Toshiba Canvio Connect review: Good bundled software, for a price

The "Connect" part of the drive's name derives from the fact that it comes with Pogoplug PC, software that costs $30 if you buy it yourself. Pogoplug PC turns the drive's host computer into a personal cloud server -- as long as the machine is running and connected to the Internet. Now you can access your data, stored on the Canvio itself or on your computer's internal drive, remotely via mobile app. To learn more about how Pogoplug's system works, check out our review of the Pogoplus Series 4 adapter.

NTI Backup Now EZ is indeed easy to use.
TNTI Backup Now EZ is indeed easy to use. Dong Ngo/CNET

In addition to providing a bridge between your computers and the world, Pogoplug offers online storage space, and with the Canvio Connect, you get 10GB for free -- double Pogoplug's normal allotment of free storage. Unfortunately, you can't add this amount to an existing Pogoplug account. This means that this offer, as well as the Canvio Connect itself, isn't as appealing to existing Pogoplug users. For them, it's just another portable drive. In fact, you can use it as one without installing any of the bundled software.

Performance
I tested the Canvio Connect with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and its performance was very good.

When used with USB 3.0, it scored 97MBps for writing, which is the second-fastest score on the portable drives chart. In reading, it also scored 97MBps, but for this test, that score is near the bottom of the chart. Nonetheless, these are very fast speeds.

With USB 2.0, the drive offered about the average, registering 27MBps and 33MBps for writing and reading, respectively.

Other than the power-drawing issues with certain USB 2.0 ports as mentioned above, the Canvio Connect worked very well during the testing period and remained very cool, even during heavy loads.

External hard-drive USB 3.0 performance (in megabytes per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Silicon Power Armor A15
112.09 
113 
Toshiba Canvio Connect
97.4 
97.1 
Seagate Backup Plus
110.1 
90.9 
Lexar JumpDrive Triton
112.19 
90.8 
Toshiba Canvio Desk
103.74 
88.9 
Silicon Power Armor A80
102.7 
87.8 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
104.9 
87.7 
LaCie FastKey
115.5 
87.1 
G-Drive Slim
100.3 
86.7 
Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
103.5 
86.2 
WD My Passport Edge
97.68 
82.6 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
101.9 
82.4 
HP Portable Hard Drive
83.65 
69.4 

External hard-drive USB 2.0 performance (in megabytes per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
G-Technology G-Connect
31.3 
30.9 
LaCie FastKey
36.6 
28.8 
Lexar JumpDrive Triton
33.13 
28.8 
Seagate Backup Plus
33 
28.74 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
36.5 
28.7 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
37.3 
27.7 
Toshiba Canvio Connect
32.95 
26.8 
LaCie Rugged Key
35.22 
26.6 
Silicon Power Armor A15
32.64 
26.4 
Toshiba Canvio Desk
32.71 
25.8 
G-Drive Slim
32.74 
25.6 
WD My Passport Edge
32.69 
25.1 

Conclusion
The Toshiba Canvio Connect is either a good deal or just another portable hard drive, depending on how much value its bundled software holds for you. And if your computer still uses USB 2.0 exclusively, you might want to check out other options, because there's a small chance the drive won't work with your computer at all.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr 30, 2013
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Capacity 2 TB
  • Average Seek Time 12 ms
  • Spindle Speed 5400 rpm
  • Buffer Size 8 MB