Seagate releases upgradeable external hard drives

By on May 5, 2010, 11:23 AM
Seagate has unveiled a new line of external storage units that promises consumers more flexibility should their requirements change. Dubbed Freeagent GoFlex, they are all plug-and-play devices with interchangeable cables and desktop adapters that allow each drive to adapt to the interface being used (USB, FireWire, eSATA). The idea is that this system not only future-proofs the hard drive, but also allows it to be used on nearly any computer platform.

You can update these portable drives just by swapping out the cable adapter, so a USB 2.0 drive can be upgraded to USB 3.0, eSATA, and FireWire 400/800 connections, or with a cable that can turn the drive into an automatic backup system. Moreover, Seagate is adding a NTFS driver for Mac OS X that will let users store and access files from both Windows and Mac OS X systems.

Prices for desktop GoFlex drives with a USB 2.0 cable and encrypted backup are about $120 for 1TB and $200 for 2TB. A standard ultraportable model ranges from $100 for a 320GB version up to $200 for a terabyte, while the GoFlex Pro ultraportable spins at a faster 7,200 RPM, includes backup with encryption capabilities, and is priced at $130 for 500GB, and $180 for 750GB. The flexibility will come at an extra cost, though, and it's also the drive's biggest flaw.

The GoFlex system relies on proprietary cables, and you'll have to pay anywhere from $20 to $50 for each interface connector. This means that not only you'll have to shell out extra cash if one of these cables is lost or damaged, but you're also relying on Seagate supporting the system for years to come.

User Comments: 8

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unrealmp3 unrealmp3 said:

I'll keep buying my own enclosure and put the hard-drive of my choice in it.

I have a screwless 2.5" enclosure for $15 and it works fine so far.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Still a good idea to swap out connections for the future. But they should have option to swap out the current HDD also as technology changes in 2.5 HDD sizes. Otherwise you'll end up with a stock pile of these units.

tonylukac said:

@unrealmp3: I believe hard drives in enclosures are not as rugged. My niece's crashed shortly after she took it out of her old computer.

Guest said:

remember they are still moving parts inside of the drives, you cannot move them around while in use or they die.

jink said:

External cases that have jacks supporting both firewire and usb and sometimes e-SATA have been around for years. You can use your own MUCH CHEAPER cables with these. Why anyone would want to buy into seagate's proprietary adapters that only work with this drive would be beyond me. A waste of money and landfill.

Then again, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Guest said:

Well hard disks crash all the time.I prefer using online backup solutions for all my backups.Though i also backup on my computer,i fear losing my files and that is why i use online backup solutions and the one i use is because at first i was offered 3GB trial for free.Everything is done automatically.The prices are affordable for me than buying a hard disk any time it crashes.The setup too does not take more that 2 minutes to install.I opted for this because one time i bought a hard drive which crashed after i had backup some of my vital files.

Lurker101 said:

Just another moneygrubbing ploy by Seagate. Just a shame their quality control got a bad case of the shits once they reached the 1TB margin.

w1n74mas0ch1sm w1n74mas0ch1sm said:


I would prefer lower price point, 6+ device soho raid/NAS enclosures

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