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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home review

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Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

As the name betrays, Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex Home isn't aimed at business types after the latest and greatest in NAS technology, eschewing as it does multi-disk RAID arrays, hot-swappable drive bays or any other such fanciness. Instead, the GoFlex Home purports to offer a reasonably priced, user-friendly single drive solution to those wanting network-attached storage for backing up and sharing files.

Slightly strangely the GoFlex Home comes in two parts, a dock and a removable section housing the device's storage. It sounds slightly strange, but it's actually quite a clever idea. If you're the paranoid (or just conscientious) type that feels like locking your backed-up data in a fire safe every evening, not having to unplug cables to do so with the GoFlex Home might just be enough of a consideration to win its favour over an alternative device. It also allows you to easily grab your drive and take it with you, rather than having to copy files back and forth to memory sticks.

The removable part of the GoFlex Home is, unsurprisingly, little more than a plastic casing around a standard 3.5in hard drive, to the extent that the connection to the dock is simply a gap in the casing, exposing the SATA port of the hard drive within. A few retention clips ensure that it's not just the SATA connection holding the drive in place, with a little help from the drive's mass, and gravity.

The dock is also a simple affair, with the aforementioned SATA port up top, two status LEDs at the front (power and activity), and a power switch, power input, Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB port. The latter means you can hook up an external hard drive in order either to augment the GoFlex Home's own, or for backing up your important data.

For most users, we think the £87, 1TB GoFlex Home should offer sufficient storage. A 2TB unit will cost you just under £125, which is a significant increase; even if it isn't too much out of line with the difference between a 1TB and 2TB drive purchased separately. We think that anyone needing more storage than that should be looking at a full-fledged, RAID-supporting NAS system.

One annoyance of the GoFlex Home is that on a Mac you'll also need to run a separate utility to configure the drive for Time Machine though the benefits of doing so are of course well worth the effort. On Windows you've the option to use that OS' own built-in backup suite (which is far less slick than Time Machine), or you can install Memeo Instant Backup, which is installed along with the GoFlex Home's management software, or found separately on-disk.

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Ionut Borcoman

November 16, 2010, 4:37 pm

Hi,





From the article I understand that the SATA connector from the HDD is used directly to connect to the dock. Is this correct? According to the SATA spec, that connector is guaranteed to work up to 50 insertions, versus the 5000 for the eSATA. Is Seagate providing any numbers regarding how many insertions the GoFlex Home can withstand?





Thanx.

Raymond1909

November 21, 2011, 12:17 pm

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home is a piece of rubbish. DO NOT BUY IT.

BrainPhrozen

March 8, 2012, 6:50 am

Well I brought one of these and I have to agree it is a nice piece of kit but let down by woefully inadequate speeds for transferring files. I have a maxtor sitting inside my pc (also seagate) and that flys at 45mpbs. while I appreciate this is because its internal I can't see why seagate couldnt make the goflex fly. I've been transferring almost a terabyte of information since monday from one partition to the other on the same drive and only get 5mbps. Bad bad bad. I think Seagate have made a bit of a white elephant with this. I think they designed a bad dock and if they could get it faster I'd be chuffed.

BrainPhrozen

March 8, 2012, 6:52 am

Also paying seagate an extra ten bucks for their pro software is a scandal when you've already paid out a large outlay for the goflex

Miranda Virgo

December 20, 2012, 11:42 am

I have had this drive for about a year to back up my WD world book. I know these drives are cheap, but they are absolute junk. Read and write speed is sub 1MB/s and the admin interface always times out. I have reset it numerous times. Time to bite the bullet and buy a synology. The only good news is I should be able to break it open and re-use the 1TB disk inside. This is not fast or reliable enough even for home use.

Jack Gold

March 2, 2013, 6:19 pm

why what happened

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