Seagate Backup Plus Portable HDD

12/9/2012 9:16:53 AM

Backup your data and social media content.

Seagate recently announced a new range of Backup Plus external hard drives, both in portable and desktop form factors. The new drives are meant to replace the outgoing GoFlex series and as befits a brand-new lineup, the Backup Plus drives boast a number of new features.

Physically, the new Backup Plus portable hard drive has a more compact footprint and a clean, elegant look. Seagate also offers the drive in four colors – red, blue, black and silver.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable HDD

Seagate Backup Plus Portable HDD

As part of Seagate’s Universal Module Storage (USM) interface, the drive has detachable ports, which can be swapped in future for faster interfaces such as Thunderbolt and FireWire 800. By default, the drive comes with an adapter that supports USB 3.0, which is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 too.

The Backup Plus portable hard drives are equipped with 5400RPM mechanical hard disks and are available in 500GB and 1TB capacities. The new Backup Plus drives are also designed to work with PCs and Macs. The drives are formatted in NTFS, but a special driver provided by Seagate ensures Macs will be able to read and write to them as well.

The most significant improvement made to the new drive is as the software level, specifically the new Seagate Dashboard 2.0 application. With the new Dashboard application, three main tabs – Protect, Save and Share – let users quickly access the application’s main functions.

With “Protect”, users can easily backup their content on their system with a single-click. Advanced users can even customize their own backup plans, such as choosing our specific files to backup and even choosing what time you want the backup process to take place.

The revised Dashboard application is extremely user-friendly and lets you backup and save content with ease.

The revised Dashboard application is extremely user-friendly and lets you backup and save content with ease.

The highlight of the new Dashboard application has got to be the ability to easily download and save all your Facebook and Flickr photos and videos onto the external drive, and this can be accessed through the “Save” tab. And if you have organized your Facebook photos into albums, the application will even create matching folders so that everything is stored away neatly.

The Dashboard application also has a “Share” function that lets users quickly share their content on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

We tested the performance of the drive by using three different interfaces – USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Expectedly, tests done through USB 2.0 yielded the poorest results, but these were mostly on the sequential read and write benchmarks. When pit against the ultra-fast USB 3.0 Buffalo MiniStation Extreme, we found that the new Seagate drive is more than capable of holding its own, even if the Buffalo drive had a special Turbo mode with customized drives.

Between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, the results were very comparable and the only significant difference between the two was that during a timed file transfer of a 1.72GB movie file, the Thunderbolt adapter gave us a quicker timing of 11.7 seconds as opposed to 17.3 seconds when using the default USB 3.0 adapter.

In closing, the new Seagate Backup Plus external drives are a welcome addition to the portable hard drive scene. Its winning combination of blazing performance, an easy-to-use Dashboard application and reasonable price makes it very easy to recommend.


·         Capacity: 1TB

·         Volume: 14.5x81.1x123.4mm

·         Weight: 224g

·         Interface: USB 3.0

·         Price: $169


·         Hard Disk Spin Speed: 5400RPM

·         Other features Seagate: USM

·         Warranty: 2 years

Verdict: 9/10

·         Design: 8.5/10

·         Features: 9/10

·         Performance: 9/10

·         Value: 8.5/10


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