We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

G-Tech G-Connect Provides Wireless Portable Storage

New hard drive uses Wi-Fi to connect to tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

Wireless storage is in vogue right now. G-Technology by Hitachi today revealed its G-Connect, a 500GB portable hard drive that can serve up content wirelessly via Wi-Fi. The drive, available in July, goes farther than other recently announced wireless drives (Seagate's comparably priced GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage 500GB, and Kingston's flash-based Wi-Drive).

The G-Connect's primary purpose is to allow any device--laptop, tablet, smartphone--to access the drive via 802.11 b/g/n. But it's a fully functional external hard drive, too, with a mini-USB 2.0 connector on board. And, it has a gigabit ethernet jack, too.This flexibility expands the usefulness of the drive, mixing up the types of scenarios you might use it under: If you're at a hotel, for example, you can share the hotel's ethernet across multiple devices, even while using Wi-Fi to access the hard drive data, too. Personally, though, I find the built-in wireless access point less interesting; I'm used to finding Wi-Fi at all the hotels I go to, and being able to have more than one device connected to the Wi-FI at the same time.

The drive lacks a built-in battery--a feature found on its primary competitor, the aforementioned Seagate GoFlex Satellite. Without the battery, you have to be near a power source to use the drive wirelessly; it includes a compact charger and a car power adapter. Alternatively, you can buy an external battery. G-Technology alludes to one in its press release, but provides no further info; or you can buy a battery like the Phonesuit Primo or iSound Portable Power, either of which will have enough juice to power an Apple iPad 2 or the G-Connect.

At launch, G-Connect has an iOS app for use on Apple's iPhone and iPad; or you can access the drive through a Web browser. The interface there looks promising, but what I saw in an early demo still had some rough spots that will, hopefully, be smoothed out by the time the app and drive launch. As I saw with the Seagate drive, the wireless capability is less meaningful if the app supporting those features is not well designed.

The G-Connect drive itself appears well-designed, with a power button to turn the Wi-Fi on and off, and a reasonably compact case (albeit it a tad heavy, at 9.7 ounces). The DLNA-certified drive is rated for wirelessly streaming up to three high-definition movies or five standard-definition movies, simultaneously. If all you're doing is data streaming, the G-Connect supports five devices or more.

IDG UK Sites

5 reasons Facebook Messenger is terrible, and 5 reasons it's great

IDG UK Sites

Samsung: King of the Androids (or MWC, at least)

IDG UK Sites

Inside Microsoft's universal platform for designing apps that work on PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox...

IDG UK Sites

How to watch Apple's 9 March 'Spring Forward' Apple Watch event live stream, and what to expect: Ap?......