* Prices may differ from that shown
I currently own 2 external hard drives by Seagate, and I will give both 4 stars because although they do the job, each one has a flaw that I can't fix. As you might have noticed, hard drive space used to be very expensive when external drives started coming out. I purchased this one back in 2009 after a friend recommended it to me. At that time, 500gb used to be a big deal, and I believe I paid about 80 euros for it. I was very happy to have it, since I used to be and still am an anime series collector, which means that I download loads of episodes day after day and they need to be permanently stored somewhere. So I started off with this 500gb drive.
It came in a cardboard white box, with pictures and details on it. It came with a usb cable and of course the power adapter cable. I never really used it as a portable device, just plugged in my laptop and let it stay on my desk always. The actual drive is very sleek, black in color, and it has the Seagate mark on the front along with a little green dot that lights up when the drive is active. It powers up when you turn on your computer, and shuts off if you turn it off.
For the first few years it worked wonderful, I did not mind the fact that it's not USB 3.0 compatible, I'm a patient person and I don't bother with speed. I stored all the stuff I wanted without a problem. However, at some point I found out that the power adapter cable was faulty, and that meant that I could not use it anymore. I tried to find a replacement but alas, there was nothing to find.
After a few months I purchased another Seagate drive 2TB from the exact same line, which used the same usb cables and power adapters. I could use my 500gb drive again by plugging on my new adapter. But the fact that my whole drive went useless after the cable broke, saddened me deeply, and this is the only reason I give this 4 stars.
Should you buy it? I believe that there are better alternatives out there now, but if you are on a budget and find a good bargain for this, you can give it a try.
Seagate Expansion 500gb External Desktop Drive
About 44 years ago, NASA managed to launch a man into space and land him on the moon, get him to walk around and bit and make world history, and all of that was done on a computer with 'apparently' the same power as a modern day scientific calculator. It is quite astonishing how computers are advancing at such a rapid rate, the most significant difference if how much storage memory has improve in the last few years.
Back 5 years ago, a Hard Drive which can store 1 Terabyte (1024 GB), was considered astonishing and a sign of a great computer, I had 120GB in my laptop and thought it was more than enough! Now I have a 1 Terabyte Hard Drive in my desktop and somehow still find it necessary to have a 500gb External Hard Drive!
Seagate is a well-known name in the computer industry being one of the biggest if not the biggest manufactures of Hard Disk storage media devices in the world. Recently buying out Maxtor and Samsung's Hard Drive division and expanding their business, they are known well for introducing a lot of first time products like the first 3TB and 4TB External Hard Drives in the last few years, showing themselves as leaders in Storage technology. Therefore you should be confident when buying a Seagate product as reliability is well established and the technology is always top notch.
---About Seagate Expansion---
After numerous days comparing and reading technical reviews and asking advice, I managed to finalise on the Seagate Expansion 500 GB HDD (Hard Drive Disk). The Expansion itself is a midrange product from Seagate, however when purchasing a Hard Drive, all you should really be concerned with is how reliable is it in keeping the media and its warranty, as this shows how much the company trust their product, the longer the more likely it will last (also don't forget to activate it!)
The Hard Drive is nothing special externally, it is quite slick and has a nice reflective finish on the place up top (please refer to the pictures), which gives it an appearance of elegance, although mine appears to be camouflaged under some dust! There is a Seagate logo at the front as well as a little light which tends to flash in reference to what the drive is doing (Standby, Working or Awaiting). This basically shows you that the power management system is working, the Hard Drive will go into power saving mode when not being used and will quickly active upon you clicking on a file relating to it.
The Seagate Expansion comes with everything you require to get the drive working. This is basically the power cables and the USB 2.0 data lead. As you've guessed, it is an externally powered drive via the mains and was released way before USB 3.0 was in the headlines.
With the lack of USB 3.0 it may put you off, however it still gets reasonable speeds with 5,400 rpm, however by today's standards; you can get something much faster for probably much cheaper.
The build quality is slightly questionable, but you've got to consider it is meant to be an External Static Drive for a Desktop, and not to be carried around as a portable drive. Therefore although it looks nice, it does feel like if you drop it from knee height, it may not work again. However having owned this Hard Drive for 3 years, I've found no problems.
When working, it doesn't tend to produce much noise at all. Upon waking it up you will hear a start-up moan and that is about it, in all, it's quiet.
Finally, the ease of use for this drive is brilliant. Anyone can purchase it and get it going within minutes with the easy Plug & Play features, all you need to do is plug it into the mains and attach the USB, all Drives will install automatically and nothing else is required, it is like using a large Flash Drive, drag and drop.
Now I bought this around 3 years ago from Argos on Sale for £50 (came with a free 8 GB USB Flash Drive), and this was quite deal for the technology available at the price. Now you are easily able to buy a far more advanced Drive for the same price if not cheaper! Yet I still see the same USB 2.0 drive being sold for £50.
I couldn't have recommended this drive more highly 3 years ago for the price and the ease of use. However times have changed greatly and USB 3.0 is available to any Joe or Jane for competitive prices, unless you're getting it this Hard Drive for about £30 or less, don't bother.
Having mentioned that the drive is slightly out-dated with luck, practically the same drive is available with USB 3.0! Also comes in different sizes ranging from 160GB to 1.5TB!
But I must warn you, although Seagate are a respectable and a trustworthy company, the price reflects the brand and often you'll overpay, I always tend to wait for a Sale, as Hard Drives significantly drop in price with a range of other offers thrown in.
Now as I mentioned, I couldn't recommend the Seagate Expansion 500GB Desktop Hard Drive highly enough, however with the massive advance in technology every month, purchasing this exact one for the prices they want is extortionate. The Seagate Expansion does however make updated versions with the new USB 3.0 connection (make sure your computer has it so you can take full advantage of the speed).
It looks good, and performance exceptionally, although may feel a little dodgy.