Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


Airnef
by Chris Taylor

If you own a Nikon camera with built-in or plug-in WiFi, you may be somewhat disappointed with the level of WiFi support. Nikon has a somewhat anemic Wireless Mobile Utility that allows limited remote control for taking photos and transferring them from the camera to Android or iOS devices.

But what if you have a laptop computer and want to transfer your photos from the camera to the laptop? Or a Windows tablet? Or a Linux computer? Nikon’s utility won’t help you.

There are a few ways to transfer files from the camera to the computer. The best option is to pop the camera’s memory card into the card slot on your laptop.

But my Surface Pro 2 only has a micro-SD card slot and my camera uses full-sized SD cards. The second option is to plug an external card reader into the USB port on the computer.

If you don’t happen to have an external card reader, a third choice is to plug the camera into the computer using a USB cable.

There may be some circumstances where none of those options work for you.

Airnef is a free, open-source utility for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It allows you to connect to your camera and transfer photos and videos over a WiFi connection.

Before you proceed, make sure you look back at my recommendations above for transferring photos. If any of these can work for you, they provide simpler and much faster methods.

Okay, you really, really need to transfer photos from your camera over WiFi. Head over to http://www.testcams.com/airnef/ and download the appropriate version of Airnef.

When you start Airnef, you are given two transfer options. If you choose the first, you select the images to transfer directly on the camera. You then specify a folder on your computer to store the copies and how you want name conflicts handled. This method works really well if you have just a few images or videos you want to transfer.

If you want more of a bulk transfer, the second Airnef option is a better choice – using the desktop application to select which files to transfer. With this method, you have many options;
Full images, small or large thumbnails;

  • Choose from 5 predefined file types or specify a custom file extension;

  • Choose a subset by date taken, including choices like today, yesterday, past week or a date range;

  • Choose a card slot (for cameras with multiple card slots)

  • Choose the directory to store the copies;

  • Specify how File exists conditions are handled;

  • Option to skip images you have already downloaded;

  • Preview what will be downloaded with the chosen options.

Airnef has built-in fault tolerance. If the connection drops unexpectedly, once you re-establish the connection, it picks up where it left off, even if that’s in the middle of a file. This is a nice feature, especially if a transfer of a 2GB video file is interrupted at 1.9GB!

Earlier in the article I mentioned how just about any other method for transferring photos and videos is preferred. The reason is speed. It is not the fault of Airnef – file transfers over WiFi are sloooowww.

I transferred 158 files totalling 3.4 GB using Airnef. It took over 24 minutes for an average transfer rate of 2.34 MB/sec. Using the card reader on my computer took just 6 minutes – less than one quarter the time. And it didn’t chew through the battery on my camera for 24 minutes!

A video on YouTube does a good job of highlighting how to use Airnef – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lro2sSHqP68

Airnef also works with WiFi enabled Canon cameras. Although Canon’s EOS utility can transfer photos to a Windows computer, you may find the additional options in Airnef useful.


Bottom Line:

Product name: Airnef v1.0
Free and open source for Windows, Linux, Mac OS
http://www.testcams.com/airnef/


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Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

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