The RAVPower wireless hub is a handy jack-of-all-trades for iOS devices
For as much as I love my iPhone and iPad, they never seem to have enough free storage space for all the movies I want to watch. While looking for a good solution, I found the RAVPower RP-WD01 Wireless FileHub. It's an interesting, and useful device that's going for US$44.95 online. It's a little shorter than my iPhone and a bit wider, so it fits in a pocket or a laptop bag easily.
The RAVPower is no "uni-tasker." It's a battery backup, a wireless router that works as a WiFi hotspot, a NAS file server (network attached storage), and a media streamer.
What it does
The RAVPower lets you transfer photos, music or files between iOS devices and an SD Card or a USB HDD. You can also move files between the SD card and an attached USB drive. The RAVPower streams music, or video.
The small unit has a 3000 mAh battery for charging smartphones, and using its NAS file server, you can connect multiple devices like a laptop, iPhone, iPad or desktop machine all at the same time (up to five devices). The company provides a free iOS app, or desktop and laptops can connect through a web interface from any browser.
- CPU: Ralink RT 5350 MIPS24KEc 350 MHz, 4.65" x 3.11 x 0.55, weight 4.23 oz
- WiFi Frequency : 2.4 GHZ Speed: 72Mbps at 20Mhz / 150 Mbps at 40MHZ
- External Battery Pack : 3000 mah 1.5A Max Input 1A Output
- Power: SD Card Read/Write 2W HDD Sleep Mode 1.5W. SD Cards up to 128 GB are supported, USB HDD disks of up to 2 TB are supported, SD Card Speed : Read: 3MB/S Write: 3.5MB/S, USB Interface: Micro USB 2.0.
I charged the small device for a few hours and downloaded the RAV FileHub app to my iPhone and iPad. Next I connected to my wireless network and used provided password I found the RAVPower SSID and connected. Then I ripped some DVDs to my computer and dragged them onto the SD card which was plugged into my Mac. Handbrake works fine for this, or you may have your own preferred software.
From there, all that was left to do was put the SD card into RAVPower's slot. Within a couple of seconds my movie was playing on my iPad. Even better, both my iPhone and iPad could stream two different movies at the same time. That might be handy while on the road with the family. Although my iOS devices were connected via WiFi to the RAVPower, I still had Internet access as the RAVPower was signed into my home network and acting as a Hot Spot.
The RAVPower is now an essential piece of kit for travel and media playback. I can load an SD Card up with music, movies, files, whatever. The RAV Filehub app will playback audio and most video formats with no issues. Photos can be viewed, and any file can be emailed directly from the RAV FileHub app. There is even a search function. The RAVPower is a real Swiss Army Knife for travel or even around the house. It can charge my iPhone or iPad, play media files, lets me share media and files from a large storage device that nicely augments my full-to-the-brim iPad and iPhone.
I have also liked the AirStash (our review from a few years ago), which looks like a small flash drive that uses an SD card for playing movies or file sharing, but when you connect via WiFi you lose your regular Internet connection. It's mainly a media streamer, but doesn't charge your device or act as a router. The AirStash sells for $89.99 online.
I saw no issues with my unit. It can take up to a minute for the network to be up and running before you can connect. Usually it was about a 30 second delay.
The RAVPower can talk to either iOS or Android, and the iOS app requires iOS 4.3 or later.
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