This article is focusing on an update: the model RPWD07. It’s got a couple of improvements that may seem small but they take this budget-friendly gadget to a whole new level.
Probably the biggest change is the support for a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection. But let’s go through all the ports first to get a better idea of what’s here.
Starting here we have a USB-A port which can be used for data transfer and for using the FileHub as an external battery. Next is the USB-C port.
RAVPower FileHub, Wireless Travel Router AC750 Review
Basically, this is the charging port though it claims data transfer works through it – and while it would be amazing I don’t see how that could be true. Next to that is a standard rj45 Ethernet port.
Turn the device around and we have the button to change the Wi-Fi settings, the SD card slot, and a button to do automatic copying. Flip to the other side and you have a power button and on the top, you have the display.
We have indicators for power, SD card activity, 5 GHz Wi-Fi, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, and then the Internet. Let’s start with what is probably the most important aspect of a device like this: data transfer.
The two main types of data transfer you’ll probably experience is from an SD card to an external hard drive like this SSD and from either of those sources over Wi-Fi to a laptop, tablet, or phone.
To test data transfer speeds I created some test files using mkfile. mkfile is basically a simpler version of dd that exists on the Mac.
I ended up creating 11 1 GB files, 11 500 MB files, and 100 3 MB files and then timed how long they took to transfer. The transfer of all these files from Mac’s SSD to the SD card took about 16 minutes.
Next, I put the SD card in the newer FileHub and attached an external SSD. To copy files from the card to the drive on the newer FileHub took 26 minutes. Then I did the same thing on the old device and that took 32 and a half minutes.
Converting that over I see that it performed at 98 Mb/s versus 80 Mb/s or if you prefer 12 MB/s versus 10 MB/s. Then I wanted to see what it was like to transfer a file from the drive to my iPad. I connected it to the newer FileHub via the 5 GHz Wi-Fi and copied one of the 1 GB files.
It took 87 seconds on the newer FIleHub which is about the same speed as the SD to SSD took. But doing that Wi-Fi copy on the older file hub took two hundred and thirty seconds so instead of 98 Mb/s it was closer to 37 Mb/s. Finally, I wanted to share a file from the iPad to the iPhone over Wi-Fi.
I use TotalDownloader to transfer the 1080p 60 fps mp4 file of the Blender movie Big Buck Bunny. that’s 356 MB. The newer device that supports 5 GHz did the transfer in 52 seconds and the older device took 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
So what does all this really mean? Well if you have an older RAVPower FileHub Plus and you just want to transfer files from an SD card to an external SSD then it’s a 20% improvement. Is that good enough to pay for the upgrade? I think so only because the device is so ridiculously cheap.
Then maybe it’s a harder decision. But if you’re transferring files from a card or drive to something on Wi-Fi or care mostly about the Wi-Fi access point then stop the video now, scroll down to the link below and buy the device right away. The speed improvements there are incredible.
Now if you watch my video on the earlier version then you’ll remember me mentioning that using it as a travel router to bridge the hotel Wi-Fi can be problematic. The way to solve this most of the time is to first try connecting on your phone or laptop. The hotel Wi-Fi will connect to a page for you to enter your check-in details.
Record the IP address and URL for that page as well as the gateway your phone is connecting to. Then connect your FileHub and connect the phone to the FileHub from your phone. Go to the URL you wrote down. If that doesn’t work, navigate to the gateway on your phone’s browser. You should get the form using one of those two methods.
If both of those don’t work well then you’re just gonna have to pay up for Wi-Fi or stay at a cheaper hotel that gives away Wi-Fi. Why is it that cheaper hotels give away Wi-Fi and more expensive hotels don’t? I don’t know.
Now I skipped over the button to do a fast copy of files from the SD card to the external hard drive because, well, I think that’s a stupid feature and I don’t really trust it on a device like this. I don’t seem to have control over how the copy functions.
That said I am really looking forward to getting the exact same feature on the GNARBox 2 coming really really soon. Of course, the GNARBox is an order of magnitude more expensive.
I also skipped over the display. There are five icons. They generally do a good job but the battery indicator is much more difficult to interpret. Before there were four dots that showed how much power is left: more dots, more power.
Now there’s a single icon. Depending on how much power is there it will be solid or flashing, white or red. And that’s kind of annoying. Sure it has a power input of 2 amps versus one so it will charge twice as fast but still pretty annoying.
So is the newer FileHub a total win? Kinda? The UI is just as painful as it was before. There is a newer app and it’s also just as confusing. There are still different features available in the new app versus the web app.
I was excited to see that the new file hub has a USB C port and the documentation indicate that the USB-C port can do data transfer but it doesn’t deliver power over that USB-C port so if you have a drive that powers itself over USB-C it won’t work and this is disappointing because the FileHub is the only device I own that still uses the older USB port.
It’s also disappointing the battery on the new device is 13% smaller than the old one and the newer one is 30 percent heavier at 195 grams or about 7 ounces.
But if you only care about the battery don’t buy this because there are lighter batteries with more juice available.
So for me I think the Wi-Fi features are what wins me over. I originally purchased the older device to backup files from my GH5’s SD cards while on vacation without a laptop.
But I find that I use its capabilities as a Wi-Fi access point far more and this newer version is much more capable there. I am excited about this device. I am glad I have it.
I think you should get one too. But…and this is a big but…if you are not very technical and you expect your electronics to behave well and make sense, you should not get this.
In this RAVPower FileHub, Wireless Travel Router AC750 Review (Updated), I have explained that what makes this product best for you and why you should invest in it.