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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk

The GoFlex Desk comes bundled with Memeo Backup software that you can choose to install or not. The software is rather limited in its local backup functionality and comes bloated with many features that try to coerce users into buying premium services. For this reason, we would recommend using third-party backup software with the drive.

The drive is preformatted in the NTFS file system to be used with Windows computers, but you can easily reformat it into HSF+ to use with Macs. Once this is done, the drive fully supports Apple's Time Machine.

We were happy with the GoFlex Desk's performance both with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections, though it wasn't the best we've seen.

In USB 3.0 tests, the drive scored 80.5MBps in the write test, which is about the average among USB 3.0-based external hard drives. In reading, this scored went up a notch to 91.5MBps--again, a decent number. For comparison, the WD MyBook 3.0 scored 106.6MBps and 108.8MBps for the write and read tests, respectively.

In USB 2.0 tests, the GoFlex Desk scored 27.8MBps and 36.7MBps for the write and read tests, respectively. Among USB 2.0-based external hard drives, the GoFlex Desk is the top three in the write test and about average in the read test.

During testing, the drive seemed to be rather hot, though not to an alarming degree. Still, we recommend using it in an open area.

Speed tests (in megabytes per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
USB 3.0 read  
USB 3.0 write  
Western Digital My Book 3.0
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk

Speed tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
USB 2.0 read  
USB 2.0 write  

Service and support
Seagate backs the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk with a two-year warranty, which is one year shorter than what it offers for the portable version, the GoFlex Pro. This is a little disappointing, especially because Seagate often offers warranties of up to five years for other products. But considering that most other drives come with just a one-year warranty, this is still relatively generous. 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.

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