Samsung provides two supplementary programs (for Windows only) bundled onto the drive: Samsung Secret Zone and Auto Backup software. The former is a simple imaging program that acts as a digital lockbox for your passwords and other private data. The executable file comes already loaded onto the stock drive (no physical installation disc), and installation is as easy as choosing a password and specifying exactly how much space on the disk to dedicate to the new image.
The Auto-Backup software is a file-based system, which means you have to specify exactly which files and folders are to be saved--the layout is easy and intuitive to set up, allowing full access to version control, scheduling backups, and file compression. The program also installs a small icon in the Windows Taskbar that shows detailed information about the existing data on the drive. Unfortunately, neither program works with Mac OS.
Cost per gigabyte
The S2 Portable offers an excellent deal across all capacities, and we calculate the 500GB model to cost just $0.18 per gigabyte--enough to push the a LaCie Rikiki and even the S2 out of the first-place position. At just $89 for the 500GB model, the G2 still offers plenty of storage for gigabyte gobblers on a budget.
As always, we performed a simple data transfer test and compared the Samsung G2 Portable to four other external drives in a similar price range. According to our stopwatch, the G2 Portable transferred the folder at 28.46 megabytes per second (MB/s) and wrote it back at 25.01 MB/s, earning a top spot on write speed and coming in a close second behind the Seagate FreeAgent Goflex to read our 6.61GB media folder. Still, the differences between the top scorers are so minor that you won't tell the difference unless you're transferring a 10-plus GB file.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|USB Read (MB/s)||USB Write (MB/s)|
Service and support
Samsung protects the G2 Portable with a generous three-year warranty that protects against manufacturer's defects. If your problem is confirmed, Samsung will ask you to send it back for a full diagnostic test and ship you a replacement unit at the same time. For general troubleshooting issues, Samsung provides a comprehensive list of FAQs, a glossary, a user guide, and even a self-diagnostic chart to check your drive for common errors before contacting the RMA service. The company also provides an e-mail form that puts you in direct contact with a Samsung technician.