External portable hard drives are a dime a dozen, but Seagate’s new Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive manages to pack in 4TB of storage in a body that measures just 116.90mm x 82.50mm and weighs just 0.307kg / 10.8 ounces. But not only is that a lot of storage in a small space, Seagate claims that this drive performs at up to 2× the speed of other portable hard drives. So we put the drive through its paces to find out if that is the case.
Look ma, there is no external power supply required! Instead, the Backup Plus Fast is powered by USB 3.0 alone. A USB 3.0 cable is provided in the box. The design of the drive itself is sleek and simple – it’s black and made of metal, so it should handle pretty well over time. Inside there are two 2.5” drives which Seagate claims are among the fastest 2.5 inch portable drives out there. Having 2 drives inside is good news for performance, but that also means that the drive is set up in a RAID 0 configuration which is a bit risky. We can’t help but wish that there would be an option to set the drive up in RAID 1 for extra data protection. In any case, 4TB is big enough to hold 1,583 Movies and Seagate promises data transfer speeds of up to 220MB/s.
The preloaded Seagate Dashboard allows you to set up backups easily as a schedule or continuous backup. The app also lets you back up data off of a mobile phone and your social networks. The supported social networks include Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These are fine additions that they have thrown in to the app’s features, but hardly necessary.
When it comes to performance, boy is this little guy fast. Over USB 3.0 we saw read speeds of 287 Mbps and 239 Mbps write speeds.
Overall while the Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive is not as affordable as many other portable drives on the market, with it large storage capacity and great performance, it has a lot to offer in a small package. This is a great solution for video editors or anyone looking for lots of storage with performance on the go. As a matter of fact, it’s even the fastest USB 3.0 portable drive that we have tested to date that wasn’t an SSD based drive. The Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive retails for $269.Buy it!
The Good: USB 3.0, no external power supply required, small proportions make it very travel friendly, uses highest capacity 2.5-inch portable hard drive on the market, very fast performance, Seagate dashboard makes backups easy, comes with 3 year warranty, Seagate dashboard software works for both Mac & PC, lets you make easy backups of your social network data, runs cool and quietly
The Bad: A bit pricey, uninspiring design, internal drives are not removable, RAID 0 set up has a higher risk of data loss and we wish it had option for RAID 1, it’s also a little bigger in size than many competing portable USB 3.0 drives