For data backup, you can use a NAS but some will prefer to opt for a system considered easier to master, a 3.5 inch hard drive. Dedicated to data backup, these storage media have seen their capacity increase generously. Seagate precisely offers an external USB 3.0 model that reaches 8 TB. The Backup Plus Hub, as it is called, is distinguished by its two front USB 3.0 ports, in which you can plug in a USB key, a smartphone or a tablet.
The Backup Plus Hub comes with a small external power supply, which allows it to charge a mobile device (smartphone or tablet type) even when the computer is off. Each port delivers an intensity of up to 1.5 A, which is sufficient for most smartphones but not very fast and risks considerably extending the charging time of a tablet.
The back of the case has a micro USB 3.0 connector for connecting the drive to the computer (cable is provided), as well as an input for the AC adapter. It is a pity that this model does not have an on / off button. This forces the owner to unplug it when not in use. Only consolation, Seagate has provided a sleep system.
The Backup Plus Hub is formatted in NTFS to be directly managed by Windows but Seagate delivers a driver for Mac owners. In USB 3.0, we measured excellent data rates, reaching 193 MB / s in reading and 140 MB / s in writing for the transfer of videos. In comparison, a NAS with a Gigabit Ethernet interface cannot exceed 125 MB / s.
A very well-designed backup program
For backup operations, the manufacturer delivers Seagate Dashboard software for Windows. Mac users will have to reformat their disk in HFS + for use with Time Machine.
Seagate Dashboard monitors computer activity and backs up all user files (documents, photos, video, music) by default whenever they are changed. It is also possible to define a personalized backup, by choosing the source and the frequency, and even to save your files on the Cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive). Besides, the disc comes with a free 2-year subscription on OneDrive, for a storage space of 200 GB.
Seagate has also thought of social networks with the backup of multimedia files stored on Facebook and Flickr. Conversely, it makes it easy to send photos and videos to Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
Wi-Fi required for smartphones
For the backup of smartphones and tablets, the manufacturer offers the free Seagate Backup application (iOS and Android). The app easily backs up photos, videos, music and contacts from the mobile device. To do this, it transmits the data to the Dashboard program, installed on the PC, which stores it on the external disk.
Unfortunately, it only works on Wi-Fi, through the home network, while the device and its USB ports gave hope for a USB transfer. In addition, the operation requires that the Seagate Dashboard program is active, which requires that the PC be turned on. On the road, it is possible to use the cloud backup function (Dropbox, Google Drive) but it is much less practical.