This post is sponsored by SanDisk.
Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I met with some people from SanDisk. I’m familiar with many of their products. I bought two of their ultra high speed micro SD cards a few months ago for my 4K camera. I reviewed their iXpand flash drive last year. And when I met with them last week they gave me a 200GB Ultra Micro SD Card, which I put into my new Android phone – I can now put everything I could possibly want onto my phone and not even come close to running out of space. I really love their products!
But I wasn’t familiar with the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick, which they also sent me home with. It wasn’t until I started playing around with it today that I realized all it can do.
I have the 200GB version in white, so at its most basic level it’s a 200GB flash drive – enough to store a lot of movies, songs, and photos. The Connect Wireless Stick is available in many different sizes, so think about how much you’ll be storing on it before you choose one.
The main feature of the Stick is that it provides its own WiFi signal, enabling you to transfer files wirelessly between the Stick and a computer, phone, or tablet. And up to three devices can connect to the Stick’s WiFi signal at a time. This is amazingly handy for devices that don’t have a USB port!
How it works is this:
- You download the SanDisk Connect Drive to your Android or Apple device.
- Turn on the Connect Wireless Stick (make sure it’s charged first – a full charge takes about two hours).
- The app will find the Stick’s own WiFi signal and connect to it (you’ll be knocked off of your current connection if you’re on an Android device, but there’s a workaround that I’ll talk about later, so that you can use the Stick and still be connected to the internet via your own WiFi). It’s worth noting that I sometimes had trouble connecting if the app was already open from an earlier session. Closing the app and opening it again always solved the problem and got me connected.
- You’ll then have access to everything on the Stick. You can transfer files to or from the Stick, or stream from the Stick to your device. Since three different devices can be connected wirelessly at once, all three devices could stream different videos or songs at the same time.
- When connecting your computer to the Stick wirelessly, you just find the Stick’s WiFi signal the way you would find any other WiFi signal (it will show up as “SanDisk Connect” and some numbers and letters – you can rename it in the app), connect to it, and then go to www.sandisk.com/myconnect in your browser, and you can access all of the files, including streaming.
- Note that you can’t use the Stick wirelessly with any device while it’s plugged into a computer, but you can if it’s plugged into a non-computer charger.
There are many ways this would be incredibly handy.
- You could load movies and TV shows onto the Stick for a car trip, and three different people on three different devices could all stream from it.
- If your phone is running out of memory, you could wirelessly transfer pictures and videos to the Stick to free up space.
- If you needed to transfer files from a computer to a device that doesn’t have a USB port, you could do it wirelessly.
- If you wanted to share a bunch of photos with friends easily you could put them on the Stick and three friends could connect to it and copy the files to their devices.
I was able to get my phone to connect to the Stick easily from about 30 feet away on the same floor, and even from a different floor. While in the app I was able to see how much battery and storage were left on the Stick
And about that WiFi workaround I mentioned? Let’s say you want to transfer a bunch of files from your phone to the Stick, but also want to use your Android device for other things while the transfer is happening in the background? You can do it by connecting your phone and the Stick to your usual WiFi signal.
- Click in the upper left corner of the app and then click on “Internet Connection.” The app will search for available networks, and you can choose a new network for the Stick to connect to. Once the Stick is connected to the new WiFi signal, go ahead and close the Connect Drive app.
- Go to your phone’s WiFi settings. At this point your phone will still be connected to the Stick. Connect to whichever WiFi signal you just connected the Stick to in the previous step.
- Once connected to the new WiFi signal, relaunch the Connect Drive app.
- Your Android device and the Stick are now connected to the same WiFi signal. As long as they’re connected to the same one, you can access the Stick and use your WiFi for other things at the same time!
- These steps aren’t necessary for on iPhone.
I see myself getting a lot of use out of the Connect Wireless Stick, especially when traveling.
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