iOS, Mobile, Reviews

Review: Apotop Wi-Reader DW09

apotop-dw09

Apotop Wi-Reader DW09

Design9
Features8.5
Performance9
Ease of Use9.5
Value for Money8.5
8.9 out of 10
Summary If you are looking to increase the storage capacity for your iPhone or iPad, Apotop has the device for you. The Bonus is that it also works great as a Wi-Fi hotspot for computers and phones for you road warriors. Cost: $79

Apotop is a brand segment of Carry Technology Co, Ltd that was formed to manufacture and market smartphone and tablet accessories.  One of those accessories is the Apotop Wi-Reader DW09, which is designed as a personal cloud storage device for the Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as have the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for the road warrior.

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If this little device works as marketed, you may just be hearing a bit more about this company in the future.

Moving back to the DW09, what exactly do I mean by personal cloud storage device?  Well, once you have copied data such as music, photos, work documents from a PC or Mac over to a USB drive or SD card *plus* installed an app on to your iPad or iPhone, you now have direct access to that data on an iDevice.  Basically, it is a Wi-Fi version of that missing USB or SD port for those particular Apple devices.

The bonus is that it can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot at hotels which have “free” wired Ethernet but charge through the nose for Wi-Fi access.  The complete feature set follows.

  • Easy to create Wi-Fi hotspot at hotel
  • Supports power over built-in battery or USB
  • Easy to get multiple devices online simultaneously
  • Share contents up to 3 users simultaneously
  • IEEE 802.11b/g/n compliant.  Wireless speeds up to 150Mbps
  • Supports SD or USB drive for wireless file sharing

The Wi-Reader kit includes the module, a USB cable, and a Quick Start Guide.

Size wise, it is quite compact when compared to an iPad, perfect for throwing in your carry-on when you hit the road.

On one side of the device, you will find input ports for an SD card and USB thumb drive.  In addition, you will find an On-Off switch just beside these ports.  Moving around 1/4 turn, you will find an additional USB port that you can use for charging and/or for use as a data port.  Next to that is an Ethernet port when you wish to use it as a Wi-Fi hotspot.  Finally, you will find a pin-hole reset port.

Along the front face, you will find a set of four LEDs for Power, Wi-Fi, Media Access, and Charging.

To prepare the DW09 for use as a data device, simply connect the included USB cable between the module and a PC/Mac.  Do *not* turn on the power switch.  The DW09 will come up as a Removable Disk in a PC file manager.

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At that point, simply copy over any data you desire to have accessible on your iPad/iPhone over to the reader.

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Moving over to the iPad, or iPhone if that is your device of choice, go to the App Store and search for wi-reader.

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Bringing up the first item may seem a bit confusing due to the Carry name being used in lieu the Apotop name.  This is the app you do want though.

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Once the app is installed, turn on the DW09, and go into your Wi-Fi settings.  After approximately 30 seconds, you will find a new network you can make use of.  Once found, change your network to the Wi-Reader.

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Now you can open the app to find you now have your own USB/SD card reader.

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Clicking on a song, or photo, from the above list will be playable/viewable in the media window on the right side.

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In order to keep your hotspot private, go into Settings, select Device Settings,

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and enter in a password.

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Not only does this act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for an iDevice, it will also act as a hotspot for a PC, Mac, Android, Windows or Blackberry phone.

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The range?  Well, my router is one corner of my home in the lower level.  I took the iPad to the opposite corner in the upper level, and I still had great Wi-Fi reception.  If it works here, it should work in just about any hotel room you might find yourself in.

This is one cool device.  Simple to setup, simple to use, and versatile.  Highly recommended for use as both a Wi-Fi hotspot and as an iDevice personal cloud storage device.  The one downside is if you need to recharge it and all you have is an iDevice, you may be in trouble if your hotel room does not have a USB charging port!

Of course, if you do not own an iPad or iPhone, that could be considered a (major) downside also.  If Apotop would extend the ability of the DW09 to work with phones other than Apple, than it would score an almost perfect 10.

Info: Apotop | DW09 Wi-Reader

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Hello. I’m from the heartland of the U.S. Lots of corn and beans, although Iowa is a lot more than just farmland. It also has a few computer enthusiasts (no, not me!). I’ve been around PCs since I got my 1st PC XT aloooong time ago. WGS is one of the first sites I found centered around WHS. And the best. Every once in awhile, I do get away from the KB and enjoy time with and my wife and our 4 kids. And I do have a day job.
  • Yak

    In the UK this device is also marketed as the Adata Air AV200 DashDrive – identical in all but branding.

    • no one

      A few minor points to note after using this device (Adata Air AV 200) for a few months:

      1) In the Apple store you can also use an app called dashdrive air
      created by Adata technology that the device is branded under in the UK
      as well as the wi-reader app above. Both have the same layout bar the
      colour scheme but the wi-reader has been updated more recently.

      2) As yet I have not found a way to alter the settings to change the default wireless ip address for the device from 10.10.1.1 to a custom range of your choice. In the device settings web page the device ip address is visible but not editable.

      3) On connecting the devices WAN (RJ45) port to a wired LAN with an existing DHCP router the WAN port is issued an ip address according to your DHCP router settings but the MAC address for the device listed in the existing router DHCP table is all zeros. If you need your router/Internet provider to see a particular MAC address then you need to enter the required MAC address in the device’s settings at: Site contents – TCP/IP Settings – WAN Interface – Clone MAC Address

      4) The actual MAC addresses for the device’s WAN and wireless LAN ports are given on in the device settings at: Site contents – Management – Status

      5) To check connectivity to the device’s WAN port using ping you first need to check the tick box in the device’s settings at: Site contents – TCP/IP Settings – WAN Interface – Enable Ping Access on WAN

      6) You can also access the web settings for the device through your wired LAN using the address assigned by your DHCP router e.g. 192.168.xxx.xxx to the WAN port on the device.

      7) If you have a separate router for your home LAN and set this up to be on the 10.10.1.X range and connect the device via the WAN port to your home wired LAN then you will encounter problems. The device alters it’s wireless IP address so that it’s on a different LAN range, changing it to 10.10.0.1. This then causes confusion for any mobile devices connecting to the device using the manufacturer provided app software (e.g. wi-reader) as it can no longer locate it. In the wi-reader app settings even after changing the settings for the connection to the device’s new ip (10.10.0.1) it still does not connect to the device.

      Cheers,

      Yak

      • no one

        One small further update – after having used the item continuously for over a year, there was a noticeable bulge to the casing which last week popped open to reveal the internal battery had disintegrated and the the packaging had swelled up but not split.

        Unable to find a suitable replacement battery online and not sure how feasible it would be to replace it as the battery has a power connector board attached to it that is sealed within the battery’s cover and the battery power connection to the device circuit board is soldered as well as glued.

        Yak

  • alchemist

    This is an amazing little device. You are missing some really cool features from this review. You can connect to your home wireless and also connect as a client – so called side loading. The device has a built in samba server.

    Add these two little pieces together and you can setup your pc to sync data to the device wirelessly over samba when it is in range. You can connect with ANY device that can connect to a samba server.

    Forget their app – pick from any app that can stream over samba. You can send files from you mobile device (like photos from your iPhone) to the device.

    Get back in range at home and your of can pick up the files.
    But wait ……. There’s more …… It has a full VPN stack built in – so you can also configure it to connect to your home network via VPN.

    • Lin Cobb

      (sorry new to this posting, but spotted your comments)alchemist – do you know to copy from an SD card in the reader to a tablet (i.e. android) or from the tablet to a USB stick in the reader? I have tried various ways round, but haven’t found a file manager to do that – altho it did effectively wipe the SD card at one point!

  • Lin Cobb

    alchemist – do you know to copy from an SD card in the reader to a tablet (i.e. android) or from the tablet to a USB stick in the reader? I have tried various ways round, but haven’t found a file manager to do that – altho it did effectively wipe the SD card at one point!

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