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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable

*Est. $50 for 320 GB
Reviewed
October 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable

Pros
  • Backup software included
  • Works on PC or Mac
  • Easily upgradeable to USB 3.0, eSATA and FireWire
Cons
  • Must buy extra-cost adapters for USB 3.0, eSATA and FireWire

Reviewers rave about the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable's flexibility. It is natively a USB 2.0 drive, but there are available adapters for other interfaces, including FireWire, eSATA and USB 3.0. Other accessories make it easy to adapt the FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable for various roles, such as a home media server. Those extras and accessories increase the bottom line, but if you need a basic but effective portable external hard drive and have only relatively modest storage needs, the base 320 GB version is an attractive value that can grow with you as needed. The included software, though fairly basic is another plus, and it plays well with both Macs and PCs. However Mac users who want to use more powerful Mac-specific software will need to do a little prep work first.

If you like the versatility of the FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable but have the need for more storage, versions up to 1.5 TB are available. Though it lacks the flexibility of the FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable, the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE is also well received and is available in 750 GB and 1 TB (Est. $90 for 1 TB) capacities.

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable has received tons of press coverage, though many look at higher-capacity versions of the external hard drive. You can read reports at mainstream computer sites and publications including CNET, Macworld and PCMag.com, as well as at enthusiast sites such as TomsHardware.com and NotebookCheck.com. Even Good HouseKeeping has weighed in with an opinion. Speaking of opinions, you can read lots of user reviews at Amazon.com.

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WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black
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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 320 GB USB 2.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive STAA320100 (Black)

 (548 reviews)
Buy new: $99.99   3 Used from $59.99

 
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Our Sources

1. CNET

CNET awards the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable external hard drive an Editor's Choice rating and 4 out of 5 stars, complimenting its flexibility and ability to work with PCs and Macs without being formatted. In addition to being the highest capacity (1.5 TB) available, the drive CNET tests includes the otherwise optional USB 3.0 adapter. Dong Ngo does feel that the USB 3.0 performance could be better, but notes that testing without the adapter places the drive in the upper ranks of USB 2.0 options.

Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable, Dong Ngo, Sept. 2010

2. Macworld

Macworld says the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable external hard drive has "blistering speeds, simple design, and enough flexibility that it could wind up becoming that one hard drive you hang on to for several years." The review praises the drive's ability to adapt to any connector (USB 3.0, eSATA, FireWire) with the addition of an appropriate $20 adapter. They award 4 of 5 mice.

Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive 500 GB, McKinley Noble, Aug. 2010

3. PCMag.com

PCMag.com reviewer Joel Santo Domingo awards the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable external hard drive 4.5 out of 5 stars and an Editors' Choice in this extensive review with benchmark testing. He praises its adaptability and expandability, and the function of its auto-backup software. "These optional adapter cables make the FreeAgent GoFlex one of the most versatile hard drives on the market...." Domingo writes.

Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive (500 GB), Joel Santo Domingo, May 2011

4. PC World (Australia)

PC World (Australia) awards the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable external hard drive its Editor's Choice in this USB 3.0, 1.5 TB version, calling it "fantastically versatile." Editors like the flexibility, though they note that Mac users have a hard time uninstalling some of the software if they want a clean drive. "No other hard drive manufacturer has devised a system so simple yet effective," Andrew Harrison writes, giving the drive 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive (1.5TB), Andrew Harrison, Jan. 2011

5. TomsHardware.com

TomsHardware.com reviews the entire Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex line of external hard drives, concluding that the modular upgrade feature is unique and useful. However, Achim Roos notes that USB 3.0 performance, with the appropriate adapter, is on the slow side.

Review: Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex : Modular External Storage, Patrick Schmid and Achim Roos, Nov. 2010

6. Good Housekeeping

Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute awards the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable external hard drive an A rating, naming it their favorite overall external hard drive. Pros include its size and ease of use; cons include software that did not automatically install.

Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra- Portable Drive, Editors of Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Aug. 2010

7. Notebook Check.net

This review from NotebookCheck.net updates an earlier review in the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable line of external hard drives, comparing the smaller-sized drive to its larger brethren. Editors found it shares many of the larger drives' better features, and found the software serviceable and extremely easy to use, if basic.

Review: Review Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 320 GB Ultra-Portable Drive and FreeAgent Auto Backup, Tobias Winkler, Sept. 2010

8. Amazon.com

Amazon.com lumps together reviews of some of the different flavors of the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable external hard drive line, which results in more than 300 ratings for this drive. Comments are generally positive, and more than half of those posting grant the external hard drive a 5-star rating, but others are less pleased. Some users complain that Mac compatibility and speeds are not as advertised.

Review: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable, Contributors to Amazon.com

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