Saturday, February 24, 2024

REVIEW | Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8TB

Large hard drives were pretty exorbitantly priced just a few years ago. But now with new and improved drive technology, home media storage and backup solutions have become more accessible. Today we will be taking a look at one such option from Seagate, the Backup Plus Hub with 8 terabytes of external storage.

Design and Package

Packing a regular 3.5-inch hard drive, inside a factory-sealed external enclosure, Seagate markets the sizable 8 Terabyte storage solution as a backup product. Meaning, it can be easily hooked up via USB to laptops and PCs, to backup data. That said, it can also be used as a conventional storage drive.

The package is a slick rectangular black box that sits neatly on the desk. On the rear, it has a USB connector and a power connector. Being a large unit, it cannot be passively powered via USB and does need a DC power hookup.

For this purpose, a DC adapter is included. Being a USB Hub of sorts, on the front, it has 2 more USB ports that can be used to connect other USB devices.

Once powered on the Seagate logo on the top front lights up and remains on until the drive either goes to sleep due to inactivity or when the PC is shut-down. The design is simple and elegant and looks nice on a PC table or office desk. Cooling is passive which means no fans or resulting noise. Thanks to the USB Hub, you can daisy chain multiple backup drives.

Specs and Performance

The drive included inside the enclosure uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology. This form of recording allows for higher data density on drives, surpassing the physical limitations of previous Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology.

Unfortunately, SMR comes at a performance handicap, being slow at Random Read and Write; but is perfectly suited for sequential reading and writing, such as data backup, or surveillance recording. Thus, Seagate’s Backup oriented marketing for the device.

The USB connectivity on the rear as well as the 2 ports on the front are all USB 3 and thus allow for speedy data transfer. That’s almost a must-have in this case, especially when dealing with such massive file sizes. Agreed that you could be backing up tiny word documents from your laptop, but for that, you wouldn’t need an 8 TB drive. 

Average transfer speeds when copying large files like ISO or MKV Movie files from an internal hard drive were steadily above 100 MBps, peaking at about 158 MBps. This was a sizable improvement over an older 2018 model of a similar drive which peaked at 107 MBps.

But worth noting that the entire PC sub-system was also newer, being a 10th-generation Intel Core CPU-based system, versus a 6th-generation PC.  

To re-iterate how godsend USB 3 is, at USB 2, transfer speed seemed to average at around 6-8 MBps. So, transferring a few terabytes would be a several-day procedure.

Software

In a Windows environment, the Seagate Backup Plus Hub is pretty much plug-and-play. Hook it up to an available USB port and Windows immediately identifies the drive and lists it in My Computer. The drive is pre-formatted and ready to go. So, no special software or setup is required. All the testing was done on a PC with 64-bit Windows 10 Professional.

Value

Availability of the high-capacity hard drives in the Philippines has drastically improved in the last few years. With that, pricing has also become a lot better. In 2018 a similar drive cost close to P20,000; whereas now it can be had at nearly half the price. You can find Manila-based retailer listings on Shopee for P10,800.

Western Digital has similar external drive offerings priced around P10,900. As we haven’t tested those units, it would be hard to provide an objective comparison.

Given the portability and the USB Hub functionality, these external drives offer good value, as Seagate’s own Barracuda line-up of internal drives cost P10,649.

Conclusion

If you don’t need the high capacity or want extreme portability, this drive is not for you. On the other hand, if you store large files such as media content, or want a hefty backup option this external drive is a good choice. It has a nice design and has added functionality which may be quite useful. Performance is improved from older models but has the expected limitations of an SMR drive.

  • Model: STEL8000100
  • Price: P10,800
  • Verdict: A solid solution for your growing storage and backup needs

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