All week long this week I’ll be sharing reviews for some products that adventure travelers are sure to love the next time they hit the road. On Monday, I shared my thoughts on a new set of noise cancelling headphones from TaoTronics and yesterday I reviewed an amazing GPS watch from Citizen. Today, I have another tech product that will come in handy while on the road not only with adventure travelers but mobile professionals as well. It is the RavPower FileHub and Wireless Travel Router, a product that I didn’t even know I needed until I had one.
So what exactly does this device do? Personally, I like to think of it as a Swiss Army Knife of electronic gadgets. It serves not only as a wireless way to back-up photos and files while on the go, but it can also convert a wired network into a wireless one, and provide power to recharge your devices too. This makes it a great option to have with you not only for sharing and backing up files from a laptop, but your smartphone and tablet too. Thanks to a mobile app (iOS/Android), it really opens up the amount of storage available for those devices, which tend to be more constrained when it comes to onboard capacity.
Despite being a mobile option for conducting back-ups and offering an external storage system, the FileHub doesn’t come with any storage space built in. You’ll need to add your own by either plugging in an SD card or a USB hard drive. That should be obvious based on the FileHub’s $59.99 price point, but it is important to point that out just to be on the safe side. To accommodate those storage options, the device has an SD card slot built right in, as well as a standard USB port like the one you’d find on the side of your computer. That’s where you can plug in an external drive, with the FileHub supporting up to 3 terabytes of storage through this process. That’s a lot of extra space for your mobile devices, which can get extremely expensive when you start to jump up from the standard 64 or even 128 GB capacities.
The FileHub is even smart enough to support both SD cards and an external drive at the same time and comes with a method for backing up the card to the drive at the touch of a single button. This is a handy feature for photographers in particular, who can pull their card out of their camera at the end of the day and automatically send the photos to a hard drive for backup. You don’t even need to use a tablet, phone, or laptop to complete this process, which is just such a great feature to have at your disposal.
In addition to the standard USB port, the FileHub also comes with a Micro-USB, which is used for recharging the device itself. Since it comes with a built in 6700 mAh battery, you’re able to run the FileHub for hours at a time without the need to power it back up. How much time depends on what you’re using it for and what you’ve got plugged into it. For instance, up to five devices can connect to the hub at any given time, which requires a bit of extra power to keep it running. Using it as a wifi hotspot will also put a hit on the battery, as will powering an external hard drive. That said, it is possible to plug the FileHub into a power outlet while using all of those feature and keep it full charged the entire time.
As mentioned, this device can serve as a wired to wireless Internet bridge while traveling. It is rare these days, but some hotels still don’t have wireless connectivity or if they do it can be extremely slow. But the FileHub also comes with a built-in ethernet port, allowing you to plug in a cable and turn the device into a wifi router. This is the type of functionality that I find myself rarely having to use, but I’m happy to have it when I need it. And since many of our smart devices don’t have integrated ethernet ports of their own, it can be a real lifesaver when traveling without a laptop for instance.
It is important to point out that RavPower released a previous FileHub model that didn’t always perform up to users’ expectations. The company has worked to rectify that situation with the new 2019 model, giving it faster throughput speeds when moving files around, a more reliable wireless signal when connecting with other gadgets, and a larger battery for both recharging those devices and offering its own functionality too. The device operates on both 2.4 and 5.8 GHz radio frequencies and has a data transfer rate of as much as 300 Mb/second, all while weighing just 7 ounces (198 grams) and measuring less than 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) in length.
One of the changes that the current model made versus the original is that it removed its USB-C port in favor of the Micro-USB port instead. I’m not sure why that decision was made, but personally I would have preferred had the not done this. As someone who has started to embrace the USB-C future, having to carry fewer cables and having the functionality that that format brings would have been worth it for me personally. Despite how much I appreciate what the FileHub brings to the table, I’m hoping RavPower will reconsider this decision moving forward.
The use cases for the FileHub in the field are practically endless. As mentioned, I rarely have the need for its ability to turn a wired connection into a wireless one, but it’s nice to know I can should I have to. But, the option for backing up important files –– particularly photos and video –– while traveling in a remote location can prove invaluable. That means that you can possibly leave your heavy laptop behind and take just a phone or table instead. This device makes it possible to slim down your load and travel a bit lighter and faster, which is always something I appreciate.
Priced at just $60, this is the kind of travel tech that is affordable, versatile, and oh-so handy to have at your disposal. You can find out more on the RavPower website.
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