Airstash Review

Discussion in 'Portable WIFI Drives' started by AQ_OC, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I like my Air Stash. Here are some comments followed by a few pics.

    1) It is small and can be charged on any device that has a usb port (computer, laptop, wall charger) which is a plus because you don't need a special charger for it.
    2) It is rather slow when you insert the Air Stash into a USB port and start copying files. It doesn't matter if the port is usb 3.0 or usb 2.0 or what the speed of the card it. It is slow.
    3) OTOH, if you take the card out of the Air Stash, and place it into a card reader, in particular, one that is connected to usb 3.0, then they copying rips at fast speeds...speeds limited by the card and/or the port. So, this is important to keep in mind when using the device.
    4) It uses FAT32, so the max file size is 4GB. That has an impact on the size of movies you can put on the device. Well, that is not exactly true...you can put any card in the device and plug it into a usb port on your PC, and it will read it, because the Air Stash acts like a card reader. So you can transfer an 8GB file to an NTFS formatted card. BUT -- when you take the air stash out of the port and turn it on, the air stash won't recognize the card and you cannot use it with your iPad. I release this might be confusing. For use with iPad, you need to stick to FAT32 and file sizes under 4GB. Not too hard to do, actually.
    5) On your iPad, you can read files from the Air Stash and write them to it. You can load up photos from an SDHC card from your camera, view them, or load them onto your iPad, edit them, and write them back to your Air Stash. The moving of files like this is done through the Air Stash app. So, if you want to capture on an iPhone or an iPad, you can save them to a card in the Air Stash and erase them from your device. Works well.
    6) Of course it does movies. Works well on iOS devices, not so well on Android devices.
    7) Since it supports WebDav, some apps that support this can read/write directly to the device. The iWork set of apps are an example of this.
    8) I have a 128 GB SDXC card and several 32GB SDHC cards that I use with the device. And cards that come out of my cameras plug right into the back of the Air Stash. You can buy these little SDHC card holders to keep your media straight while on travel. In this sense, it is an excellent travel device because it is so small and can be charged so readily.

    Now for a few pics, just to give you the flavor of using the device.

    Here, I'm getting ready to export to the Air Stash. To do this, you have to turn the Air Stash on, and then connect to its WIFI on your iOS device (an iPad in this case).

    [​IMG]

    Here I'm going to select an album to export to the Air Stash.

    [​IMG]

    I just selected all photos in the camera roll, but you can select various ones. You can see how it looks as it is ready to start:

    [​IMG]

    Opps...I should have created a special folder on the Air Stash's SDHC card to hold those photos, otherwise they land in the top level folder. Restart:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Transfer in progress:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Now, I have inserted a SDHC card from one of my cameras:

    [​IMG]

    Looking for photos:

    [​IMG]

    Found one:

    [​IMG]

    If you are not careful, it will try to import all of them:

    [​IMG]

    If you use that little + button at the lower left, you can select a particular photo to import:

    [​IMG]

    You can do other things, too, but I'm going to stop here because this seems to be what the two posters in this thread are currently interested in.
     
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  3. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A fine point that gets lost in the details.... The air stash, as a streamer, can only deal with 4gb files because it requires fat32. So you can only stream files smaller than this limit.

    But you can insert other types of cards into the reader and insert that into a USB port on a computer. So, in this fashion, the device is a standard thumb drive. But if you try to stream from the device with that card inside, it won't work. You will get a funny flash when you turn it on and then the device will turn itself off. This can let you use the air stash as a typical sd card reader with other formats on it, but not as a streamer. But if you pop in a card with a fat32 format then the streaming potion comes alive.

    This is a bit of complexity that is hard to tout as a feature because many wont understand it, but I find this very useful and am glad they included it.
     
  4. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's been a while since I updated this thread...but there is a new feature to the Air Stash+ that is worth reporting on.

    It is called SideLink (which I believe is currently in beta, even though the website indicated the beta is closed). Anywho, using this feature means you can create a link to the Air Stash+, and access its storage from your iPad, while also being connected to your wifi, so you can use the internet while using the Air Stash! Without Sidelink, you have to log into the Air Stash+ webserver, which meant you could not be on another wifi, so while you could stream from the Air Stash, you could not surf the web. With Sidelink, you can stream music in the background on your iPad while using another application. You can stream music, work on a doc in Pages, then save your work to the Air Stash, and then jump on Amazon.com, while without having to bother with changing up your wifi. It is a nice improvement that saves a bunch as hassle and make the device much nicer to use.

    There is a change that results from using Sidelink. If you use an app that supports WebDAV, like the iLife suite of apps, then you need to use a certain URL in those apps to read/save from the Air Stash. That pretty much it once you work through the details of getting Sidelink set up (and the iOS Air Stash app provides the instructions you need).
     

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  5. Peterkant

    Peterkant iPF Noob

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    Awesome review! Thanks.

    Just one question, as you are the only person that made clear the NTFS limitation when trying to stream files. The 4GB limit is kind of a showstopper for me, I was wondering if in the 2.01 firmware revision this was fixed or the limitation to use only FAT when streaming is still there.

    Have you tried the gauntlet node? It looks like is NTFS compatible from to go, so I might be able to stream larger files without this limitation.

    Thx!
     
  6. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Peterkant,

    Yes, I have the gauntlet node. I have a review of it on here too, some place! :)

    The 4GB file limit has not proven to be a problem for me. I crunch my mobile media down to sizes around 2 GB or so. I find files any larger doesn't make much difference on tiny iPad screens.
     
  7. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Hi AQ_OC - thanks for your excellent posts on this Wi-Fi device - I've been delaying a purchase for months (just forgot!), but today the AirStash arrived from Amazon. I believe that you've cover its features well; but just some initial thoughts after an hour or so w/ the device. First, checked on the need for a software update (version 2.0.1 was listed on their website); took a look which indicated 3.0.1 on my device - not sure 'what' that means but assume that the website has not been updated?

    I like the AirStash+ app for iOS devices allowing transferral of camera images on a SD card or in the other direction from the iPad to the SD media, so for those who want a 'wireless' method of getting their pics taken by the iPad to another location, this will work. Integration w/ my MBPro is another issue - seems like one of the only OS X options is to use an FTP type program called Cyberduck - there is a free & paid version and I've not given it a try, so no comment. Now, the AirStash w/ a SD card in place can be directly attached to an USB port on a computer; also, w/ the Wi-Fi activated, a browser window can be opened and using the address 'air stash.net' the computer will recognize the device & contents of the SD card; however, I suspect that for getting my camera images onto my laptop, I'll just continue to use the SD card slot on the latter.

    I've not tried the SideLink feature and likely will have little need for this option, but who knows? Bottom line, so far pleased - the device is small, portable, and serves the purpose transferring images (in both directions) from an iPad to/from the device. Dave :)
     
  8. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Dave,

    Sounds as if the firmware had been updates, I'll need to check on that myself. I know they have done several firmware updated since I got mine, adding lots of new features and improving on others.

    For transferring to a computer, I do find it easier to just take the card out if the Airstash and put it in a slot in my PC or laptop. That is one advantage of the system the Airstash is based on. The web interface is good if you want to play movies loaded on the Airstash. You don't need to worry about transferring the movie to your laptop/device and you can share with others. The sidelink can be useful too but I tend to not use that much.

    I guess it is time to update this review. :)
     
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