Seagate is very well known as a hard drive manufacturer. They recently acquired Samsung’s HDD business as well as LaCie, which is well known for providing external storage solutions to consumers. Today we take a look at a unique product, the portable 4TB Backup Plus Fast which comes in a small box with manual and two USB 3.0 cables- a regular short-sized and a longer Y cable for extra power.
The drive is similar in design to the other Seagate Backup Plus Fast drives except this drive is noticeably thicker and only available in black. The enclosure is comprised of metal at the top and bottom with plastic on the sides and has one activity LED which lights up when plugged in and can be turned on or off using Seagate’s Dashboard software.
The reason this drive is thicker is because you have two 2TB Samsung M9T drives inside which are considered the thinnest 2.5 inch drives available to date at only 9.5mm compared to the standard 12.5mm. The drives have 32MB cache each and spin at 5400rpms and are connected to each other via an adaptor that has two ASMedia chips, one acts a SATA RAID controller, the other the SATA to USB 3.0 transfer. The Backup Plus Fast uses RAID 0 for striping which means strips of data are stored on each drive rather than one drive filling up and the other then taking over. This increases the overall transfer speeds of the device as each drive takes a piece of the data simultaneously. However, it also means that should one drive fail and is unrecoverable, the data is gone. This of course is no different to having a single drive in the enclosure.
On the drive is a copy of Seagate’s Dashboard software which you can use to schedule backups from your main computer or computers to this drive. It also has a smartphone backup feature which means you can backup your smartphone to this drive as well. The feature requires an app download from iTunes or the Play Store to work. There’s also a feature to download and share data from social media sites.
To test the Backup Plus Fast we ran CrystalDiskMark while the drive was connected to our testbed via USB 3.0 with the Y cable providing extra power should it be needed. For comparison we used a 1TB Seagate FreeAgent Go Flex drive also plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Here is how the 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Fast performs, followed by the 1TB Freeagent.
Thanks to its RAID 0 capabilities the sequential read and write speeds on the Backup Plus Fast were more than three times that of the older Go Flex drive. The 512K read and write was also noticeably better while the remaining two tests the results weren’t as significantly different. Seagate have made a fast little external drive here that is solid and durable while remaining light and portable and with 4TB it could be a while before you will need any other drive. Amazon currently sells this drive at $269US and while that may seem a lot you do need to remember you may never need another backup drive for quite some time.