Seagate’s 4G LTE Hard Drive Demoed: Wireless File Server and Hotspot in One

LAS VEGAS — Imagine carrying all your photos, videos and important business documents on a WiFi-enabled hard drive that could stream them all wirelessly to any device within range. That’s the Seagate GoFlex Wireless Satellite, which has been available since last year. Now picture that same device with Verizon 4G LTE connectivity and the ability to not only serve as hotspot but also to share your files with someone half a world away. That’s the unique drive/server, which the company is showing off here at CES.

Though it is only a prototype and not officially scheduled for release, Seagate representatives told us they feel confident about the device’s chances of coming to market in the very near future, perhaps even this year. The model we saw did not suffer from any pre-production problems and looked more than polished enough to use today.

Check out our in-depth hands-on with the GoFlex 4G device below.

In an extensive demo today, Seagate’s William Clark showed us how the Satellite could be used as both a mobile storage device and a connectivity solution. He started by demonstrating the device’s ability to act as a simple hotspot for any Wi-Fi enabled device, pulling up the home page in just a few seconds on an iPad and then starting a YouTube clip that streamed perfectly.

This level of performance comes as no surprise since Verizon’s 4G LTE network remains the fastest in the U.S. and we’ve gotten great coverage here in Las Vegas. Clark said the drive gets about 4 hours of battery life using LTE and 5 hours plus using Wi-Fi alone.

Clark then showed how the device could give you access to a Verizon storefront where you could buy music or rent movies. Bought music would download directly to the hard drive to save you space, but movies would simply stream wirelessly but with an enhanced buffer on the drive itself. He also showed a clip streaming from the storage on the drive where motion was incredibly smooth.

As intriguing as its media viewing functions are, this device has a ton of potential for business use. On business trips, coworkers could share both a connection and a common group of files with each other. Even better, using a service called Polkcast, the drive can make its files available to coworkers anywhere in the world over the Internet.

So imagine having a coworker back at the office while you’re on location and need to get that coworker some video, photos or other materials. That person can download the files directly from your Seagate drive by logging into the drive via Polkcast. The files do not live in the cloud, but only on the Satellite, so there’s no need to worry about Polkcast or another third party holding confidential data. In consumer use cases, family members can download photos this way.

Of course, the Seagate drive can also be hooked up to your notebook via microUSB so you can dump a lot of files more quickly or use it when the battery is out of juice.

We think both the consumer and business uses of this product are incredibly compelling and hope to see it come to market in the near future.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Facebook Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options