Published on March 31st, 2014 | by Greg0
Seagate Backup Plus Fast: Four Terabytes, No Power Supply!
Portable drives may come in many shapes and sizes, but there are two basic varieties- your smaller “dongle” sized models that fit onto a keychain but offer limited space, and larger models that can fit into a jacket pocket but offer several times the capacity. The latter type have been fairly limited though as well by power requirements- the bigger the drive, the more juice it requires, and this could mean needing to lug a bulky power supply around. Not long ago, you could expect the maximum storage for any drive to be about 2 terabytes. But today’s doubles that capacity, and for the first time that we’ve seen, is small enough to take anywhere and doesn’t require any external outlet power.
The Seagate Backup Plus Fast is part of the new Backup Plus line, which includes a bevy of different versions, including ones with Thunderbolt support, and the Backup Slim line with in both PC flavors and ones specially formatted for Mac OSX (maximum 2TB), as well as a more traditional desktop model. You can even opt for an SSD in your external drive, which offers much faster speeds though much lower capacities (256 GB to be exact). We’ve been trying out the Backup Plus Fast in the current single-drive maximum of 4TB. That’s enough for just about anyone, even the most diehard film buff who insists on 4K resolution media.
There is a small catch- you’ll need two available USB slots to power the drive. And you should make sure your computer supports USB 3.0 (most recent ones do), otherwise, a drive like this is going to be a bit inconvenient. Sure, it can run at USB 2.0 speeds, but it will take forever to transfer files at those rates, and that’s true of any USB 2.0 drive. Seagate claims that the Backup Plus Fast offers the “fastest data transfer of any 2.5″ portable hard drive, up to 220 MB/s”, and though we didn’t get near those speeds in sustained transfers, we did regularly see around 100 MB/s on real-world tests and benchmarks. The included cable is pretty long- 18 inches- but a bit longer would have been nicer for desktop use (laptop users will find it perfect). The Backup Plus Fast was impressively quiet, and we liked the pulsating glow of the LED light, a small detail to be sure, but nicer than the blinking ones. We did note that the drive got fairly hot during our tests- there did not appear to be fans, only passive cooling. And the drive appears to be a 5400 RPM drive, not the snappier 7200 RPM drives that are now common in desktops and larger external hard disks.
There is some interesting included software onboard the Backup Plus Fast, including the Seagate Dashboard, which allows easy sharing of content from the drive to social media- and more importantly, the easy ability to backup items from your Facebook and Flickr. We wouldn’t necessarily suggest uploading using Seagate’s software, since YouTube and Facebook offer some excellent, solid tools with several helpful options when uploading directly. But for backing up your information, Seagate’s platform works like a charm. The drive is small, light (only 10 ounces), impressively fast, and offers tons of space for all of your important data- what more could you ask for? You pay extra for the light weight and small form factor, but you’ll love Seagate’s Backup Plus Fast with a 4TB version running about $270 online and in stores.