Wireless External Hard Drive for Mac Need to Knows B4U Buy

By Paul Gregory / November 6, 2019
WireLess External Hard Drive For Mac

With the news  ​that Apple is no longer making the Airport Time Capsule​. The race is on to find an alternative wireless external hard drive for Mac.

You'll find here the current wireless contenders.

But do they come anywhere near the great Time Capsule?

For the impatient, who want to know which is the best wireless hard drive for Mac now.

The winner of the best wireless external hard drive for Mac is the WD My Passport Wireless Pro.

BUT

You should understand it's not an Apple Time Capsule replacement.

To find out why, you can read on.

Learn the important things to know. When you're thinking of an alternative to the Airport Time Capsule.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. And at no extra cost to you this site earns a commissions through image links, Amazon button and text links should you buy.

​The Best Wireless External Hard Drive for Mac
Wireless Pro Charging

​WD My Passport Wireless Pro

Take a Look at the Price on Amazon



​​​​​Table Of Contents

Ok, What do These Wireless External Hard Drives Do For Your Mac?

You'll find that these wireless external drives are entertainment devices.

What does that mean?

1. You've personal Wifi and hotspot for streaming content without needing an Internet connection.

2. The ability to stream your videos and movies.

View your photos or listen to your music on many devices at once. How many varies by wireless drive.

3. You get a place to off-load your photos and free up space on your iPad or iPhone without using cloud storage.

4. You can bridge to an existing Wifi that has Internet connection. And your wireless external hard drive gives your Mac. And your Wifi gadgets a Wifi gateway to the Internet.

But you'll likely find streaming direct from the Internet through these drives painful. Unless you've a really fast connection.

How Are the Wireless Drives as an Alternative to the Apple Airport Time Capsule?

You'll find the wireless external hard drives have drawbacks for a Mac user. When what you're looking for is a Time Capsule replacement.

Why?

1. For your Mac they Don't do What a Time Capsule Did

Because.  

They're not a wireless drive that has its own Wifi.

Plus pass through connection to the Internet.

Plus a wifi backup for Time Machine.

Plus the ability to store and share files with Macs and PCs on the same Wifi network. Plus a few other things the Time Capsule did.

(I have a full review on the Time Capsule if you want to refresh yourself).

For a Mac user that loved the Apple Time Capsule it's depressing.

2. No Over the Wifi Backup for Time Machine

Not one of the external wireless hard drives work wirelessly for Time Machine. You can backup to Time Machine only if you plug your wireless drive into your Mac with a USB cable. Like any normal external hard drive. And when your plugged in the Wifi is off.

​And let's face it you can easily find cheaper alternatives to use as a direct plug in backup drive.

External Wireless Hard Drives For Mac Need to Knows

When you use as wireless entertainment external hard drive with your Mac. What's important for you to know?

1. None of the drives does any Encoding

Apart from the best Wifi hard drive WD My Passport Wireless Pro. And that product has limited capabilities.

So?

This means that whatever you're looking to view. It doesn't matter if it's photos, videos or documents.  They must be in a format that whatever you're viewing or listening on can read.

The file must be in a format that your mobile. Or your tablet or understands before you try to stream or view.

2. You can't stream iTunes purchased movies.

In fact you can't stream DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected media on any of these drives.

Apple took away that facility in IOS 8. So unless you've a device running an earlier release of IOS than that you'll have no joy.

If this is you main reason for buying one of these drives. Let me save you some time and frustration. Don’t bother.

3. Take care if your photos or videos or files are Sensitive 

Or you just don't fancy sharing them publicly. Spend time sorting out your wireless external hard drive's security.

The marketing on these drives makes much of using a hotel's Wifi. Or public available Wifi to stream content and entertain the kids. But without some care you could have complete strangers enjoying your content too.

4. Taking the Wifi External Hard Drives With You

The marketing for these wireless drives talks a lot about taking these drives with you into the wilds. Wherever you take photos and want a place to offload those photos? Then here is your solution.

But what you have here are drives with moving parts inside. And a drop, or shake while you're using may break your drive. Be sure you put them on a firm surface.

And before you start to use.

SSDs (Solid State Drives) are better suited to conditions where your drive has to rough it.

Wireless External Hard Drive For Mac

Top Contenders Comparison Table

There are three wireless hard drives that are worth looking at.

​The WD My Passport Wireless Pro, the LaCie Fuel and the Seagate Wireless Plus.

​Wireless 

​Hard  Drives

WD 

My Passport

Wireless

 Pro

La Cie Fuel

Wireless

​Seagate Wireless

 Plus

​Wifi Drive Sizes

1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB

​1TB, 2TB

500GB 1TB, 2TB,

Max Devices

Served

​8

5

​8

Drive Format

ExFAT

ExFAT

ExFAT

​Drive Type

USB 3.0

USB 3.0

USB 3.0

​Size

5 x 5 x 0.94 in

4.5 x 4.5 x 0.9 in

​3.5 x 5 x 0.8 in

​Weight

​1 lb.

​9.7 oz.

​9.6 oz.

​Jump To Review

​Now that you've the headline view. You can take a look at each one in more detail.

Number One : WD My Passport Wireless Pro

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Wireless Pro Charging

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Pros

  • ​DNLA Twonky server or Plex media server included. You can set up which one you want to use with your Mac
  • SD Card reader. Use for those photographs and videos you're wishing to off load from your camera
  • Power bank. So you to charge your devices in an emergency
  • You can buy a 4TB Wifi hard drive for your Mac. The largest capacity of the three top wireless drives
  • Support for FTP to your WD My Passport Wireless drive. You can use FTP to move your photos from your FTP capable camera

Cons

  • No support for streaming DRM protected iTunes media files
  • Can't be used as a wireless hard drive for Time Machine
  • The largest and heaviest of the three wireless drives

Summary

​The WD My Passport Pro won the best wireless external hard drive for Mac.

Because it's the most flexible of the wireless hard drives.

Not only is it a wireless external hard drive. The WD My Wireless Pro drive comes with an SD card reader slot. Perfect when you want to offload photos and videos from your camera onto the Wireless Pro in the field.

Your WD My Passport Wireless Pro allows you to install and configure a Plex server on the drive itself. This makes it much more flexible and robust as an entertainment device.

And what's cool is its built in power bank. You can use the power stored in your Wireless Pro to charge your mobile phone in a pinch. It's a slow charge. But it's something none of the other drives have.


​WD My Wireless Pro on Mac Review

Maximum Number of Devices Supported

The headline speed is an advertised stream of up to 8 HD video's at 8 MBps HD MP4. In reality expect fewer useable connections. Otherwise you'll max out the band width when you're streaming larger formats.

WD My Passport Wireless Wifi Standards Supported

Like the Apple Time Capsule the My Passport Wireless Pro is a dual band device.

It supports 802.11ac which is 5 Ghz fast Wifi. For fast wifii to your latest Macs, iPhones and iPads.

And the Wireless Pro also supports 802.11n. The 2.4 Ghz standard for your older Macs and older iPhones, iPads.

Mac Wifi Hotspot? Pass through Mode?

The WD My Passport Wireless hard drive supports two Wifi connections modes;

1. You can create a hotspot for devices within the 150 feet supported. And your Mac, iPhone or iPad can directly connect where there's no existing Internet access. Or your Mac can connect independent of nearby Wifi. This allows you to create your own discrete network. 

2. You can connect to an existing Wifi network. Either in your home or to an external Wifi network if you're out and about. Say you're on holiday you can give many devices access to the Internet via your WD My Wireless Pro.

But if you're connecting to a public Wifi. Say in a coffee shop then be sure to uncheck the option in the settings to share and allow public access to your files.

Who wants anyone on the coffee shop's Wifi to go in and mess with your files on the Wireless Pro.

Unfortunately, there is no separate user name and password login that you can set up to protect your files. There's only the share check box on your My Passport Wireless Pro.

Wireless Pro Connection to Your Mac

Wireless Pro Micro B and USB 2.0 Port

WD My Passport Wireless Pro Micro B and USB 2.0 Port

Your WD My Passport comes with a USB 3.0 cable. It has a USB type A port where it connects to your Mac.

Despite it being a wireless drive, like all the drives here. You'll find it's best to upload your files while it's directly connected. As that will offer the best speed and performance. Trying up upload terabytes of movies over Wifi will surely test your patience.

For those of you with newer Macs with USB C Thunderbolt ports you'll need an adaptor cable. Thanks to USB's backwards compatibility. Your new Mac will be able to send files to the Wireless Pro at a speed it can support.

For those with older Macs supporting USB 2.0, they will have type A ports so you can plug right in. Again thanks to backwards compatibility you'll be able to send data to the Wireless Pro at USB 2.0 speed.

Looking for more information on Mac connections and adaptors check my post on the site.

Something to note. When you're directly connected via the USB cable to your Mac the drive's Wifi will turn off. You cannot directly connect and have Wifi

​And watch when you plug your USB cable into you Mac. Should your Mac offer to use the Wireless Pro for Time Machine backups. Say no. You can't use this drive as a time machine wireless hard drive. Accidental setup for Time Machine will turn your drive into a dumb external hard drive.

How do you configure the WD My Passport Wireless Pro On Your Mac?

First time setup of the WD My Passport Wireless Pro you do easily enough. Either through a browser on your Mac or you can download and use the WD My Cloud mobile App on your iPad or IPhone.

​Before you start configuring and setup. Download the full manual direct from the Western Digital site. The Quick Install Guide isn't going to be enough help.

Wireless Pro and Quick Install Guide

Wireless Pro and Quick Install Guide

There's a copy of the full manual on the hard drive, but you'll need to configure the device to get to it.

I've provided a link here so that you can access it.

WD Manual page

Also you need to charge your WD My Passport Wireless Pro before you start. Something you won't find out until you read the manual.

​You're best configuring your Wireless Pro from a browser on your Mac. As the WD My Cloud application does not allow you to configure and install the Plex media server via the iPad or iPhone app.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro Battery Life

Up to a claimed ten hour battery life on a full charge. This theoretical battery life is based on streaming HD 720p video, across 2.4 Ghz on a single device.

Streaming across many devices. And using 5 Ghz and you'll run out of battery charge.

As will using 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands at the same time. In fact to prolong battery life the manual recommends turning off one of the Wifi bands.

The ability to use the WD My Passport Wireless Pro as a power bank for emergency charging of phones etc, is a boon. Though of course this will shorten the battery life.

Hard Drive Format of the Wireless Pro

As delivered the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is formatted in ExFAT. Which is a format both your Mac and a PC can read and write too.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro Reliability

There seemed to be quite a few unhappy users when this drive first came onto the market. User feedback now seems to have improved.

Some of the unhappy reviews seem to stem from a miss understanding of how these drives work. And what these drives are capable of.

Once you understand what these drives are for. And their capabilities, you'll see that they do a decent job.

You can check the current reviews on the WD My Passport Wireless Pro.

Visiting the Amazon sales page using the button below. Scroll down to the reviews. Slick on the review level you wish to look at. And select the recent reviews from the drop down menu.

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WD Wireless Pro Warranty

The WD My Passport Drive has a two year limited warranty. This is pretty reasonable for this type of consumer hard drive.

Other Nice Features of the WD My Passport Wireless Pro

SD card reader port. For compatible cameras you can setup the SD 3.0 card reader to automatically copy raw photos off the card. And leave the originals on your SD Card.

​Or you can set up to move the files and clear your SD card.
Wireless Pro SD Slot

Wireless Pro SD Slot

  • You can wirelessly stream 4k videos if your mobile supports 4K.
  • The Wireless Pro supports FilmicPro to capture and save footage. Or LumaFusion to edit videos.
  • Supports Adobe Creative Cloud through their My Cloud App.
  • You can setup drive lock to protect USB access if you lose your drive. Or it's stolen.
  • Has the Twonky DNLA Media server installed by default. As part of the initial setup you can install the Plex Media server instead of Twonky.
  • But you can't have the Plex media sever and the Twonky DNLA server at the same time.
  • Has support for FTP for wireless cameras that support FTP.
  • The WD My Wireless Pro allows you to keep wireless connected to a power outlet while streaming video. Or when you're transferring a lot of files over Wifi.
  • This means that you wont run out of charge part way through your movies, videos or listening to music.
  • You'll find their Online Learning Center, questions and answers help area very useful and easy to use.

In the WD My Passport Wireless Pro Box

  • WD My Passport Wireless Pro drive
  • USB cable
  • USB power adaptor
  • Quick Install Guide

WD My Passport Wireless Pro YouTube Video

You may enjoy watching this short YouTube video and see how the WD My Passport arrives and what is in the box.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro Hard Drive Unboxing

Video Credit: Officeworks

​Number Two : LaCie Fuel Wireless

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LaCie Fuel On The Go

​​Take a Look At the LaCie Fuel Wireless on Amazon


Pros

  • Airplay Compatible
  • DNLA support, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and Roku
  • Add files using Dropbox or Google Drive

Cons

  • This drive also has no support for streaming DRM protected iTunes purchased files
  • Can't be used as wireless backup drive for Mac. There's no wifi Time Machine backups
  • 802.11 b/g/n support only
  • The Seagate Media App has poor reviews on the Apple App Store

Summary

Released to the market in 2014, the LaCie Fuel is the first product collaboration between Seagate and LaCie since Seagate bought LaCie. The LaCie Fuel achieves the runner up position in the wireless external hard drive for Mac.

The Fuel Wireless is a very similar product to the Seagate Wireless.

​And inside they use the same hard drive.

The LaCie Fuel drive is formatted to ExFAT, which is a more useful format for Mac. You use and configure the LaCie Fuel via a browser on Mac or PC. You use the Seagate Media App on mobile devices such as your iPad or iPhone.

You'll need separate media encoding software to change file formats if the file you wish to play isn't supported on your device - there is nothing on the LaCie that will do that for you.

You'lI like the orange/gun metal grey look and the hole that gives it that go anywhere rugged look. It's by far and away the snazziest looking of the three wireless drives. Airplay compatible.


LaCie Fuel Wireless on Mac Review

Maximum Number of Devices Supported

This varies so it's worth understanding what this device is capable of. 

The headline figure is that the LaCie Fuel will Wifi share its hard drive with up to 5 devices via a mobile app.

For streaming HD movies you can stream up to 3 devices at the same time.

You can connect the LaCie to nearby Wifi hotspots and then provide Internet access for up to 4 devices.

The combination of what your connected devices are doing will affect the maximum devices you can support on the LaCie Fuel.

LaCie Fuel Wifi Standards Supported

The LaCie Fuel supports the Wifi standards of 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. So you don't have the speed bump of 802.11ac offered by the WD My Passport drive.

Although your newer 802.11ac supporting Macs, iPads and iPhones can use this slower standard.

The slower Wifi standard is worth bearing in mind if you connect to your mobile devices to your home Wifi via the LaCie. If you have a good router and decent Internet bandwidth, the slower interface offered by the LaCie Fuel may be very noticeable.

And you may well prefer direct connecting to your routers Wifi.

The claimed maximum Wifi range 150 feet which is pretty decent.

Note 1080i or p videos need greater bandwidth than this device supports and may well not play at all.

Wifi Hotspot? Pass through Mode?

Similar to the WD My Passport the LaCie Fuel will happily create its own Wifi hotspot so you don't have to be connected to the Internet to use and can use this device independently in the wild.

It will also connect to an existing Wifi network and allow connected devices to connect to the Internet.

LaCie Fuel Connection to Mac

Similar to the WD My Passport, LaCie recommends that you directly connect the Fuel to a computer with a browser to configure and to upload content.

Again the user manual is on the drive itself, which you'll need to have up and running so that you can get to the manual.

Here is a link so that you can download it ahead of time. - link to LaCie Manual

Similar to all the other drives the Quick Start Guide is brief and it's well worth reading the manual to be sure to set up the LaCie Fuel correctly.

Physical connection to a Mac is via USB.

LaCie Fuel USB 3.0 Connection

LaCie Fuel USB 3.0 Connection

The LaCie supports USB 3.0 with a micro B type connection at the LaCie fuel end and a type A connection at the Mac end.

Again for those of you with Macs that only have Thunderbolt connection you'll need an adaptor or a specific cable that has a Micro B type connection at one end and Thunderbolt at the other. Then you'll enjoy the backwards compatibility offered by USB and your Mac will transfer files to the LaCie Fuel at USB 3.0 speed.

USB is far and away the faster method of uploading a large number of files compared to Wifi.

If you would like to find out more about USB connections to Mac then have a look at my article 'Connect an External Hard Drive to Mac, 12 things to know'

When the LaCie is directly connected to a Mac, it acts just like a normal hard drive. With pretty decent hard drive performance however Wifi is disabled, meaning the direct connection capability is really aimed at uploading content.

Should your Mac offer to use this drive with Time Machine when you directly connect refuse. If your Mac configures this drive for use with Time Machine then you'll be stuck trying to recreate it back to its original out of the box state so you can use it as a wireless hard drive.

How do you configure the LaCie Fuel?

Basically, with your Mac. The LaCie needs a Wifi enabled device with a web browser for configuration. Work through the manual to correctly configure the LaCie and add a password to protest the Fuel on public Wifi.

The LaCie uses the Seagate Media App on an iPad and iPhone to view, upload and download content to the LaCie Fuel

Seagate Media App

Seagate Media App

Uses the Seagate Media Sync software on Mac to set up a media synchronization plan. Synchronize the files that an iPad can view, set up a plan to synchronize new files and folders to be automatically sync from your Mac to the LaCie or if the files are uploaded from iPad or your iPhone they can be synchronized back to your Mac so that copies are consistent across all the platforms.

The Seagate Media Sync application is not available from the Apple App store, it's a downloadable piece of software direct from the downloads area of the Seagate website.

This synchronization can only be done with the LaCie Fuel directly connected to your Mac.

So thinking about this rationally, the pros of this is that you'll have consistent copies of photos, video's and documents across your devices, however if you're using the LaCie to offload content then you could risk filling up the drive space on your Mac when it syncs back.

But then if you're using the LaCie Fuel to offload media files then you'd better have a copy of your media files elsewhere - just in case.

And this software does help in this instance. If you've a separate external hard drive connected to your Mac you can set up the Seagate Media Sync to synchronize/copy across files so you've a backup of the files on the Fuel.

The Seagate Media App does allow you to set a drive password for the LaCie Fuel, which is great when you're connected to public Wifi or even home Wifi and you don't want viewers of the files and photos you've on your wireless drive.

Though ​you'll likely think it's worrying that a restore of the Fuel to its factory settings preserves your files. But removes the password you've set. ​

Useful if you forget your password, not so ​great if you've misplaced your drive. Or worse your drive ​is stolen. All the thief has to do is reset your LaCie to its factory settings. And they've all your files!

Security is a short coming on all these wireless drives.

Unfortunately the user reviews on the App Store of the Seagate Media App - the method for viewing media on iPhones and iPads are not great with some unhappy users.

LaCie Battery Life

Putting the LaCie on power to charge up (takes about four hours) before use is recommended, before attempting to use and configure the hard drive.

The LaCie Fuel offers ten hours of battery life fully charged, however this drops to eight hours of battery life maximum when continuously streaming video.

Similar to the Seagate, the LaCie goes into standby mode when inactive for five minutes but wakes up again as soon as it's accessed.

High resolution videos will see your LaCie offering you even less battery time.

When your LaCie fuel is charging its Wifi is automatically turned off and there is no way round this. Plus LaCie recommends the Fuel is​ turned off while it's charging.

So for all of you who want to keep their LaCie wireless hard drive plugged in while streaming, It's no go.

​You may feel that this is short coming.
LaCie Fuel Wireless

LaCie Fuel Hard Drive Format

Similar to the WD My Passport the LaCie is formatted out of the box as ExFAT so can be read by a Mac and PC. Again this device is not recommended for Time Machine backups - not if you wish to still use its Wifi capabilities. Yes you can plug the drive directly on your Mac's USB and format to HFS+ but that then turns this drive into a normal hard drive and you lose Wifi.

If you want a normal hard drive for your Mac I'd suggest you go ahead and buy one rather than spending extra on a wireless drive.

Reliability

Reviews are a little patchy.

You can check on them by visiting the products sales page of the ​LaCie Fuel Wireless on Amazon via the button below. Scroll down to the reviews, select to view all the reviews and use the button to sort by most recent.

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I think as long as you understand what the LaCie Fuel is capable of, read the manual carefully, download the latest firmware for the Fuel you'll have a decent product.

LaCie Fuel Warranty

Similar to the WD My Passport and the Seagate Wireless Plus the LaCie is sold with two years limited warranty. ​

In the Box

  • LaCie Fuel Mobile Wireless external hard drive
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • Power Adaptor
  • Quick Install Guide

YouTube Video on the LaCie Fuel

Here is a short promotional video on the LaCie Fuel to introduce you to the wireless hard drive. Enjoy.

Meet LaCie Fuel : Portable Wireless Storage

Video Credit LaCie

Number Three : Seagate Wireless Plus

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Seagate Wireless Plus Box

​​Seagate Wireless Plus


Pros

  • ​Connects to Airplay devices and supports DNLA, and Samsung Smart TV
  • Dropbox and Google Drive support to download and upload files
  • Smallest, lightest of the three wireless hard drives

Cons

  • Unable to stream DRM protected iTunes media files.
  • Not a wireless backup hard drive for your Mac. No wireless Time Machine backups
  • Wifi support for 802.11 b/g/n only
  • The Seagate Media App has poor reviews

Summary

The Seagate Wireless Plus matches the LaCie in that it was released to the market in 2014 and is placed third for a wireless external hard drive for Mac. The Wireless Plus replaces Seagate's previous wireless product the Go Flex Satellite Mobile Wireless storage - yes quite a mouthful.

Though internally the Wireless Plus uses the same hard drive the look is quite different and so are some of the features. NTFS formatted, the Paragon driver is needed for a Mac to write to this drive.

This mean's that for a Mac user to be able to upload files by direct connection (and that is the recommended way to upload files) you'll need a compatible version of the driver for your Mac's operating system.

On a Mac and a PC the Seagate Wireless Plus is accessed via a browser, the Seagate Media App is used for mobile devices.

Available in 500GB, the smallest capacity available of the three wireless hard drives picked.


​Seagate ​Wireless Plus on Mac Review

Maximum Number of Devices Supported

Use the Seagate Wireless Plus as a Wifi hub and you can connect up to 8 devices at the same time. The Wireless Plus will stream to up to five devices at the same time. More devices than are supported on the LaCie Fuel.

Seagate Wireless Plus Wifi Standards Supported

The same as the LaCie Fuel, the Seagate Wireless Plus supports 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n for Wifi. New Macs, iPads and iPhones supporting 802.11ac will be able to talk to this slower standard.

​But if you've a decent router, and broadband and newer 802.11ac devices you may well find the Seagate Wireless a bottleneck for Wifi access due to its support of the slower standards. Direct connect to your Wifi router will most likely be the way to go for pure Internet access when you've good Wifi available.

Wifi Hotspot? Pass through Mode?

The same as the WD My Passport and the LaCie Fuel, the Seagate Wireless Plus can create its own Wifi network for when you're somewhere using the wireless drive and there is no Wifi available, or you decide not to connect to the available Wifi.

​And you're able to connect to an existing Wifi network and allow connected devices access to the Internet via the Wireless Plus.

You can create a password for the wireless drive so that only users who know the password can access the drive. A plus for connecting the Wireless Plus up to public Wifi and keeping your files safe.

Interestingly a reset of the Seagate Wireless Plus does not seem to lose the configuration on the drive so the password protection should be retained.

The supported range of the Wifi is the same as the LaCie and is up to 150 feet.

​Bur Seagate specifically state that they do not recommend you stream movies from the Internet while connected to the Wireless Plus.

And I suspect the same is true for the other wireless hard drives also.

Seagate Wireless Plus Connection to Mac

Seagate Wireless Plus USB Port

Seagate Wireless Plus USB Port

Just like the WD My Passport Wireless Plus and the LaCie Fuel the Seagate Wireless Plus supports USB 3.0. Again like the other two drives the cable is a micro B connection at the Seagate Wireless Plus end, type A at the Mac end.

USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 for those older Macs out there.

The answer is the same should you've a Mac with Thunderbolt only connections, you'll need an adaptor cable. See my article on Connecting a hard drive to Mac to find out what you'll need.

Directly connecting the Seagate Wireless Plus via USB to your Mac turns off the Wifi as it does on the WD My Passport Plus and the LaCie Fuel.

How do you configure the Seagate Wireless Plus?

​Download the full Seagate manual from their support site as you're going it to need to set up the drive and your copy is on the hard drive.

Access it here and choose to save as a PDF (the option is at the top of the screen) - Seagate Wireless Plus manual

Similar to the WD My Passport you'll need a browser on your Mac to set up the Seagate Wireless Plus, and stream movies.

And you'll need to download the Seagate Media app on your iPad or iPhone to stream or view files on the Seagate Wireless Plus.

The manual suggests direct connection to USB 3.0 for uploading media onto your Seagate Wireless Plus and that has to be the way to go. Don't try uploading lots of files over Wifi.

But when you connect the Wireless Plus to your Mac, should Time Machine start up and suggest to use the drive for Time Machine click no to refuse.

Do not use this drive for Time Machine backup

If you accidentally allow your Mac to use this drive for Time Machine and it formats the drive for Time Machine you'll need to find a PC to use to reformat the drive back to NTFS.

And you'll have lost the manual and the Paragon driver and will need to download those separately from the Seagate site.

​But unlike the WD My Passport when the drive is connected via USB the drive can get its power from the computer (assuming you've connected it to a USB 3.0 port. A USB 2.0 port will be unable to power this drive).

The Paragon driver is installed on the drive and will need to be installed on your Mac.

Also when directly connected you can only upload files to the Seagate Wireless Plus, you cannot download from the Wireless Plus to your computer. Only in Wifi mode.

The same as the LaCie Fuel you can download the Seagate Media Sync software direct from the Seagate Support downloads site onto your Mac and directly connect the Seagate Wireless Plus and a second external hard drive and create a copy of the files on the drive.

And at least that way you'll have backups of your files should the Seagate fail. And lets face it all hard drives get old and fail at some point.

Battery Life

As with all the wireless external hard drives here​, fully charge before attempting to use or configure. The battery will allow up to 10 hours with one user streaming.

More users streaming or viewing HD movies will greatly shorten the available viewing time.

After five minutes of inactivity the Seagate Wireless will enter a standby state (the same as the LaCie Fuel) but will automatically reactivate as soon as someone accesses it.

The Seagate Wireless Plus will charge (slowly) while connected to your computer's USB 3.0 port.

A plus is that the drive will work wirelessly while charging, great if you don't want a break for charging while watching a video.

Seagate Wireless Plus

Hard Drive Format

The Seagate Wireless Plus is formatted to NTFS file system. By default a Mac can read a NTFS formatted drive but cannot write to it.

You'll need to use the Paragon driver so that you can use the drive on your Mac and upload files.

And definitely no Time Machine support.

Seagate Expansion Reliability

I am sorry to say similar to the LaCie Fuel feedback is patchy on this drive, particularly for those with Apple devices.

It's important to know that none of these devices will play DRM protected files from iTunes, Apple took away that capability at IOS 8.

It's important to understand just like the other two drives I've discussed what the drives are capable of and if you've a specific question on formats supported double check the manual and the Seagate website - a link to the manual is above.

Check the latest reviews on Amazon by taking the button link below to the ​Seagate Wireless Plus product page, scrolling down to the reviews, click the option to see all the reviews and select the box for the recent reviews.

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Warranty

The same as the WD My Passport and the LaCie Fuel ,a two year limited warranty is sold with the Seagate Wireless Plus hard drive.

In the Box

  • The Seagate Wireless Plus drive
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • USB wall charger
  • Quick Start Guide

Other Wireless External Hard Drives for Mac that did not make the Grade

Seagate Wireless Portable

Capacity 500GB, NTFS file system so requires the Paragon driver for Mac, USB 2.0 connection which is a slow connection, supports up to three devices. 10 hours battery life, Uses the Seagate Media App.

This didn't make the grade because it needs the Paragon to connect to Mac. And ​because of its slower USB 2.0 connection.

Toshiba Canvio AeroCast Wireless

Capacity 1TB, 802.11b/g/n Wifi support, NTFS file system so requires the Tuxera NTFS driver on a Mac, USB 3.0, supports up to 4 users. 5 hours battery life, SD card reader, uses the Google Cast app.

The AeroCast Wireless didn't make the grade for me because of the need for the Tuxera NTFS driver before you can connect to a Mac and the short battery life.

Asus Travelair

Capacity 1TB, NTFS file system, USB 3.0, will stream up to 5 devices. 8 hours battery life, SD card reader, uses the AiDrive app available from the Apple app store.

The Asus Travelair didn't make the grade for me again because of the NTFS file system needing a driver for Mac and general lack of information around using this drive on a Mac. If you've a Windows PC then you may well like this drive.

Last Words on the Best Wireless External Hard Drive for Mac

And there you have it.

​You can choose any of the top three. Let your needs and the cost when you come to buy guide you.

​The WD My Passport Wireless is the clear winner. You'll find it beats the others in usability and flexibility. And for the user feedback when you want to use it with your​ Mac.

​Images Credit: Certain images reproduced by courtesy of Seagate Technology.