After using both of these devices for a while it is safe to say that they both do exactly what they were advertised to do.  The interface is well designed to be simple for those looking to quickly share media with their friends but with enough settings in the advanced menus to allow you to tweak your network settings in any way you would like.  Of the two devices the Powervault is definitely the favourite, offering all of the functionality of the WiFi HDD plus charging and hotspot connectivity.  For mass storage the size and USB 3.0 connectivity of the P600 it is a better choice for those looking for sizable portable storage, even with multiple SD cards you will be hard pressed to carry around 1TB of storage for your Powerconnect.

There were some issues encountered with wireless connectivity, however they were of a minor nature.  In an enclosed space where intervening walls and tables could get between the U600 and a mobile device the wireless connection would sometimes drop.  Devices connected to the Powervault which also had the wireless network saved in their lists would drop the Powerconnect in preference to the stronger signal coming directly from the wireless router.  In open areas, especially ones without a saved network this was not an issue. 

The PowerConnect is compatible with WPA and WPS WiFi, if you are using a different method to protect your wireless then you will need to use the LAN port to connect to your network and provide internet access to devices connected to the U600, not a bad plan in general as you will avoid any possible connectivity issues if you cannot provide clear line of site between the Powerconnect and your wireless router.  The WiFi HDD never displayed any of these issues as it does not work as a WiFi extender and the connection between the drive and mobile devices was far less likely to drop during testing.  Both devices could stream across multiple wireless connections without issue and battery life is more than acceptable considering the WiFi HDD is still running on its original charge a week later.

At around $50 for the Powerconnect U600, $100 for the 500GB model of WiFi HDD and $120 for the 1TB model the prices are more than attractive and the build quality does not suffer.  The only remaining question is what the big red plastic bump present on both devices is for.  We would like to thank EMTEC for providing these devices to test.

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