Seagate Backup Plus review: Seagate Backup Plus

The biggest difference the Backup Plus has from the previous GoFlex portable drives is the Seagate Dashboard Agent software, of which the installer is stored on the drive itself. Once installed, this software offers some nifty ways to do backups.

There are three main functions: Protect, Share, and Save. The Protect part is basically the local backup; here you can either customize real-time local backups or let the software, by default, pick what should be backed up for you. After that, the drive will back up continuously when changes have been made to data. In my trials this functions worked very well.

The Share feature allows uploading of files to social-networking sites, including Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube. And the Save part does the opposite, enabling you to back up photos currently stored in your Facebook or Flickr account onto the drive. Both of the Share and Save functions worked well in my testing. They are very straightforward and there's nothing to learn.

Backup files are basically the exact copies stored in a folder called Seagate Dashboard 2.0 on the drive. You do need to dig deep in this folder to find the backups you need in case of recovery. The Seagate Dashboard Agent comes in both Windows and Mac versions, with the Protect part being available to Windows only. This is because, Seagate said, Mac users are better off using Time Machine with the drive.

Additionally, the drive also comes with an online backup account that offers 4GB of storage for free.

Performance
The Seagate Backup Plus performed very well in my testing. Since the drive comes with a USB 3.0 adapter, I tested it with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

When used with USB 3.0, the drive scored 91MBps for writing and 110MBps for reading -- among the top three of USB 3.0-based external drives I've reviewed. When used with USB 2.0, which is still the most popular cross-platform connection type, the Backup Plus also did well where the GoFlex Turbo did much worse, with some 29MBps and 33MBps for writing and reading, respectively.

USB 2.0 external hard-drive performance (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
LaCie FastKey
36.6 
28.8 
Seagate GoFlex Satellite
32.7 
28.8 
Seagate Backup Plus
33 
28.74 
ioSafe SoloPro
36.6 
28.7 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
36.5 
28.7 
Clickfree C6
33.1 
28.7 
Clickfree C2N
40.1 
28.2 
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk
36.7 
27.8 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
37.3 
27.7 
VanTec NexStar USB 3.0 HDD Dock
37.8 
26.7 
IoSafe Solo G3
31.96 
25.6 

External hard drive USB 3.0 performance (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
LaCie FastKey
115.5 
87.1 
IoSafe Solo G3
110.98 
109.1 
Seagate Backup Plus
110.1 
90.9 
ioSafe SoloPro
106 
77.1 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
104.9 
87.7 
Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
103.5 
86.2 
Clickfree C6
103.4 
87.7 
Silicon Power Armor A80
102.7 
87.8 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
101.9 
82.4 
HP Portable Hard Drive
83.65 
69.4 
Seagate GoFlex Satellite
76.1 
69.3 

Service and support

Similar with some GoFlex drives, Seagate backs the Backup Plus with a two-year warranty. Seagate's Web site contains a comprehensive list of forums, knowledge bases, driver downloads, installation help, and FAQs to help you troubleshoot your drive. The company's technical support is also available via live chat, e-mail, and phone from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT weekdays.

Conclusion
With flexible design, fast performance, and helpful software, the new Seagate Backup Plus makes an excellent portable external hard drive for both business and home users alike.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 11, 2012
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Capacity 1 TB