Colourful Norwich skyline illustration

Michael Sage

IT, Digital & Culture

Go Bag…

GL.inet Slate Plus, USB hard drive and firestick in case
Cables in case

Recently we were staying in a hotel for a couple of nights away, the weather turned rubbish so we went to bed early and read (rock and roll) which was great, but it got me thinking, would there be a way to take our movie library with us if we went away for a long time or if one of us was travelling for work and just wanted to crash. I want this solution to work with or without internet access, for two main reasons firstly internet can be very expensive in hotels or on a cruise and secondly there might not be any internet at all!

I started with the router, I have a GL Inet Slate Plus that I use for the mobile lab project, so seemed like a good place to start. I added the DLNA & CIFS plugins to the router and attached a 2Tb USB hard drive (the local media part).

Next came the client device, I am a long-term fan of the Roku media players, however, no matter how much I tried I couldn’t get this to work reliably with DLNA. I had a firestick lite kicking about, so I have decided to use this. I set it up to connect to the wifi on the Slate Plus so far so good!

The Slate Plus has several WAN options, cabled, wifi repeater, USB tethering so multiple ways to get the new mini network online. While testing at home I used USB tethering to an android phone which gave good performance.

The firestick works great while it has an internet connection, I recently went away with work and thought it would be the ideal time to test it all works in the wild! I connected everything together powered it on and it worked… Kinda… The firestick can’t load a home screen without an internet connection so you have to launch the app directly, this worked fine and the firestick connected to the hotel TV without issue.


Next I connected the Slate Plus to the hotel wifi, again this worked well and any device connected to the slate then had internet, so it works for connection sharing too, a really useful feature if the internet is expensive.

Closed case