Usage & Testing
Getting the NexStar WiFi setup and ready to use is extremely easy. Using it as a plain hard drive dock all you have to do is install a hard drive in the top and plug it into your computer. Then just hit the power button and you are ready to use it.
We went ahead and installed a Corsair Force GT 120GB solid state drive in the dock and went ahead and testing both USB 3.0 and USB 3.0 speeds. You can see them in the graph below.
Obviously USB 3.0 is much faster than USB 2.0, but it is nice that the dock is backwards compatible, because not everyone has a USB 3.0 capable computer.
Not only can you access the files on your drive by using the supplied USB cable, but you can also access them over the network. First connect to the NextStar-WiFi access point. Once connected use Windows Explorer and navigate to \\10.10.10.254\. You will be prompted for a username and password, by default they are both admin. Once logged in you can access your files. You are able to easily map a network hard drive this way. Below are our results from running CrystalDiskMark on the mapped network drive.
These scores seem extremely low right? Wrong! Since we are transferring over the network we need to convert the transfer speeds from MB/s to Mbps to measure the bandwidth. The conversion is actually really easy as 1 MB/s = 8 Mbps. So 1.989 MB/s read is 26.208 Mbps and 1.540 MB/s write is 12.32 Mbps.
Not only can you use computers to access your files over the network, but you can also use any iOS or Android device. Vantec has their own iOS and Android app that makes it very easy to access your files on the NexStar WiFi. Below is a video overview of the iOS app running on an iPhone.
As you can see the iOS app works quite well and is very easy to work with. Through the iOS app you are able to tether an internet connection, which we did. I was curious to see if there was a difference in speed when connected directly to my access point or going through the NexStar WiFi. The left shows our speed when connected to the NexStar WiFi and the right shows speeds directly connected to our access point.
As you can see there was a slight decrease in overall download speed. We have seen this on other similar devices as well.