Vantec NexStar NST-D300WS3 WiFi HDD Dock Review

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When you look at the continued success of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in comparison with those that have faded away, such as MySpace, the main factor is obviously speed and convenience. MySpace was designed so that each user took time to create and personalize their page, while Facebook and Twitter have limited customization but allow users to share and interact with others in a much simpler and faster way. New information is fed to all followers and subscribers without the need to visit the author’s page to keep up to date. This method of sharing information and interaction is much more convenient to each individual user because it takes the least amount of effort while getting the most amount of information.

Vantec NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock 

 

This approach should also be considered in terms of hardware design and sharing data. Wireless connectivity opens up a world of options beyond what wired transfer can provide and not be limited to one connection at a time. Granted, wireless transfer rates are not as fast as wired transfer rates with current available technology but it has reached acceptable levels for high-definition media streaming, which is the bulk of what most users expect from wireless storage. Vantec, a well-known name in storage solutions, has turned their creative focus to adding WiFi functionality to their product line, namely their NexStar hard drive enclosures.

Vantec NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock

 

The Vantec NexStar hard drive WiFi dock fits standard 3.5” or 2.5” drives. The NexStar WiFi dock is capable of high-speed USB 3.0 transfers as well as offering wireless support for 802.11 b/g/n standards with transfer rates of up to 150 Mbit/s. Accessible on iOS or Android devices through the Vantec WiFi App, the NexStar WiFI dock also supports Access Point Internet tethering and WEP/WPA/WPA2 security. Media playback of H.264, mov, mp4, mpv, 3gp, m4v, aac, mp3, m4a, aif, and wav are supported as well as jpeg, png, gif, tif, bmp, and tiff image files. The Vantec NexStar WiFi dock comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

 

 


 

Specifications:

Model:

NST-D300WS3

Device Support:

SATA I/II/III Hard Drive

Hard Drive Size:

2.5" & 3.5" Hard Drive

External Interface:

USB 3.0 (Backwards compatible with USB 2.0 & 1.1)

Supported File System:

NTFS, FAT32

System OS Support:

  • Windows XP, Vista, 7 & 8
  • MacOS X 10.6 or higher

Mobile Device OS Support:

  • iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch iOS 4.0 & Higher
  • Android Phone ver. 2.1 & higher
  • Android Pad ver. 3.0 & higher
  • UPnP Compatible Devices

Wi-Fi Interface:

  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi AP Tethering Supported
  • Wi-Fi Encryption: WEP/WPA/WPA2
  • Support WPS
  • Up to 150Mbit Transfer Rate

iOS App Supported Media Format:

  • Video: h.264, .mov, .mp4, .mpv, .3gp, .m4v
  • Photo: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .bmp, .tiff
  • Audio: AAC, .mp3, .m4a, .aif, .wav
  • Document: MS Office 97 or higher, .pdf, .rtf
  • Supports "Open-In" Function

Android App Supported Media Format:

  • Video: h.264, .mp4,.3gp, .MPEG-TS, .mkv
  • Photo: .jpg, .png, .gif, .bmp, .webp
  • Audio: AAC, .mp3, .ota, .imy, .ogg, .rttl, .rtx, .wav

Material:

Plastic

Dimensions (L x W x H):

136 x 83 x 87 mm

 

Product Features:

  • Get Connected Over Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n -  Access & Share Your Files Seamlessly Over the NexStar's Wi-Fi Network
  • Native App Support for iOS and Android Devices - Download App Available on the App Store and Google Play Market
  • Get Secure - Supports Wi-Fi Security Protection WEP/WPA/WPA2
  • Simultaneous Sharing - Connect with multiple devices and Upload/Download Wirelessly
  • Supports UPnP Media Server - Media Server functions to support Xbox® and PS3™
  • Stay Connected - Supports Internet Tethering So You Can Access the Internet While Connected
  • USB 3.0 For SuperSpeed Transfer - Get Your Files on to Your Hard Drive Faster w/ USB 3.0

 

 


Test System(s):

System Specifications

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77 WS
  • CPU Heatsink: Phanteks PH-TC14PE
  • Heatsink Paste: Noctua NT-H1
  • Memory: 4x4GB Kingston HyperX Red 1600MHz DDR3
  • Video Cards: NVIDIA GTX 580
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB (OS), OCZ Vertex 4 256GB (Test drive)
  • Power Supply: Enermax Platimax 1000W
  • Optical Drive: ASUS BC-12B1ST
  • Case: NZXT Switch 810
  • Wireless Adapter: MSI U300EX Lite II USB Network Adapter
  • Operating System: Windows 8 Pro x64

 

Benchmarks:

  • HD Tune
  • AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
  • Crystal mark
  • File Transfer

 

 

HD Tune is a benchmark used to calculate Transfer times, Access times, Burst Rate and CPU Usage of a hard drive. You can download HD Tune at www.hdtune.com. There are two versions of HD Tune, a pro and a free version. For the sake of this review, we have used the free version. (Pro Version does benchmark write speeds).

HDTune Benchmarks

 HDTune Benchmarks

 

 

FinalWire's AIDA64 is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool. AIDA64 will be used for its Disk Benchmark tool with the test conducted using the Read Test Suite.

AIDA64 Read Test

 AIDA64 Read Test

 

 

Crystal Mark is a disk benchmark software that features:

  • Sequential reads/writes
  • Random 4KB/512KB reads/writes
  • Text copy
  • Change dialog design
  • internationalization (i18n)

Download Crystal Mark

Crystal DiskMark benchmark

 

The 1 and 5 Gigabyte files are placed on the desktop then sent to the SSD/HDD. This allows the SSD/HDD to both read the file before transfer then write it to the SSD/HDD. Times are calculated in Seconds for the 1 Gigabyte file and Minutes and Seconds for the 5 Gigabyte file.

File Transfer Benchmark

 

 


Provided by: Vantec

No compensation was received for review of this product.

Price Point

Price: $89.99 USD (Newegg.com)

Class: High-end

At $89.99, the Vantec NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock falls into the enthusiast category of HDD WiFi Dock.

Reviewer's Opinion

The Vantec NexStar NST-D300WS3 WiFi dock is small and lightweight, but feature wise, it is a heavy weight.  The USB 3.0 transfer rates are impressively faster than typical USB 3.0 hard drive docks and the Wireless implementation is very effective.  A modern home office has more than one computer, so wireless access is simply a much faster and convenient way to share data.  Add the NexStar WiFi app on an iOS or Android phone and the network expands even further.  Modern HDTVs, as well as media players with UPNP capability, can also easily connect to the NexStar WiFi dock and stream media. If placed strategically in a room, you certainly do not even need to move the WiFi dock around to gain access.  With the inclusion of network access point functionality, each individual device can remain connected to the Internet, as well.  It is practically a necessity for any modern office to have connectivity this fluid to increase productivity and workflow.

Swapping out drives is swift and easy with the use of the extra large drive-ejection button. In fact, some might find it too large and obvious, protruding about an inch off the top. The power and status LED is also particularly bright and is enough to act as a night-light illuminating a room at night. Transporting the NexStar NST-D300WS3 WiFi dock itself is not an issue as it is very light and simply just sits on top of any table with no problems staying upright due to the wide base.  Additional non-slip supports underneath also ensure that it stays put.

The Vantec NexStar WiFi NST-D300WS3 dock uses an ASMedia ASM1053 USB to SATA chip and it does an impressive job, as seen in the benchmarks.  This chip has its limitations, however, namely being limited to SATA 1.5/3.0 Gbps speeds.  Vantec offers an alternative SATA 6Gbps version carrying the model number NST-D306WS3, which most likely uses the ASMedia ASM1053E chip, so users who want the absolute SATA 6Gbps performance should opt for the NST-D306WS3 version. 

Overall, the Vantec NexStar NST-D300WS3 WiFi is a convenient little device that simplifies workflow and goes beyond the capabilities of a typical hard drive dock. Both the NexStar WiFi hardware and app were intuitive and easy to use, which made file transfers and media streams across all platforms run without any hassles.  Users looking for a low-cost storage solution which can contribute greatly to small-office productivity and streamlined data sharing will find the NexStar NST-D300WS3 an essential office tool.   

 

Likes

  • Wireless B/G/N capable
  • Intuitive NexStar WiFi App
  • Internet AP capability
  • Fast USB 3.0 transfer rates
  • UPnP compatible
  • NexStar iOS App can read MS Office documents

 

Dislikes

  • ASM1053 limited to SATA 3Gbps speeds

 

HiTechLegion Editor's Choice Award

 

 

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