If you’ve got a smartphone – and chances are you have – then you may suffer from a lack of internal storage. It is a problem that affects many. If you have an Android device then it is indeed possible to expand the amount of storage on offer by using microSD cards, but you may find that even this doesn’t cut it. If you are using an iPhone then you are under even greater limits, since you can’t install SD cards and you are limited to the space given on the phone. That is unless you use an external hard drive that is compatible with smartphones and tablets. Think of it as a portable NAS device.
A lot of external smartphone drives come with decent storage sizes in a compact physical size. This means that you can carry the drives around with ease and take all your data with you. All your music and movies can come right along with you wherever you go, regardless of the limitations bound by your smartphone. You can also stream documents back and forth with ease thanks to the support of many file formats (like MS Office and iWork). iPhone users looking to further their storage space should definitely look into an external smartphone drive.
Choosing the right drive for your smartphone depends on how much storage space and what features you need. One of the drives available is the Kingston Wi-Drive, which comes in sizes of 16, 32 and 64 GB. This hard drive supports a bridge connection, meaning you can pair it to a Wi-Fi network for web browsing and simultaneously for streaming data from the drive – there is a dedicated media player built into the drive that supports basic video formats. You can use three devices at any time to playback.
Another option is the Transcend StoreJet Cloud. This simply runs as an app on your smartphone. Files can be sent to the drive through your computer and then streamed off the smartphone. Like Kingston’s offering it also has bridge connectivity. A good benefit is that a lot of mainstream file formats are supported and those that aren’t can be added through third party programs. This drive is beneficial as you are actually copying the files to the drive rather than just streaming them.
A third choice could be the Seagate GoFlex Satellite. This is the size of a standard external hard drive that you would use on a computer, unlike the other two drives which are designed to be more portable. However, those two drives have a maximum limit of 64 GB, a size which is supported by microSD. The Seagate drive triumphs by offering a capacity of 500 GB and USB 3.0 support. You can also pair up to eight devices at once.
External hard drives for smartphones are useful for those who find the capacity and features of a microSD card too limiting. It is especially great for iPhone users who are tied down by Apple’s limits. Whether or not it is worth your money depends on how you use your smartphone and whether or not you need the expanded features offered by an external drive.
Smartphone Drives 101
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