I’ve been playing with Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite, and it’s time I tell you what I think. Is it a dud or a must have for any tablet or smartphone user?
For those of you that don’t know what’s so special about the GoFlex Satellite, it’s a Wi-Fi portable hard drive. One that has 500GBs worth a space. With any iOS or Android device, you are able to pretty much stream any of your media library over the Wi-Fi from the GoFlex Satellite to whatever you’re using. You can also access files that are on the GoFlex Satellite and copy them from the Satellite to whatever you are using.
The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a pretty simple device. It’s just a tad bigger then your standard USB powered HDD; this is to store a battery that’s reported good for up to 7 hours. It, of course, also has Wi-Fi hardware inside of it that allows you to connect to it through Seagate’s GoFlex Media app. To keep internet access to your device, you can connect your GoFlex Satellite to another network and then piggyback its connection to your device. This is a nice and very important feature to have because without it, if you were connected to the GoFlex Satellite, you wouldn’t have any internet on your device. Also packed in with the GoFlex Satellite were the cables necessary to connect it to your computer via USB 2 or USB 3. A USB power cord (so you can charge it without having to connect it to your Mac or PC), and an car charger adapter (for those long drives) are also included.
So how well does is work? Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite almost hit a homerun with this HDD. The only flaws I could find happen to be with the GoFlex Media app and not the HDD itself. Yes you can stream videos, but ONLY iOS friendly videos. This means no .avi’s or .mkv’s, two well known and widely used formats in the video media world. You can, of course, convert your media to .mp4′s or .m4v’s, but who really wants to do that? Certainly I don’t, nor would I want to when I can play just about any type of file already on my iPad with apps. Another really big flaw for me was how I can’t move files from my iPad to the GoFlex Satellite. Their file transfer system only works one way. I think it would be great to be able to move some of my documents from Pages, or photos that are on my device to the GoFlex Satellite. The fact you can not do it only baffles me; it seems like such a common sense type of thing. The only reason that I could see as a legit reason not to include this option is if Apple won’t allow it, but as other apps have allowed me to do similar things, I’m not sure if this is the reason. These two issues are the only two problems I have with the GoFlex Satellite, both of which seem that they could be fixed through an update of their app.
Overall I was very surprised by how well the Seagate GoFlex Satellite worked and performed. I plugged it to my Mac, threw some videos on it, and then it was ready to go. I’ve tried it around the house, and on a trip down to Boulder. Actually to be honest, my daughter tried it on the trip down to Boulder and it worked great. The Seagate app connected right to the HDD and it showed me all the videos that I threw on it. Each one played pretty much instantly and without any issue. I could easily see myself using this on any type of commutes, vacations, or even just around the office. The fact that I can connect up to 3 devices up to the GoFlex Satellite just makes it even more appealing. All of a sudden, I’m watching a movie, my daughter is watching one of her Disney shows and my wife can still watch whatever she wants to. That would be so awesome for any of our vacations when we have our downtime.
Steve’s Final Say: If you have kids, and they have any iOS or Android device, this is really a must have. Just think of all the quiet time you’ll get on any trip as they have access to their movies or tv shows. If you go on trips yourself, or commutes where you watch tv shows or movies, this again, is really a must have. Free up your iOS or Android device and keep your media on this, and then just connect it to whenever you want to watch your media. The GoFlex Satellite really does work great and it’s so simple to use.
Edit: There has been a firmware update that now allows up to 8 people to connect wirelessly to to GoFlex Satellite.