Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net

Typical Price: $159.00
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Simple way to get your files online and share with friends. Android, iPhone and Blackberry apps to browse your files. Excellent, straightforward interface. Unlike other Pogoplug devices, it can work on the local network without being hacked.

The Bad No way to safely remove drive except through the web UI. You have to be online to be able to see the IP of the device. Video previews aren't comprehensive, no MKV support. No custom filters/file masks.

The Bottom Line Playing with the GoFlex Net started with us bridling at how limited the box was, and ended with us falling in love with its simplicity.

8.5 Overall

The GoFlex Net is a Pogoplug inside different packaging, with holes especially chiselled out to take Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex and Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex drives only. Thankfully, there's a USB port on the back into which you can plug any drive, but perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves. What's a Pogoplug exactly?

The junior NAS

Having been in the US for years, the Pogoplug is essentially network attached storage (NAS) for young players. You can plug in a hard drive or three, and it makes the content available over the internet. Seagate's version even offers handy capacity metres at the front, should you wonder when you're running out of space.

Installation is simple — after plugging in your hard drive(s), power and network cable, you visit a website to create an account, and at that point you're pretty much done. The device is then detected by the website, you're sent a confirmation email and you then have access to your files anywhere in the world through my.pogoplug.com.

Getting at the storage

Once you log in, the web interface is well designed and a pleasure to use, with even beginners likely to be able to find their way around with little trouble. There are only a few basic settings available to the user (like social network log-ins), links to the hard drives that are plugged in, and a few filters like Movies, Pictures and date ranges.

Pogoplug interface

The interface is clean, well thought out, simple and looks nice. (Credit: Pogoplug)

Techies might be freaking out right now about the lack of flexibility, but never fear. Unlike other Pogoplug devices that require hacks to enable local network access, after the initial log in through the internet you can set up Windows File Sharing (WFS) on the device, allowing you to browse through SMB. Sadly, you can't manually set the IP of the GoFlex Net, and the only way to find out the IP of the device is through the web interface that requires internet access. You'd better hope your router doesn't allocate the GoFlex Net a new IP when you're not looking and the internet goes down.

Although we haven't played with it, we'd guess that OpenPogo, along with a myriad of other programs that are available to extend the capability of Pogoplug devices, may satiate the power user's needs.

Thankfully, the networking is smart enough to use the local network to transfer if it exists rather than the internet, meaning significantly faster transfer speeds and no touching of traffic quotas, but all this is done without ever using the scary word of "network" — it just does it.

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