During this year’s Consumer Electronic Showcase (CES), Seagate Technology announced its next-generation network home storage solution, the Seagate Central. A CES 2013 Innovations awardee, the Seagate Central aims to serve as a central storage for your files.
What’s in the box?
- Seagate central
- Power supply with adapters
- Ethernet cable
- Quick start guide
- 3-year limited warranty
The Seagate Central is one huge device, measuring 5.7 x 8.5 x 1.7 inches and weighs 2.2 lbs. The top part is made of metal screen mesh allowing for proper ventilation for the device. It is also here where you can find a small led indicator. The underside part is made of perforated plastic for additional ventilation and where you can find the pin hole reset button and four rubber feet for grip.
Located at the back are the power supply port, the 1-gigabit Ethernet port and a USB port. The USB port allows users to extend the storage capacity of the Seagate Central by adding their own external hard drive. There is no power button present; the device will automatically turn on once the device is plugged in. Overall, the device is solidly built with no apparent creaking sounds with pressure applied.
Set-up and functionalities
Setting up the device is quite easy. Users just have to power on the device, and plug in the included Ethernet cable to the home router. Just point your browser to http://seagate.com/central/setup and follow the instructions. Once properly configured, you will be able to access the Seagate Central Web interface.
Here, you can add users and assign roles as administrators, backup photos, and videos directly from Facebook, and configure the various services such as remote access, DLNA, and device settings.
The main purpose of the Seagate Central is to serve as a central repository of digital media for the entire home regardless if you’re on Windows or Mac, inside the home network or not. It’s like having your own centralized media library. Media files can be access by smartphones tablets and computers in a number of ways. One method is via the Seagate Media mobile app currently available for devices running on Android and IOS. Once download, you can wirelessly access all of your media content.
For Windows computers, you can access the media contents via the Windows Explorer > Network. Mac users on the other hand, will be able to access the contents via Finder. If you are outside of your homes network, say at the office or on a trip, you can still access your media content remotely via a link that will be sent to the users email addresses.
Once activated, the user will be able to access the content via the computer or the Seagate Media mobile app. The Seagate Central also supports Blue-ray players, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Samsung Smart TVs and Apple Airplay.
The device performed well based on our test. We were able to simultaneously stream music and videos on two computers, and two smartphones without hiccups.
Understandably, the file transfer speed from a computer to the Seagate Central may not reach your expectations. Network attached storage (NAS) devices such as this one is much slower compared to traditional USB attached external hard drives.
On our experience, we can compare the transfer speed more or less to that of a USB 2.0 speed, which is not that bad when you think about it. Benchmark scores will vary from network to network and the number of users within the network. For the Seagate Central, the only limitation for the transfer speed would be the local network speed.
Also, in our opinion, in case of hard drive failure (knock on wood) it might be a little trickier to recover data from NAS devices so it’s advisable to only store media content for entertainment purposes only and not the really important ones like work files.
Overall, we really liked the idea behind the Seagate Central. It’s the perfect backup solution for homes that features multiple computers, tablets and smartphones. Streaming of media content is not limited within the network as users can access the files remotely. Though the transfer speed for NAS devices would be considerably slower than the USB attached external hard drives, the benefits of having a central storage for your home that can be accessed anytime, anywhere outdo this particular disadvantage.
The Seagate Central comes in 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB variants. Local gadgets retailer Villman sells the 4TB version for P10,988