Back Up Your Stuff - Anytime, Anywhere
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive is the simple, one-click way to protect and share your entire digital life. Perfect to take on the go, the sleek metal case design allows for the thinnest portable hard drive available with up to 2TB of capacity. It goes anywhere - without getting in your way.
• Features mobile backup using the Seagate Mobile Backup App
• Protect your data with easy flexible backups
• Back up from Facebook and Flickr and share to YouTube
• Easy to share files between Windows and Mac computers
• USB 3.0 plug-and-play with no bulky power supply adapters
I'll start off by pointing out that I am NOT the target demographic for this device. I have a NAS drive on my network which I back up my main PC, my laptop and even my mobile to on a regular basis. I tend to use portable drives as "couriers" to move big files between machines that are on different networks, or if I am away from the network for long periods and only have my laptop, I will use a portable drive as a surrogate for the network drives in the office. As such, the first thing I do when I get a portable drive, is format it. I don't like pre-installed software unless I absolutely have no choice. To that end, I give every external storage device the C3PO treatment as soon as I get it. #GratuitousStarWarsReference
The biggest thing about this drive is certainly the storage space. I was lucky enough to get a 2TB drive to review, and it impressed me so much I actually stuck with my usual 500GB drive as my "walk-around working drive" and plugged this one into the router's USB port to become a new NAS-type drive in the network. I use it for holding files that I may want to access via VPN while I am out and about - spreadsheets, document templates, graphics library, etc. As such, it needed to be fast and reliable - and this drive has certainly proven itself on both fronts. Once plugged into the router, the drive is running constantly to ensure as-you-need-it access from a remote location.
Placing the drive out of direct sunlight and with good ventilation means that it hasn't overheated at all, and the endurance of this wee box is astounding, because it's been humming away for over 2 months now, non-stop, and still shows no signs of faults, corrupted sectors, or health alerts. I admit, I defragment it regularly, but that *should* be nothing special, it should be common system maintenance. (Of course, I have yet to meet any non-geeks who even know what defragging is - the usual answer is along the lines of "bringing the bad guy back to life after I hit him with a..." sniper round, bomb, grenade, air strike, laser, blaster or alien super weapon of some kind.
The transfer speeds do vary a bit, but when I am using the PC and do speed tests - a more realistic environmental test - as a general rule I get a fairly solid average of 170MB/s with a high of 187MB/s when I was copying one large file (~10GB) and a low of 74MB/s when I was copying large numbers of small files. For my needs, this is quite sufficient, but I can image that some would prefer far better transfer speeds. The layout of the data to be copied can have a significant effect of the speed of transfer, so be sure to run regular defragmentation on the drive you want to back up if you want to maximise speeds.
The drive's slim profile, very light weight, and tough but stylish black case mean that it will not look out of place in either a briefcase or a backpack, and it won't add any significant, noticeable weight to the load you're carrying as well. No hefty power adaptors as we had not so many years ago, no thick drive shells that cause unsightly bulges in pockets - just sleek style and plenty of storage... like having a flat black TARDIS in your hand. The only thing to mar the perfection is the USB 3.0 cable that comes with it... but if you have your phone charge cable with you, it will actually run through a microUSB 2.0 cable just as well, if a tad slower.
Overall, if you are after a portable drive that holds heaps, but doesn't cost heaps, then this is the drive you are looking for.
The Seagate Backup Plus comes in 4 new colours. I got the brushed aluminium colour which is very nice. The drive is ultra slim, not much bigger than an actual 2.5" drive itself. There is a discrete thin white led bar on the top of the drive but apart from that, the drive is plain and clean save for the raised Seagate logo and branding neatly placed in the corner. The USB lead is USB 3.0 compliant and only about 1 foot long. It serves as the power supply also and no external power pack is required. This seems to be the trend nowadays for any device either a camera or a HDD or a memory card reader. The standardised blue USB connector insert reassures it is USB 3.0.
The bundled software comes preinstalled on the HDD. There is 931 gb free space but a 1Tb HDD will lose some space for the cache and the MBR Master Boot Record. I am not worried about this at all. The actual install files for the Seagate Dashboard is for PC and MAC. I deleted the DMG file as I don't use a Mac. Installation of the drive was simple and the registration was easy. It auto populates the HDD information which is nice and reassures that if anything goes wrong the issues will be resolved. I opened the Seagate Dashboard once installed (no restart required I might add) and clicked backup now. One click would have the whole PC backing up. I have several remote drives and it correctly selected them. I want to choose and control what I backup however, so I halted that and made my own backup plan.
On the left is the backup drive itself and also a cloud sign-in option. I was curious about this but unfortunately I could not find any pricing. I imagine that multiple drives would also show up on the left here for backup purposes. On the right you can select 4 options. Backup, Mobile Backup, Social and Restore. The Backup option was easy to configure but unfortunately I ran into an issue. You cannot select hidden or system folders even when they are shown in windows explorer. This means that my 6-7 gig PST files which are critical cannot be saved. I tried to make a shortcut to them and place that in the root of the C drive but this didn't work either. At this moment in time I cannot backup my outlook files unless I blanket backup everything.
After I had selected the folders I wanted I was then able to choose incremental, full, scheduled or real time. I selected real time. The program chugs away, as I type it is doing what it should do. The next option is Mobile Backup. I was interested in this as I hoped it would somehow sync my selected phone items to the same backup. Available for Android and iOS, I installed the Android version. Registering for a Seagate Account was required but was very simple and required no annoying validation steps. Then I had the option of on the road cloud backups or wifi connected at home backups. You are able to select Photos, Videos (and after backup can delete from the device) Music, Contacts, Call Log and Messages. I selected what I wanted and selected next. You must also sign into your Seagate Account on the backup software on the PC the drive is connected to for this to work. Progress is very fast. I have about 500 photos and it is backing them up at around 2 per second.
The Social option is a quick upload downloader for your social network sites. Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. You can download images from them to backup or upload to them. I did not use this function. The Restore function I have not needed to use yet either but if they operate anything like the rest of the drive and its software I have no doubts at all that it will all go flawlessly. All in all I am very impressed with how it all "just works". Coming in at only $109 dollars as at Dec 2014 from Dick Smith for 1Tb of storage you can't go wrong.
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"Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs."
Joan Didion (1934 - ), 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'