Review Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net Media Sharing Device

By: Tobias Winkler, 09/19/2010

Network Storage.

Integrated in the current GoFlex series, Seagate offers a compatible network solution for accessing its data at anytime and from anywhere via the Internet or local network. We took a look at how well this worked.

Picture: Seagate
Picture: Seagate

Seagate hit a bulls eye with the current GoFlex product line and impresses with its very well thought-out concept that allows all devices to be flexibly combined together. We already tested the Seagate GoFlex 1 TB and the Seagate GoFlex 320 GB, each with different interface adapters and an auto-backup function.

In order to work around an annoying the plugging and unplugging of multiple home computers or to get its data whilst on the go, Seagate promises a suitable solution with the network station. Like the rest of the series, this should prove to be a successful endeavour thanks especially to its simple handling. The high street price is presently around 70,- Euro and contains only the docking station. One should therefore already have suitable harddrive at hand; otherwise this has to be calculated in additionally. Currently, 1 TB Version represents the best value for money and it can be had for around 130, - Euro.

Overview and Activation

The docking station has a power connection located on the backside, which can connect to the network port (Ethernet / RJ-45) and a USB port for more storage devices via USB. We find it odd that there’s no separate power switch available. To disconnect the power supply, the plug must be pulled out in the traditional manner. On the front there are LED status bars in front of the every SATA slot, each of which handle a quarter of the capacity. The next bar lights up as soon as the following quarter has begun.  This indication is thus quite inexact as with three illuminated bars, a 1 TB GoFlex could still have 490 GB or only 260 GB of storage space still available.

In order to use the Net GoFlex docking station, one must first connect it with the router and then activate it at www.seagate.com/activatemygoflexnet. A quick guide is included in the box. Several steps are necessary at this point which are finally wrapped up with the activation via Pogoplug. After the standard e-mail confirmation via a sent link, one can register via a browser and the Internet. After that, the folder structure appears which can be filled and organised to one’s personal taste by the drag and drop function. 

Start window
Connection
Device recognition
Account
Successful activation
 
Overview of the activation steps of how to use the Net GoFlex docking station

Handling and Features

In addition to the standard Pogoplug access via the Internet, one has the option of creating a network access without an online connection. This is done through the program Pogoplug Drive which is available for various Windows, MacOsX und Linux operating systems. This must be installed on every computer that should have access. After the installation, Pogoplug appears as a separate drive in the system, which is in turn subdivided into different disks and / or storage media.

Here, the usual access is available as on all internal access drives, though one has to keep in mind that the speed is only on level with that typical of the network. When away from the home network without a laptop, or if one simply doesn't want to use it, the network access should work over a mobile phone / organizer and an internet connection (we haven’t tested that). The corresponding apps (Pogoplug mobile) are available for iPhone, Android, Palm and BlackBerry Pre.

Pogoplug provides a chic gadget for file sharing. Access authorisation for specific data or files can easily be given by email. The recipient receives a link and can access the chosen files right away. The sender has the opportunity to allow two levels of access: complete access or read and download. This link can then be used without registering for 2 weeks. To stop sharing, this can be quickly done by simply ticking remove.

Otherwise, GoFlex Net still offers the Active Copy synchronization feature,  where  selected files can be kept up to date and there are options for creating slideshows, connecting to social networks if desired, streaming content on the GoFlex TV Media Player or game consoles and much more.

After installing the drives appear in Pogoplug Drive System
After installing the drives appear in Pogoplug Drive System
Files can be organized individually ...
Files can be individually ...
... or together on the Net GoFlex
... or are organised on the Net GoFlex
The Internet access runs not quite as fluid as the network
The internet access runs not quite as fluid as the network
On the left you will find our drives
On the left you will find our drives
file sharing and file-folder can take place
file sharing and file-folder can take place
by mail, the recipient receives an access link ...
by mail, the recipient receives an access link ...
... Pogoplug stays active for 2 weeks without having to register
... Pogoplug stays active for 2 weeks without having to register
Remove ticks - access rights can be deleted.
Remove ticks - access rights can be deleted.

Verdict

Seagate also made the network expansion of the GoFlex series very user friendly and offers an exceptionally interesting range of combination possibilities.  The activation is fast and shouldn't pose any major problems, even for the casual user. The wide range of access options via the Internet, mobile phone, organizer and Network cover just about all possible scenarios and provide users with a high degree of data access. Considering the performance offered, ease of use and very flexible expansion options, even the at the first glance perhaps a bit overpriced than fair.

In Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net
In Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net
Thanks to the adaptor, the harddrive dock can be upgraded with both variants of the GoFlex Ultraportable series
Thanks to the adaptor, the harddrive dock can be upgraded with both variants of the GoFlex Ultraportable series
2 TB are possible at this time without USB
2 TB are possible at this time without USB
The drivers are plugged in a vertical position and connect via Sata
The drivers are plugged in a vertical position and connect via Sata
On the back next to the power connection, one finds Gigabit LAN and a USB 2.0 Port
On the back next to the power connection, one finds Gigabit LAN and a USB 2.0 Port
The LED bar gives only approximate information about the used memory
The LED bar gives only approximate information about the used memory
Memory sticks and harddrives connect via USB
Memory sticks and harddrives connect via USB

Shortcut

What we liked

The overall very well thought-out concept of the GoFlex series which thoroughly impresses, even in the network area.  The simple handling and flexible expansion in particular score points here.

What we missed

We didn't run across any points for critique in our review.

What surprised us

How consistently Seagate's ideas were transferred into an external storage solutions and how it emphasizes new points in many areas.

The competition

can't currently offer such a comprehensive list of combination possibilities. Those only needing a network solution go straight for pogoplug.

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net Media Sharing Device
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2010-10- 2 (Update: 2012-07-18)