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Home / Tips and Tricks / An All-In-One (And Yet Strange Niche) Wireless Storage Hub – Review Geek

An All-In-One (And Yet Strange Niche) Wireless Storage Hub – Review Geek



Rating:
6.5 / 10
?

  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily defective design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptable imperfectly
  • 6 – Good enough for that Sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with a few footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money [19659004] 10 ̵
    1; Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 60

<img class = "alignnone wp-image-18993 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.reviewgeek.com/thumbcache/0/0/9e439b5cae5da3e4a49deeeea79f7f9a/p/uploads /2019/07/xf19c9085-2.png.pagespeed.gp+jp+jw+pj+ws+js+rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.TQn_tLU_rQ.jpg "alt =" A man's hand Works with the RAVPower FileHub

  • Works as a 6700mAh portable battery
  • Works as a travel router
  • And what we do not

    • Difficult to use
    • DLNA casting is a mess
    • By too many Fun blocked

    Whether you're a photographer, a writer, or a computer nerd with gardening diversity, a wireless file hub can streamline your file transfer process. But for $ 60, the RAVPower FileHub wants a lot more. Is it too good to be true?

    I wish I could give you a definite answer. The RAVPower FileHub is basically a portable device for wireless data transmission. It has two ports for an SD card and a hard disk and is designed for data transfer on the go with your phone. It outputs a unique Wi-Fi signal (you can choose between a 2.4G band and a fast 5G band) that connects your phone to transfer data via the RAV FileHub app.

    The FileHub also doubles as a casting device, Wi-Fi bridge (with Ethernet port) and a portable 6700 mAh battery. For a $ 60 device, these are many features. If all worked properly I would recommend the FileHub to everyone, but that's not the case.

    While I like the FileHub's wireless file transfer capabilities, I think this is the "all-rounder" trades approach, causing many frustrating deficiencies.

    The FileHub is well built, its manual is not.

    The FIleHub looks great and has a fantastic workmanship. The buttons are clickable, the USB and Ethernet ports have a nice (not too thin) rubber cover, and even the SD card slot feels strangely secure.

    The FileHub is really a building block – and I mean that in the best sense possible. But the ease of use of FileHub? The 46-page manual? That's another story.

      FileHub sits on a table with glowing LEDs.
    FileHub's clear LEDs indicate the operating and connection modes.

    The FileHub has many different learning curve functions. But the problem is that the FileHub finds a way to confuse you, even if you follow the instructions. I'll mention some of his quirks in this test, but I'll start with something that frustrated me from the first day.

    The power button of the FileHub is ridiculous. I have never had such a big problem switching a device on. While the user manual clearly states, "Power Button: Press to turn the FileHub on / off," you must hold the button down for about five seconds – nothing more, nothing less. I manage to screw this up every time I use the FileHub.

    That sounds like a small problem (it might even look like a personal problem). The thing is, I've encountered a number of similarly bizarre problems using FileHub. These problems complicate the use of the device and are rarely dealt with in the 46-page manual. I did not want to read every single page, but I had to, because I was always confused.

    The FileHub app is fine

    There are technically two FileHub apps: RAV FileHub (iOS, Android) and FileHub Plus (iOS, Android). The RAV FileHub app is included in the FileHub manual, so we focus on it in this review (they are almost identical anyway).

      The sections Photos, File Management and Videos of the RAV FileHub App on a Phone.
    The RAV FileHub app interface. (I've removed personal files for this review.)

    The RAV FileHub app is convenient to use, if a bit cumbersome. It has a minimalist design that's easy to navigate, and although it's great for file transfers, it's overflowing with many underdeveloped features.

    Instead of writing seven paragraphs about the functions of the RAV FileHub app, we keep it. The list is clear and concise:

    • File organization : FileHub subdivides all files (from your phone, SD card, or yours Hard drive) in categories called photos, videos, music or contacts. You can view these categories as a list or thumbnails and sort by name or date. I love how files are organized – it's one of the best features of the app.
    • Three Methods of File Transfer : You can transfer files to the FileHub using the Photos, Videos, Music, or Music options, from the Bare Bones File Explorer, or from the File Browser dedicated photo backup option (which is extremely disorganized).
    • Transmission Speed ​​and Options : The highest transmission speed I've achieved on the 5G connection is 9 Mbps (it's announced to reach speeds of 12-18 Mbps). This equates to an average of about 1 GB of data every 80 seconds, which is not terrible . Fortunately, you can perform multiple tasks during file transfer.
    • View and Stream : You can view and stream remote files in the app, but the viewing options are poor (though not necessarily bad). It's worth noting that the app's video interface supports subtitle encoding and alternative audio tracks (for you as an anime fan).
    • Casting and DLNA : The RAV FileHub app supports casting over DLNA, meaning it works with Chromecast and Roku. This feature is very difficult to use, but I'll come back to that later.
    • In-App Camera : If you want to send new photos directly to the FileHub (and skip the local phone memory) By the way, you can use the handy in-app camera. If you use an iPhone. The Android app does not have the in-app camera feature. This discrepancy is not mentioned in the manual, and I wonder if the Android app lacks additional features.
    • Settings : The in-app settings are fairly robust and provide security (hide) SSID settings, IP settings, wireless channel options, and speed tests. Most users do not have to tinker with it, but it's nice that they're available.

    Of course the FileHub app does a lot, but few of these options are objectively great. I would say the RAV FileHub app (like the FileHub itself) is an all-rounder, but just a master of basic file transfers.

    You can also access the FileHub from your phone or your computer's browser. To do this, connect to the FileHub Wi-Fi signal and enter the IP address 10.10.10.254 in the address bar (as when configuring a router's settings). This is a great option because it lets you open videos or work related files on your computer.

    This is a useful local niche storage device.

    The FileHub is advertised as a device that works, but it really works best as a wireless external storage device. This leads us to an interesting question: why should you use a wireless storage hub instead of a USB-C hub?

    The benefits of wireless memory are pretty niche, but they do exist. Wireless storage devices eliminate the need for cables. This is especially useful if you have concerns about compatibility. Since the FileHub can be connected to five devices at the same time, it is ideal for certain work situations (especially for groups).

      Menu for testing the transfer speed of FileHub.
    A comparison of the file transfer speeds of the FileHub based on its speed test menu.

    The FileHub also has a "SD to USB" button that automatically transfers the contents of an SD card to an external drive (without deleting the drive's files). This feature is useful for photographers or videographers who browse SD cards (although this is not a wireless feature).

    Strangely, the real drawback of wireless external storage is the convenience. Turning on and connecting to the FileHub takes about two or three minutes, while connecting a USB-C hub takes less than a second.

    Also, in my experience, the FileHub can only transfer data at a rate of about two to three minutes, 9 Mbps (about 1 GB every 80 seconds). That's almost 1/50 of the speed you get from a cheap USB C hub.

    This would not be such a big problem if the FileHub were able to make wired data transfers to a phone or a PC. For some reason it can not. If you want to transfer the contents of an SD card to your laptop, you will either have to deal with the wireless transfer speed of 10 Mbps or plug the SD card directly into your laptop. My laptop does not have an SD card reader. In my case, I have to take a USB dongle when I use the FileHub from home.

    Local DLNA Transfer Is Frustrating

    One of the biggest selling points of FileHub Points is that you can use it for local streaming. It's based on DLNA, which means it's compatible with devices like Chromecast and Roku. But in my experience, FileHub for dedicated casting is not reliable enough.

    Do not get me wrong, when you start casting, it's great. There are the rare delays or buffers, but that's to be expected. The thing is, it's really hard to get everything working.

      The DLNA menu from the FileHub video player on a phone.
    The DLNA menu from the FileHub video player. I would take a photo of the casting, but I can not get it to work.

    The first problem is the RAV FileHub app. If you've never worked with DLNA, you may be confused when the app directs you to the chunky DLNA interface (there's no simple Chromecast icon or similar). Most users are probably unfamiliar with DLNA, so the app should guide you through the process.

    Chromecast and Roku also rely on their local Wi-Fi network so they do not always recognize the FileHub (which is sending) or connect to it with a unique Wi-Fi signal). I had a lot of trouble getting FileHub to work with my Chromecast. After a bit of fidgeting (running the Chromecast setup two or three times), the whole system worked. Even then, Chromecast does not always recognize or play well with the FileHub. Your experience may vary, but I found many similar complaints when examining FileHub.

    You can use FileHub as a casting device, but the experience is not great. It's probably better to skip the DLNA nonsense and connect your laptop or phone to a TV via HDMI. In this way, technically you still stream remote files from the FileHub, but you do not have to deal with strange connection issues.

    In Convenience: It's a Good Wi-Fi Bridge

    The idea that you may have to use this device as a wireless bridge is quite bizarre. But if necessary, it's a nice feature. Connect the FileHub to a Wi-Fi network or an Ethernet connection. Up to five devices can use it as a router. This is the only FileHub feature I have not had any problems with, and the manual explains how to set up a bridge very well.

      FileHub on a table with connected Ethernet cable.
    The FileHub is connected A router via an Ethernet cable for use as a bridge.

    Why should you ever use the FileHub as a Wi-Fi bridge? You can not interact with the FileHub without connecting to its Wi-Fi network. Because of the bridge features, you no longer need to switch between the device and your Wi-Fi network if you want to switch between file transfers.

    In some hotels, you must pay for each device you connect to the Wi-Fi network. With the FileHub you only pay for the FileHub and use its bridge function for your other devices. Of course, your Internet speed will suffer, but it's better than tricking your nose for bad hotel Wi-Fi.

    Portable Battery Features Are Always Appreciated

    Somehow, RAVPower has managed to pack many functions into FileHub. So it's no surprise that you can use it as a portable battery.

    The FileHub has a 6700 mAh battery. At full capacity, a modern smartphone can be charged two or three times. This battery discharges while the FileHub is in regular use. Therefore, it is more of an emergency function. In any case, it is very much appreciated.

    If you know how to use the FileHub, buy it.

    In most situations, a simple USB-C hub with an SD card and USB-A inputs is more suitable than the FileHub. Although the FileHub app was better, connecting and transferring files from your phone to a wireless storage device is a very slow process.

    However, in some situations, the RAVPower FileHub outperforms a wired USB-C hub. If you're a photographer, FileHub makes it easy to copy SD cards to external drives. The five-person sharing feature also makes it a decent portable NAS for group work.

    So if you already know how to use the FileHub, it's a bargain of $ 60. If you are not sure how to use it, you should buy a simple USB-C hub (or portable battery, casting device, or Wi-Fi bridge) instead.

    Rating: 6.5 / 10

    Price: $ 60

    What We Like

    • Great Price
    • Decent Companion App
    • Decent File Transfer Rates
    • Works as a portable 6700 mAh battery [19659004] Works as a travel router

    And what we do not

    • Difficult to use
    • DLNA casting is a mess
    • Blocked by too many functions


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