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Seagate Backup Plus Hub review: The premier USB 3.0 external drive

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In most cases when you connect an external USB drive to your computer, you lose a USB port to it. Not so with the Seagate Backup Plus Hub. It has two extra USB 3.0 ports on the front, essentially giving you an extra port when you connect it.

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The Good

The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is fast, has tons of storage and since it comes with two additional USB 3.0 ports it won't hog your desktop's expansion options. The drive has software that lets it work with Mac and Windows interchangeably.

The Bad

The USB hub doesn't always work when the drive is connected to a USB 2.0 port.

The Bottom Line

Though it has some issues with USB 2.0, the Seagate Backup Plus Hub is an excellent external storage drive for any USB 3.0 desktop computer.

Things work smoothly as long as you're connecting the drive to a USB 3.0 port on your computer. When connected to USB 2.0, however, sometimes my computer wouldn't recognize what was connected to one of the Backup Plus Hub's two USB ports, through the drive itself worked fine.

It's not a huge deal, since most newer computers have at least a few USB 3.0 ports, but if you have mostly USB 2.0 ports on your system this will get annoying, fast. If you do have an older machine and you're reasonably technically adept, I'd recommend installing a USB 3.0 add-in card, which will add a few more ports to your system.

CNET USB 3.0/3.1 external drive performance

Seagate Backup Plus Hub 181.3 195.78Segate Backup Plus Desktop 150.9 180.45Samsung Portable T3 125.9 221.4Seagate Expansion 125.2 127.93G-Tech Gdrive EV ATC 119.0 138.73Seagate Backup Plus Slim 118.8 125.35Toshiba Canvio Slim II 118.8 118.49Buffalo MiniStation Extreme 110.3 118.82WD My Passport Ultra 110.2 117.34WD My Password Slim 107.7 107.89LaCie Christofle Sphere 105.5 111.43SiliconPower Armor A60 104.3 114.48WD Elements 95.7 102.15
  • Write
  • Read
Notes: Longer bars mean better performance

The Backup Plus Hub is compact for a desktop external drive. It measures just 4.6 by 1.6 by 7.8 inches (118 by 41 by 198 mm) with a weight of 2.3 pounds (1.1 kg). And like all desktop drives, it requires its own power adapter (included) to function. Out of the box, the drive is formatted in NTFS and should work right away when connected to a Windows computer. It includes Paragon Driver for Mac that lets it work with a Mac computer without a reformat. Alternatively, you could reformat it into the HFS+ file system if you only want use it with a Mac.

The drive also includes the Seagate Dashboard backup software, with three different backup functions: PC Backup, Mobile Backup and Social, to back up your computer, your mobile devices and your social website data (Facebook, Flickr and YouTube) respectively. The software interface is easy to understand and the backup process is simple and streamlined.

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Though not colored blue, these two USB ports of the Backup Plus Hub are actually USB 3.0.

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The Backup Plus Hub also includes a free two-year plan of 200GB online storage with Microsoft OneDrive. After the first two years, this plan will cost you about $50, £50 or AU$50 per year.

As for its speed, when connected via USB 3.0, the Backup Plus Hub scored a sustained copy speed of 181 megabytes per second for writing and 195MBps for reading. This is one of the fastest results I've seen for an external drive that houses a single regular (non-SSD) hard drive. At this speed it can transfer a full Blu-ray disc's worth of data (25GB) in less than two and a half minutes.

Should I get it?

The answer is totally a yes if you have a USB 3.0 (or 3.1)-ready desktop computer and need extra storage space. The Backup Plus Hub is available on Amazon in 4-terabyte and 8TB versions at $140 and $250, respectively. There's also a 6TB version that costs $200. (It's not available in the UK or Australia, but those prices convert to roughly £105, £150 and £190 or AU$185, AU$265 and AU$330.) When you consider its fast performance, the USB Hub feature and the massive storage space, those prices are actually quite the deal for what you get.

If you have a laptop, however, the Backup Plus Hub is not for you. It's just too bulky to carry on the go. Instead go with a portable drive, such as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim or WD My Passport Ultra.

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8.4

Seagate Backup Plus Hub

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 8Performance 9