Computer Support Blog

What's the Point of a Wireless Hard Drive, and Why Do You Need One?

Drives with access to a WLAN are an excellent data store for mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. They provide plenty of space, yet they are slim and light. Rechargeable battery and wireless data transmission make them perform well as mobile equipment. Unlike conventional external drives, wireless models have three advantages that make these devices aspire to the title of a great complement to our portable, digital companions.

External drives are great for storing all sorts of data - movies, photos, and important documents. In addition, they can mediate the exchange of data between one and the other equipment without connecting cables or pairing devices.

What Is Wireless Hard Drive?

A wireless external hard drive looks like a regular external hard drive. And it is a standard disk placed inside its case, thus, it is safe to put outside of your computer. The difference here is how it is connected to your PC.

For a traditional external hard disk, you need to use a USB cable to connect it to your machine. Wireless hard drives, as the name implies, require Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect to your mobile device or computer to access files stored inside.

Wireless hard drives are mainly designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs.

When connecting it to such a device, you can browse all of the movies, photos, music, and other files stored in it.

Besides, the wireless disk can also be connected to Linux, Mac, and Windows PCs where you can work with the drive just like with any portable storage.

How Does a Wireless Hard Drive Work?

A part of a wireless external hard drive works exactly the same as inside your PC and the change is how it connects to your system.

It has an integrated battery and wireless module. So as long as your wireless terminal device is connected to it through Wi-Fi with a password, you can access the data in it, which is completely free from the data cable.

If you connect to a wireless hard drive from your computer, it shows up a separate hard drive in File Explorer(Windows) or Finder (Mac), just like it was connected via a physical cable and you can easily browse files. If you connect to it from a tablet or smartphone, a window appears to show you through all the steps that you need to start transferring files to or from the disk.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Wireless Hard Drive?

Why do you use a wireless external hard drive? This is because it has many advantages and now let’s go to see them. Then, you know clearly why it can be a good option.

Portability and Flexibility

One of the main key points is the name wireless that can be directly related to portability. When carrying a wireless hard drive, portability is a merit. As mentioned above, you can access your disk data anywhere and anytime.

Besides, the flexibility is also an advantage. For example, when moving your laptop around the home often, you won’t take the wireless external hard drive around with you since it stays connected at all times without plugging and unplugging it.


A wireless hard drive can connect to any Wi-Fi compatible device like a tablet, phone, or PC. Besides, it is accessible from any Wi-Fi network, which means you can be located anywhere in the world. As long as you connect to the disk, you can access files, just like a personal cloud service.

Streaming Capabilities

Most wireless external hard drives not only offer the capability of the network but also offer ways to stream your media files across devices. For example, depending on the home setup, you can use the drive to stream your iTunes library, store all the home movies to the disk, or stream all the family pictures to a smart photo frame.

Multiple PCs Can Use It

Multiple persons can use the wireless hard drive at the same time. When your partner is streaming a film, you can back up files to it. And multiple computers can connect to the disk, which is not like with a regular external hard drive on only one PC.


A wireless hard drive is battery-powered, which can give you the assistance of using it at times that are not possible in other cases. Most of the disks can be fit in the pocket or draw out the power from a USB port.

What to Notice When Buying a Wireless Hard Drive

When connecting to a wireless external hard drive from a tablet or smartphone, your purpose is to expand the storage device of that device. If you use the disk via a computer, perhaps you want to back up files to that drive.

No matter which needs you have, before you purchase a wireless hard drive, there are some things you should pay attention to.

SD or No SD

Some wireless hard drives come with an SD card slot that is built into the drive body. With the slot, you can easily access or back up the contents of your camera card. If you have a need, consider this point.


It is better to buy a wireless external hard drive with a larger capacity than you need. Just make a plan to know how much space you need in the future.


When buying a wireless hard drive, you should also consider your needs. Using the disk for music files or backups of your important documents impacts the capacity of the drive that you may need and the wireless speeds while researching the item.


It is better to not purchase a wireless hard drive with more features than you need. If you decide to only back up your data, you don’t consider streaming capabilities and apps.

Battery Life

The battery life of the wireless external hard drive is a point that you cannot overlook. You need to pay attention to this when you buy your wireless disk.

Particularly, you should ensure to look at how many continuous minutes each wireless hard drive claims it can stream videos. Typically, it is between four and five hours.

Also, choose a drive that can charge via a USB cable. When connecting the disk to your computer via USB, it can be used as an external storage device while charging its battery at the same time. This is a small feature but it is quite useful in daily life.

Software Interface

Depending on different platforms like iOS and Android, the app aspect of the wireless external hard drive is different. So, you should check the particulars. This is mainly a problem for how the wireless disk connects with tablets and phones.

Also, we hope you can use the wired connection and use Windows Explorer or Finder to manage your disk data when connecting it to a desktop or laptop.

Know the Maximum Connectable Devices

You should also consider how many devices the wireless hard drive can connect to at a time and how many of these connections can be used for streaming. The kind of content you are streaming can influence the smoothness of playback.

Check the Streaming-File Support Information

If you want to purchase a wireless external hard drive to act as a streaming source for movies or music, it is necessary to check which file types you can play through the offered app. If the type includes FLAC, think twice.


When you firstly get a wireless external hard drive, remember to set up the security features properly. The main defect of this disk is the risk of other persons accessing it. So, you should use a strong password to avoid this case.

Top 3 Wireless Hard Drives

Seagate Wireless Plus 2TB

WD My Passport Wireless External Hard Drive

Toshiba Canvio AeroCast 1TB Wireless Hard Drive

Back up Files to Your Wireless Backup Drive

Now, you should have chosen one Wi-Fi hard drive. If you mainly want to create a backup for your computer’s files, this part is helpful for you. After getting the wireless backup drive, connect it to your computer and then use a professional file backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker to start file backup.

Step 1: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker, continue to use the Trial Edition and choose the local backup.


Step 2: Go to the Backup window, click Source > Folders and Files to choose files that you want to back up.


Step 3: Click Destination to choose your wireless hard drive as the backup drive.

Step 4: Finally, click Back up Now to execute the file backup task.


After reading this post, you know what a wireless hard drive is, how the Wi-Fi hard drive works, what to notice when purchasing it and some recommended wireless external hard drives, as well as a suggestion.

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