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Seagate Backup Plus review

External drive backs up content from social networks as well as your computer
Thu Jul 12 2012, 16:08
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Product Seagate Backup Plus portable 1TB hard drive
Website www.seagate.com
Specifications For PC and Macs, USB 3.0 connectivity, 14.5x81.1x123.4mm, 224g, available in black, red, silver, blue, 2 year warranty
Price £90


STORAGE VENDOR Seagate launched its Backup Plus line of hard drives in June, replacing its previous Goflex range.

This external drive, which comes with software to backup content from your computer, adds the option to protect content from social networks such as Facebook and Flickr, in recognition that users increasingly have large volumes of content held online.

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According to Seagate, the Backup Plus is the first portable hard drive with such a feature, so The INQUIRER put it through its paces to see if it lives up to its promise.

Cloud
Seagate's Backup Plus hard drive comes with 4GB of free cloud storage, which is acessed from the dashboard and requires you to create an account with Seagate as well as register the hard drive's serial number.

The cloud storage works alongside the hard drive as an additional backup resource, giving those who fear losing precious files and folders extra security.

Performance
The Backup Plus supports a USB 3.0 interface so it's supposedly super speedy when attached to a device that also supports USB 3.0.

Unfortunately, we didn't have access to a USB 3.0 system to alllow us test the drive at its full capacity, but via USB 2.0 it uploaded a 1.3 GB video at approximately 50MB per second, which is about what you'd expect.

Our 1TB review unit came with 931GB of free space for storage, meaning that we were down 69GB from what we were promised on the box. Though this is a typical problem with portable hard drives after bundled software has been installed, we thought 69GB was a pretty steep amount of storage to lose.

Design
The Brushed metal effect casing gives it a sleek appearance from a bird's eye view. Unfortunately this finish is only seen on the top side, and underneath a cheaper matt plastic has been used.

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The bundled 18in cable was long enough for what we needed it for, but we would have liked a longer, perhaps retractable cable so it could be extended according to the device you're using it with. For example, shorter when connected it to a laptop and longer when hooking it up to an entertainment system.

The drive measures around the same as a passport, and at only 14.5mm thick, it can easily be slipped into a pocket if need be.

Dashboard
Upon srtarting the dashboard you can chose between three options.

The first is "protect", which allows you to set up backup plans to ensure that data is backed up and kept updated. You can back up data to either the cloud account, which will keep them updated as they change, or set up your own custom scheduled backup plan that will automatically update your backed up files at a scheduled time of your choice.

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The "share" feature allows you to upload all of your images and videos to Flickr, Facebook or Youtube without having to go through each social network and do this manually.

Lastly, a "save" option lets you easily backup data from Facebook and Flickr to either the cloud storage or the Seagate drive with the click of a button.

Under the "save" function you can choose to "auto save" so that all new files are automatically downloaded. However, these are downloaded to a "my online documents" folder on your computer, which you then have to transfer over to the Seagate drive or cloud if you want to save them to external storage.

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All three options are very easy to operate, and explain what they will do in enough detail so that they can be easily followed.

One drawback to note, however, is that Facebook photos are saved in a compressed format, and so they download in the same compressed quality. We decided against using the feature, as we would prefer our backup photographs to be the highest possible quality.

That said, it's still a good feature that is very simple to set up in case you lose your originals.

Overall, the dashboard has a very simple layout and even any computer novice should be able to navigate around it with ease.

In Short
A lightweight and smart looking portable hard drive with an easy to use dashboard interface that synchronises data with social media web sites to ensure that users never lose their favourite images. µ

The Good
Syncs Facebook and Flickr images automatically without you having to worry about manual backups.

The Bad
Images downloaded from Facebook are compressed versions of the original full-sized images.

The Ugly
Brushed metal effect casing is only on one side of the device.

Bartender's Score
8/10

beer8

 

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