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Voyager Air By Corsair-Great Device With Just Some Flaws

Where to buy:      Amazon.com

The good:     obviously, the Corsair Voyager offers storage of 1TB to a network already existing and can wirelessly stream HD content towards maximum eight mobile devices concurrently, with the Wi-Fi enabled. It relays Internet access via Wi-Fi, is fast and portable drive. The car and wall charges come along the product.

The bad:     This mobile app does not support some popular and common file formats. It fails to organize the content automatically according to type. Internet sharing through network port should also be available, along with faster Wi-Fi.

The bottom line:     Corsair Voyager Air is actually an exceptional way instead of a few faults that encompass your smartphone devices’ storage size and characteristics.

Product Specifications    

Drive type       External 2.5-inch USB hard drive and has battery and internal Wi-Fi access point
Connector options 3.0 USB
Size (HWL)     0.85-in x 1.97-in x 9.57-in
Available capacities 500GB/ 1TB
Weight 1.1 pounds
Apps included Mobile app of Corsair Voyager for iPad, Kindle Fire, iPhone and devices based on Android
OSes supported iOS 5.1 or later (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone), Android (2.2.3 and later), Windows XP and later, Mac OS10.5.8 or later, Kindle Fire
Max concurrent Wi-Fi clients supported 8 (only 5 for HD video streaming)

 

Streaming Format –Mobile Supported

Video     MP4 MOV (iOS only) M4V (iOS only)
Audio      MP3 M4A (iOS only)
Image       JPG PNG
Documents      DOC XLS PPT PDF

 

The Corsair Voyager is portable drive 3.0 which has built-in Wi-Fi that provides data sharing via mobile and is used for streaming of HD content too. Other devices like this have existed in the market from many years, e.g. G-Tech G-Connect, Seagate’s Wireless Plus and Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite. But there are some features that this device has which the others just named lack. It has Gigabit port for network which Wireless Plus lacks, and a 7-hour built-in battery which G-Connect doesn’t have. That is the reason one could think of it as a complete package.

It is still not really perfect. It uses slow Wi-Fi, uses simplistic app for mobile and lacks network port-based sharing of Internet. These minor shortcomings could be made up for by app and firmware updates.

The Voyager Air is the best option for those who travel frequently, carrying much digital content or the ones looking for sharing hot-spot Internet for mobile. The 1TBproduct costs $220 and 500GB costs %180. A good alternative is Wireless Plus if cheaper product is sought.

The Product’s Design

  • Size

Its size is the same as Wireless Plus, only a bit longer and very slightly thicker. Basically its size is that of a larger and portable drive that is bus-powered. This storage device supports Micro-USB cable 3.0 and when it’s plugged in computer , with the 3.0 USB port at its side, the performance it shows is like that of any portable drive that is bus-powered. This drive works with a 2.0 USB port too but at a slower speed though this Corsair Voyager can work like portable drive, its major function is to be used as a server for smartphones and tablets as it’s a home NAS server.

  • The Switches For On And Off

On USB port’s opposite side, there are two switches for on-off      one is for power and other is for signals of Wi-Fi. Both of the switches have LED status of their own and towards middle, there’re two more LEDs for battery and charging status. These two switches have their own positions of on and off which is quite helpful as it becomes clear when to switch the device off or back on. In Wireless Plus, one has to press, then hold the power button expecting you’ve pressed it for just the right time to work. Another aspect which makes Air Voyager superior is the Gigabit port for network. This makes the device work as single volume server when it is plugged in a network that is using this same port.

  • Battery

Overall the Voyager looks appealingly compact, keeping in view internal battery, built-in Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet support. The battery is designed to provide 7 hours usage once it’s fully charged but still it’s 3 hours less than that of Wireless Plus.

  • Charger, Including Car Charger

To compensate, the Air also has car charger, which Wireless Plus doesn’t, and that is as an addition to regular charger. Drive charges when it’s plugged in a computer through USB port, though here it only works as portable drive.

  • Appearance

The product comes in hard-plastic, two-tone chassis that’s black with a darker black shade or red with black. It looks good and sturdy. With power adapter and USB cable, a guide to Quick Start and traveling pouch also come with the package.

Voyager Air-Portable Device

The device is pre-formation with NTFS and immediately works when plugged in a Windows PC. It also operates with Macs but one isn’t able to write to the device then. One can, however, have it reformatted into HFS+ so that it could work with the Macs as well, and also with the Time Machine. While working like portable drive, the device would charge its own battery too. Remember that if the device is plugged in computer when signal of Wi-Fi is on, then the signal would turn off on its own. So in such cases, when you’d want Wi-Fi turned on quickly, you have to turn the Wi-Fi switch manually to off and then to on position.

Voyager Air-Media Server For Mobiles

To be used as media server for mobiles is the major function of Voyager Air. You just need to turn it on and the Wi-Fi signal would be there too. It only requires 30 seconds for getting ready and you could then connect maximum of 8 devices supporting Wi-Fi, like smartphones, laptops or tablets, to its network of Wi-Fi. By default, the name of network “Voyager Air” is displayed and is on. If you want, you could change a suitable name and password you want.  To have it changed from some mobile device, you would have to run Corsair Voyager’s mobile apps, then get to Settings section. There you can have the Voyager connect to some other Wi-Fi network too, for relaying Internet to the connected clients.

Like Wireless Plus, this device also supports setup of 802.11n Wi-Fi which is single-stream and only works with 2.4Ghz band of frequency, so that top speed that’s 150Mbps could be provided. Speed in real-world is quite slower than this. That’s the reason why only 5 Wi-Fi clients for streaming of HD content  could be supported at a time. One would wish for faster Wi-Fi but then it comes with the drawbacks as shorter life of battery and large physical design.

When a laptop is connected to the Voyager’s Wi-Fi signal, device becomes readily available as an NAS server. On Mac, the same appears on Finder automatically. The Voyager shares all its contents with anyone and with full access of read/write. There isn’t any way that this could be restricted.

File Formats- Providing Limited Support

The Voyager’s mobile app happens to be pretty simple. Unlike Wireless Plus where mobile app organizes content into categories automatically, like the category of photos, documents or videos etc, when Voyager Air is accessed using the app, one can only search by folder. This is because what’s viewed on the device when used as portable drive, the same you get while using it like mobile server. This is not any problem for videos but quite annoying for other content types, particularly when information is stored in many subfolders and folders by you.
Another complaint about it is lack of support for playback for the digital content. The streaming while connected with Android and iOS devices is quite smooth if formats of files happen to be natively supported through the app. There is just a short list regarding supported formats. So basically, except for the video content particularly for mobile platform, nothing else could be streamed by this mobile app, which includes popular formats as Xvid and Matroska for the HD videos.

File formatting situation needs improvement. The app only gives the option of downloading file to a connected device so that it could be played with some third-party app. This works all right with documents but is not feasible for videos as downloading the large file of a full film or an episode of some TV show takes a lot of time. One would also go for Voyager Air because of the reason that you run out of the storage space of mobile device.

Also, just like Wireless Plus again, apart from directly playing back the content from Voyager then downloading on the connected device for playing back without the device, the app for mobile offers uploading the content that is user-generated from mobile device to the Voyager again. It works well with any photos but not very well with the videos because of their large size. It is in root directory of Voyager that the uploaded files get saved.

Voyager Air-The NAS Server

With the Gigabit port added now, Voyager Air also works as NAS server for home. You just have to connect to a network by using cable and turning it on. For long-term use, one should plug to outlet for power with the adapter included.

The Voyager Air works as an NAS server as well as server for mobile media simultaneously. Unluckily, devices connected through W-fi network and network cable both fit in to separate networks. That means information can’t be exchanged between them and that poses as a significant trouble for the users.

The Product’s Performance
As portable drive, the product scores 105Mbps for writing and 107Mbps for reading, which is among the best three on charts. It also performed well when it is used with 2.0 USB, with the average of 32Mbps and 28Mbps for reading and writing, respectively

It is also impressive as NAS server for home. Through Gigabit connection, 20Mbps are scored for writing whereas for reading, 50Mbps, thus ranking among the fast single-volume NAS servers, in fact faster than some others in the category.

As a server for mobile media, this device worked quite well. When used with multiple devices, streaming stays smooth with the effective range up to 75ft. Battery life was good too, getting used up in 7 hours. The usage will differ depending on the number of devices connected and the extent of usage.

Concluding Sentences

Though the product isn’t a totally new concept, the Voyager Air surely accumulates in itself what the competitors offer individually which makes it an excellent accessory of storage for those who use mobiles. If you happen to be one of those who travel often, acquire many mobile devices, live in small apartment and need quick network device for storage and HD streaming capability, then Voyager Air is the product for you.

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