External drives have given rise to NAS (Network-Attached Storage). Accessing and accumulating data at one central location has become all the rage, as HTPC, media streaming, and HDTV-ready devices and technologies have become more affordable, and thus have made the push into the homes of consumers.
Our report today will examine the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home Network Storage System and, although it may be not be our typical review of SSD technology, it is storage just the same.
During the past few months, the hard drive market has been in a state of flux due to a variety of reasons. These have led to a spike in costs, shortages of supply, and overall complications in manufacturing, just to name a few obstacles.
An area that has remained relatively stable, however, is that of external hard drives, traditionally known for their ease of portability and use via the added premium of an enclosure for these features, rather than raw performance. With the recent downturn, primarily regarding internal hard drives, externals have become more sought after as the prices have remained relatively the same. Although these drives are still storage-based rather than performance, the need for massive storage is still in high demand. Indeed, with the recent price drops in the SSD department, the SSD-HDD coupling of performance-storage has become even more popular.
Staying on the subject, the aptly named FreeAgent GoFlex Home by Seagate is a consumer-based NAS storage device made for novice users. While conventional NAS devices utilize multi-bay drive expansions, and boast a plethora of features, the GoFlex is made primarily for a simple plug-and-play format:
The GoFlex Home network storage system also allows you to stream media, store photos, movies and music on the GoFlex Home network storage system, and enjoy media from any room in the house. By storing files in a central location on the network, you can use one drive for all your storage and backup needs.
This review will be testing the 3TB flavour of the GoFlex Home, graciously provided by Seagate. Let us find out how it stacks against the competition.
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
The GoFlex FreeAgent home comes in a nice looking package, with a surprising amount of detail listed on the front, back, and sides. The sample also came with a quick install page from Seagate:
Opening it up, we have a cardboard box containing the accessories, including an installation guide with the GoFlex drive surrounded in a plastic covering and protected in a clamshell arrangement. The accessories consist of, going from left to right and top to bottom, a black ethernet cable with silver-plated connectors, a power brick and cable, the GoFlex network base, a CD containing the Seagate Dashboard software, a quick start guide, and the FreeAgent GoFlex 3TB drive:
Both the GoFlex drive and base are encased in a nice matte-black finish with a protective plastic covering:
Once the plastic is removed, a closer look reveals the drive to have small ventilation holds, while the base sports grills. Both the base and drive join firmly with each other, and take quite a bit of pull to detach:
The inputs in the back contain a high-speed ethernet port, a USB port, and a port for the power brick. There is also a push button to turn the drive on/off. An obvious absence is a USB output port for data transfer in case something happens to the ethernet port, or the GoFlex base. However, one could use a SATA/eSATA cable and connect with the inputs located underneath the GoFlex drive (the same connectors jutting out from the GoFlex base). Keep in mind that the GoFlex does not have built-in wireless capabilities. Once everything is ready, a solid green indicator LED will reveal itself, with a similar white LED at the bottom indicating that the drive is connected:
Your wired and powerline tests indicate around 12MB/s – that to me implies something in the network is running at 10/100 ethernet speed? The Goflex Home has a gigabit ethernet port , and I can get read speeds of over 60MB/s and write speed of 35MB/s to/from a PC with a gigabit port (I get 12MB/s to another PC with a 10/100 port).
You mentioned that a hard reset will wipe the data – that’s not the case (according to the documentation): the data is still there on the disk but you will loose the user accounts that were set up. If you recreate the same user names you will regain access to the data. Alternatively you can use a SATA cable or a GoFlex Desk base unit to access all data (for all users) on the drive.
These were the speeds I got consistently, but I do believe that the powerline kit is 10/100 only. The wired connection had the same as well. The tests were different in the NASPT benchmark too, so I went with the lowest average.
As for the hard reset, the data only wipes if updating the firmware fails during installation. At least in my case, when I accidentally closed the browser during firmware installation, the GoFlex went into a constant state of activity (blinking green light) and did not show up on my network. I had to flash back to stock firmware to get it running again, which had to be done by hard resetting it and loading the firmware via the USB port. I lost all my data during the process, but I’m not sure if that’s always the case.
can you put the ethernet cable directly into a tv or does it need to register as a network device only using a router? i need a fast storage for videos plugged directly to a tv, not bridging it all over a home network..
In theory you should be able to connect it directly to an internet-ready TV, but I’m not 100% sure as I don’t own one.
Is it true that it only supports backing up 3 computer? I have 4 Macs I want to back up
it is said the extension of use comes with purchasing additional licences
I have one and want to no how can I figure out the pass word if I don’t even remember putting one. Need help like where do I go if I don’t remember?
Hello. Can it download torrent by it self ? Thank you.
Hi, Deepak. First of all, sorry for my poor English and lack of technical expertise. My questions are: can I connect a GoFlex Home directly to my PC via ethernet cable? Continuous Backup mode does not saturate the network traffic? And finally: You can perform the backup of a full 1Tb disk in a reasonable time, either via wi-fi or wired connection? Thanks, in advance.
Can I use the external USB drive to do automatic backups?
Is there anyway to recover the data if it is having network troubles? I have tried everything but cannot access it over my network anylonger. I have no idea what happened. Worked great for 4 years. Now I have a newer version of the same product but want to recover the data from this device. Any ideas?
I event reset the factory settings, uninstalled the software, and set it up new, but still the same problem.
Sorry no ideas myself…
same here, I believe the NAS base has died and now I’m trying to read the drive inside out outside of the case. What kind of format is the drive? Nothing I have tried yet seems to be able to read it.
Any suggestions for a speed test of my own, I’m finding speeds of 10mbps wired to my laptop and speeds of 1mbps wireless to my laptop. I need some help finding the cause of the bottle neck
Forgot password for go flex and not sure of where the install disc is. How can I reset password?