Customer Review

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good solution for extra storage, 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Buffalo Ministation Air 500GB USB 3.0 & Wireless Portable Storage - Black (Personal Computers)
This item works very well, and allows us to take our entire iTunes video library with us, as well as providing a means to backup iPhone content while out and about. The free IOS app works well on an iPhone 4 (running IOS5) and an iPhone 4S (running IOS6). I haven't experienced any crashes while I've been using it. There's also an Android app.

I can't comment on the DRM issue mentioned in another review, as I haven't tried it with purchased files. The .m4v video files that I've produced myself work well in iTunes and on this MiniStation.

The device works as a standard portable hard drive when connected to a computer, and adding content to the drive is just a matter copying files to it - no special software needed. The interface is USB3, which works well in a USB2 slot in my computer. Note that the IOS app lists the stored content by filename only (tags don't seem to be used), so make sure your folder structure is sensible, your video filenames make sense, and that you can distinguish your files even if those filenames are truncated in the file list.

The device creates its own secure wifi network - simply connect your phone to this network as you would a normal access point, and then run the MiniStation app to access your media or backup your photos etc. The app also gives access to the device configuration options. Alternatively you can connect to the device wirelessly from your computer (default IP address 10.10.10.254) in order to access these configuration options, such as changing the network name, password, security options etc. There is a WAN option to connect the device to a separate wireless access point (such as your wireless router), so that any device connected to the MiniStation also gets pass-through access to the internet - without this option you'd have to switch your phone between the MiniStation wifi and your router's wifi to check email etc. This could be useful on a train or in an airport for instance - just configure the MiniStation's WAN options to connect to the available wifi and your phone will then have internet access despite being connected to your MiniStation the whole time.

In the box you also get a mesh bag to carry the drive in, a USB-to-DC-jack charging cable, and a USB3 data cable. Note that the wifi network is not available when the drive is connected via USB, and that it takes about a minute for the wifi network to show up after disconnecting the USB cable (or switching on the drive). Wifi remains active while the drive is charging through the DC jack however.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this device. It does what it aims to do very well.
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