Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive Lets You Take 4TB On the Go

02 Gear Diary Seagate Backup Plus Fast HHD Mar 4 2014 2 38 PM 15

I love my 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display. Judie loves her 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display, too. We both hate the fact that the drive capacity is just 500GB. It is a constant frustration. Seagate’s new 4TB Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive is an amazing way to take 4TB with you; I wish I got this years ago.

01 2014 03 07 06 59 54

The Kingston DataTraveler is a great USB stick, but it only adds 16GB of capacity.

06 2014 03 07 07 00 44

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 adds USB 3.0 speeds, but it only adds 128GB of capacity. (Only?! Remember when 128GB was cause for celebration?)

10 2014 03 07 07 01 15

Jumping over to the Seagate Slim we reviewed here, means you can bring 500GB with you on the go. That’s all well and good, but it falls far short of a 4TB drive that offers USB 3.0 speeds; that’s what you get with this new drive from Seagate.

11 Gear Diary Seagate Backup Plus Fast HHD Mar 4 2014 2 42 PM 22

The Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive offers a great combination of capacity and speed. The highest capacity, 2.5-inch portable hard drive on the market, the USB 3.0-powered drive is super fast. Add in the fact that you won’t need an additional external power supply. The “sleek, tough, metal design” will allow the drive to put up with a tremendous amount of use and abuse. In addition, the drive arrives formatted so you can share files between Windows and Mac computers. You won’t even need to format the drive to make it possible.

07 Gear Diary Seagate Backup Plus Fast HHD Mar 4 2014 2 41 PM 23

Inside the box you get the 4 TB Backup Plus Fast Portable Hard Drive. It comes preloaded with Seagate dashboard, so that you can be up and working within moments. Also included in the box is an 18 inch USB 3.0 cable and a USB 3.0 Y cable for those computers that don’t put enough power out from one USB port. Using the Y cable you are able to plug into two different USB ports and get the necessary power to the drive. The drive also comes with a quick start guide and a three-year limited warranty.

The drive itself is the same length and width of products we have reviewed from Seagate in the past. The main difference here is that it is significantly thicker in order to accommodate the additional drive and move the capacity up to the 4 TB you’ll get with it. The drive ships with a USB 3.0 port and the two cables so that you can get quick speeds when moving files from your computer to the drive.

04 Gear Diary Seagate Backup Plus Fast HHD Mar 4 2014 2 38 PM 35

It is worth noting that the company has moved away from the multiple interface approach that allowed you to use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 or thunderbolt. This is designed specifically to work with USB 3.0, and that speed is going to be fast enough for most everyone except professionals moving huge video and image files from one location to another. Even then, I think the combination of the 4 TB capacity and USB 3.0 will be compelling for many. After all, “the Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive performs at up to 2× the speed of other portable hard drives.”

09 Gear Diary Seagate Backup Plus Fast HHD Mar 4 2014 2 42 PM 08

Seagate describes their new, flagship portable drive this way.

  • Your Entire Digital Library—On Just One Drive: Your data is more essential than ever: movies, music, photos, professional projects and more. The Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive has the highest capacity of any 2.5-inch portable drive on the market, so you can take your entire digital library with you—wherever.
  • Up to 2× the Speed of Other Portable Hard Drives: The Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive delivers some of the fastest data transfer speeds—up to 220MB/s—of any 2.5-inch portable hard drive out there. In fact, it is actually up 2× faster than most, so you can spend less time waiting and more time enjoying.
  • Back Up From Your Mobile Devices: Use the Seagate Mobile Backup app to easily back up photos and videos on the go, directly from your mobile devices to your Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive.
  • Easy Backup With Seagate Dashboard: Choose from two easy, automatic backup options in the Seagate Dashboard — scheduled or continuous backup — and be done.

Backup Plus Fast HDD Portable Drive External USB 3 0 Hard Drive 4TB | Seagate

The ability to back up files from my mobile devices to the drive is a fantastic feature, but it isn’t something I  expect to use a tremendous amount. The ability to back up my computer to the drive is a huge positive, and it is something that I would make more use of — if I wasn’t bringing the drive along with me when I leave the house with the laptop. After all, having the computer itself and its backup with you doesn’t really help if your bag is stolen, since it means the computer and the way to restore the computer are both gone. Instead, I expect that I’ll take a drive that currently has individual files on it, move those files to the Seagate backup plus fast portable drive, and then use that drive as my Time Machine backup. That Drive, however, will never leave my house.

The result is that I now have 4TB drive that I can bring with me in my gear bag and have more capacity than I could possibly need. Since the drive is bus powered I only need to bring a single cable with me and I’ll be good to go. It’s a fantastic way to compensate for the smaller drives on computers using solid-state and, thanks to the USB 3.0 interface you won’t see much of a slowdown if at all. I’m a huge fan of this drive and thrilled to have one in hand. It has earned a spot in my gear bag already. You can learn more and order yours here.

MSRP: $269.99

What I Like: Small drive that has a 4 TB capacity; bus powered; includes two cables, one allows you to pull enough power from laptops that wouldn’t otherwise drive the drive; tightly integrated with Seagate’s dashboard software and ships with it preloaded; allows you to easily move files from a Mac to a Windows computer

What Needs Improvement: works with USB 3.0 but not thunderbolt; uses mechanical drives rather than solid state drives

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

Categories: Reviews

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. My understanding is that this drive uses two 2 TB Samsung (not Seagate!) hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, which makes me question the appropriateness of actually relying upon this for storing “professional projects” or for backups. If either of the two disks fail, you’ve got yourself a coaster, albeit a much thicker one than usual for your money.

    • I would never- and didn’t suggest- using this to “store” professional projects longterm. This is a portable drive. That means you take it with you. Outside. When you travel or go to work. THAT means it can get lost or stolen. That, in fact, is why I made the point that I won’t be using a drive like this for my TimeMachine backups.

      • >I would never- and didn’t suggest- using this to “store” professional projects

        And I never said YOU did :) On the other hand, SEAGATE’s description of their product does suggest that you use it to keep semi-important files with you. All I’m commenting on is how they were able to cram 4 TB into a portable drive and pointing out it has a decreased mechanical reliability on the whole.

        Even if you’re merely taking a working copy of a project overseas (or even just a few states over), it’s going to be fairly inconvenient to find out that your 100 GB worth of files is inaccessible and that you’re going to need to figure out how to get another copy to wherever you are. Unless you have a single project file that exceeds the 2 TB limit of existing single-disks, why increase the odds of data loss?

        I am loopyduck, btw. For some reason your comment disappears whenever I try to respond using that Disqus login.

        • We will look into the Disqus issue.
          One point of detail clarification. Since Seagate bought the Samsung hard drive division in 2011 aren’t these actually Seagate drives inside now?

          • You’re right, I forgot about that. The only reason I keyed on the brand in the first place was because StorageReview did a teardown on this drive, revealing a pair of Samsung disks. That sort of makes the decision to use Samsung-branded disks a little weird. I know that when Seagate bought Maxtor, they turned Maxtor into a bargain brand. However, it doesn’t seem like Seagate is doing that with Samsung. Amazon (directly at least) and Newegg are selling a few somewhat older Samsung laptop drives, but nothing in terms of desktop drives.

            And it gets stranger still: a bit of research shows that the 2 TB Spinpoints used in this Seagate drives was announced four months ago… but they’re still not available for retail purchase. I can’t seem to find anything about them being used in OEM situations either. There’s a product page for the drive on Seagate’s site, but unlike Seagate-branded drives, there’s no pricing information. And the product support page doesn’t list any of the disks in the M9 series. Curiouser and curiouser…

            (Speaking of oddities: the same disappearing comment thing happened with the new login. It’s hierarchical, even: with the loopyduck account, I can only see the initial comment. With the Steven L. account, I can see the first comment, your first reply, and the comment made from the new account… but not the comment I am replying to currently?)