Kwilt3 – All Your Images All The Time

OK…first off I want apologize to the KWILT company for taking so long to do the review I had promised to do. I also agreed to participate in providing feedback on both the device and the iOS app…at least I have done that much. I had intended on using the device for several months before I did a review, but unfortunately that has turned into about 9 months. So this will be my review and will include the GOOD, BAD and the UGLY.  The great thing is that there is NO ugly. And really there is no bad, although I did have a couple of VERY minor issues. (DISCLAIMER: KWILT did provide the device to me in exchange for an HONEST review…and that’s what I will provide).

This review will be different than some of the more comprehensive reviews this product has received in the past. My review will be based only on the features I used as well as how I use the device (which I have used every day since installation).

kwilt-3What is the KWILT device? Well, basically it’s a personal home cloud device for your images (actually ANY type of file) that can be accessed anywhere at anytime. But for this review, I am mostly referring to just images. Pretty darn convenient. It can show the images on your phone (DUH), but also from your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flicker, Google Photos and other social media accounts….seamlessly! Pretty cool huh. Well, it actually goes further than that…by attaching external hard drives to the device you can also access your images (and some other files too) from that drive anywhere and anytime. This is a huge convenience if you are out somewhere and want to show someone an image, video or file from your home…but now it can be done remotely (and quickly) from your smartphone.  Once you purchase the device (only $99) there are NO OTHER FEES to use the KWILT system…other than the cost of your external USB drives.

General Features

  • Offload and backup your phone’s photos and videos seamlessly on the go
  • Enjoy virtually unlimited mobile storage sitting safely in your home
  • Connect your own hard drive for storage
  • Keep original full-resolution photos and videos
  • Access your photos and videos from almost anywhere on any platform
  • Upload photos and videos directly from an SD card to the connected storage drive using the built-in SD card input port
  • Organizes photos by date and location
  • Free Android and iOS apps
  • Store and access any file type
  • Easy photo and video sharing
  • Mobile photo editing
  • Play your photos and videos on your TV (via Kwilt HDMI port)
  • Directly order custom photo prints from your phone
  • Supports multiple Kwilt devices per account and multiple users per device

Now that we have the specifications and description out of the way…here’s my experience with and how I use my KWILT.

The setup was easy and completed within just a few minutes. Once I got the device attached and installed…it was ready to attach a couple of USB hard drives. In my case, I used a 2TB (terabyte) USB3 drive and then a 1TB USB3 drive. My next step was begin filling those drives with my pictures. (NOTE: The app has the ability to AUTOMATICALLY copy images from your smartphone device to the KWILT system, however I do not use that feature…I’m sure it works very well though).

Before I tell you how I copied the images from my computer to the KWILT system, I need to explain “my system” of image/picture storage…including my iPhone image storage. On my computer, my “C” drive is used just for programs and little or no storage of ANY files are done there. I have 4 internal hard drives, each with a specific type of storage. One is for my hard drive and programs, one is for emails, word documents and such, one is for images, and one is for scanned images. I have these separated in the event if the MAIN “C” drive crash…my files are still safe. I have learned the hard way…backups and multiple storage areas are your friends! Now back to the KWILT system.KWILT_system

Once I got my hard drives attached to the KWILT device, I then mapped (very easy to do) the drives to my computer system so I could just “DROP” files onto the USB hard drives. I began the process of COPYING all my image files from my cameras (since 1998), all my iPhone images (since 2008), and all my scanned images (I have been scanning since 1995) to the hard drives. On the 2TB drive I use it only for DSLR images 1998-Present) and for the 1TB drive I use it for iPhone images, scanned images and a favorites image folder. I do not keep the duplicates, or RAW files on the KWILT system (I archive those to a separate external hard drive).  When it was all said and done…I had close to 350,000 images on the KWILT device USB drives. According to the KWILT company…I am considered a “power user”. Basically when I was done with all the copying of images (and I can add more on the fly)… I had a complete and exact copy of the images that are on my MAIN internal hard drives, but now also on the KWILT device…which allows me to view them anytime and anywhere, but MORE IMPORTANTLY…it also provides me with a backup of my images which is a HUGE advantage of this system. (Note: One thing I do folder_structuredifferently than a lot of people is that I OFFLOAD my iPhone images every month and place them in a folder for the Year/Month – and if there are a lot of images for a specific event, I even make a separate folder for that event as seen in the image on the right. This way….every month my phone is cleared of any images, yet I can still access them from my KWILT. The KWILT system DOES have the ability to auto-copy your images to a folder in the quilt with several options, but I choose to offload mine manually).

So when I open the app on my phone…I have options to search for images by date, location, source, or search terms. My FOLDERS on the KWILT app are set up exactly as they are on my main computer. I have “cataloged” my images the same way for more than 20 years. The are categorized by YEAR, MONTH, GENRE, FOLDER NAME.

I have been using the KWILT device for more than 7 months now. I have had zero down time and zero issues with the system itself. Its fast, I can view, edit, even download images right to my phone after viewing them, and I can even share them or have them professionally printed (although I have not shared or printed any photos as of the date of this review). My ONLY issue at all (and this is very picky) is that some of the instructions and notifications can be “vague” until you understand the system (which isn’t hard to do).

If you take a lot of images on your phone (or DSLR) then you might want to consider an option like the KWILT. Considering all things, the investment is MINIMAL for the features and peace of mind you get from having all your images at your fingertips…as well as having your images BACKED UP!! Another advantage is that if you swap out phones frequently, the KWILT system will provide you with INSTANTANEOUS access to your old images instead of having to copy them all over to each new phone.  Most people won’t have 350,000 images to deal with so the cost of a 1TB external USB hard drive can be had very inexpensively, and most people will only need one USB drive attached unless you just want to split up the types of images you are saving (i.e. scans, dslr, smartphone, etc). The uses I can think of for this product are really pretty endless. If you are photographer your portfolio is with you at all times. If you do genealogy, you can have access to all your FILES at anytime. If you’re a musician, your library is with you all the time. Yep…you can access word documents, PDF files, MP3’s and any other file types.

Now…if you’re a serious photographer or a professional photographer, then this is the ULTIMATE way to have your portfolio with you at all times. There are numerous ways you could use this to the advantage of your business…perhaps even low resolution images in a separate folder to share as PROOFS to your client. But the best thing is that you will have access to EVERY IMAGE and/or EVERY FILE in your photo library at your fingertips. And again, as an added bonus it’s a built in BACKUP SYSTEM.

The people at KWILT did a great job of designing a product that makes it easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to maintain…and this is coming from a guy who doesn’t use all of the features of this great little device. Give it a try…if you’re serious about your images then this is a STEAL of a bargain.

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