Recently one of my small business clients, who I serve under the umbrella of my small computer consulting firm, needed a portable, high capacity, affordable, lightweight and flexible storage solution. This particular client is a digital photographer and needs the ability to download and store high resolution digital photographs on-site from his camera to a portable storage device.
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So I started looking for alternative to traditional flash drives, and I surmised that a portable USB hard drive that was powered by a USB port is what this client needed. Several manufactures, including Seagate, LeCie, Iomega, and Western Digital, offer such drives, but I wanted a reliable, portable 1.0TB drive that cost under $100.00 (or as close to it as I could get) and could of course connect to an open USB version 2.0 port. Both Iomega and LeCie drives are too expensive; Western Digital drives have proven themselves too unreliable in the past, so I settled on the logical choice, Seagate in the guise of the FreeAgent GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive (HHD).
In The Box
· GoFlex ultra-portable drive
· Backup with encryption software pre-loaded on drive
· NTFS driver for Mac® pre-loaded on drive
· GoFlex USB 2.0 interface adapter
· 18-inch USB 2.0 cable
· Quick start guide
· 2-year limited warranty
The 0.33lbs Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable HHD is an extremely light weight, well-ventilated, whisper quite 7200 RPM portable drive featuring 8MB of cache, and USB 2.0 connectivity (upgradable to USB 3.0, FireWire 800 or eSATA, or access content over the network and on TV). Seagate placed the small drive inside a solid enclosure designed to absorb shocks. Seagate also offers drives of this type (7200 RPM) from 320GB - 1.0TB.
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable HHD is truly plug-n-play, and truly portable. There is no external power supply (Yeah!); power is supplied by the host computer's USB port. Seagate provides a (very short) USB cable connector that plugs into the end of the drive via a cap. Said cap can be removed and the drive can be inserted into a base connected to a computer, via USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Firewire, or eSATA, making the GoFlex truly flexible.
Once plugged into my client's laptop, the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable HHD powered up; Windows XP recognized the drive, and assigned it a drive letter. The GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable HHD ships pre-formatted, so once it is plugged in and recognized, it is ready to use.
Note: the drive has no power switch. But the drive is so quiet that the only indication the drive is on is the bright white LED's situated on the cable plug. Even when files are being transferred there is no discernable noise emanating from the enclosure; there is only a slight vibration; the drive sat meekly on my desk to did it job in silent efficiency.
The GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable HHD ships with Seagate's backup software, which I installed. The backup software automatically scans the hard drive of the host computer and ascertains how much space will be needed on the GoFlex to store it. Afterwards-it you let it-the software will automatically and continuously backs up the files and folders on your computer to the GoFlex.
The interface is slick and easy to use and interpret. Once the drive is attached the back-up software will automatically install unless you cancel the process. For those who might want the GoFlex for storage, a reformat of the HHD is probably in order.
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.0GB USB 2.0 Portable HHD represents a (very) viable alternative to yet another USB flash drive for my client. At just over $100.00 (depending on where you purchase) and with some 950GB of usable space, the drive is a very cost effective way to add a substantial amount of portable hard drive space in a very light weight package and a universally acceptable interface.
Add to that the GoFlex's built-in flexibility and you have a sure fire winner in this drive. And it's a Seagate, a name associated with quality and reliability.
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