Experts say the Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive is a good choice for those who want a budget-friendly portable storage option. USB 3.0 transfers are speedy, and the drive uses Seagate's USM interface, which means it can be converted to transfer data via FireWire or Thunderbolt ports if the need or desire arises. Customer service seems responsive, but some reliability issues and problems with the backup software are reported by owners. In addition to 1 TB, the Backup Plus also comes in 750 GB (Est. $80) and 500 GB capacities (Est. $70).
Capable software and fast data transfers. The Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive is a formidable performer for a portable drive. Its USM interface plays well with any popular connectivity option -- USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt. However, only A USB connector is included in the box; adapters for FireWire and Thunderbolt are available separately (Est. $20 and up).
Editors at PCMag.com test USB 3.0 and FireWire performance and find that data transfer is quite fast. The included software sports a simple yet functional interface. Backup options are fairly straightforward, and its Share feature lets users upload photos and videos to social networking sites. However the drive's backup software is not Mac-compatible. That's not a deal-killer, says PCMag.com, and Ahmer Kazi points out that "Mac users can perform the same task via Time Machine"
Decent track record, though not blemish free. Thousands of owners have nothing but good things to say about the Backup Plus on user-review sites. Some complaints, however, are hard to brush off as typical problems associated with all hard drives. On Amazon.com, where the Backup Plus earns a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5, some contributors report problems with the included backup software, many saying that it bogged their computers down. Others report instances where the drive isn't recognized while using Windows 7. On the plus side, a Seagate representative seems active at Amazon.com, reaching out to users to address issues or inviting them to contact the company. The Backup Plus fares similarly among Newegg.com contributors. PCMag.com gripes that the plastic chassis "could be studier." Seagate offers a two-year limited warranty
Good performance and a low price. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to take your data on the go, then the Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive is solid option. PCMag.com names it an Editors' Choice, while CNET calls it an excellent buy. The concept of the USM interface is terrific, most say, but the cost of the FireWire or Thunderbolt adapters, if needed, can negate some of the Backup Plus's price.
CNET's Dong Ngo reviews the Seagate Backup Plus, calling it an "excellent buy." He praises it for being "fast, flexible and good-looking," and he says that the included software is easy to use. He tests both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, finding both outputs to be "very fast." The Backup Plus gets 4 stars out of 5 and an editors' rating of excellent.
Review: Seagate Backup Plus Review , Dong Ngo, June 11, 2012
Editors at PCMag.com award the Seagate Backup Plus the Editors' Choice nod for portable hard drives, as well as a place among the best products of 2012. Ahmer Kazi writes that performance is "swift" and user interface is "excellent," but the plastic chassis "could be sturdier." The Backup Plus "outpaced every portable drive in its class" during USB 3.0 testing, he concludes. FireWire speeds are impressive as well.
Review: Seagate Backup Plus, Ahmer Kazi, June 29, 2012
The Seagate Backup Plus receives more than a thousand user reviews at Amazon.com, garnering an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Contributors are pleased; most say it's a good portable drive and are pleased with its price. Others, however, complain about drive failure and problems with the included software. Seagate representatives respond to several unhappy customers here, offering solutions or an invitation to communicate with the company to see if the issues can be resolved.
Review: Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
Users at Newegg.com tend to have a more technical bent than those who post at Amazon.com. Here, the Seagate Backup Plus has an overall rating of 4 eggs out of 5. Most users seem pleased with the drive, praising its speed, price and portability.
Review: Seagate Backup Plus 500GB USB 3.0, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of June 2013
Michael Calore's take on the Seagate Backup Plus is relatively brief but still informative. The review focuses on design and features, but performance isn't specifically addressed. Calore finds that the software interface is easy to use and makes it easy to upload photos to social media sites. The Seagate Backup Plus receives a rating of 7 out of 10 -- "very good, but not quite great."
Review: Seagate Backup Plus Portable, Michael Calore, Aug. 3, 2012