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Seagate Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STDT5000100
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Excellent external HDD 08/09/2014

This review is from: Seagate Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STDT5000100

Pros: All included components are well made. The USB cable is tough but flexible and the connectors are strong and secure. The power adapter cable is much the same as the USB cable, the adapter itself is made of rigid plastic and doesn’t feel cheap like most do. The actual enclosure is made of firm plastic that doesn’t have any give. The ports on the enclosure are very secure ensuring a solid connection. The enclosure does not have an internal fan, it does however have an elevated base with ventilation holes and ventilation holes in the rear (the dimples on the side are purely aesthetic).
The drive runs cool and quiet even with sustained operation.

Set up was extremely quick and easy. The included instructions perfectly depict the set up process. The inclusion of the Seagate Dashboard installer on the drive ensures correct order of operations when setting the drive up, and makes registering the product with Seagate even easier than it would be otherwise.

The real star behind this drive is the Seagate Dashboard software. It has a pleasant aesthetic and a simple yet functional layout which includes options such as logging, the ability to toggle the enclosure’s LEDs, check for updates to the Dashboard, and the ability to display or hide certain home screen options.

The dashboard software has three backup operations (PC, Mobile, and Social Media). PC backups were what I spent most of my time testing. First, there doesn’t seem to be any unreasonable limit on the number of backup plans you can create (I got bored after creating about 35). Second is that creating a backup plan is extremely simple. You can choose to use the default plan which is just all the default options chosen (All non-system files on local drives, backed up to your Seagate external drive, continuously) or you can create a custom plan, which allows you to customize what files are backed up, and when. After a plan has been created it can be edited, run manually, or deleted, including all the data the plan backed up, if you choose.

Restoring backed up data is as simple as clicking the large “Restore” button in the Dashboard. You’re then walked through a few screens similar to setting up a backup plan. You’re asked to choose which plan you wish to restore from, from when and what files you want to restore, and where you would like to restore them to.

The mobile app called is called “Seagate Mobile Backup” and is seldom mentioned other than on the drive’s packaging. Despite this it works much the same as the Dashboard including its nice look and simple layout, although you can only have one backup plan to a drive and another to the cloud. You can choose to back up your typical media files, as well as things such as your contacts, call log, and messages. Restoring your data works the same as with the Dashboard except that it only restores the files to their default location.

Cons: The top of the enclosure is made of high gloss plastic, so be wary when handling it unless you like cleaning off finger prints.

I’ve bought quite a few HDDs, and even a few external enclosures, but never a pre-assembled external HDD. The main thing I can tell you is that shipping HDDs is no joke. They’re fragile, and every single one I’ve ever bought has been separately packed and shipped cradled by some sort of packaging designed to absorb shock and crush. The packaging for this drive seemed rather unsubstantial, just some cardboard to hold the drive snugly in its box. No crush space, and nothing shock absorbing.

The two year warranty on this drive is competitive in today’s market, but I think these warranties are inadequate. Not to mention the standard warranty is only for the drive, and not your data.

Seagate bothered to include a couple things on the drive out of the box, including the dashboard installer, warranty information, and some miscellaneous hidden files. The dashboard software offers some helpful links, including one to the dashboard manual, but why not just include it on the drive? Not everybody has a reliable internet connection, and those that do would only be temporarily inconvenienced having to delete a single file off the drive.

Despite how nice the Dashboard software is, after using it and reading over the documentation, I’m fairly certain there is no way to name your backup plans. This would have been a great feature to make organizing and recognizing your plans much easier, especially considering that there doesn’t appear to be a limit for the number of backup plans you can create.

Another omission I found in the Dashboard software was the lack of a unified view of all of your backup plans at once, this would help to accomplish the same goals as above, and if both were implemented, would make managing your files significantly easier.

I feel like I’m nitpicking at this point, but it would be nice if the Dashboard could report the total size of a particular backup plan.

My final issue with the Dashboard software is that it doesn’t seem to offer anyway to manage your data other than deleting it. A setting to automatically compress or even delete old backup data would be very welcome. Furthermore, I find it strange that I’m not given the choice to be able to wipe my backup data, but keep my plan, or to manually delete certain backup points.

Other Thoughts: Drive is default formatted as NTFS with the name “Seagate Backup Plus Drive”. Windows reports a total size of 4.54TB with 692MB already in use.

There are no controls on the drive at all. Not even a power switch. Fortunately though, in my testing I’ve seen no adverse effects from unplugging the drive, whether or not you ejected it from your OS first.

This is going under Thoughts rather than Cons because it’s not Seagate’s fault. Despite getting a year of cloud (by Nero) storage for free with this drive, I was unable to test it because for the entire time I spent testing this drive initially, the cloud registration page was broken. Hopefully if you’re reading this, it’s been fixed.

When using the Seagate Dashboard software for backups, it doesn’t compress or archive your files. It will store your files under “x:\ Seagate Dashboard 2.0\computer name\user name\Backup\random folder name\date and time of backup”. That might seem slightly confusing but if you just look under your drive and click around for a little bit, it should start to make sense. It’s a good thing to know in the event you ever have an issue with the Dashboard software.

The following benchmarks were attained using CrystalDiskMark.
My PC USB3.0: SeqRead: 162MB/s SeqWrite: 191MB/s RandRead 43MB/s RandWrite 114MB/s
My PC USB2.0: SeqRead: 33MB/s SeqWrite: 30MB/s RandRead 22MB/s RandWrite 30MB/s
Old PC USB2.0: SeqRead: 36MB/s SeqWrite: 32MB/s RandRead 23MB/s RandWrite 32MB/s

The benchmarks show two things. First, that USB3.0 is going to yield the best performance. The second requires some explanation. There is a massive generation gap between my PC and the old PC I used. Despite this, the benchmarks attained were broadly the same. My conclusion is that your PC would have to be quite marginal before you saw a negative impact on performance.

The following benchmarks were attained using a 10GB video file and the Windows copy command.
My PC USB3.0: File transfer to drive: ~200MB/s, File transfer from drive: ~130MB/s
My PC USB2.0: File transfer to drive: ~35MB/s, File transfer from drive: ~31MB/s
Old PC USB2.0: File transfer to drive: ~33MB/s, File transfer from drive: ~34MB/s
These benchmarks show broadly the same thing (even at nearly identical speeds!) as the CrystalDiskMark benchmarks, but nonetheless are more realistic.

Overall, I like this drive. It’s well built, looks nice, works perfectly, and all the models are competitively priced. Everything I listed as a con was quite minor, and only included because Seagate has proven receptive to such critique. This exact model (5TB) is doubtlessly overkill for some people. No matter which model you choose, if you end up with more storage space than you need, it just ensures that you’re able to keep more versions of your backed up files. In the time I’ve used this drive, it’s worked perfectly, with no intervention needed by me after initial setup. I would recommend this series of external HDDs to anybody looking to kee

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Link Depot MUSB-3 3 ft. Black USB A/male to Micro USB 5 pin male
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Does what I need it to 06/20/2014

This review is from: Link Depot MUSB-3 3 ft. Black USB A/male to Micro USB 5 pin male

Pros: Good build quality, connectors are nice and sturdy, cable is tough but flexible.

Cons: None.

Other Thoughts: I use this cable with my phone because the one my phone came with is being monopolized as my main means of charging my phone. I've tried, and this cable can do that too, but I just use this for data transfer.

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Rosewill 6ft. USB2.0 A Male to A Female Extension Cable, Black, Model RCW-100
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Does what I need it to 06/20/2014

This review is from: Rosewill 6ft. USB2.0 A Male to A Female Extension Cable, Black, Model RCW-100

Pros: Good build quality, connectors are nice and sturdy, cable is well made but flexible.

Cons: Female USB connector is kind of ugly, just bare metal. Not worthy of knocking an egg off but best to use this cable discretely if you value the overall look of your setup.

Other Thoughts: Currently being used to free up front USB real estate on a HTPC by making the rear USB more accessible. It's done this for over a year with no issue.

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Kyle K.'s Profile

Display Name: Kyle K.

Date Joined: 12/15/07

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  • Reviews: 95
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  • First Review: 12/22/07
  • Last Review: 08/09/14
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