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Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Great external solution 05/03/2015

This review is from: Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STEB5000100

Pros: HD Tune Pro Read (4 MB Blocks):
Minimum: 82 MB/s
Average: 143 MB/s
Maximum: 188 MB/s

In real-world file copies, I'm seeing about 190 MB/s read and 170 MB/s write, which are very impressive for an external hard drive.

While powered on, the drive emits a low humming noise when the disk is spinning. During reads, there is no noticable extra noise. However it does make the traditional churning sounds while writing. On the whole, this drive produces the typical amount of noise for most external HDD's -- it's no quieter or louder than usual. However, given the capacity (5 TB), the noise is much more impressive.

Cons: The rubber mounts are placed along the width of the casing, so the drive stands vertically. It seems like a strange way of positioning the case, since it can be easily knocked over. Mounting hard drives vertically is perfectly safe, though. Just make sure the enclosure is stored somewhere secure otherwise it could fall off your desk, shelf, etc, and break. Storing the drive horizontally might work fine, but vibrations through the case could cause extra noise.

Other Thoughts: The included power adapter is about 5-feet long, the included USB cable is slightly shorter around 3-feet. Both are adequate lengths and props to Seagate for not skimping on the cables. Too many companies bundle mini-cables in these situations and it can be very frustrating.

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Seagate STCR3000101 3TB Personal Cloud NAS server
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Home Networks Redefined 03/23/2015

This review is from: Seagate STCR3000101 3TB Personal Cloud NAS server

Pros: The Seagate Personal Cloud is a storage solution designed to simplify and streamline file-sharing throughout your local network and allow your files to be accessible from everywhere else, too. First and foremost, the Cloud server does exactly as you'd hope. After connecting it to your LAN and setting up an account, every network-enabled device -- including phones, tablets, PC's, laptops, and even your television -- will be able to immediately access the files on the local Cloud. Streaming movies, shows, and music is also instantaneous for every file and every device.

Installation and setup was incredibly easy, the cloud server appears as a shared network drive through Windows. For mobile devices you will need to install the Seagate Media App, which was also incredibly easy to use. There are other user-made applications that serve the same purpose (and better in many ways) which I cover in the Cons section.

Streaming to multiple sources; a television, my PC, two tablets, and a phone, I didn't encounter any quality loss or buffering/bandwidth problems. The Cloud server held its own, and handled everything I threw at it.

It does support Chromecast, which is probably going to be necessary if you want to stream to a television that isn't already wireless-enabled.

Cons: The Seagate Media app, which is used to access the cloud HDD from mobile devices, does not allow access to users' individual private folders. The app defaults to, and only allows access to, the general "Public" folder which is viewable by everyone on the cloud. Any files you store in your user folder, including media, will not be accessible via the app. This means when you don't have access to a PC, you can't access your private files.

However, I was able to circumvent that problem by using a 3rd party app. After providing my Seagate login credentials, both my private folder and the public folder were accessible. This simply means Seagate needs to improve their app!

I would like to have seen wireless support on the Personal Cloud as well, requiring the device to be hardwired to the network via Ethernet is a limiting factor. I had to change the layout of my completely-full network to accommodate it.

The WebUI lies about storage capacity! The capacity is shown in base 10, it over-estimates both used amount and free space. This has been standard practice for decades, so it's not surprising. Viewing the drive information through Windows shows the correct numbers. 1 MB is 1,048,576 bytes ... not 1,000,000 bytes.

Other Thoughts: What is the difference between the Seagate Personal Cloud and enabling network File Sharing on your PC? In both scenarios, you can add any kind of files to the drive, and share them across the network. You can even setup a remote server to access your files from outside your LAN. So what benefits does the Seagate solution offer? A hassle-free, dedicated solution with easy setup and web-based control. Simply put, it's convenient. The cloud server runs permanently separated from a PC, has its own user credentials, its own dedicated disks, its own customizable settings, and a wide range of support for streaming devices (Chromecast).

The server itself seems to use two or three 2.5" HDD drives, without breaking the device open it's hard to be certain. As with most external HDD's, you will most likely be able to crack it open and remove the individual HDD's and use them separately if you want to.

Read speeds around 100 MB/s, write speeds around 60 MB/s. Even with multiple people accessing the device simultaneously, there shouldn't be any bottlenecking issues.

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Netgear A6210-100PAS AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter High Gain Dual Band USB 3.0
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: First and foremost, the antennna on this adapter is very impressive. I definitely didn't expect such a small device to reach the range that it achieved, both in 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless.

5 GHz @ 80 yards (no walls): 30 MBps downstream.
2.4 GHz @ 80 yards (no walls): 4 MBps downstream.

5 GHz @ 80 yards (2 walls): 6 MBps downstream.
2.4 GHz @ 80 yards (no walls): 3 MBps downstream.

My ping results were always around 20-30ms without walls, which is impressive, but the tests were being run through my ISP's speed test.

The 5 GHz support is a huge plus. I haven't seen this very often on other Wi-Fi adapters, and I think it makes up for the small antenna size. Even despite its size, it performs incredibly well on 2.4 GHz as well.

Even though for a standalone adapter it's a bit bulky, considering the amount of power this thing packs, there's really no reason to complain. Are there smaller Wi-Fi adapters on the market? -- Yes. But to achieve range like this you usually need a table-top device with large antenna.

Cons: The biggest and most glaring drawback of this adapter is its inability to handle wall obstructions very well. It's a common, unavoidable problem that most wireless adapters have. But given how well it succeeds in all other areas, I feel like I need to mention the fact that it's not a complete wireless solution. If you have a wall (or even worse, multiple walls) between the adapter and its source connection, you will suffer connection degradation or loss entirely.

Drivers are available through Netgear's website as well as an included CD-ROM disc. I'm listing this is as a Con because Netgear's website forces you to register an account before you can access the driver download. That's totally unnecessary.

The software package bundled with the drivers is a bit pointless, the driver integrates itself into Windows' wireless networks which means the adapter can fully operate through Windows controls exclusively. There's no reason to install additional software which doesn't do anything useful.

All of my other Wi-Fi adapters have included status lights, or at the very least, power indicators. The A6210 has no indicators on it whatsoever. A "Data transfer" light or connection status light would have been very appreciated, as it's always good to know when the adapter is actually working properly.

Other Thoughts: Netgear was nice enough to include a USB extender/stand for the adapter which I found particularly useful. For most people, plugging in the adapter to their side USB ports on their laptop will be sufficient enough, but the USB dongle/stand is always a nice feature. It might just give you the extra range you need. If nothing else, it makes the adapter more convenient since it's out of the way.

As far as Wi-Fi adapters go, the A6210 is a bit large and oddly shaped. A more curved form-factor with rounded edges would have not only made it easier on the eyes, but easier on the hands as well. If you accidentally bump your hand into this thing, you're going to feel it. Sharp edges are always a bad idea with this kind of device.

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Brian M.'s Profile

Display Name: Brian M.

Date Joined: 03/16/06

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 65
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  • First Review: 08/13/06
  • Last Review: 05/03/15
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