Toshiba Canvio Aerocast Wireless Portable Hard Drive (1TB) Review

This wireless media drive with the capacity of 1TB allows you to store your music, videos, and other files that capture handsome space on your mobile devices.

The best use of this Toshiba Canvio Aerocast is to use as a backup drive or SD card from your camera, allowing you to go anywhere without carrying a laptop. It’s adequate first-version hardware, but it still requires bit effort to become a full-fledged rival to established media-focused drives.

Toshiba Canvio Aerocast 1TB Review

Toshiba Canvio Aerocast 1TB Review

It can easily connect with your tablet and smartphones, but access to laptops and your homes’ wireless LAN is perfect. You can make improvements in software via firmware updates, but the drive feels like in progress.

Features and Design

This hard drive gives a standard black drive look. It weighs about 10 ounces and measures around 1 by 3 by 5 inches (HWD). It can easily fit in the palm of your hand, your jeans pocket or in the travel bag. For charging it uses 3.0 cable attached with a USB AC adapter. There are different LEDs on the top panel showing power, Wi-Fi connectivity, and SD card slot status.

You can view the contents using the Toshiba Wireless HDD app available on Play Store for Android and Apple Store for iOS devices. As you can copy all of your important documents and files from your PC or Mac to the drive using USB cable, So you can view them with the help of this application.

Similarly, the app features a built-in player to watch videos and listen to music, even allows you to view photos individually or as a slideshow. You will love the feature that the app keeps tracks of all the videos you have viewed and how far you’ve watched it and resume it.

You can also open PDFs with the special document viewer screen on your tablet or phone. You can monitor the battery status, reboot the drive or turn it off remotely using the application including the internet settings.

On first connection, you can decide either to connect directly or make it available through the home network. There are two modes: Station and Bridge. The Bridge mode allows the driver to use with public networks like internet hotspot, and wirelessly to the drive (LaCie Fuel and Seagate Wireless Plus both have this mode).

With this approach, you can pay or log in one time, and share the same network with your other tablets or phones. When your phone is connected to the hard drive, it’s basically connected to the internet. This mode is enabled while you are out and about, disconnected from the internet.

In Station mode, the drive is connected either with a personal mobile hotspot of your home or office LAN or any wireless router. You connect your device with Canvio Aerocast on the network. The Station mode allows you to access your drive anywhere on your home network if you have left the drive at home office.

Chromecast enables you to view photos and videos. You cannot access the drive from the smart TV as it lacks DNLA support.

It features an SD card slot also seen in Western Digital My Passport Wireless 1TB. After inserting card, either manually copies files to the drive using the app, or you can set the drive to automatically back up the card while your insert it. Though you won’t be able to erase the SD card automatically like on WD My Passport Wireless, you have to do that on your camera.

 

Performance

The drive performs very well on all tablets and phones. Thumbnails for the photos and videos were loaded in a few seconds. Even the thumbnail houses a full resolution picture, or loads the video into the built-in player, after a bit of time waiting for the file to cache. It works for.DOC JPG, GIF, MP4, M4V, and PDF formats. Codecs support is also lowest common dominator: MP3; H.264; MPEG-4; and the like.

Few formats are like MKV and AVI are not eligible with this app. But you can download the RAW photo files to the drive using the SD card slot, but you are not able to view that in the app on your phone or tablet.

The drive faces problems playing and viewing files on Apple iPad Air and iPhone 5s. Even the app will crash if you open on these devices.

Copy That

It’s easy to back up your photos and videos through your phone or tablet to the app, just a press of the button. You can allow four different users to keep the media separate for each user. But all users can access all files as there’s not password protected.

This creates organizational issues for the drive. On a laptop or desktop, either you map the drive (if you’re on the same LAN in Station mode), or directly connect the drive using USB 3.0 cable. Few wireless drives like Seagate and WD Models work on Web interface allowing your laptop to access files directly from a built-in Web server. The drive comes pre-formatted for NTFS that works for Windows but for Mac, it requires a driver.

Overall, the Toshiba Canvio Aerocast Wireless Portable hard drive is an excellent storage drive with 1TB storage capacity compatible with Android and iOS devices, but have few limitations and ultimately feels like a work in progress.

Managing files with the app are not easy. While the LaCie Fuel and Seagate Wireless Plus both offer a downloadable media sync app to run on your Mac or PC which searches automatically for the files, pictures, music, and videos on your laptop or desktop you can copy to your wireless drive. The manual method is good to keep everything well-organized on your machine, but if everything is filed to random folders it will be a nightmare.

The app is easy to use if you have used network-attached storage (NAS) and wireless drive media drive products before, but you can search high and low on Toshiba’s website to find complete documentation for the drive. You can download the manual by inserting the URL that is printed on the quick start guide with a QR code. If you want to know more about the two modes: Bridge and Station, then you need to explore the manual deeply.

 

This wireless hard drive is perfect to use for those using Google Chromeacast that allows you to keep your media files in an easily accessible place. But the drive and the app are still not able to compete for the leaders like LaCie Fuel (Our Editor’s Choice).
Pros
  • Comes with SD card slot
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with Hotspot pass-through
  • Compatible with Google Cast.
  • Storage capacity is 1TB
Cons
  • Lacks DLNA support.
  • It offers manual drag-and-drop copying.
  • It has no bundled documentation
  • Requires the NTFS driver to use it for Mac
  • Lacks a Web-based interface for laptops.
  • Slow reaction time on testing.

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