Seagate FreeAgent DocStar

By Mark Gibbs, Network World |  Hardware, NAS, Pogoplug

Last year I reviewed the Pogoplug from Cloud Engines.

To recap, the Pogoplug is a low-end, personal Network Attached Storage (NAS) server (you have to add your own USB drives) that can be accessed from your local network or from anywhere on the Internet. The Pogoplug also provides access controls and can even run applications. In short, it is way cool.

A number of companies have since jumped on the bandwagon by licensing the Pogoplug technology to work with their products. Included in this group is Seagate with its FreeAgent Go DockStar which combines the server functionality with dockable storage.

The FreeAgent Go part of the system is a slim (5.12"h by 3.15"w by 0.83"d and weigh just 0.35lb), elegantly styled USB 2.0 drive available in capacities ranging from 250GB ($89.99) to 1TB ($229.99). They offer power management (you can set how long to wait before entering power-saving mode) and, using the Seagate Manager application, you can schedule automatic backups and use the drive to synchronize two computers.

A recently released update of the Seagate Manager adds a new feature: Encrypted folders. This is a good idea but, I presume, due to export restrictions, you have to apply to Seagate Technical Support and supply the serial number of your drive and your address to get this version.

This is irritating enough without having to deal with Seagate's labyrinthine Web site to make the request. Seagate appears to use much the same approach to customer service as SAP, which is to say bureaucratic and counterintuitive. I also notice the Seagate uses SalesForce for its customer service. Is it just me or do you also think that SalesForce makes a horrible support platform?

Anyway, as a portable storage device, the FreeAgent is way cool. While you can just plug it into your computer using the supplied USB cable, you can also get a dock for the drive, either the Go Dock or the Go Dock+ (the Go Dock+ is also a three-port USB 2.0 hub).

The Go Dock+ is only $19.99 but for an extra and measly $60 (total price, $79.99) you can get the DockStar which has the Pogoplug technology embedded.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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