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Saturday, 07 May 2011 12:54

Review: Seagate GoFlex Home

Seagate's GoFlex Home offers a reliable and simple way for most household users to setup a Network Attached Storage device (NAS) with remote access through seagateshare.com.

While we tested the 1 terabyte Home, there's also a 2TB edition for those who think they'll need more space '” although you can swap the hard drives down the track if you feel the need. Either way, unless you're a power user, you aren't going to be running out of room too quickly unless you're taking advantage of the automatic backup features for up to 3 computers, in which case you'll soon find yourself short on space.

Once you open the device, it's simply a matter of pulling it all out of the box and connecting it. Plug in the ethernet cord (for wireless support), power cord, and you're away, in theory at least. Unfortunately you'll need to then run the Seagate installation software (which works on both Macs and PCs) and from then on we struck a number of problems.

Firstly, Seagate recommends disabling your firewall/anti-virus for the tool to find the hard drive. While on a Mac we didn't need to do that, on our PC it was a must. Then you've got to go through a convoluted step-by-step process which requires that you must have an internet connection available '” a problem once again in our test environment. However once you've activated the device and completed installation, using your drive becomes a much easier process.

When the setup is complete, you'll be redirected to a Seagate Share Pro page, which offers you the ability to create unlimited accounts for remote access, adds TiVo support and supports the secure File Transfer Protocol. Other than that the other features are mostly novelties: share to Facebook, get an RSS feed and have Cooliris and Flickr integration included in your account. For $19.99 a year, pricing isn't too bad, but it would have been better if Seagate had more features and had integrated unlimited accounts and secure FTP into the basic account.

The user interface for the GoFlex home was simple and basic, but it's based off Adobe's Flex technology so you'll need Flash Player installed. It could do with some more advanced features but for now it serves it purpose '” and it at least looks like it's been created in the 21st century, unlike some router web interfaces, so hey, we're not complaining.

Of course on a Mac or PC you don't need to worry about connecting to the GoFlex via the web interface. It works just as you'd expect an external hard drive to, allowing you to plug it in via USB and access files and folders as per normal. It's reasonably fast, and we didn't experience any lag or problems while transferring large files across.

The final verdict? If you're in the market for an external hard drive, you can't go past the GoFlex. While it has some small issues, the fact that it's only $269 and has one terabyte of room means it's in a similar price range to most other devices of a similar size.

Really it all comes down to your preference of manufacturers, but we'd certainly recommend the GoFlex especially with it's NAS support not to mention the ability to easily upgrade the amount of storage space.

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