Seagate Replica external hard drive (500 GB)
A stylish Seagate external hard drive
- Easy backup
- Inflexible software
The Seagate Replica external hard drive looks good, and can be a great time saver. The no-nonsense backup and easy restoration of all data make it an attractive tool in the kit of those who need to maintain systems (albeit systems with relatively low-capacity HDDs). It is also useful for home users who don't want to keep bothering about data backups or about software that may be complex to understand. However, functionality of the Replica drive comes at a price premium compared to normal external drives.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
When all external hard drives are clones for all practical purposes, manufacturers see unique functionality as a differentiator and value add. To this end, Seagate has come up with what they can call an appliance -- the "Replica Complete PC Backup System".
It is an external hard drive that connects to your laptop/desktop PC over a USB 2.0 cable. Our unit was colored grey, with rounded edges on two sides, and a blinking blue activity indicator on top. You can use it as a normal USB hard drive, with file-transfer speeds on par with any other USB drive. The fun starts once you allow it to install Seagate Replica software on your PC.
The software allows for restoring deleted files or even your entire operating system and all folders. It does its work quietly, does not ask you any complex questions or lead you through wizards to setup itself. All files on the laptop/desktop hard disk are backed up automatically, and on a continuous basis as long as the machine is switched on and the Replica drive is connected. You don't need to remember to backup, or be subject to losing files that were created between backup schedules.
With the Replica you have a backup copy of all your files, which can be restored if you accidentally delete them, or your OS is corrupted, or your main hard drive fails. Note that the backup functionality is implemented as a Windows application, so you need Windows XP or a later version of Windows to use it.
Before installing the software, the Replica drive shows up like any other. But once installed, it ties in to your "My Computer" window as a special object, not as a normal drive. Clicking on this object starts up the integrated browsing feature -- you can see a list of names of PCs that are backed up, and then navigate through to the folder or file you want to retrieve.
Restoring all the data of a backed up machine is simple. Connect the Replica drive via USB, boot from the provided Recovery CD, and click through the step-by-step graphical wizard to restore the system to its former state.
Those who have installed Ubuntu or Fedora Linux will recognise the GUI. The Recovery CD is only 65 MB, and uses the IsoLinux bootloader to boot into a LiveCD-like interface.Our favourite grudges with this backup solution? It is not possible to choose what you backup, absolutely everything on all partitions of your system hard drive is backed up. There is actually no graphical interface to configure the software, other than the system tray it offers. Also, since it does not wait for schedules to backup, be ready to suffer a slow system for the first day or so, while all your data gets "replicated" for the first time, with heavy disk activity (took about 6 hours for us with 200GB of data to be backed up).
The "multi-PC" label for a 500GB drive induces humour, considering the software insists on copying the entire hard drive as-is, and that one terabyte desktop drives are common. Seagate could probably have still got away lightly if they had labelled it "multi-laptop" instead. Lastly, while it does help cut down on time spent backing up with its software, there is a price premium for this feature. However it still manages to come out looking better than the offering by ClickFree. The drive model includes a "dock" that can hold the drive vertically to save desk space. Admittedly, the dock makes it look quite stylish.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
- Google Earth VR lets you explore our beautiful planet on the HTC Vive
- Seagate crams a massive 5TB into a portable hard drive
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - SCCM & Lync/Skype for BusinessQLD
- TPTechnical WriterACT
- CCNetwork Design EngineerACT
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTIT Procurement AdvisorQLD
- CCApplication Programmer - Software - Geospatial and Industrial EnterpriseVIC
- CC3x DevOps / Integration Developers l AWS- Cloud- Linux- Puppet Ansible- JIRA-DNSW
- CCIntegration Systems SpecialistQLD
- FTPMO Coordinator - Permanent Opportunity!NSW
- PTVBA Analyst Programmer - Permanent / Part Time (3 days per week)QLD
- CCPerformance AnalystVIC
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- FTExecutive Sales ManagerVIC
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - DAFFQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCService Desk Consultant-Baseline Clearance RequiredNSW
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPLevel 3 Systems EngineerWA
- FTITCM EngineerNSW
- CCVMWare Automation ArchitectACT
- CCMigration OfficerQLD