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This review is from: Seagate Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STDT5000100
Pros: First, size. Obviously 5TB is tons of space, and the price-point here is pretty good. Unless you are looking at multi-disk solutions, this isn't a bad consumer-level unit if you want this much storage in one place.
No horrible blue lights. Hallelujah the day has finally come!! I am sick of external drives and enclosures making my hardware look like I bought it in Las Vegas.
I get speeds faster on this drive than any other external drive that I have. Obviously it is much faster than 2.0 drives, but even the other 3.0 drives that I have are not this fast. Your mileage may vary, since USB 3.0 speed will be dictated, among other things, by the source disk (i.e. copying from your C drive to this drive may be limited by the speed of that drive, your motherboard, etc.)
Doesn't seem to get too hot, holds up under heavy / long file transfers. Fairly quiet.
I don't go for special backup software that comes with a drive like this, but I did poke around on it and it seems pretty good. I remember when Zip drives/disks came with software... those were awful.
Cons: Plastic construction is not especially aesthetically pleasing. I don't care, but you might. It is a fingerprint magnet, and it doesn't radiate heat as well as aluminum or some other body. That's a minor issue.
NO OFF BUTTON?? I do not enjoy pulling plugs on hardware. This is 2014, we really can afford a small button or switch. I know for some drives, it's often easy to bump the button -- that's certainly a fatal flaw. But it's equally annoying to have no button at all.
eSATA would be nice, but that's wishful thinking. Also I hate my eSATA card (it's spastic) so maybe I don't care after all.
Most of these types of objects (external drives, routers, switches, etc.) have vertical or horizontal stands (and some have mounting hardware). This can only go horizontal. That's not a problem for me, but it's a bit silly. It's a rectangle. How hard is it to throw in a few rubber feet or a plastic stand to hold it up? This would help if the unit does get hot -- considering some backup options include continuous 24/7 backups, I think that might help!
Warranty is only 2 years. That's the kind of warranty you get at this level, but that really speaks to the general paradigm of buying entry-level systems, hardware, etc. Even when you go for a premium product like this, it will not necessarily last forever -- or even as long as you want. This is a general problem, but be aware that this is not a foolproof, industry-grade, high-volume hard drive. It is designed so that at least 95% of them last about 2 years. Not to last as long as possible. That's why it's affordable.
Other Thoughts: My reviews are consumer-oriented. As a "Newegg EggXpert" I am supposed to do my best to provide honest reviews that are informative and useful for potential customers. One problem with this is that Experts are asked to review the product soon after receiving it. While that makes sense from a review perspective, and that is the point of the program, you should all be very aware that none of the Expert reviewers can speak to the longevity of this device. (Really, not many people can, it's a relatively new product.)
So, word of caution as always: If you want a product with hundreds of reviews from users who have had the product last years, you won't get top specs like 5TB or USB3.0. Maybe every single drive will last 20 years, maybe they will last 2 years + 1 day. Who knows?
Also, not a pro or con, but keep in mind what this product is. It's an external / backup hard drive. It is not meant for heavy loads of reading and writing (i.e. you wouldn't run high-intensity programs from this drive). If you are doing professional video editing, for example, you would want internal drives (or a more professional, higher-grade unit).
And yes, as others have noted, be aware that the advertised specs are "maximum theoretically possible" and not realistic. 5TB = 5 * 10^9 KB, not 5 * 2^30. The USB3.0 maximum speed could not possibly be achieved by a magnetic drive reading or writing.
And I did not try out the "facebook image backup" part of the software. I'm not going to touch that one with a ten foot pole.
This review is from: NETGEAR CMD31T-100NAS High Speed Cable Modem - DOCSIS 3.0 Ethernet Port
Pros: This is a follow-up review.
Previous review cited:
Cons: Previous review cited:
No appreciable improvement in speed.
So what happened? Well, the modem stopped working. The upstream connection was bad for months and my cable company actually believed it was their fault. They were going to come out, troubleshoot, install new coax, etc. After three months with no alternative but a big serious service visit from the cable co. to potentially rewire my whole building, they walked me through some more troubleshooting and (surprise!) it's the modem. Confirmed 100% it's the modem.
Call up Netgear, go through the whole spiel hear all about the service packages I can buy -- no, thanks, I just want my broken product fixed or replaced.
Sorry, they say, it's out of warranty. When I insist that the problems started before the warranty occurred, they tell me that this is irrelevant. When I stand by my assertion that the problems originated in the warranty period, they relent -- they know how the law views warranties, and that this must be covered. But they can't shut up about how kind they are to give me a "grace period" (even though really, they're just honoring the warranty consistent with existing case law on warranties).
Great! I'm ready to get that RMA as soon as we work through the troubleshooting and find that the modem is broken. Except I can't work through the problem myself. In order to replace the unit, I have to go through Netgear support to determine that it is a brick. And that's not free. In fact, they want to sell me a service plan that costs more than the modem.
After speaking with them for an hour, I am told that there is no defect, that the hardware is perfect (which we can diagnose, apparently, by pinging the modem -- that's the entirety of the test!) and that I need to upgrade the firmware. For a big fat fee, they will tell me how to upgrade the firmware.
When I tell the guy there are no firmware updates for this modem on Netgear's website, he tells me the current firmware revision and before I have a chance to say "that's what I've got and this darn thing is still defective" he hangs up. "I can't give away tech support for free" he says.
I call back and I'm presented with the same options: Sit on the phone with tech support. If they can manage to fix the problem, pay them a huge sum of money (to fix a problem with hardware they should be fixing under warranty!). If they can't fix it, I won't have to pay and I'll get my RMA. But I can't get the RMA without phone support troubleshooting the problem, which means I can't get my RMA without risking a non-RMA fix for the hardware failure, for which I am charged $100+.
Sorry Netgear, I called for tech support. If I wanted to gamble, I'd go to Las Vegas. This is not an appropriate tech-support practice -- as far as I'm concerned, it's a racket. Operating out of India, I'm not sure whether that type of racket is legal.
Other Thoughts: My previous review stated "if it doesn't catch on fire or stop working, it's good." While there was no need to call the fire dept., this unit just plain stopped working. All through its death throes, power cycling the unit would fix the issue. My cable company told me they would replace the wiring to fix the signal problem, they'd do whatever they needed to do to fix it. But in the end, this modem was slowly dying for several months. When it finally kicked the bucket, Netgear had me on the phone for two solid hours trying to get me to pay for phone support just to get my RMA. I have better things to do. I'm not going to give somebody money to tell me a brick is a brick. I know it's a brick. It's supposed to be a modem. That's why I want it fixed or replaced. I shouldn't have to litigate my way to a replacement, gambling on whether or not phone support can fix the problem.
This process is incredibly disappointing. This is a premium product in a market where most people get modems for free from their providers. Netgear needs to own up to the poor workmanship of this product -- which is evident from the reviews that have piled up since I wrote my previous review one year plus two weeks ago. They need to provide people with a path to RMA that does not require them to risk steep customer service charges if it turns out the issue was some non-RMA issue for which Netgear is still responsible. This is a class-action suit waiting to happen.
Netgear has a history, in general and with this unit in particular, of taking a very strict interpretation of what their warranty covers -- hardware only. They won't do ANYTHING for you unless you (1) have a problem with hardware, not firmware, software, or other problems that could be Netgear's fault and (2) you pay them for the phone support to determine that you do have a hardware problem.
This is a complete joke, and based on my two hour merry-go-round with people trying to sell me a service plan and refusing to issue me an RMA unless I bought one, customers are the but of the joke. If you buy a Netgear product, you should interpret ANY warranty statement as "90 day window for tech support, with RMA only if the physical hardware is defective." They had me ping my modem over a direct ethernet connection and RULED OUT ALL HARDWARE DEFECTS based on a ping! I nearly laughed out loud, except I had already been on the phone 70-80 minutes at that point and was not in the mood. Netgear probably turns a big profit on its support, and it sounds to me like they don't mind if a few of their units mysteriously break -- they make cash on both ends, so to speak.
The downgrade two one egg is really better than this product deserves, considering it will still average out to 2.5 eggs considering my previous 4-egg review.
This review is from: EnGenius ENS200EXT High-powered/Long-range Wireless Outdoor AP
Pros: I'll try to go through the process and give my thoughts along the way:
First, Engenius has a good website. Easy to find the downloads I need. Firmware updated, pdf version of manual and other docs, very convenient.
The quick-start guide is enough to help anybody set it up. It was easy to follow and got this running as an access point no problem.
From there, I get great signal throughout my apartment. My place is small enough that I normally do fine with my router in all corners of the place, so I took a stroll around the apartment complex -- my signal was pretty strong for much farther than I've ever had with a home router. (That is the point, isn't it?) Very good signal strength for great distances. I don't have a way to measure, but I'd have to say 60+ feet before any signal quality change. Probably still "acceptable" or "moderate" signal for longer.
Cons: The proprietary POE is a huge let down. I was considering taking off two eggs for this (if I could, I'd give it a 3.5/5).
I am not okay with this sort of practice. POE is not a proprietary thing, and we should have to grapple with proprietary versions of POE to get a product we want. I don't see how there are limitations in standards-compliant POE products that would limit the functioning of this device or that would otherwise require a proprietary design.
Some people say POE is not proprietary, just match the voltage and power rating and you're fine. There are two problems with this assessment: (1) Most people who are in an industrial setting will want this unit to match an existing POE setup. Some people run a large POE system with an endspan injector that couldn't be replaced by some conglomeration of individual proprietary midspan POE injectors. And (2) this unit may function with any POE setup that has the right voltage/power, but this voltage/power is not standards-compliant, so you wouldn't find this in a generic POE injector. I'm sure you can get a step-down of some sort to put between a standard POE injector to this device, but now you're blowing money on an unnecessary piece of hardware for each one of these devices.
Other Thoughts: It's really a great piece of equipment minus the proprietary POE. But for many applications of this unit, that will actually be a big problem. For some people (like me), it may not be a problem, but it's still a problem in principle.
As with all EggXpert reviews, this review cannot comment on the longevity of the unit. We have to review the item within a short span of time once we receive it.
I'm also not clear on how waterproof this is -- I haven't had a chance to really test it, but it says "Outdoor" so I assume it can withstand the elements.