Aztech has created an interesting gadget called the Personal Storage Dongle. It took me a while to understand what this device does, so now that I have, I would like to describe to you so that you do not get confused too.
This dongle does not have any built-in storage or battery or Wi-Fi. Essentially, the PSD500 is a device that converts any portable storage device – like external HDD or flash drive – into a cloud network storage accessible by the Aztech Storage app on Android and iOS. I know many Wi-Fi routers today comes with a USB port which you can connect a storage device to and access the files remotely. For those routers that do not have that capability, the PSD500 is your saviour.
Operation is very straightforward. Connect the Ethernet port to the router, connect the USB port to the storage device, connect the micro USB port to the AC adapter. The included USB power adapter is rated 0.35A, but for convenience of review, I plugged-in a powerbank and that works as well. Then, turn on the PSD500 and wait for both the green and blue LED light to turn solid. Next, install the Aztech Storage app on your smartphone and add the PSD500 by scanning the QR code found under the device. Once that is successful, you will be able to see the attached storage device and browse all the folders and files. Click any file directly to open from the smartphone, or select files to download, as well as upload files.
The PSD500 supports storage devices up to 2TB. I tested the use of USB hubs to connect multiple storage devices and it works too.
If you currently own an Aztech IP Camera (WIPC408HD, WIPC409HD-E, WIPC410HD, WIPC411FHD), the PSD500 can save the video recorded on the IP Camera. Instead of being limited to the SD card capacity, you can configure to save the video onto the PSD500 storage device. That means recording more footages and for longer periods on larger capacity, plus the convenience to watch the video files through the Aztech Storage app. Each PSD500 can connect up to 2 Aztech IP Cameras. Setting up is really straightforward: just scan the QR Code on the IP Camera and enter the password.
Occasionally, it seems to take longer time to connect to the drive. But when I cancel the loading and try again, it will open the folder successfully. Also, folders with a lot of files could take a little longer and even prompt a “connection error” message. And needless to say, Wi-Fi connectivity reaps faster access compared to mobile data.
While Aztech claims that the PSD500 can help you conserve your device storage space, it would be good if there is an app that auto-syncs files to the PSD500. Nevertheless, the PSD500 will ensure full ownership of data within the hands of the user instead of backing up to the cloud storage managed by third parties.
The PSD500 retails for S$99. Personally, I feel it might be a better deal to upgrade your current router to one that supports remote storage, but I have to admit the PSD500 set up is more hassle-free than I had expected. If you currently own an Aztech IP Camera, the PSD500 becomes a rather essential add-on to expand the storage of the cameras and achieve live recording around the clock.
Official product site: https://www.aztech.com/categories/aztech-datacom/ip-camera/psd500