Review Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net Media Sharing Device
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.
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.
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.
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.