When it comes to backing up my data, I’m usually very picky and skeptical about storage solutions. I’ve lost just enough data to make me realize the true value of retaining one.
My Experience with Hard disk drives
Back in the Celeron days, I had once lost my precious photographs and college project work relying on a crappy samsung Harddrive. It worked for months and one fine day, it won’t spin up. Despite having it repaired, it had run into bad clusters. I spent next one week trying to recover the precious 4.3Gb data with commandline recovery tools, the only option we had back then.
That was the day I stopped trusting Hard disks. Rightly its said Jesus Saves, others must take backups. Since that day in history, I’m in habit of creating 2 offline replicas of every data I own, made me chose RAID controllers for Backups.
When it comes to portability, there’s only one name I can trust: Seagate. Hardware failures are common in the electronics industry but if you look at the stats, Seagate has maintained minimum failures in the history of Hard disk manufacturing. Rarely I would see a Seagate/Maxtor hard disk failing due to manufacturer’s mistake. Indeed, they’ve mastered Hard disks over the last few decades.
Seagate Backup Plus
Coming to the Seagate’s latest portable solution, its notable that Seagate is moving away from the GoFlex branding towards, a more suitable Backup Plus. As the name states, it does more than normal HDDs. It ships with a nice application that lets you backup your social data (photos, videos, and more) from Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr.
Seagate Backup Plus offers the uber-fast Thunderbolt connectivity option, perhaps the only portable hard disk that does so, at the time of the writing. It also supports USB 3.0 for faster transfer speeds, and is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. However, you must note that drive ships with USB 3.0 socket, if you wish to connect via Firewire or Thunderbolt, you will have to buy additional cable. This is possible with the Universal Storage Module interface, visible when adapter is removed.
Portability, Design & Price
First thing you would notice about this drive is its attractive thin design. In under .57-inches thickness, it is one of the thinnest and smallest portable drives offering 1TB of storage.
Prices for Seagate Backup plus are as follows
Price: $119.99 (500GB), $129.99 (750GB), $139.99 (1TB)
For India, it is priced at Rs. 11,000 for 1TB.
Bundled Software / Dashboard
The Drive’s software works well with both Windows and OSX. With the bundled software you can format the drive into the required Filesystem: FAT32, NTFS, OSX (Journaled). You can also choose to leave it intact, if FAT 32 is what you prefer for true portability.
Seagate’s Dashboard software gives you three options:
- Protect (the backup application),
- Share (which lets you upload videos and photos to your Facebook, YouTube and/or Flickr accounts) and
- Save (which lets you download your photos from Facebook and Flickr).
Speed / Throughput
This is the most important thing to look for after Reliability. The machine I used for Testing was Macbook Pro 2011 with SSD AND USB 2.0. SSDs are usually faster, but thats not always the case. These newer USB 3.0 HDD are making SSDs look slow.
We were able to achieve speeds of 55MB/s or 440Mbps while reading data from disk. Transferring a 1GB file took just under 20 seconds, which is quiet fast for a portable drive. Please note that this is done on a USB 2.0. On USB 3.0, speeds are way above 330MB/s or 2.64Gbps, for synthetic tests.
This drive is also great for writing data at high throughputs. On USB 3.0 (Macbook Pro 2012), we were able to achieve write speeds of 240MB/s or 1.92Gbps.
If you use this hard disk with a desktop, we’re sure you can attain higher speeds. Looking at the specs, seagate claims 640MBps or 6Gbps of transfer rates.
The drive is slightly expensive but pays back in the long run anticipating the fact that this hard disk is future proof with among the fastest data transfers among USB 3.0 portable hard drives.