The Kingston Wi-Drive not only allows multiple users to connect and share files, it also creates a secure Internet connection over your existing WiFi to protect and secure those files. Kingston first introduced the Wi-Drive in 2011 and was designed for use with Apple iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. The drive is available with either 16 GB or 32 GB of storage. The Wi-Drive is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G/3GS/4, iPod touch (3G is limited to iOS4.2.1+) and for Android devices (as of this writing)
The Free Wi-Drive app is available in the Apple App Store and Android App is available in the Google Play store.
The Wi-Drive is basically a portable, wireless USB flash storage drive that can be simultaneously accessed by up to 3 users. More than three users can access the drive simultaneously, but performance may become degraded. Once a user accesses the Wi-Drive they will have access to anything stored on the drive. Because you are on a secure connection, no one outside of the Wi-Drive environment will be able to access those files. This is great if you are in a public setting such at a cafe, coffee shop, or restaurant that has Free public WiFi.
The Wi-Drive can be used to store the following non-DRM file types:
- Audio: aac, mp3, wav
- Video: m4v, mp4, mov
- Image: bmp, jpeg, jpg, png
- Docs: pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, txt, rtf, xls, xlsx
The Wi-Drive is easy to setup and use. Simply open the box, connect the provided USB cable to the AC adapter, plug it into a standard wall outlet, and let it charge the battery. (I always make sure a rechargeable device has a full charge before doing anything with it.)
While the device is charging, you need to download the free Wi-Drive App from the appropriate app store onto your smartphone or tablet or Kindle Fire. You will need the app to access the drive and if you want to configure / customize any of the wireless network settings and access the uploaded content.
After the Wi-Drive has charged for awhile and you have configured the drive to your liking, you can start downloading the desired files to it. Once connected to your computer, it acts just like it other standard USB Flash drive.
Not only does the Power Button turn it on and off, it also provides battery status:
- Green: 51%-100% battery charge left
- Amber: 25%-50% battery charge left
- Red: less than 25% battery charge left
- Flashing green power: battery is charging (only when using AC power adapter)
It also has an Internet LED that is steady when the drive is on and flashes when there is Internet activity. A Wi-Fi LED flashes when there is activity across the Wi-Fi.
Okay, the drive is fully charged, has files stored on it, and your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch has the app on it; now you want to be able to view that movie on it. On your Apple device browse for Wi-Drive in the list of available wireless networks and select it. There is no password required to connect. Now that your device is wirelessly connected to the drive, open the Wi-Drive App, tap the Home icon, tap the Device Name link, browse and select that movie you want to watch.
Because the Wi-Drive is a substitute for your Internet connection you will no longer have direct access to the Internet. Thankfully Kingston thought of those diehard Internet users and provides a bridging function allowing access to Wi-Drive’s files and Wi-Fi Internet connection at the same time.
When the drive is connected to your computer, it does not broadcast a wireless signal, so nobody can access the files on the drive, thus preventing any possible file transfer problems.
Our thoughts on the Kingston W-Drive
The Kingston Wi-Drive is a small, easy to use storage device that can be accessed by multiple users at the same time and adds additional storage to those devices with limited storage capacity. A good traveling companion for families going on road trips where each child can separately watch their favorite movie or listen to their own music. The small footprint (about the size of an iPhone) makes it easy to carry around.
The battery offers approximately four hours of continuous access and does not allow access to the drive while being charged. So, if you are traveling for more than four hours and use it to keep your children entertained, you may need to plan out those food breaks to allow the drive to charge while eating.
I have seen the cost for the 32 GB Wi-Drive ranges in price from $90 to $130, which in my opinion, makes it a cost effective way to add storage to those compatible devices that have limited storage capacity or are maxed out. It is also an excellent way to secure your precious files over a public WiFi connection.Disclosure: this article may contain affiliate links. Read our ad and affiliate policies for more details.