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Seagate refines GoFlex drives into Backup Plus

Seagate announces its latest in external hard drives, the Seagate Backup Plus family of external hard drives that replaces the GoFlex lineup. We review one and find it to be a big improvement over the previous GoFlex lineup.

The new Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive.
The new Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive. Dong Ngo/CNET

Seagate today launched a new family of external hard drives that's a continuation of its popular GoFlex line-up but now with a completely different name: the Seagate Backup Plus family.

While the GoFlex name is now in the past, the flexibility remains with the external hard drives. The new Seagate Backup drives come in both a portable version, called Seagate Backup Plus, and a desktop version, called Seagate Backup Plus Desk. The former are bus-powered drives that are compact and don't require an external power adapter. The latter are larger drives, both in terms of physical size and capacity, offering up to 4TB of storage space, and need a separate power adapter to work.

Both of the two versions share a similar design to the previous GoFlex line: they come in two parts, the drive and the adapter. These two parts snap onto each other from the external hard drive. This means if you want to use the drive with a certain type of connection port, such as USB, FireWire or even Thunderbolt, all you need is to get the adapter of the respective type; the hard drive part remains the same.

The Seagate Backup Plus' backup software is effective and easy to use.
The Seagate Backup Plus' backup software is effective and easy to use. Dong Ngo/CNET

While each Seagate Backup Plus drive comes with an adapter of its own, they also can be used with an existing GoFlex drive adapter, making it an easy buy for those who have owned GoFlex drives before.

Apart from the two-part design, the new drives also come with software drivers that allow the Windows-formatted drive to work with Macs without having to reformat them. If you want them to work with Macs right away without having to install software, there are also Backup Plus Mac and Backup Plus Desk Mac drives in the new lineup. In this case, these drives will include software drivers that enable Windows computers to read and write Mac' HFS+ file system. This is also a similar feature originally found in GoFlex drives.

The new Backup Plus external hard drives do have a few unique features, however.

First, they come with new backup software that allows for backing up both local and online social media personal data. And secondly the Seagate Backup Plus also comes in four colors: red, black, silver and blue. One of the software's nifty feature is that its interface also changes its color in accordance with the color of the plugged-in drive. This helps those who have multiple drives of multiple colors know which one they are using just by a look of the software's interface. 

The new Seagate Backup Plus is available now in 500GB, 750GB (PC only), and 1TB capacities that are slated to cost the same for both PCs and Macs at $130, $130, and $140, respectively. The PC desktop version is available in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB that cost $130, $150, $180, and $250, respectively.  The desktop Mac version is slightly more expensive with the 2TB and 3TB costing $190 and $210.

I had a chance to work with one of the new drives, the 1TB Backup Plus, and found it much better looking and noticeably faster than a GoFlex drive of the same capacity. The new backup software was also much easier to use and proved to be an effective backup solution. For more information, check out the full review of the Seagate Backup Plus here.