Vantec’s NexStar series of hard drive enclosures and devices have been around for a long time and there is a reason for that, they get the job done without any issues and don’t have extra features that you don’t want. The NexStar hard drive dock is a perfect example of this. Yes it is a hard drive dock, but it adds the WiFi features that expands the capabilities of the device and makes it much more useful.
Let’s first talk about the stand-alone hard drive dock. It supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives and has a USB 3.0 connection for some very fast speeds. It is very minimal and will not take up that much space on your desk. The white color also looks pretty cool and the device will look great sitting on your desk. If you have an older computer that does not have a USB 3.0 connection do not worry as the dock is backwards compatible and will work with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections.
Adding WiFi to this dock makes it even more useful now any device that you have that has WiFi can connect to the dock and access the files on the hard drive. Testing the WiFi capabilities on our PC we were easily able to connect and map a network drive as well as stream movies and transfer files. Speeds were very good as well. Vantec has apps for both iOS and Android that allow you to access the dock from those devices. We tested the iOS app and it works great and allowed us to not only view and stream photos and videos, but also we could upload to the dock directly from our devices. This means if our iPhone was getting full we could offload photos to make more room. The dock also has the ability to become a UPnP media server so you can easily set it up to stream media to many different devices on your network.
Within the iOS and Android apps you are able to change the SSID and wireless security settings. You can also have the dock connect to another WiFi access point and share its internet connection. This is great so that if you are connected to the dock’s wireless you still can have access to the internet as well. On thing that I did not like is that all of the settings could only be accessed via the iOS and Android app, you could not access them via a web browser. I would have liked to have seen that because some people may not have an Android or iOS device and may want to change these settings.
Vantec has taken the ordinary hard drive dock and made it even more useful with the addition of WiFi. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Vantec NextStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock a 9 out of 10 score.
- WiFi capability
- iOS and Android apps
- Fast USB 3.0 speeds
- Can tether an existing internet connection
- UPnP media server capabilities
- Cannot change any of the settings without an iOS or Android device