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Worth the money for the hardware 08/28/2013
This review is from: Seagate Central STCG2000100 2TB Cloud Storage System
Easy to setup. No messy menus or network settings. Just plug it in, go to “Network” in explorer, and it is almost immediately available to access without any login or password information required.
There is a link on the network drive which takes you to the browser interface. This takes you through the initial setup process and setting up of accounts.
Interface is VERY easy to navigate and make sense of, and the descriptions for the “Remote Access”, “Seagate Media”, “DLNA”, and “iTunes” services are all very simple to understand.
Setting up multiple user accounts for password protected storage is also very simple.
Average write speed over wifi of 8-14MB/s. I was able to transfer 5-8GB files in about 10-15 minutes. The most important thing? No sudden stops or pauses. It was continuous with no failures.
DLNA feature works fairly well. I have three devices in my home setup with XBMC, and XBMC was able to read my video library from the Seagate Central, run its file scrapers to add metadata for TV shows and movies, and stream to all of my devices successfully.
Device had a total of 1.7TBs of actual storage available on the 2TB drive.
The Dashboard software has its ups and downs, but for the most part it is competent enough for most average users to understand and utilize. Also, 2TB is enough storage for most households to be able to backup multiple computers with enough room to spare.
The software unfortunately takes the WD approach and gives you backup options based on “Categories”. These categories are Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Personal, or All Files. Fortunately, unlike WD, Seagate gives you the option of backing up specific files. Using this method, I chose to backup my pictures and music folders to the device. The software is also nice enough to give you multiple scheduling options such as Continuous, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Overall, most customers will be able to navigate the software with little struggle.
Two other big positives about the software are that it gives you the option of backing up to the public folder, or any of the password-protected folders based on the user accounts you setup. Second, the Dashboard software automatically maps the public and private folders as network drives so that they are easy to access in the future.
As is usually the case with most consumer devices from HDD companies, the hardware is spot on and yet the companion software falls flat on its face. The Seagate Dashboard software takes a few minutes to detect the Central on the network and make it available for use. Until that time, it keeps asking for you to plug in a compatible drive. I thought it wasn’t going to work at first, then out of nowhere an icon representing the Central popped up and I was able to use it. Fortunately, once it finally detected the NAS, setting things up was fairly simple.
Unfortunately, the apps did not turn out as nicely. From my experience, the software could only log into the NAS from the cloud. I was unable to simply access the drive locally using the app. This is bad for two reasons.
First, if I want to access my files, those files have to stream themselves out of my home, to Seagate’s servers, and then back down to my mobile device back in my home. It is an unnecessary step.
The second problem with this is that large files will not be able to be streamed using this method. Whenever I tried to play videos on my mobile devices using the app, it told me that it couldn’t stream the videos and needed to download them. So the device would then download an entire video in order to play it.
The only saving grace for this unfortunate oversight in the app’s design is that you can use other apps to access your content as long as they support DLNA. In the case of my Android devices, I had XBMC installed and I was able to access all of my content and stream it locally. As a piece of hardware, the Central works great. The companion apps are unfortunately pretty useless.
I really like this device. Its physical design is very understated and unassuming. It will sit in an entertainment center or on a shelf without attracting unneeded attention or distracting you with obnoxious blinking lights. I had mine in a cabinet where I have my wireless router and cable modem and it did not generate much heat at all. Also, with only three ports on the back (power, Ethernet, and USB), and no on/off switch, this is one of the most un-intimidating pieces of consumer-level network tech I have ever seen. Almost anyone would be able to buy this in the store and confidently set it up in their home without being afraid. Seagate has designed a NAS that will hold your hand and walk you through the setup without intimidating you with big words or lofty tasks.
While I really don’t like backup software that gives you options based on file “categories”, I at least appreciate Seagate’s foresight in giving its users the option of backing up their computer based on file locations and folders.
My major downside for this product is its apps. This is an option that any hardware manufacturer would be stupid to ignore, but offering limited and ineffectual apps is not the answer. Either go big or go home, especially when people will see that feature on a retail box and possibly make their purchasing decision based on those features alone. As it stands, Seagate’s apps are not worth the time of day. Luckily, because Seagate has included standard services such as DLNA and iTunes, most users will still be able to make great use of this device without needing to rely on broken apps.
My last comment is an important one. This device is what it is. It is a consumer-level device designed to give users a reliable backup solution for their home. The base 2TB model does that by providing plenty of storage for an average household. Just keep in mind, this is not a replacement for a full-on NAS setup such as those that come from Synology and the like.
However, this device is a solid contender in its product category and one I whole-heartedly recommend. It is decently fast, and most importantly, reliable. Easy setup and easy configuration. I am very happy to have one and plan on using it until it dies.
We would like to thank you for taking the time to post a review of the Seagate Central Shared Storage network drive.
We wanted to note that if you are on your home network, our App will pull information directly from the Central drive, the information is not passed though our servers. If our Central drive is connected to a wireless router, you would want to connect through the network connection from the Central device and use that through our app.
Our Wireless app will play files that are natively supported by your mobile device. If the file type is not supported, we would recommend using a third-party player to stream the file. We notice this was the solution mentioned in your review. Alternatively, you can also use a conversion utility to convert the file into a format that is supported for your mobile device.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our support staff and we will be happy to assist further:
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