Seagate GoFlex Satellite 500GB Wireless Drive
Sputnik, or Sputnot?
By: James Oppenheim | Created: 2012-05-20 01:56:57 | (Updated: 0000-00-00 00:00:00)
I've had great success with most Seagate's portable USB drives. In the future we may store all our data in the "cloud", but for now, (particularly if you store large volumes of photos, music and movies or backup multi-gig drives) cheap, local storage is the way to go. But, what if you have an iPad or iPhone that is overflowing with content, and you just need more room? You can't plug in a hard dive and play; there is no port. Enter (at least theoretically) the Seagate GoFlex Satellite.
Loading your media files onto the GoFlex Satellite is as easy as plugging in the USB device to your computer, just as you would any other portable drive. The models that Seagate provided us for this review each held a capacious 500 Gig of storage.
Getting four or five hundred gigabytes transferred onto the disk doesn't happen fast, so leave plenty of time (hours and hours) to copy your files if you're planning on taking your entire collection on the road with you.
Once the data is on the disk you can unplug it from computer - the disk is now a portable, battery powered device with its own LAN!
The GoFlex Satellite will appear on your iPhone or iPad as a network you can join. In its first incarnation the GoFlex requires you to disconnect from any other LANs).
You access the disks content with an app that lets you view by type of content or delve into the directory structure (my preference).
As a practical matter, I had almost no luck with this device. Seagate sent me two to review. The streaming network on one never worked. The hard disk on the second crashed within a month, having never left the safety-zone of my desk. I can't comment on the battery life as I was never able to stream long enough to run down the battery.
I was able to test different units at two meetings with Seagate. At those sessions their drives seemed to work. Seagate's reps told me that the first drive I had been sent was an early model, possibly pre-production. The second, I was assured was a new, working unit. Neither unit worked in our office for more than a short while before failing.
The technology is promising. Being able to take my entire media collection with me wherever I go is enticing. But, the number one rule of storage is that it should work. It shouldn't be fussy. It shouldn't corrupt. It should be rock solid.
From my experience, I think Seagate still has a ways to go with the GoFlex Satellite before it is ready for to go into orbit.