload files to the Wireless Plus from a computer via the provided USB 3.0 cable, you simply drag and drop the files from your Windows PC or Mac. The drive neatly loads the content into the appropriate media folders: videos, photos, music, documents and as well as a catch-all "recent" folder. (And of course the process works the other way, too -- you can download files from the Wireless Plus to a Mac or PC.)
Using the USB 3.0 cable, I tested the drive with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test benchmarking software for Macs. I loaded a 2GB low-definition movie onto the drive in just 20 seconds. Next, I transferred a 1.34GB high-definition music file -- the album Fragile by Yes, which was recorded in the AIFF lossless format. It took just 14 seconds to transfer.