Looking to add more storage to your mobile devices? A compact mobile storage device is the way to go. Apart from extra storage space for backing up user-generated content, they can also be used as regular portable drives as well as mobile media streaming servers -- especially for on-the-road entertainment.
Wi-Fi-enabled portable storage devices enable mobile users to carry a lot more data (up to 1TB) than a tablet or smartphone can hold. On the other hand, direct attached devices provide less storage have higher level of ease of use and performance.
Following is the list of top such devices on the market. They makes great accessories for frequent travelers, and during this holiday season, a great gift for anybody who owns a tablet.
Editors' note: This gallery was originally published on May 17, 2013, and updated on November 20, 2014.
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is not exactly a wireless device. Instead it's a USB thumbdrive that also comes with a Lightning connector. This allows it to easily attach to an iPhone or an iPad and provide up to 64GB of storage space, to be used as the host for media or the backup destination. Together with the iXpand Sync app, this device makes an excellent accessories thanks to the ease of use and performonce similar to that of the iDevice's internal storage.
The Corsair Voyager Air is probably the most complete device of its type. It offers long battery life, built-in Wi-Fi (support for up to eight concurrent clients), a built-in network port to work with an existing LAN and up to 1TB of storage space. The device is not perfect, however; its mobile app is also rather simple, and, for now, it can't share Internet access via its network port.
The Seagate Wireless Plus is the most compact hard-drive-based mobile storage device on the market, while still offering 1TB of storage. The device also has the best mobile app, which is robust and easy to use, and offers the longest battery life: close to 10 hours on a single charge.
The 1TB LaCie Fuel is basically the square version of the Seagate Wireless Plus. The drive has exactly the same feature set and even uses the same Seagate Media mobile app. Thanks to its stylish design, it's a great alternative to the Wireless Plus, though it doesn't have anything new of its own.
The Patriot Aero offers up to 1TB of storage space, supports up to five Wi-Fi clients at a time for HD streaming, and has around 6 hours of battery life. The device supports USB 3.0 when working as a portable drive and offers very fast speeds as an external hard drive. The device's Patriot Connect mobile app is a little oversimplified, although it works as intended.
This is the tiniest device on this list and has just up to 64GB of internal storage space. To make up for that, it's the only one that has an SD card slot to give you up to another 128GB of storage space. The SD card slot also means that it's a great device if you want to quickly view or share photos or video that have just been shot on the field, making it a great accessory for photographers.
The Samsung Wireless is the latest in the crowd of mobile wireless drives. It's the first on the market that, at launch, supports only Android devices and can also works as a juice pack. The drive comes with 1.5TB of storage space, a battery that offers up to 7 hours of continuous usage and it can host up to five Wi-Fi devices a the same time. Other than that, its feature set is very similar to others'.