Seagate GoFlex Home NAS – buyer’s remorse

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Seagate 3TB GoFlex Home NAS

At the time buying the Seagate 3TB GoFlex Home NAS drive seemed like a good idea. That was six months ago. The family 1TB back-up drive had run out of space and $300 for 3TB seemed like a good deal.

On one level it was. The drive is fast – at least on paper. The GoFlex Home is relatively easy for family members to use for back-ups on the home network – once I’ve done all the hard work setting things up.

I’m not happy because the drive comes with inadequate software and Seagate’s after sales support is abysmal. The performance is not that great either.

Seagate’s hardware is unusual. A hard drive sits in a dock – in theory that means you can swap more capacity in and out at the drop of a hat. The base unit includes a Gigabit Ethernet port which brings us neatly to my first complaint – although my desktop and router both support Gigabit Ethernet, I’ve never been able to coax anything more than speeds associated with much slower networking out of the device.

Can I find any support to deal with this problem? Not a sausage.

Bundled documentation is almost non-existent – you have to go online for that. The included apps couldn’t run on my Windows 7 64-bit system – I’ve not bothered to check for updates since upgrading to Windows 8. When I tested them with one of the older PCs on our network I wasn’t impressed.

And the user interface is written in Flash – need I say more?

So, I continue to use the drive, but as a dumb, slow NAS box sitting on the network and only occasionally switched on and not buzzing away as the hub of my family’s digital entertainment.

Eventually I won’t need local back-up – but fibre doesn’t roll down my street for years and data caps mean backing-up everything online isn’t practical yet. That’s a shame, because I’d like to have a more efficient way of keeping my data safe.

5 thoughts on “Seagate GoFlex Home NAS – buyer’s remorse

  1. Firstly I will say you get what you pay for. Unfortunately backup and NAS solutions aren’t as simple under the hood as other devices you might have and therefore require significant monetary investment to get something that works simply by default.

    I don’t know much about GoFlex, but maybe you can install freeNAS or something on it?

    wrt Gigabit it sounds like there is a weak link somewhere. Just because something says it has a gigabit controller doesn’t mean it can handle that much traffic or the harddrives can write that quickly. My first assumption is the SATA controller on the GoFlex but it could be your computers if they’re older than a few years. I don’t think OEMs have been to worried about putting anything over SATA 3Gb/s in their rigs so unless you’ve built your box yourself it’s another high possibility.

    • I’d say that’s possibly right. My box is 18 months old and I picked it up from one of those Asian blokes in South Auckland who customised it to my specification, but I didn’t specify anything about SATA.

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