Ravpower FileHub: A Must Have Device for iPad Users
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When the iPad was first released I knew with its revolutionary touch interface and its minimalistic form factor it would be the future tech to push us into the next technological era. While the development of the iPad has been slower than I expected, it Still has significantly changed the way we see computers in todays world and the future of computing.
What has held the iPad back, in my opinion, is its lack of ability to connect to external hard drives. Hard drives are cheap, local backup and storage devices that are mandatory for people who create content with large files such as photographers, videographers, etc. For the past year I was content with my 256gb iPad but the storage is dwindling and a solution was needed.
This is where the Ravpower FileHub comes in. The FileHub is not a wireless hard drive like the GNARBOX 2.0 or My Passport Wireless Pro, but instead just a wireless bridge/router. The FileHub main purpose is to be able to connect an sd card or a usb hard drive and then connect to the FileHub through the iPad and access all the content on the external storage devices. This can turn any hard drive into a wireless hard drive, and more importantly into a hard drive the iPad can read and write to.
Why do you need this workaround? Well, the iPad doesn’t let you access external hard drives and in my case the only way to read my sd card is through a dongle. The problem with reading the sd card through my iPad is I can transfer all the jpg and RAW files onto the iPad but from there they are stuck, and if I try to transfer a RAW file the iPad will convert it into a jpeg before it copies it to something like cloud storage. Yes, the iPad converts all images coming off the iPad into jpg which means if I want to backup any RAWs to my cloud account, the files get uploaded as jpgs.
The FileHub has four ports to it; a ethernet jack, usb A to connect external hard drives, an sd card reader, and the unfortunate micro usb port for charging the FileHub. The previous model had a usb-c port for charging but for some strange reason Ravpower decided to downgrade to a micro usb port. This means I will need to pack an extra cable with me.
A nice feature of the FileHub is the button that lets one copy over all the contents of the sd card to a connected external hard drive. This makes the FileHub a valuable device for photographers and videographers who need to backup their sd card in the field.
The Ravpower FileHub is more than just a wireless bridge for hard drives, it is also a router. You can walk up to any modem and plug the Ravpower FileHub into the modem and browse the internet. The router is pretty fast boasting AC Wi-Fi up to 433 Mbps. Additionally, as a router it can also be an access point and a wireless bridge giving more options to how you can connect to your network. The FileHub also has an ethernet port to connect directly to a modem or hotel internet and create your own wireless network.
The FileHub is not limited to connecting to one device but can connect up to 5 devices. If using its wireless hard drive setting, you can be connected to the FileHub and still be connected to the internet through one of two methods. The first, you can wirelessly connect the FileHub to your router and then connect to your FileHub. The second is to directly hardwire into the router via ethernet. For a small device it is quite versatile.
The device needs to be accessed either through the app or smb connection. The app is simple to use and stable. Its a decent file manager and I have no complaints about it. The SMB option is nice because this allows the FileHub to show up as a attached storage device on your network. This means you can easily connect to the FileHub through a Mac os or Windows computer and use your native file manager.
The best part of the FileHub is it does not need any technical knowledge to operate. Just turn it on and it starts working. You can connect to the FileHub directly or with the app you can connect the Hub to your router. It is quite simple to use.
This small device does so much its hard to believe it does one last thing. The device does not need to be constantly charged since it has a built in battery that allows the device to work for a few hours (I have not done any testing). The device will also let you use its battery to charge other devices acting like a portable battery. I have no regrets on brining the Ravpower along because of its two distinct purposes.
I can’t say enough good things about the Ravpower. As a traveling photographer or someone who uses their iPad exclusively, this is a must have device. Its versatility is unmatched and much more useful than just a dedicated wireless hard drive. If you travel with an iPad or camera than this is a device you absolutely need. Check out the link below for more information about the device.