Network storage drives haven’t really hit mainstream, but those who have them, swear by their utility. Post connection with a wireless router, most network storage drives allow users to view their data remotely over the entire existing network as well as a continuous backup facility. Seagate have come up with the FreeAgent GoFlex Home external drive with a massive 3TB of storage capacity for its users. Here’s our review about the GoFlex Home Network Storage System.

The Seagate GoFlex FreeAgent Home 3TB

The Seagate GoFlex FreeAgent Home 3TB

Design and Features
The Seagate drive comes in three versions – 1TB, 2TB and 3TB. The one we reviewed was a 3TB model and the first thing we noticed upon opening this product is that it’s heavy. But that won’t matter a lot as this drive isn’t exactly supposed to be portable. It snugly fits into the docking station that consists of a USB port for connecting external drives, the power cord, an ON-OFF button and a LAN port with an LED notifier. The front of the docking station consists of two LED’s that display the connection status. The storage device comes in glossy black but is definitely not small or sleek. In fact, it’s a little bigger and on the heavier side and will require adequate space next to the CPU cabinet or laptop you plan to place it.

The front has two LED notifiers

The front has two LED notifiers

Seagate’s network drive also features an inbuilt data backup application, for which user’s need to register and it allows backup of files and folders from up to 3 PCs. There is a GoFlexAccess app that allows users to remotely access all their photos, movies, music and documents stored on the network. The app currently works for iPad, iPhone and Android devices and can be downloaded from the respective markets.
 

Test Rig Specifications
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40 GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte P67A-UD3R
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 6 GB DDR3 (3 x 2 GB)
Hard drive: WD Velociraptor 300 GB
GPU:  AMD Radeon HD6970
PSU: Cooler Master 1000W

The back panel

The back panel


Performance
We had great difficulty getting the device hooked up to our test rig initially, as Seagate’s servers weren’t allowing access for registering the device. Thereafter, we put the network drive through the assorted and sequential file transfer test using our standard test rig computer. The results for both read and write types have been charted out in the graph below.

Performance chart

Performance chart

The tests were carried out with assorted (compiled size of 4GB) and sequential (single 4GB file) file types. We chose 4GB as the standard as it is the size of an average HD video file. The drive gives a sequential write speed of 21.78 MB/s and a random write speed of 13.97 MB/s. The read speeds were somewhat identical with sequential giving a 20.37 MB/s speed and random giving a 13.04 MB/s speed. Network drives aren’t really known for fast data transfers, but this one provided decent speeds nevertheless.

The backup option wasn't accessible

The backup option wasn't accessible

We tried using the backup feature provided by Seagate, but the software didn’t manage to detect our drive and hence, we couldn’t test that particular feature.

Verdict
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex retails at a price of Rs. 12,000. Whilst it does provide a data storage of 3TB, we did have a few problems setting the drive up. Unless streaming and remote backup are extremely crucial facets of your usage, this network drive wouldn’t be a recommendation for just simple data storage.

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