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Mount a SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive Network
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive includes all the benefits of a regular flash drive plus wireless mobile access.

Sandisk gives you an app that allows you to connect to the Flash Drive's WiFi and transfer files. You can either connect via USB on the Mac or connect using a WiFi network. But what was not very clear was how to do this if you wanted to connect to the drive and upload or download files to and from your Mac wirelessly.

I tried to do this once I had connected to the drive's WiFi network and using a browser (as they suggest) to connect to the given URL. The address is served from the Flash Drive's WiFi network and in turn shows you the files on the drive. But I could not see my files and realised the page was being directed via my Ethernet connection across the Internet to a SandDisk page telling me the drive was not connected.

Turning off the Ethernet connection fixed this but it was not especially convenient. And the webpage that shows the files on the Disk is basic HTML which does not allow you to upload files.

The goal was to not have to disconnect the ethernet and have the SanDisk URL only connect over WiFi. And then to be able to upload or download files on the Mac over WiFi and not have to plug the drive into a USB port. The flash drive uses a simple server so using its IP address I then tried to connect to it via my FTP program (Transmit). The connection was refused. So instead of using FTP protocol I tried WebDav.

I had set already set a password using the Sandisk app but the connection just ignored this fact and just connected. The folders and files where listed and I could send and pull files no problem, and I did not need to disconnect from ethernet.

The other thing to note is you can use Bonjour and connect to the flash drive within Safari. But you will not be able to do much. The best way is to use an FTP program that can use Bonjour or WebDav. The drive it seems has a .local name along the lines of sandiskxxx.local. The xxx is probably part of its MAC address.

[crarko adds: This sounds like a cool, if somewhat pricey, device. It looks like it's also intended to be used with iOS, Android, and Kindle. It would be worth also trying an SMB connection, although WebDAV looks like it is the native protocol. SanDisk says it supports Snow Leopard and up.]
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Mount a SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: davidkisley on Dec 06, '13 09:38:59AM
Are you saying that anyone can connect to the wireless network can webdav into the files with NO PASSWORD? Don't use that in starbucks! I get that wifi has authentication, but it seems like, the packet sniffers can get the lesser protocols easy. Not sure a newbie user would understand. Going to check the specs now. Yikes.....
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2.7 i7 Mini 8G Ram 256-SSD - new iPad - iPhone 5 Soon!
Edited on Dec 06, '13 09:40:14AM by davidkisley


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Mount a SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: tempel on Dec 12, '13 04:06:50AM

Turns out that the WebDAV access is read-only. Also, the stick allows optional WPA2 password protection to its network. See my long review.



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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: tempel on Dec 06, '13 09:53:40AM

I withdraw my previous comment and correct myself:

It appears that the drive is self-powered, and if turned on, it provides a file server that you can read from and store files onto.

It doesn't even seem to have the ability to plug the stick into a Mac/PC and directly mount the contents as it's usually the case with USB stick drives.

It's nothing but a compact, portable and wirelessly available file server, which isn't a bad product, but not what it sounded like to me at first (I assumed it would also be a USB-pluggable disk drive).

Edited on Dec 06, '13 10:10:15AM by tempel



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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: Strod on Dec 06, '13 02:16:45PM

Well, I had never heard of this device until today, but according to its description in Amazon as well as some of the Q&As, it seems that you can indeed access the info through USB (apparently it's USB 2.0). So the USB port apparently is not only for charging.

I guess Mark Hunte could confirm this for us?



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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: tempel on Dec 07, '13 12:59:04AM

I should know by wednesday next week. I've ordered one to check it out (to Germany, takes a while).



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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: Strod on Dec 11, '13 07:12:25PM

So.... Does it work as a regular USB thumb drive? Don't leave us hanging, man!
;-)



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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive Full Review
Authored by: tempel on Dec 12, '13 04:05:08AM

I've just received my SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive and can report a little more on its workings (I reserve the right to post this also on my blog at blog.tempel.org):

The hardware

The Stick has a normal USB 2 Type A plug that fits into any computer's common USB port. It has a retractable protective cap around it. Plugging the stick into a computer charges the stick's battery.

It has a microSD port which contains the microSD card with the specified storage (16 or 32 GB). Mine contains a SanDisk Ultra microSDHC I 32GB card. Apparently, larger (e.g. 64 GB) cards can be used as well, see "SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive and microSDXC support": http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8075/kw/wfd

For its portable wireless operation it has an internal rechargeable battery. That battery is not user-serviceable, i.e. if it goes dead (which they all do after usually 1-4 years), the device will probably (hopefully!) still function as a USB drive but not wirelessly. Sandisk's user manual claims that you'd have to have it exchanged by a Sandisk service provider (what a hassle that may be, and what costs that incurs is unknown to me right now).

The stick has two LEDs, one orange and one blue. The orange one indicates use of the USB port and charge progress, while the blue one indicates WiFi operation.

There is a button on the stick to turn its wireless operation on and off, by pressing it for about about 2 seconds. It can also be used to reset the device by holding it for 15 seconds (which will not erase the memory card but only reset the wireless settings). The button is slightly indented but has no lock to prevent accidental activation.

Supported volume formats

The flash drive must be formatted in FAT32 format. Other formats I tried (HFS+ or exFAT) are not supported (the drive understands the format but says it doesn't support them). Oddly, it says that I should reformat it in a "supported" format - it doesn't specifically say FAT, so it could be that other formats (etx2/ext3, perhaps?) may be supported as well, but I could not find any details on supported formats on its support pages (http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/list/kw/wfd/). The bad news is: FAT32 has a grave limitation: It can store files only up to an individual size of 4GB. So, if you have a file larger than 4GB, it can't be stored on this stick.

Well, wait. If you use the stick ONLY to plug it into a computer's USB port, then you may reformat it in HFS+ or NTFS, and copy files > 4 GB onto it. But you won't be able to use the wireless feature of this stick with any unsupported format, meaning that if you want to use it wirelessly, you'll be stuck with files limited to 4GB in size. Not a grave issue, I reckon, as it's unlikely you'll ever run into the situation where you want to copy a file > 4 GB wirelessly from or to a device that doesn't have a USB port (such as a smartphone).

BTW, erasing the stick's memory isn't harmful, of course, because its settings and firmware are stored in its own internal flash memory that can't be removed. In fact, when I installed the Sandisk software on my iPhone and connected to the Flash Drive, it installed a new firmware onto the stick right away. I sugget that if you want to use it wirelessly, be sure to check and install their latest firmware right away (see "Updating the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive's firmware manually": http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12713).

How it operates

USB operation

If you plug it into a computer's USB port, it behaves exactly like any other USB Flash Drive. It comes pre-formatted with FAT32. It contains a few sample files (pictures, videos) as well as the user manual in several languages and the instructional videos that are also available on Sandisk's web page. If you choose to reformat the drive, all the files will be lost (i.e. they don't get automagically restored from its internal firwmware). So you better make a copy of those files if you like to keep them (but I assume you'll be able to find at least the manuals on their web site, too).

As long as the stick is plugged into a computer and its drive is mounted on the computer, the stick's wireless function is completely off.

But even if you unmount (eject) the volume, so that the computer's USB plug should only act as a charger (which is does, as the orange light indicates), you cannot activate the wireless function. This, in fact, sucks: If the stick is low on battery power, you cannot provide power to it from a computer, as that automatically disables the wireless funcionality, even if you do not access the disk from the computer. I wonder if a firmware update could fix this.

However, if you plug the stick into a pure USB charger such as a iPhone charger, then the stick's wireless functionality remains operational.

Wireless operation

The stick always provides its own access point (with or without WPA2 protection) to which you can connect when you're on the road. It can additionaly join other networks that you have to pre-configure - that way, you can have the stick join your home and other frequently visited wireless networks, allowing your computer or mobile device to keep being connected to the internet while concurrently accessing the stick's data. However, the Sandisk app on my iOS devices sometimes has trouble finding the stick when both the iPhone and the stick are connected to a joined network, whereas it's immediately seen by the app when the iPhone is connected to the stick's own network, even when I can verify that the stick is accessible from the same phone via the web browser. Usually, after a few minutes of retrying, the SanDisk app finally sees the stick, too.

Note: To change any of the stick's settings one must connect the iPhone directly to the stick's wireless network. For more details on joining networks, see "SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive's unsupported routers": http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8072

The wireless access can be protected by a WPA2 password. If you want to use a password, you're forced to make it at least 8 chars long. Which is rather annoying - if I have the choice to use no password as well, why force me to a long password when I just want a casual protection with a few chars (after all, no one knows how long it is and if I want to share the pw with others, the shorter the better, while other people in the vicinity usually do not run brute-force attack programs on their Androids just waiting for me to use a one-letter password).

Oddly, I could not manage to enable the password protection via the iPhone app (v1.3.0), but it worked when I did it via web browser access. The web browser access also lets me choose the wireless channel (1-13 or "auto") while the iPhone app doesn't. I used the iPad's Safari browser for this, so I reckon that even iPhone uses can get to these settings using the browser instead of the Sandisk app.

Note: The stick has a DCHP server, with its own address at 172.25.61.1 and a network mask of 255.255.255.0 ("class C"). If you have this stick, too, let us know if yours uses a different IP address.

Here are the option to access the stick's drive wirelessly:

  • Web browser. If you have connected to the stick's own wireless network (there are other ways, see below), you can simple open a web browser at address www.sandisk.com/WFD/ to get a web interface that lets you download from (but not upload to) the stick's flash memory and access some of its settings (set the network name (SSID), enable password protection (WPA2), choose the WiFi channel, and set the power-off timer to None, 15, 30 or 60 minutes). You cannot use it to have the stick join other known networks (such as your home network), though, oddly - that only works with the dedicated apps (see below).

    If you know the stick's IP address or network name, you can use that, too, to access it via the web browser. That's useful if the stick joins your home network, for instance (you could then set up your home router to assign always the same IP address to this stick).

  • Mobile app. I've installed the Sandisk app (v1.3.0) on both my iPhone and iPad. It lets me download and upload files, though files downloaded from the stick can not be passed to other apps on the iOS devices, yet. Once a file is uploaded, there seems to be no way to rename or move it, either. Only available operations are: Delete, New Folder, Save images and videos to the photo album, and the "social" functions: Mail, Message, Tweet. This means, you cannot take a Pages or even a plain text document, send it to the stick in order to have someone else pick it up from the stick and get it back into his device's editing app for further processing. I hope a later version of the iOS app will fix this, as it's fairly easy to implement. However, the fact that this app is already at the 4th revision, it makes me wonder what they're doing...

    At least the other way works: I can send files from other apps, e.g. Dropbox, to the SanDisk app so that it can then be uploaded to the stick.

    Another shortcoming of the iOS app is that it does not support "iTunes file sharing", i.e. one cannot exchange files with this app via iTunes, either.

  • WebDAV. Using the Mac Finder's "Connect To Server" menu command, the stick can be reached using the http WebDAV protocol. This works, but just read-only. This is quite a disappointment, because it rules out the use of any common WebDAV supporting app, both on desktop computers and mobile devices, to conveniently store files onto the stick without the need for the limited SanDisk app. This could certainly need improvement by SanDisk.

  • Sadly, neither FTP, AFP nor SMB / CIFS network access appear to be supported.

Conclusion

This is a USB flash drive with an optional built-in wireless file server. The wireless options are rather limited, though, due to the fact that wireless uploading to the stick is very limited: I'm bound to the mobile apps. It should not be too hard for SanDisk to add WebDAV upload as well, but maybe that's a marketing decision to cripple this feature on purpose. Who knows? With the firmware at 3.0.1, I'd think they'd have figured out how to add this capability if they really wanted to. Same goes for the inability to upload files via their web browser interface.

As long as you want to use this stick to share files that you have prepared on your computer or just share images and videos, these limitations will not affect you. But do not expect this stick to act as a portable wireless file server, allowing you to have multiple users store files on it, because it can't do this, and possibly never will.

That's it. Any questions?

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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive Full Review
Authored by: tempel on Dec 13, '13 12:13:46PM

A little update:

1. I had contacted SanDisk support asking about the conflicting information on whether 64GB cards are supported or not. This is their response:

"I would like to inform you that the current wireless flash drive that we are manufacturing only works with 16GB and 32GB card you cannot use 64GB card with this model, but soon we are going to launch another wireless flash drive which will also support 64GB memory card only with the new models."

Even though I had contacted them about conflicting information on their support pages (http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8075/kw/wfd), they do not have found it necessary to update them, though. Oh well, what did I expect? :(

2. I may have been wrong on the serviceability of the internal battery. SanDisk claims on their web site that it's not exchangeable even by them.



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SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive Full Review
Authored by: mark hunte on Feb 16, '14 12:25:30PM

Tempel, Thank you for a really good post to let everyone know some more details about the drive. I had not seen this hint up until now mainly because when I first posted it it did not go up straight away and I had not been back here since now.

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mh



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Mount a SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: glusk on Dec 06, '13 03:18:14PM

If you don't have Transmit or Cyberduck for WebDAV browsing, you can use Finder by choosing "Connect to Server" from the Finder's Go menu and connect to http://sandiskxxx.local. Don't forget the http:// to indicate that it's a WebDAV server.



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Mount a SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive
Authored by: caewok on Dec 10, '13 08:23:54AM

The SanDisk drive definitely does work via USB with a Mac. Just plug it into a USB port and you should be able to see the files and copy files to/from the drive.

I did manage to get Cyberduck to locate the drive using WebDAV. According to Cyberduck, the WebDAV address is http://sandiskXXxxxx.local./files, where XXxxxx is the two letter and four number combination that shows up as part of its wireless network name.

On an iPad, you can connect to the drive's wireless network directly, and then using Safari, you can view the files via http at the address http://www.sandisk.com/wfd. The advantage to using Safari is that Safari is better about identifying PDF files and sharing them with all compatible apps (such as iAnnotate) than the Sandisk app is.

In theory, iAnnotate should be able to set up a WebDAV connection directly with the drive. But using the WebDAV address seemed not to work (iAnnotate said it could not connect).

You can set up a WPA2 wireless password for the drive. In theory, that might slow down any would-be hackers trying to get at the password-free WebDAV server, who would presumably need to connect to the drive's wireless network first. But I agree with David Kisley's comment that the wifi protection could be compromised.



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