Even if you're level of storage needs are nowhere near a small company's, not to mention corporate, you still want that feeling of safe storage. Seagate was one of those names that people like me, tech gurus, tended to match instantly with quality and reliability. All the internal Seagate hard drives that I have tested and used were doing a great job, clients were happy, so was I, hence the reason I went again for Seagate when I realised I needed some mobile and reliable storage.
Given its price, back then £70, and the brand, it was a no-brainer. Seagate it is. Now, I must admit the one thing that Seagate did not do particularly well on this product, was the packaging. Don't get me wrong, it was well packaged, but from a marketing standpoint, I would have went with a smaller box. Given its size, it can intimidate the customer, or even put them off buying it, fearing that inside they'll find a monster of a hard-drive. In reality though, the product itself is not that big, and it comes alongside the AC adapter, and a longish USB cable that plugs into a USB 2.0 port on the base of the unit, near the AC adaptor jack.
The design is slightly futuristic if I may say, and the pulsating (when reading or writing data) dark yellow, almost orange light just adds to the effect. But it's sleek, stands perfectly on any flat surface, and feels very robust. Noise-wise it's very silent, regardless of the 7200 rpm 3.5" HDD it encases. It also doesn't really heat up, and the base of it does feature fanless cooling radiators inside.
Does not need special drivers, and all it takes to turn on is plug it into the USB port, no other switching mechanism. However do not forget to plug in the AC adapter as well. This being a large format HDD, it does need external power-source.
The reading and writing speeds are good, as expected. The HDD comes with a single partition, so in case you want to add even more protection to your data, you'll need to split the partition into smaller ones, using Windows or any other third-party software.
Since I mentioned reliability in the beginning, I'd like to say that to this day, after 6 (you get 5 years warranty form Seagate) years, this Seagate still performs wonderfully.
This external hard drive was bought by myself about a year and a half ago when I was using an old desktop computer with 250GB of memory on the internal hard drive. I eventually had filled it to almost breaking point and was tired of the almost never ending "computer low on space" messages and having to delete things.
I had a look on the Internet and came across this Seagate Freeagent 250GB external hard drive, it looked fine, had good reviews and most importantly of all was within my budget. I bought it and doubled my memory capacity, I decided to place some of the larger and rarely used files on this and I was able to free up nearly 100GB on my desktop in next to no time.
Setting up is simple, you plug in to the mains and using a USB attach the external drive to your computer/laptop. The drivers will automatically install and you should be up and running within a few minutes.
I have since upgraded my desktop and have more than enough memory but have kept this and now have it attached to the newer computer and use it for files that I rarely use but will use at some point, it's a great way to organise your files etc and of course to back up data.
I would recommend it, file transfer is fast, and is a great, reliable external drive for organising and/or backing up your data.
Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 250 GB hard drive
* Introduction *
Technology moves fast especially when it comes to storage. I remember not to far in the past when I used to backup files onto floppy disks and how even a small amount of data could fill up 30 or 40 floppies. It used to be very time consuming to have to go through and insert each floppy into the floppy drive and then copy the files on and off the computer. You couldn't copy large files like videos or high quality mp3s.
Nowadays, it is much easier to copy large files and carry them around especially with external hard drives that use USB connectors.
My old PC was dying last year and I needed to backup the data and music I had collected over the years off it and onto something else. This hard drive did the job without any fuss.
With this you just drag across the files from within Windows Explorer and you can copy in one go.
* Hardware *
I picked this up second hand so there was no packaging / paperwork with it. It is black in colour and comes with a AC power plug and a USB cable. I would say it was approximately the size of an A5 book. The outer plastic casing of the hard drive feels very sturdy.
* Installation and Use *
I plugged this into my computer and it automatically detected it, displaying a dialog asking me if I wanted to view the files on the hard drive. It had already been formatted so I was ready to use it straight away.
I have used this with Windows 7 and XP and it works fine on both operating systems.
I now use this to backup the files from my current PC on a monthly basis. It doesn't make much noise and there is no real heat produced apart from a slight warming of the outer plastic while under constant use.
* Thoughts *
If I were to purchase another hard drive now, I wouldn't buy this particular one. I have come across external hard drives that are 1.5 tb and my computer hard drive is 1tb. I need a larger drive to fit all my data onto + this particular drive is not really designed to be portable. I don't like to waste electricity and have this plugged in all the time which means I can sometimes get lazy about backing up my files. The power cable this has also makes it more difficult to carry around with me if I wanted to use it at a friends house or workplace etc.
I would purchase a portable 2.5 hard drive that is powered by the USB cable so you don't need to plug them into a wall outlet. You can also leave them plugged in 24/7.
* Summary *
This is fine for someone who doesn't have many files or if you can get hold of it second hand.
There are still plenty of older computers in use with relatively small internal disk drives, and it was only a couple of years ago the first generation of netbooks came out with no hard disk at all- just Flash memory comparable to an iPhone. An external USB hard disk drive (HDD) is the ideal addition to any PC whose original storage capacity is overflowing.
There's a second reason however which applies even to the most modern PC with stacks of internal space still only a fraction full - nothing lasts for ever: disks crash, computers die, and sooner or later you may find yourself facing the loss of your digital music collection, irreplaceable digital photos of the family, purchased eBooks, email contacts etc. It's astonishing how many people never back up their data, and don't realise the importance until it's too late. For me it was the primary reason for purchasing an HDD.
To be honest I chose a Seagate, not just because the brand has a good reputation for reliability, but mostly because of its elegant upright design. External HDDs are available from a number of manufacturers and specs will vary, but the key factor - how long it takes to transfer large volumes of data to and from the PC - is likely to be limited by the USB 2.0 link rather than the other hardware.
Capacities in the available models are going up all the time, but I decided a relatively modest 250GB would be more than enough for me, my ancient laptop after all only has 30GB internally and my new netbook 120GB. In fact there are now 1TeraByte devices available at astonishingly low price, but for something mainly used as backup security I prefer a model that isn't pushing the technology to the limits, and unless you have lots of digitised video it's more storage than you're ever likely to need. My 250GB looks like lasting me for as long as necessary.
Setting up the Seagate was simplicity itself, unpack it from the box, plug it in, and after the drivers load it's instantly available as a new drive letter. I use it with both Windows XP and Linux Ubuntu operating systems and never have any problems. When in active use a large orange bar up the side of the case pulsates brightly, it's a matter of taste whether this is better than the usual tiny flashing leds. If it gets distracting I just turn it to face the wall. Operation is almost completely silent.
The Seagate has an external power supply with the usual brick-like transformer. I know some people prefer a HDD powered through the USB link (more common with the smaller 2.5 inch disks) but again I suspect a mains powered device is likely to be more reliable so I'm happy to put up with the extra trailing cables.
This hardware is by far the best thing I could have bought to store all my favourite things on.
Probably alike alot of people, I have a laptop which is a few years old and the hard drive space is limited to 40GB, quite a bit of space but with the quality of photos etc these days some photographs can take up so much space, as do movies, games, music etc.
I realised I had a problem when I saw that i had 2gb space left and panicked!!! I really did not want to delete any of my things so i began looking for something extra where i wont need to but a whole new computer. I had no idea of how to change a hard drive for a bigger one within my computer so i opted for the external hard drive.
I am so impressed with this product. It is so simply to use, no software needed. There are two wires with the external harddrive, one which connects to the power supply via plug and another which is connected to the computer via a usb lead. Very simple to use.
Once you have done this an extra drive will appear within the my computer section. I save all my important things on here. You can detach it and take it wherever you like so you can share all you favourite things with your friends and family withou having to take your computer with you. The harddrive is quick and easy to use and you can transfer what ever you need to within minutes.
The harddrive is 250GB and I have only filled 6GB and I have soo much stuff on there. There is no volume (not that i have heard) and the item is really quiet.
I would recommend this product to anyone who is in the same situation as me. A great backup source or extra hard drive space if you cannot afford a new computer.
I purchased this product from Maplin's strore for £49.99 however i do believe it is cheaper on maplin's online.