Wireless external hard drives are here. …Say what?

Yes you read the title properly. Companies, more specifically Imation, are now making wireless external hard drives. Meet the Imation Pro WX:

ImationProWXUSB

The Imation Pro WX is a 1.5 TB, 3.5 inch form factor external hard drive that connects to the computer wirelessly (it has a the ability to connect via wire also though). Additionally, to promote the whole idea of backup-files-easily-and-continuously-without-need-of-wires, the Pro WX comes with Mameo Instant Backup for easy and continuous, yet wireless, backups.

Sounds cool doesn’t it? Think about it: the ability to transfer data back and forth, to and from your (external) hard drive without having to connect the hard drive to your computer via a cord. However, things are not all happy-happy in Imation Pro WX land. The Pro WX, as you can see in the image above, still needs a USB port on your computer for the USB adapter, the data transfer rates are nothing to brag about (15 MB/sec max), and it comes with a cool price tag of  (atleast) $449.99. Also, I don’t have the hard drive on hand to know for sure but reading over the specs, I suspect there is no battery in the Pro WX. In other words, the Pro WX is not completely wireless – you need to use an external power supply (i.e. use a power cord).

Nonetheless, this is a nice development. Moore’s law, much?

[via GearLog]

Thanks Samuel!

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9 comments

  1. Duno

    How’s this better or different from a NAS? I’ve been using my NAS for a couple of years so any machine connected to my network can see the 2TB NAS drive. My wireless-N laptop can get better speed than 15MB/s to the drive.

  2. bob

    Wireless harddrives in my opinion are completely useless. As someone mentioned, there is the possibility of some hacker getting into your drive without you knowing it and stealing all your data.
    I can also see some type of data corruption occurring if something happens to the wireless connection when the HD is writing info. Does it free up your USB port? Nope, because you need a bluetooth like usb dongle device. Plus, witht he amount of moeny it is going for, I could buy 4 1 Terabyte drives!

  3. David Roper

    Liam.

    I don’t see anything but good coming from this product. Plug it in? No problem. USB No problem. Slower than wired? Of course, electrons are like that.
    Two wires? Eight wires. No problem, my desk and closet is big.

    Now $500, that’s a problem.

  4. Liam K

    Cool idea, but seriously…
    a. You still need to plug it in
    b. You need a wireless USB adapter
    c. Speeds are even slower than they would be on a wired one
    d. It’s two wires and it sits on the same desk as my computer…

  5. OldElmerFudd

    @Mr.J:
    Unless I’m mistaken, that looks like a dongle plugged into a USB port on the laptop. The transfer rate of 15 MB/sec might be best used for incremental real-time backups using software like Yadis http://www.codessentials.com/products/yadisbackup.html or Cobian http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm for instance. (Cobian can be run as a service.)

    I think where wireless will really shine is in a network, backing up data from multiple machines. Imation may have taken the first step.

  6. Mr.J

    They are heading the right way.
    But, erm…, am I not getting it right, or is that Ashraf you said this product need a **USB adapter** to work? Isn’t this kind of contradictory to its supposed purpose???